An Unlikely “Champion”

02 Sep

A long-time music milestone was broken this week.  LeAnn Rimes’ How Do I Live was toppled as the longest-running song on the Billboard Top 100, which held the previous record of 69 weeks.  So, you’d think such an accomplishment (I mean we’re talking a nearly five quarters, here) would be championed by the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift or any of the plethora of other bubble gum rockers that are always being thrown in our face.  But, no, this time the record goes to the unlikely champion of Jason Mraz, and his stalwart release, I’m Yours.

jason mraz

Now I love(d) this song.  I first heard it through my kid, who recommended it because he knows “my style”.  However, he liked it too.  So did his guy friends and of course, so did his girl friends.  Like most popular songs that are well liked, I’m Yours, spent several months around and on the top of the charts and got decent radio play, but nothing to indicate that it would still be around over a year later.

This song has lived since 2005, when it was written.  Mraz started performing it live in 2006 and the audience always had such a positive reaction that he eventually included it on his 2008 release We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.  (Yes, Mr. Mraz is quite amusing…for more, see his website

But, 71 weeks with no sign of dropping off?  Why?  I mean, I’m Yours is catchy and highly entertaining, has great lyrics and is performed with great emotion, but isn’t it similar to Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy?

As far as I can tell, the song hasn’t had significant label backing, hasn’t been featured in any movies, isn’t attached to a mega star, and isn’t a novelty sensation.  It just keeps hanging around…and is now nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.

Is it the coffeehouse delivery of Mraz that is so familiar?  Or, is it the simple pleasure of the song?  The appeal across age, ethnicity, or geography?  Is it the connection of the lyrics?  Is the simple “happiness” of the song?  Is the song just that good?   You tell me…

Take a look/listen to Mraz’s performance of I’m Yours and give me your theory as to why it has been “the little single that could”.

Note:  I included this extended live version because I think it really demonstrates the song the best.  Here’s the lyrics to review, as well…

Well, you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but your so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks, now I’m tryin to get back
before the cool done run out I’ll be givin it my best test
and nothin’s gonna stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it’s again my turn to win some or learn some

But I won’t hesitate no more,
no more, it cannot wait
I’m yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music at the moment people dance and sing
Were just one big family
And it’s our godforsaken right to be loved loved loved loved loved

So, i won’t hesitate no more,
no more, it cannot wait i’m sure
there’s no need to complicate our time is short
this is our fate
I’m yours

Scooch on over closer, dear
And I will nibble your ear

I’ve been spendin’ way too long checkin’ my tongue in the mirror
and bendin’ over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
and so I drew a new face and I laughed
I guess what I’d be sayin’ is there ain’t no better reason
to rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons
it’s what we aim to do
our name is our virtue

But I won’t hesitate no more,
no more it cannot wait
I’m yours

well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la one big family
it’s your god forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved

open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you’re free
look into your heart and you’ll find love love love love
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la happy family
it’s our god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved

it’s our god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved
listen to the music of the moment come and dance with me
ah, la peaceful melodies
it’s you god forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved


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11 responses to “An Unlikely “Champion”

  1. Shrewspeaks

    September 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Isn’t this the way it used to be?

    Songs used to take time to marinate, simmer and then bubble up to the surface, well known and loved before hitting billboard fame and fortune. It seems record companies would milk years out of a great album, pulsing the singles out over time. I was reflecting on this very fact when Michael Jackson died. My sister was a huge fan so we had the record Thriller in the house by Christmas of 1982, the video wasn’t launched until Dec 1983…almost 12 months later. So by the time the video hit…the song had the breathing room to be heard, become familar.

    Another expamle I can think of is The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band (gee, these fellows are top of mind lately.) All totaled this album has been on the billboard charts 175 weeks, that’s three plus years of listening. Granted that’s with three major realeases….look for more weeks coming soon.

    I think Billboard is the reflection of time…or used to be until companies started looking for the instant hit. A cd became about MAKING the hit to get bought not making the cd to say something with gems rising to the top month after month.

    Mraz, got a bump from two things…time with people like you & your son sharing a universally appealing sound and exposure from (urgh…I am going to say it) American Idol. It took time…a hit the old fashioned way.


    Perhaps, with the downturn in the economy people are starting to give songs a longer listen like the old days…letting them marinate, simmer and bubble up and causing instead of an instant buy but a well earned spend. I hope promoters and companies take note…Mraz shows what music industry will be again…steady earned revenue based on talent rather than hype.

  2. music maven

    September 2, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I like your thoughts there, Shrew. However, I think there’s more to this song than just simmering. It seems to stick with you…permeate.

    Plus, is it just me or does Mraz resemble a young McCartney? Perhaps the similarities go deeper than looks?

  3. woooooo-mama

    September 2, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    For me, it’s the love and happiness factor and the laidback island vibe. Not to mention the instant stickiness that gets me humming and harmonizing along. LOL… basically what MM said 🙂

    I actually haven’t watched Idol since being underwhelmed by the 2007 season… so I managed to avoid Mraz’s I’m Yours being performed 3 times on the show (according to YouTube) this past Winter/Spring. I became familiar with the sunny little tune over the summer… they played it quite a bit at my pool. Great place for it. I would also totally go to a concert at the beach given by Mraz, the large black man, and the gnome. We could all groove barefooted, toes in the sand, with big happy smiles. (well, maybe not the gnome, he’d just watch) Sounds like fun, right?!

    Back to MM’s comment about his “coffeehouse” delivery… In an interview to promote “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” he says one of his goals was to remove the “Jason Mraz” character from the songs… make them more universal… so he could just be “that guy” playing at the coffeeshop, inviting others to join in and sing along. Funny thing though, he said, is that the feedback he received from listeners indicated that this most recent set of songs seemed like his most personal yet.

    By the way, here’s another live performance of his I really enjoy:

    I don’t know.. something about his vocal delivery in that one reminds me of Paul Simon… and his tone and the guitar call to mind Tracy Chapman… He’s got soul, no doubt about it.

    **Oh, and one of the highlights of somewhat lackluster ’07 was Chris Richardson’s version of Mraz’s Geek in the Pink, which he dedicated to his grandma, “Big Mama” (lol):

  4. Markie

    September 3, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Love the song. Gives off a good, simple feeling. Can’t help getting lost in the melody…especially in these rough times. Like the McCartney reference, and agree…especially the way he sings out the side of his mouth.

    Hope all is well.

  5. karma

    September 4, 2009 at 6:34 am

    The song definitely has that “stickiness” that others have mentioned. That must have something to do with its longevity. My girls and I use the term “stuck in my head” – and I’m sure this is a song that gets stuck in many heads, so it probably has continued radio play requests and iTunes downloads – isn’t that how Billboard determines the chart these days? Its not by those 45rpm singles we used to buy and have to figure out where to stack up and store!

  6. colette

    September 6, 2009 at 2:02 am

    It’s just fun! And good clean fun is coming back into popular music — as is melodic soul, folk-rock, melodic pop…..I’m lovin’ it! After years of feeling totally out of it, I find myself really digging a lot of new music.

    Is this the most musically sophisticated or profound song ever recorded? Of course not! But it just puts a smile on your puss and a tune in your heart, and we can all use a little more of that!

  7. amy d

    September 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    UGH!! I am so sick of this song! But I LOVED it when it first came out. The acoustic version is great! I used to drive Mr. fussy Jackers around and hope that song would come on because it is so soothing. But enough already GEEZ!

    BTW: I LOVED that Chris Richardson version of Geek in the Pink!!!

  8. jackiebluu

    September 9, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Hi! My name is Jackie and I’m a long time reader/first time poster. Music Maven, your writing here has inspired me to start blogging some music reviews– thank you for all you have shared here!

    I will miss Mraz when he comes to town next week (no babysitter, no $ boo hoo! 😦 ) but I wanted to post a video of him and Anya Marina singing a duet of “Lucky”:

    I saw Anya Marina and Paolo Nutini in Houston last weekend. Here are links to my reviews, if anyone is interested. Great show!

    Anya Marina review

    Paolo Nutini review

    (Gosh, I hope those links work. I am new at this.)

    Also, Taylor fans might be interested to know that my sister-in-law saw Grease last nite and described his performance as “Awesomely awesome!”

  9. moosh

    November 6, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    When I first heard “I’m Yours” in spring/summer 2008, I was absolutely certain it would be THE song of that summer. The beach vibe, melodic stickiness, quirky delivery and Mraz’s pure singing voice — all the ingredients for something special. Alas, it didn’t happen the way I thought. Instead it just “simmered” as the first poster talked about and didn’t take off (at least in the Chicago market) until this year, when we heard it a lot. So it is still something special. I never get tired of that song. My favorite aspect of it is the quirkiness; I’m not a music person, so not sure of the genre, but sort of reggae/ska feeling. It’s just one of my favorite songs. I was thrilled when it broke the Billboard record. I felt vindicated!

  10. Doralice Palanicheski Guarnieri

    November 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Adoro suas músicas! Você é muito simples.Tudo de bom para você. beijos!

  11. Pamela Kaessa

    February 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    – My name is Pamela Viana Kaessa Leite, have fifteen years, I am of Jaragua do Sul (Santa Catarina) – Brazil.
    Well I’m here to congratulate you for the work you do, and that although it is not such a fan of international music I’m very fão of their songs, and one is my favorite, “I’m Yours.”
    We Brazilians are looking forward to an opportunity to bring him to Brazil. We are even more confident that you can come to Brazil after his presence in the “Domingão do Faustão”.
    Kisses and even more


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