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Now you play the loving woman, I’ll play the faithful man

August 20, 2010

Quick lunch blawg!  Not being overly saturated in the details of the new and exciting Mad Men Season 4:”How is This Empty?”  allows my untaxed gray matter the necessary space to reflect on the MM past and, voila! – I’ve conjured up the Ballad of Don and Betty.

I’m a lifelong fan of The Boss and I love this song so I was mildly surprised I didn’t remember these lyrics and link them to the Draper saga before this.

Brilliant Disguise was on The Tunnel of Love LP in 1987 back when they still released LPs. The video, which played night and day on MTV back when they still played videos night and day on MTV, was one slow, beautiful, continuous shot with Bruce singing live for the audio track the whole time. It’s funny, I seem to remember that something about the filming was relatively exceptional, but I’m not sure exactly what. He either nailed it in one take or they had to shoot it forever, I can’t recall which. And I can’t search for it now. Oh well. A song about a man disillusioned with a marriage, written at a time when he and Julianne Phillips were splitting up. Listen to the lyrics, and spot all the Mad Men symbolism.

I hold you in my arms as the band plays
What are those words whispered baby just as you turn away
I saw you last night out on the edge of town
I wanna read your mind and know just what I’ve got in this new thing I’ve found

So tell me what I see when I look in your eyes
Is that you baby or just a brilliant disguise?

I heard somebody call your name from underneath our willow
I saw something tucked in shame underneath your pillow

Well I’ve tried so hard baby but I just can’t see
What a woman like you is doing with me
So tell me what I see when I look in your eyes
Is that you baby or just a brilliant disguise?

Now look at me baby struggling to do everything right
And then it all falls apart when out go the lights
I’m just a lonely pilgrim, I walk this world in wealth,
I want to know if it’s you I don’t trust cause I damn sure don’t trust
Myself

Now you play the loving woman, I’ll play the faithful man.
But just don’t look too close into the palm of my hand
We stood at the alter the gypsy swore our future was right
But come the wee wee hours maybe baby the gypsy lied

So when you look at me you better look hard and look twice
Is that me baby or just a brilliant disguise?

Tonight our bed is cold
I’m lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he’s sure of.

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