In The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me,” a man kills his transgendered girlfriend.
At the start of the single, he already has found his ex-girlfriend from last year and has her in an isolated area. There, he tells his ex-girlfriend he has been doing everything possible to find out real name. However, he tells her she won’t be saved by anyone. He thinks he’s been taken advantage of by his ex-girlfriend and didn’t see the signs.(“I’m breaking my back just to know your name/But heaven ain’t close in a place like this/Anything goes but don’t blink you might miss”). His constant repeating “heaven ain’t close to a place like this” sung in a detached, calm manner is chilling. He’s going to kill her and forget he ever dated a man. But murdering someone was an action he never planned on doing based on something insignificant as hearsay.(“Never thought I’d let a rumour ruin my moonlight”).
He decided the murder had to be done based on a rumor he heard from a friend (“Well somebody told me/You had a boyfriend/Who looks like a girlfriend/That I had in February of last year”). He’s humilated that everyone knows he dated a man and tells his ex-girlfriend his life is limitless. (“It’s not confidential/I’ve got potential”). He fears if he says he enjoyed his time with his ex-girlfriend, he will face discrimination from others. But mostly, he’s saying to his ex, “I’m not you,” even though he is.
He wants do the killing quickly and asks her if she’s ready. The denial is causing him a lot of pain inside himself. (“Ready? Let’s roll onto something new/taking its toll and I’m leaving without you”). Before he murders her, he asks her to walk a few feet ahead of him. She knows the real reason she’s going to be dead, although she’s still pleading for her life. He can only answer by trying to reassure her she will be all right (“Pace yourself from me/I said maybe baby please/But I just don’t know now/When all I wanna do is try”). She seems to be trying to talk to him out of it, telling him his homosexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. She’s getting through to him a little. But he’s uncertain of his own future: he wants to live life like he used to and be his normal self again. However, who is he? He doesn’t know and really doesn’t want to find out.
The single is really worth its hype. The writing is well-done, as there are two things going on: the murder and the man’s inability to deal with his homosexuality. By killing his transvetite girlfriend, he’s thinks he will be killing the part of him which enjoyed being with a man. The murder won’t solve his problems, though, only heighten them. Her face is going to haunt him for the rest of his life.