Lyric Analysis: NSync and 'God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You'

Sometimes I like to listen to the boybands of yore because of reasons.  And sometimes I like to analyze the lyrics of their songs because profound things are being sung.  Or crooned, whatever.  Let's do that now, shall we?  Join me and NSync and a ballad-y romantic number from their first album.

"God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You"  - NSync

This is a long song title.  It's like an essay.  Their feelings can't be summed up in a single word here so we're in for a treat. 

Can this be true? Tell me can this be real?
How can I put into words what I feel?

This is the classic question every writer has wrestled with in the midst of writer’s block.  The frustration of creativity.  They understand.  They too are writers.  Creatives.  Though they didn’t actually write this song.

My life was complete, I thought I was whole
Why do I feel like I'm losing control?

By this we can infer that they believe it’s impossible to lose control while whole.  Which raises questions of whether they are speaking literally or figuratively and whether or not control and complete are, in fact, antonyms or, bolder, entirely opposite concepts.  Can completion deny a loss of control?  Conversely, could any lessening of the whole immediately allow for mental fracture?  Or even physical?

I never thought that love could feel like this
And you changed my world with just one kiss
How can it be that right here with me
There's an angel, it's a miracle

Angels aren’t actually miracles, they generally herald the arrival of a miracle or deliver miraculous news.  So I guess an angel appeared to one or all of them and they were sore afraid but the angel said unto them ‘Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy that shall be for all five of you in unison: today in the backstage of your concert a girl will appear and you shall know she is love from the one kiss she shall bestow.’

Your love is like a river, peaceful and deep

Translation: I am drowning in your love but I’m totally zen, baby.

Your soul is like a secret that I never could keep

Translation: I’m a terrible gossip, baby, but still - totally give your soul to me.

When I look into your eyes, I know that it's true
God must have spent a little more time on you, oh
Little more time, yes He did, baby

The only possible read of this is that unless you are the one girl foretold by the angel, you were sort of thrown together by God.  He made an assembly line of humans until he got to that one girl and then he lingered and did some double-checking and had a quality control seraphim present.  Know that you are factory-made unless you are the one foretold by the prophesy, the one who carries the one kiss of love.  And since this is early NSync and Lance isn’t out yet, the prophesied one must be a girl.

In all of creation, all things great and small
You are the one that surpasses them all

Greater than an elephant, rarer than the last Dodo, more necessary than a bee, more useful than weather, ultimately trumping the planet as a whole.

More precious than any diamond or pearl
They broke the mold when you came in this world

This sheds a lot more light on how humans are made.  Flesh and bone are, apparently, poured into a mold and, once properly integrated, the mold is pried apart and the human is sent to earth.  The molds are re-useable.  Except in this instance.  There is only one of this girl.  The rest of us have dopplegangers and Mirror Universe twins roaming around unchecked, though.

And I'm trying hard to figure out
Just how I ever did without
The warmth of your smile, the heart of a child

Question: are those two things related?  Because they seem dissociated.  The warmth of your smile and the heart of a child.  The shift from possessive pronoun to preposition suggests a distance.  So how has he ever done without the warmth of the prophesied girl’s smile and, separately, the heart of a child which, I presume, is part of the ritual required for immortality. Alternate reading: they don’t teach grammar in The Boyband Factory.

That's deep inside, it leaves me purified

Burgeoning sexuality is such a blessing.

Your love is like a river, peaceful and deep
Your soul is like a secret that I never could keep
When I look into your eyes, I know that it's true
God must have spent a little more time on you
On you, on you, on you, you
On you, on you, on you, you
On you, on you, on you, you
On you, on you, on you, you

Repetition has long been used to emphasize a point.  There are ten distinct types of repetition.  In this instance they are employing an extended example of diacope.  They are directly addressing the girl of the prophesy and telling her, repeatedly, that they know she is specially made from divine attention.  The stress on her, however, further alienates anyone who is not her.  There is no room in this stanza for anyone but the prophesied girl.  It’s a wonder they had any fans left after this song came out.

I never thought that love could feel like this
And you changed my world with just one kiss
And how can it be that right here with me
There's an angel, it's a miracle

Upon further reflection this could have been a harbinger of doom for the message speaks of just one kiss and there are five NSyncers.  It’s gratifying to know that somehow they found a peaceful way to resolve this apparent disparity.  Perhaps they drew straws.

Your love is like a river, peaceful and deep
Your soul is like a secret that I never could keep
When I look into your eyes, I know that it's true
God must have spent a little more time on you
On you, on you, on you, you
God must have spent a little more time, time on you
On you, you, you, ooh

This is just style.  They’re showing off for her.  You can’t see it but they’re moving in choreographed unison while they say this.  The overall effect is meant to be mesmerizing.  They’re attempting to show that they are worthy of her.

A little more time on you, oh

Even though she’s the most special ever.

 

- Corinne Simpson