Apologize to your loved one with Seasick Steve

Have you ever tried to apologise to your husband, wife or partner using the lyrics to a song you know they don’t know? Did you ever try it and were pleasantly surprised by the results?

Here’s a good song. It’s not massively famous, so unless your loved one is into blues rock, you’d probably get away with it. It’s called You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks by Seasick Steve but the lyrics are just perfect for that long awaited apology, when you just can’t find the right words. It goes like this.

There must be something wrong with me
What it is I can’t quite see
I can’t seem to do nothing right.
Maybe I need to change my style
Been this way for a long long while
Maybe there’s a few things I ought to fix.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Wanna put a little fire in my life
Climb a little higher, did it right
Tired of this ordinary bullshit.
Maybe I need to change my style
Been this way for a long long while
Maybe there’s a few things I ought to fix.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Maybe I should leave well enough alone
I might not be perfect but I’m me to the bone
I don’t need to change my style
Been this way for a long long while
There ain’t nothing that I got to fix
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

 

DO NOT attempt to apologise without reading the below. There are lots of potential pitfalls to be mindful of. You need to know why these lyrics are effective, and how to avoid digging a bigger hole for yourself. Let’s start with the first line:

There must be something wrong with me.

Always blame yourself if you’ve done something wrong and you’re not sure what, it’s just easier. Asking, “what have I done?” could open a big can of worms, so start by blaming yourself.

What it is I can’t quite see

I can’t seem to do nothing right

You’re confused but you sound remorseful. You’re onto a winner.

Maybe I need to change my style?

Do point out here that you’re not talking about the kind of trousers you wear!

[But I’ve] been this way for a long, long while

You need to quickly add that you’re not excusing yourself here.

Maybe there’s a few things I ought to fix

The song has that bit as a question. That ain’t gonna win you nothing but earache, so for our purposes it’s a statement, not a backlash-inducing question.

But you can’t teach and old dog new tricks

Don’t give them time to argue—on to the next verse and don’t leave a gap between the next two lines otherwise this won’t be a make-up, it’ll be a break up!

I wanna put a little fire in my life

Climb a little higher and get it right

[I know] you’re tired of this ordinary bullshit

We’ll paraphrase the song here because sticking rigidly to the lyrics at this point is going to end up costing you a fortune in romantic gestures, or legal fees! Onto the chorus again now, just to reiterate your point.

Maybe I need to change my style

[But I’ve] been this way for a long, long time

See what I did there? You got away with the rhyming ‘Style’ and ‘while’ earlier, that kind of rhyme crops up in everyday speak all the time but do it twice inside a few minutes and your significant other will start to cotton on to what you’re doing.

There are few things I’ve got to fix

Now here you need to add a line of your own.

Can you help teach this old dog some new tricks?

Again, you see what we did there? We turned a contentious question into something for more palatable.

[Sometimes] maybe I should leave well enough along

Now, there’s a good chance “leave well enough alone” has nothing at all to do with your argument. At worst, this is going to sound like “I’m sorry” rambling but at best you’re going to sound remorseful for something you haven’t yet done, and if you’re in a long term relationship the pre-emptive apology is an immensely powerful weapon in your arsenal. Unlike some of the other big guns that you don’t want to wheel out all that often, this pre-emptive apology is like a smart-bomb – it will find it’s own target.

I might not be perfect but I’m me to the bone

This will subtly remind your loved one that they fell in love with you for your strengths as well as your faults, and will serve to remind them everybody has both.

The song goes on but unless you want to hit the ‘self-destruct’ button on your relationship you can stop now. Just leave that last statement hanging in the air for your other half to pick up and run with. If your apology has not been expected, or if you’ve merely opened the door on another row you might just want to dip into that faithful old standby, Bohemian Rhapsody (“I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me. I’m just a poor boy from a poor family…Didn’t mean to make you cry… “ Etcetera).

If you want the other person to break up with you, if your yellow streak won’t allow you to break up yourself then the last three lines of “You Can’t Teach” will leave them with no other option but to call it a day or just put up with the things you did that caused the row. Either way, it’s a potential win.

So, if you are looking for break up, or if you think you’re on solid ground for the other half to put up and shut up then, my friend these last three lines of the song are the ones for you.

I don’t need to change my style

Been this way for a long, long while

There ain’t nothing that I got to fix

Because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks

And there you go. Relationship saved or possibly deliberately damaged beyond repair, according to your preference. At the very least you’ll have successfully apologised without putting too much thought into it, and without using any of your own words.

Check back here tomorrow for the song that will explain to your work colleagues why you had to steal their lunch from the fridge.

 

“You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks” (“Trix”) was written and performed by Seasick Sick. Copyright Seasick Steve.       https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/you-cant-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks/440337573

Advice given by Martin Gregory. Copyright Martin Gregory

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