I’ve always loved this song. When I was a kid, I would hear “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and think this is what romance was all about — seeking out my one perfect soulmate, who would take care of me and protect me always.
Now I listen to this song and think, what a fucked up message. I mean, what kind of emotionally healthy grown-up thinks of him or herself as “a little lamb who’s lost in the wood?” Aside from children, the eldery, and people with extreme disabilities; who really needs to be watched over? Were the Gershwins secretly into D/s play?
I used to think that I needed to be watched over, but you know what… whenever I would find someone who actually wanted to “watch over me,” it just annoyed the shit out of me. It might be a romantic notion (at least it was in my screwball head) to think of someone controlling your orgasms, your meals, your study habits, or what have you; but in reality it’s extremely irritating — especially when these so-called “dominants” are less intelligent or less accomplished than the people they are attempting to dominate. In my experience with BDSM, this is the case with most D/s couples. Sorry if I’m offending anyone here, this is only based on my experiences.
I know the Gershwins weren’t into D/s (well, I can’t know for sure, but I highly doubt it). They were just a product of their time. “Someone to Watch Over Me,” was written in 1926. Women had only been able to vote for six years, and the thought that they needed someone to “watch over” them was probably a pretty popular notion.
I still love this song. But when I hear it now, I don’t think of romantic love. I think of my Higher Power, and how he/she is watching over me. I have to wonder if this was somewhat intentional. A lost lamb longing for it’s shepherd is a pretty standard christian image (yes, I realize George and Ira Gershwin were Jewish, but still). The line, “looking everywhere, haven’t found him yet,” makes me think of when I was active in my love addiction. I was constantly looking for “him,” someone to fill this void and make me complete. I never found him though, because it’s impossible to fill a God-sized hole with a man. For the first time, I feel like I finally do have “someone to watch over me.”
I had to start this post with Ella, but I think I might love the Amy Winehouse version even more.