Part of Me
Album: Teenage Dream: Complete Confection
Katy Perry ends her marriage in the defiant “Part of Me.”
A musing guitar opens the single, setting a wistful tone. She slams her phone down on the table. Her lawyer has called her back, letting her know her soon-to-be-ex-husband is going to contest the agreement they made over their assets. He has now changed his mind and wants more money. She should’ve expected him to be spiteful. At this point, she wants him out of her life. Throughout their marriage, he paid attention to his career while expecting her to stay at home. She would attend every work function of his. When she told him she was going to look for a job, he turned on her. She would say she would have an interview and he would shrug. She would make dinner and she would get a smart remark from him, “so you did have the time after all?.” She would try to talk to him but he wouldn’t respond. It took about a year but she found the courage to stand up to him. (“Days like this I want to drive away/Pack my bags and watch your shadow fade/You chewed me up and spit me out/Like I was poison in your mouth/You took my light, you drained me down/But that was then and this is now/Now look at me.”)
In the chorus, she tells him he doesn’t have the power to ruin her. He can call her a bitch and make up lies to make himself good. However, she can see through him and he isn’t going to intimidate her anymore. She’s her own person, not the bootlicking wife he was molding her to be. (“This is the part of me/
That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no/This is the part of me/That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no/Throw your sticks and your stones, throw your bombs and your blows/
But you’re not gonna break my soul/This is the part of me/That you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no.”)
With all the half-truths he’s throwing around to everyone he’s ever met, she’s going to find out who her real friends are. She expects some of her friends will side with him. Like her, they fell for his reckless charm. She’s not to going to call anyone for awhile and see who checks up on her. Before they got married, they would rotate who would pick the movies and he would take her out for dinner often. Not long after the honeymoon, he picked the movie each time without asking and started asking what she was making for dinner. Nothing she ever did was enough. She loved the man she first met. The one who told her she was beautiful and could achieve whatever dream she wanted. She now sees a man who is threatened by any success a woman has. (“I just wanna throw my phone away/Find out who is really there for me/You ripped me off, your love was cheap/Was always tearing at the seams/I fell deep, you let me down/But that was then and this is now/Now look at me.”)
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, she’s doing well without him. She got the promotion she wanted at work. She’s seeing a really great guy. Her friends stuck by her, telling her they are glad she’s rid of him but they were afraid to say something. She gave the rings back to him. The marriage was a sham. The inscription “I will love you forever” wasn’t true. She calls back her lawyer, telling her to start drawing up the paperwork. He can have the money and whatever else he wants. All she wants is for him to leave her alone. (“Now look at me I’m sparklingA firework, a dancing flame/You won't ever put me out again/I’m glowin’, oh whoa/So you can keep the diamond ring/It don't mean nothing anyway/In fact you can keep everything yeah, yeah/Except for me.”)
The chorus is sung twice to end the single.
Perry’s throbbing, afflicted vocals boil, her heated emotions bubbling to the surface. She tried playing nice. It didn’t work and she nearly got screwed over. Her frustration with her ex has been going for a long time and she’s had enough of letting him get to her.
The direct “Part of Me” holds it ground, prepared to strike.