let the sunshine in.
if anyone actually likes the song Nobody Needs to Know they are actually wrong. like how do you even listen to it without being kind of sickened? like fuck jamie.
I love this song. And it’s not because I don’t see Jamie as a total prick in it. Because he is. He cheated on her. No excuses.
The thing that makes me appreciate this song so much though, starts here in this line “Since I have to be in love with someone. Since I need to be in love with someone. Maybe I could be in love with someone like you.”
Which of course is a reference to “Shiksa Goddess” where he says the same thing about Cathy.
And the thing is — I know that feeling. Feeling like you really need to have someone, anyone. And particularly as a writer, feeling like you need to have someone who inspires you. And that’s toxic to a relationship. And I think that’s what truly did them in. Their relationship was loving — yes, but that love came out of need, not want. They, both of them, needed someone. And they just happened to find each other. And then you have Cathy’s jealousy problems and her desire to be independent — which is totally founded. And then Jamie’s problem with getting wrapped up in his success. And then the infidelity.
I don’t admire Jamie in this song, by any definition. But I’m sad for him. I’m sad for him and also for the girl he’s been with. He calls her “kid” so she’s obviously young, maybe impressionable. She probably worships him as a writer. And as he begins to realize what he’s done and tries to deal with the implied consequences, she does too. She starts crying at one point. And his response:
"Hold on. Don’t cry yet. I won’t let you go. All right — the panic recedes. All right — everyone bleeds. All right — I get what I need. And nobody needs to know.”
First of all, he says don’t cry yet which insinuates that at some point she will have reason to cry, just not yet. Previously he’s promised he won’t lie to her, but the whole song is about him lying so I think it’s pretty obvious that that’s a lie in itself. And before he says that he asks her, in what are the rawest most sexual lines in the show, to take him inside her. And this is right after he’s pretty much realized his marriage is fucked. He turns to sex as a comfort — but not just sex. When he says “I get what I need.” I don’t he’s talking exclusively about sex.
I think he’s, again, talking about this ideal relationship that he feels like he needs — his muse. He needs that because his entire career rides upon inspiration. He’s clueless and cruel and completely delusional.
And that’s the point. You realize that Cathy’s and his relationship was doomed from the start. Because he didn’t see her. And to an extent, she didn’t see him. (but that’s a different song and conversation entirely.)
So yeah, Jamie is an ass and he doesn’t have a good excuse for doing what he does — and that’s the point. The song isn’t supposed to endear you to him. It’s supposed to emphasize that this wasn’t a one-sided thing. It wasn’t one person or one act that broke the relationship. It’s suppose to upset you and unsettle you and make you question Jamie’s motivations. The song shows you just how oblivious he is to his own mental state.
"Nobody Needs to Know" is about a lost man putting a band-aid on a bullet wound and believing it’ll hold.