Song Dissections

Song Dissection #5: Suck It Up

From the CD: Hearts For Bullets
Music, lyrics & vocals: Jennifer Parkin
Production, mixing, mastering: Sebastian Komor
Hearts for Bullets (cover)


When I see you there facing your rival
To everyone it’s clear you’re in denial
And now it’s come to this
I thought it never would
Now I see you here facing your rival
You’re stuck

Elimination time pending survival
When it comes to pricks you take the title
You’ll have to suck it up! Suck it up!
Don’t you look at me I’m not your rival
Just stop!

Faking. You’re faking it.

You find yourself in the same situation
When will you learn to avoid mutilation
You’ve missed again
And there’s no telling when you will
Recover from this one
It’s a big deal
You’re dead inside is a minor understatement
More like guts scraped on the edge of the pavement
Tiny words, tiny thoughts, things that make you fear
You play dead but we know that you’re faking it.

This song, both the lyric and music content, has always been very visual to me like I simultaneously directed the video in my head while writing the song.  I have a picture in my head of a showdown with 2 people standing face to in a blistering hot dessert with the bluest sky imaginable, the two people are all sweaty, and dirty like they’ve been taken right from the set of a Mad Max film. The music compliments this vision when I hear the gritty, scraping synths.

Lyrically: it’s not about one specific individual as people always tend to think about my songs, but again, I take my deepest and sometimes scattered emotions and use them to get out some frustrations at various people and situations.  I do have a few people in mind of course, but generally, this song is for those I’ve encountered in my life who act like the world is out to get them and end up treating everyone like a rival or competitor when they’re not. I want to tell them to suck it up, get over it, move on and stop blaming  me or others for their own short comings and failures in life. These people always seem to be stuck and left in the same situations over and over, their only way out is to “play dead”, which is the ultimate attention seeking move, to act like everything is over, but we know that they are faking it and they’ll be back, which is the last line of the bridge.   That pretty much sums up the general meaning of this song. My favourite line of this whole song is: “when it comes to pricks, you take the title”.  It just came out so naturally in a brainstorming session, it made me laugh and I knew I had to keep it in the song. So, yes, this is another angry song inspired by, and directed at more than one specific individual who I’ll never name names of, but again, I use anger in song so that I can remain the happy cheerful person I am.  😉

Musical Inspiration: I was listening a lot “Sick Like Me” a song by Traumschmiere and specifically the version that was remixed by Motor. That song had this amazingly aggressive energy and these dirty synths (yes, you’ll get used to how I use the term “dirty” as a technical term!) that keeps rising up in the song and I liked how they added a sense of anticipation that I wanted to try having a song with a similar element in it.  Overall, I was going for a more edgy, electro-rock vibe with big percussion for this song which was achieved.  I would say another band that subconsciously influenced me in the creation of this song, was Filter whom I really liked in the later part of the 90’s.  I later said to myself  “Hey, Suck It Up reminds me of that Filter song “Nice Shot” how I sing the verses!” even though I hadn’t listened to that song since the 90’s!

Structure: The one part of this song that I had such a hard time with was writing a chorus!  I never really wrote one for this song!  Not like the kind I usually have in my songs.  We used the “faking it” lyric as the chorus and structured around that, which ended up working well.  I spent most of my efforts on the bridge part where I had played with layering percussion elements and having this rhythmic chanting part going on and on while the music and percussion built up.  It was more fun for me to keep progressing the main bass line and feeling of the song than to spend time on a chorus apparently! 😉

I’m doing the dissection of this song a little differently this week because I had something special for this song to share with you guys,  and also because I’m in Montreal for the week, currently in the hotel with the WORST internet connection ever, and haven’t had as much time as I usually do for a write up but in a way, this is much better!  I’m giving you a glimpse into the recording process.  This video was made by  my good friend SGoetz (aka Blepharisma) she had recorded behind the scenes footage during the studio session while I recorded the final vocals for “Suck It Up”.  Now knowing this would eventually see the light of day, I’m wishing I dressed up that day for the shooting instead of wearing my comfy recording clothes! 😉 Also, I can’t believe how short my hair was back then!  This is  not recorded in my own home studio (I wish I had that kind of set up!), but we were able to use this space for a day, and you’ll see my good friend, keyboardist & producer of the “Flicker” CD: Joe Byer (v01d) manning the controls. I hope you enjoy seeing something rare that you don’t usually get to see everyday.  Have a great weekend! I’ll be enjoying my stay in Montreal for another 3 days!


If you don’t own this song, you can spend that dollar on it on iTunes! Or visit my web shop where I personally sign and send you stuff:

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14 replies on “Song Dissection #5: Suck It Up”

Wow! What an awesome video – I love it, thank you so much for posting it! Your recording clothes look terrific, of course. I love the tilts you give at 0:35, 1:19 and 2:01! It’s also so strange to see you looking so serious, as I (we) am so used to seeing you having fun singing live; this is a good reminder how hard you work. Cute little folded-up lyrics!

As with your other songs, I’d imagined this to be about an individual; I’m learning to try to stop thinking that way – although I’d imagined some sort of “music/club showdown” instead of the western cowbody style bluesky confrontation you so vividly described! Now I want to see that video!

For some reason, the “gem” on this song to me is when you sing “…Recover from this one / It’s a big deal”, the way you sing “It’s a big deal” at 3:08, it’s somehow so unique to your vocal style, I just love it, I always look forward to hearing that part for some reason. =)

This is yet another favourite! You can’t make a bad song, Ms. Parkin! Thanks so much for posting this – of course I always recommend your cd’s to all my friends! Have fun in Montreal!

I come here; scroll down to see what all am I in store for; see video and let out fandom squeal of joy.

You’ve made me weekend. 😀 And I hope your weekend goes great as well as mine has been made. 🙂

Thanks for posting that video. I’m trying to figure out if you were exhausted that day or just kinda bored. LOL It’s cool to see u so intent on what you’re doing but I definitely like seeing u let loose on stage alot more. 🙂 I hope u enjoy the music festival in Montreal. Wish I lived closer so I could go! 🙁

I just recently read thru all the dissections. I posted comments on all 4 of the previous ones. If u have time, plz go back & read them & let me know your thoughts. Thanks! 🙂

The video quality is excellent for a youtube video that’s not even in HD. It’s almost like a music video with it’s angles and transitions between black and white and color.

I’m just glad there’s no fisheye lens shot. Keep ’em coming, Jenn! It’s something to look forward to on Fridays…other than getting paid of course.

I loooved the video! It looked like you wanted to start dancing between some of the verses!! HAHA. About the song tho, I totally have some people I just wanna tell “suck it up”! As always, thank you soo much for the dissection! Glad you are having fun in Montreal!

Hey Jenn! I was just wondering about what I hear in the music after the lyrics “Don’t you look at me, I’m not your rival, just STOP!” What is that building up the adrenaline? I LIKE it. Also, like I said before, this is one of my favourite songs on “Hearts For Bullets!” Have an awesome weekend Jenn!


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