I remember listening to Everclear in the mid ’90s and never really ‘getting’ their music. Sure, they were a fine band, but nothing about then particularly grabbed my attention to make me a big fan. This may also been due to the fact I was, y’know, four. However, this would change ten years later as the band became known to me again and I began to discover more of their music.
I never really went looking for a greatest hits record by the band, rather I started with some of their records and worked through them. I listened to their classic Sparkle And Fade record, but it was So Much For The Afterglow thst really attracted me. While the title track resonated with me, it was ‘I Will Buy You A New Life’ that I kept going back to.
Like many songs, it’s meaning could be somewhat ambiguous in its nature. While some have theorised that the song is about someone paying money to their ex-lover as a result of divorce (effectively using their money to buy the other ‘a new life’), the often accepted meaning is one that seems somewhat sweeter.
While playing the song live, and in interviews, the group’s frontman, Art Alexakis, has stated that the song has more of a positive meaning, rather than one based on money. That is, giving all of yourself to another person in order to provide them with a life that they deserve.
Of course, while the divorce-themed meaning could be applicable (Art Alexakis does sing about divorce on other songs as well), this meaning gives the song a sweet shine to it that leads to the song being a positive little tune about providing for those you love. While many would wish for the song to be about something deeper and darker, it’s nice to choose to believe the meaning is positive rather than negative for a change.