A Boy’s Best Friend -White Stripes – Released – June 20, 2000 – Recorded – 1999; Third Man Studio, Detroit, Michigan I just don’t fit in this place their thoughts cast me out of here their home has run out of space my mind’s already out of here won’t you come along dear? won’t you come along? words that are spoke alone phrases you will never hear empty rooms and a telephone that i will never use, never fear I am all alone dear I am all alone My dogs come sit next to me a pack of dogs and cigarettes y only friends speak no words to me but they look at me and they don’t forget that a boy’s best friend is his mother or whatever has become his pet The purpose of the White Stripes song “A boy’s best friend” is to characterize the social anxiety that a ‘boy’ goes through. The point that the composer is trying to emphasise, is that even though people will have their ‘friends around’ them, their best friend will be the mother that birthed them or their dog that can not speak.A technique such as talking to a second person in the lyrics allows the audience to feel included, asking them rhetorical questions that are repeated. In the first verse, the composer justifies significantly that they do not ‘fit in this place’ and exclaims that ‘their thoughts cast me out/their home has run out of space’. This shows that they feel that they do not belong where they are, they do not feel the comfortable essence that they should and they feel out casted from their home. ‘Home’ could mean the group of people they are around, or even the town/country/community they’re in. My mind’s already out here’ could mean that they can’t extinguish what they have said, that they’ve already made the decision that they will leave.
The audience is then added with the technique of repetitive questions, asking if they would ‘come along’. ‘empty rooms and a telephone/that I will never use, never fear’ is a use of hyperbole, exclaiming that they will ‘never’ use those rooms, that they will never have to ‘fear’ the telephone ringing as they are ‘all alone’- Line 5/6, verse 2- ‘ I am all alone dear/I am all alone’.Social anxiety is a sense of not belonging, and it is expressed with the verse ‘words that are spoke alone’, it gives effect of loneliness, that the words they speak are only spoken via themselves, and with the verse ‘phrases you will never hear’ extends the emotion of social anxiety. In the last verse, the composer finds that their dog and their cigarettes are their comfort items, their only mean of relaxation and belonging.The line ‘my only friends speak no word to me/but they look at me’ (Verse 3) mean that the persona has concluded that his best friend is ‘his mother/or whatever has become his pet’ (Verse 3). A technique of prefect rhyme of second syllable is used throughout the whole piece- ‘place/space’, ‘here/dear’. This allows the audience to follow the words smoothly, catching their attention of eagerly wanting to read to the end of the piece.
The composer uses techniques which cause the audience to create an image that can be portrayed of a beat up, tired looking, man who goes home and just sits by the fire drinking, beer and watching TV, all alone and unhappy with what has become his life. The audiences that the lyrics are aimed at are for those who feel confused and agitated about the place where they are in life, those who seek comfort by the things that don’t talk. SynopsisThe lyrics are about a person who has mentally moved on from where they are at the moment (romantically or otherwise) and is still being kept there even though they’re not a part of that scene anymore. As a result they feel that they are excluded, so they turn to the things that will always love them for comfort – (Verse 3, last line) ‘a boys best friend’ is ‘his mother or whatever has become his pet’- your mother is always your mother, and your pet is always your pet.
The lyrics are about a person who never was appreciated when they was a child, and is kind of an outcast from his society/family. The first verse conveys a sense of rejection and loneliness – “Their home has run out of space” The next part emphasises their loneliness as they talk to what seems to be an ‘imaginary friend’ –“Won’t you come along dear? ”(Verse1, line 5-6). This is repeated later in the song as well. The lyrics could be about moving on from an old friend. It seems like the person has moved on from a past relationship and is just wandering around in spite and loneliness.The most reasonable explanation for the lyrics is that it’s about moving on from a phase in life, where they are right now just isn’t working for them (the place and the people). They need to get out but it also seems like they’re in no rush, just depressed. They’re not contemplating on leaving, they has already made up his mind “My mind’s already out of here” (Verse 1, line 4), it’s a song about waiting around for whenever they’re going to get up and leave.
Towards the ending of the lyrics, they realise that his only friends are his mother/dogs and cigarettes, that’s what can make him happy until he gets away.