In The Blood

John Mayer’s “The Search For Everything” has been released in its entirety. This is probably the standout track. Neither musically complicated nor particularly suited for Mayer’s range, it is nonetheless likely to stir the strongest emotions in its listeners. Lyrics and thoughts below.

How much of my mother has my mother left in me?
How much of my love will be insane to some degree?
And what about this feeling that I’m never good enough?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

How much of my father am I destined to become?
Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?
Will I let this woman kill me, or do away with jealous love?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

How much of my brothers, do my brothers wanna be?
Does a broken home become another broken family?
Or will we be there for each other, like nobody ever could?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?

This isn’t the first time Mayer has written about his parents and their divorce — a few years ago, he noted that he “got a mom / got a dad / but they do not have each other” — but it’s the first time he has suggested that his inability to commit to a relationship might be inherited. I can sympathize with him, but I’m also reminded of something I read a while back: by the time a man reaches thirty-five he no longer has a right, or a reason, to blame his parents for anything. Nowadays, whenever I am tempted to whine about my childhood I try to take that energy and put it into making my son’s experience better than mine was. What’s past is prologue, but what’s future is… fixable, right?

10 Replies to “In The Blood”

  1. Chris Tonn

    “…by the time a man reaches thirty-five he no longer has a right, or a reason, to blame his parents for anything.”

    Indeed.

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept that my mother seriously warped my view of women;
    courage to not become my father
    and wisdom to know that I’m doomed to repeat their mistakes no matter what.

  2. Lizzie McGuire

    I think I read that this song was written to Katy Perry as an “apology”. Interesting apology. I have to download the album tonight and listen to it in its entirety.

    Download the album. I kind of hate 2017.

    • Ark-med

      As much of a loathsome ring as “download the album” has, the instant gratification is addictive. But because it is so easily attained, it’s easily forgotten—harder to surmount; hence, “pull my hair” to make me feel something.

    • DirtRoads

      Yet learning how to be a man will get you laid as well.

      Maybe not as much, but quality before quantity. At least that’s what I say now that I am approaching 60.

      Years, that is, not women. lol

  3. -Nate-Nate

    It’s a good song about Echoes and no, as far as I can tell they never quite go away .
    .
    -Nate

  4. DirtRoads

    My parents were married till the day Dad died, and I’m sure that helped me out as a young lad. Later on I discovered what a lying psycho my mother could be. But my father was the finest man I’ve ever met, and I wish I was more like him.

    Sounds like I have a song in me too.

    • -Nate-Nate

      You can pick your nose but not your Parents .
      .
      You’re lucky to have had one good one .
      .
      Moms kicked my philandering Dad to the curb when I was 6 or so, she didn’t have loose knees but wasn’t really well equipped to raise up six howling brats either, God alone knows how messed up her Parents must have been .
      .
      Move forward, don’t look back too much .
      .
      -Nate

  5. Wulfar

    Parents never divorced but my father was gone a few years when I was young. He seemed to be the classic marriage-kids-responsibilities killed my fun at too young an age. Never participated in any thing as a family and gone all night most weekends. My mother, while not a saint, was a decent, good-hearted woman who tried. Hard.

    I have tried hard as well – to not be my father. And mostly accomplished it as well. But much like John has written about not being enough, whatever that is, seeps out of me at times.

Comments are closed.