I’ll admit, I have yet to do a deep dive into Lucy Dacus’ entire discography. Despite this, I have listened to a good bit of her and “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” is my favorite of hers. It’s core theme comes across in the title, the desperate wish to be anything other than the “funny friend.”
The lyrics describe a feeling I’ve felt many times, as I’m sure many have: the feeling of being on the sidelines and wanting to be valued outside of being the butt of the joke. In the lyrics, Dacus considers all of the ways she can escape this role, asking if she can be “the cute one,” a member of a band, a gossip, the smart one and many other roles. The song caps off with the lyric “That funny girl doesn’t wanna smile for a while.”
This track is the first track and first single on Dacus’ debut album “No Burden.” In 2015, she told Fader in an interview that whilst constructing this song she was considering: “how stressful it is to be pegged as a certain type of person and feel the need to always live up to that identity people assign to you, especially if you’re the ‘funny one.’” This taps into something I’ve felt often, a feeling of being socially trapped into one role.
Dacus has poignant lyrics in other songs about not being valued in the way she deserves. In “Brando,” the ninth track on her 2021 album “Home Video,” she laments: “You called me cerebral / I didn’t know what you meant / But now I do, would it have killed you / To call me pretty instead?” It’s heartbreaking to be undervalued.
However, “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” is my favorite example of this from Dacus. It taps into a very real feeling in a simple way, and I love that in a song.
Here’s to freeing yourself of situations that don’t value you,