Rubbernecking

Album: Future This (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • Rubbernecking is an American word used to describe the act of the voyeuristic interest people take in other people's difficulties. It is most frequently used to refer to curious drivers slowing down in order to view the carnage resulting from a traffic accident, which causes even more delay. The term refers to the turning and stretching of a person's neck as if it was of rubber in order to get a better view.
  • Milo Cordell of Big Pink explained his fascination with this human trait to Spin magazine: "Outside of the UK and the US, no one has any idea what the term rubbernecking means. In the rest of Europe, this doesn't translate at all. But it's just something I've always been fascinated by — rubbernecking on the motorway. The word and its association with what it is, it's just so weird. It's looking back when you should have your eyes on the road, but you just can't help it. I think this song is about rubbernecking within a relationship, looking back at things that have happened before when you've got a good thing going and should be facing forward. But there's that what-if, and you've spent so long looking backwards that you're lost and you've missed what was in front of you."
  • This has nothing to do with the Elvis Presley song, "Rubberneckin'," from his 1969 Memphis sessions. The King sung his tune in the 1969 film Change of Habit and subsequently it was issued as the b-side of his single "Don't Cry Daddy."
  • A 2003 study discovered that rubbernecking was the cause of 16 percent of distraction-related traffic accidents.

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