“Mr. Brightside”, a song from my favorite band The Killers, explores the tragic relationship between a man and a woman. Specifically, a man with unrequited feelings for a woman. He claims that they only had a kiss, but the lyrics tell a different story; all he can think about is his love being with another man. Although this song specifically explains the details of a man’s significant other cheating on him, many people can relate to the song’s theme of unrequited love. But why does the narrator (lead singer, Brandon Flowers) call himself Mr. Brightside? Flowers is in love with a woman that he suspects is cheating, but, yet, he somehow remains optimistic and says that “it’s just just the price I pay”; the price he pays for love. By exploring deep into the lyrics I realized that the song is actually much sadder than the fast tempo plays it out to be.
A similar story of unrequited love appears in Charles Dickens’s novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Sydney Carton, an intelligent man who has wasted his life on alcohol, is in love with a beautiful Lucie Manette. He proclaims her love for her and tells her, “I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.” … “I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you”. How romantic. He doesn’t ask for anything in return, he just wants her to know that he is willing to make any sacrifices for her and the people that she holds dear. Sydney isn’t a “Mr. Brightside”, but he’s willing to pay any price for love.