Treat Her Better by Mac DeMarco Lyrics Meaning – A Dive into Modern Romance’s Plea for Empathy


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Mac DeMarco's Treat Her Better at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Hey man, heard you were your brother’s keeper
That can’t be, judging by the way you treat her

Oh no, you’ve done it again
No use when you already know how it ends

Treat her better, boy
If having her at your side’s something you enjoy
If having her in your life’s really so important to you now

Hey man, who’s been keeping brother?
Hey man, how old is your mother?

Oh no, you’ve done it again
No use when you already know how it ends

Treat her better, boy
If having her at your side’s something you enjoy
If having her in your life’s really so important to you now

Treat her better, boy
If having her at your side’s something you enjoy
If having her in your life’s really so important to you now

Treat her better, boy
If having her at your side’s something you enjoy
If having her in your life’s really so important to you now

Treat her better, boy
If having her at your side’s something you enjoy
If having her in your life’s really so important to you now

Full Lyrics

Mac DeMarco’s ‘Treat Her Better’ is not just a simple tune with a catchy riff; it’s a layered commentary on the essence of human relationships and the ageless plea for respect and dignity within them. The song, a track from DeMarco’s beloved 2014 album ‘Salad Days’, gently unfolds a narrative that exposes the gap between knowledge and action when it comes to affairs of the heart.

On the surface, this song could easily be seen as a straightforward admonition to a man about his lackluster treatment of his partner. However, a delve beneath the casual melody reveals DeMarco’s poignant insights into the complexities of love, brotherhood, and the maturity that life demands — all of which are cloaked in the laid-back jangle of his guitar. Let’s unwrap the layers of this undeniably introspective number.

Brother’s Keeper or Heartbreaker? A Closer Look at Familial Idioms

DeMarco playfully touches upon the idiom of being one’s brother’s keeper, challenging its authenticity in the protagonist’s life. This phrase, rich with moral undertones and historical context, is reframed to question the character’s integrity. It sets the tone of the narrative, highlighting the disconnect between society’s expectations and personal actions.

The rhetorical question ‘Hey man, who’s been keeping brother?’ isn’t just a clever lyrical device but an incisive poke at the responsibility we avoid or ignore. The true meaning here goes beyond the care for one’s sibling; it’s a reflection on how we are all, in essence, keepers of each other, especially in the intimate dance of love.

The Repetition of Regret: An Endless Cycle of Mistakes

The line ‘Oh no, you’ve done it again’ resonates as a universal sentiment of recurring missteps in relationships. DeMarco’s minimalist approach to verbalizing the cycle of errors speaks volumes about our innate human tendency to repeat our mistakes, even when we are well aware of the consequences.

There’s a haunting beauty in the admission that there’s ‘no use when you already know how it ends.’ This line encapsulates the tragic predictability of a relationship doomed by habitual neglect — a pattern known all too well, yet seldom broken.

The Hidden Meaning Behind the Questions of Age and Care

Inquiring after the age of the protagonist’s mother is not as straightforward as it seems. This line metaphorically delves into the concept of maturity and the nurturing role traditionally associated with a mother figure. It subtly begs the question: At what point do we take ownership of our actions and their impact on the ones we claim to love?

Moreover, the mention of both a brother and a mother evokes the familial, suggesting that how one treats their significant other should be reflective of the care and respect extended to family members. The lines imply a standard of treatment born from roots of familial love, extended outwards to one’s partner.

The Mantra of Modern Romance: ‘Treat Her Better, Boy’

Emphasized through repetition, the phrase ‘Treat her better, boy’ becomes the mantra of the song, a clarion call that aims to break through the inertia of emotional negligence. It’s less of a reprimand and more of a wake-up call — a reminder of the joy and importance that should be attached to how we treat our partners.

The transformation of ‘boy’ into the subject of the sentence is strikingly poignant. It suggests a process of maturation and wisdom, which is crucial for maintaining a meaningful and gratifying connection to one’s significant other; the message is clearly to grow up, and to grow into the role of a compassionate, empathetic partner.

Memorable Lines: Echoes of the Soul’s Desire for Affection

The song’s lyrical assertions, gentle yet persistent, resonate long after the last chord fades. The line ‘If having her by your side’s something you enjoy / If having her in your life’s really so important to you now’ serves as a universal truth about the inherent human yearning for companionship and mutual respect. DeMarco strips back the complexities of love, leaving the core desire for shared happiness exposed.

These lines compel listeners to ponder not just on the act of treating someone better, but on the foundational reasons why one should. They pit pleasure and importance against negligence, framing the good treatment of a partner as a source of joy, not just duty — a powerful message that speaks to the soul’s longing for affection and recognition.

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