“Salad Days” is the first track off the “Salad Days” album released in 2014 from Mac DeMarco. Similar to the previously covered track “Brother” from the Canadian musician, the song focuses more on the aspects of life rather than relationships or love.
The title “Salad Days” comes from the 16th century Shakespeare play “Antony and Cleopatra”. It’s from Cleopatra’s line from when she reminisces of her youth with Julius Caesar: “…My salad days / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…”. In today’s terms or in terms of the track, Mac DeMarco could be referring to his “salad days” being the peak and most successful point in his career. “As I’m getting older, chip on my shoulder / Rolling through life, to roll over and die”. DeMarco opens the song discussing how as he grows older, he gets more jaded and pessimistic, and how you just end up dying in the end after working hard all your life. The hook consists of DeMarco singing in a scat style, which is taken from rock band The Kinks track “Picture Book”. “Missing Hippie John, salad days are gone / Remembering things just to tell ’em so long”. “Hippie John” is a term inspired by The Modern Lovers track “I’m Straight”, but also is a name he gave a former bandmate (from his days in the band Makeout Videotape) and friend Jon Lent, who he misses since losing in touch with him. “Salad days are gone” is DeMarco saying that the height of his career has finished, and is also only remembering good memories “to tell ’em so long”, simply to get rid of them so they aren’t stuck in his brain anymore. “Oh mama, actin’ like my life’s already over/ Oh dear, act your age and try another year”. In this verse, DeMarco is singing to to his mother about how she acts as if DeMarco’s life is over, possibly because he’s in a career that isn’t viewed as traditional or maybe even stable. So, he tells his mother to act her age and maybe try and tell him this again in another year. The last section that isn’t repeated in the song is “Always feeling tired, smiling when required / Write another year off and kindly resign”. These lyrics allude to people feeling like they have to smile or act cheerful in situations when they don’t want to, when they’re required to. The latter of the lyrics are stating to just write that year off and forget about it, and to just withdraw from life for a little bit.
There is no music video for the song.
Release Date: 1st April 2014
Song Length: 2:26
Songwriter/s: Mac DeMarco
Album: Salad Days (2014)
Genre: Indie rock/ psychedelic rock / jangle pop / lo-fi
Record Label/s: Captured Tracks, Royal Mountain Records, Third Man Records
Chart Rankings: N/A
Music Video Release Date: N/A