"I'd Rather" by Luther Vandross

written and interpreted by Kris Caballero (January 26, 2018)



Album Artist Song Album Track Number Year
Luther Vandross Luther Vandross "I'd Rather" #7 2001
It was 2001, and became the year I discovered video production. It was also the year I graduated from elementary school, immediately entering into high school. Lastly, it was the year when I fully dedicated into learning about the concept of romance and love.

When it came to interpreting the concept about Love, I immediately turned to the late, great Luther Vandross. When this song was released, I couldn't stop listening. Lyrically, it packs a wallop, talking about nearly everything someone in a relationship feels when the going gets tough. As I've learned from Tears For Fears, "Love is a promise."
"I thought sometime alone
Was what we really needed
You said this time would hurt more than it helps
But I couldn't see that
I thought it was the end
Of a beautiful story
And so I left the one I loved at home to be alone (alone)
And I tried to find
Out if this one thing is true
That I'm nothing without you
I know better now
And I've had a change of heart"
Already, that hurts reading it. This first verse says that he's struggling with this girl and found that being alone away from each other may help. After all, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder.' Just when a dreaded break-up seemed to be the only option, he suddenly realizes that it's a complete bore not having someone by your side. Then again, he doesn't find the fun in feeling strained being with this girl, undergoing severe stress everytime they're together.

However, at the end, he said that he's had a change of heart and he knows better. What happened? The chorus goes like this:
"I'd rather have bad times with you, than good times with someone else
I'd rather be beside you in a storm, than safe and warm by myself
I'd rather have hard times together, than to have it easy apart
I'd rather have the one who holds my heart"
Something's happening to my heart; I apologize for saying how incredibly deep, but serious, that chorus is. These words alone speaks for itself, so go ahead and read it again before progressing to the second verse, which goes:
"And then I met someone
And thought she could replace you
We got a long just fine
We wasted time because she was not you
We had a lot of fun
Though we knew we were faking
Love was not impressed with our connection they were all lies, all lies
So I'm here cause I found this one thing is true
That I'm nothing without you
I know better now
And I've had a change of heart"
That sixth line saying how this new girl he enjoyed being with, faking having a good time, ought to tell you this is an attempt to develop a rebound relationship. The fact that he, and even the girl, knew they're both faking explains that they both are mending the broken heart they just suffered. Although he doesn't say much about this new girl, he realizes that that girl doesn't feel the same as girl he was with, originally. That's when he feels a bit of regret and wants to come back to the girl he left. (Sounds like a romance movie from the Hallmark Channel doesn't it?) After the chorus comes the bridge:
"I can't blame you if you turn away from me, like I've done to you,
I can only prove the things I say with time,
Please be mine"
He now expresses his regret, accepts the reciprocated action she has done, like he did to her, and now wants to settle the score. Now he realizes the mistake he made and wants to go back to the girl he loved, despite the ups and downs. This time, he hopes to prove it with this actions, as they speak louder than words.

This song alone taught me the vagaries of love, why couples break up, why couples cheat, the feeling of regret and coming back together, investing half your life, and your everything, to that wonderful person you love....it goes on. Granted, I was only a freshmen in high school, but because of events like prom and homecoming, it really made me think about the concept, the responsibilities and the feeling of being in love. I understand, listening to this song was about a guy in a strained relationship, utterly regrets leaving her and wants to come back to her, may not have been the best choice in learning about Love, but I do know one thing: if you truly love someone, even if you're having a bad/boring time with them, it still counts as being together.

Being in love takes time and requires A LOT of work, but at the same time, it's a luxury and a rewarding, lifetime gift. There's nothing better than knowing you can come home and someone who loves you can easily eradicate the bad day you have had, just by being there. Better yet, no matter what, they always bring sunshine to your life. It's wonderful.

Thank you, Mr. Vandross for composing this track. I have a better understanding of what Love is, and why seeing through the bad and rough times makes sense. Love your music always.

Tell us about your experience(s) listening to this song in the comments below!

(Dedicated personally to the man himself, Luther Vandross. I learned from your songs that Love is beautiful and always invest time to the person you chose to be with. There may be some rocky roads down the line, but I learned to always remember to be at ease, and stick with your heart. I had a clearer concept when I first listening to this song of yours back in high school, and it still makes sense today. Once again, thank you, Mr. Vandross. You will truly be missed.)