Why did you call the book “Losering”?…
Well, a couple of reasons. First, I’ve always thought “Losering” was a cool word, and I liked the sound of it as a tone-setter. Second, it’s a key track on Strangers Almanac, the definitive album for Whiskeytown as well as Ryan. And third, “Losering” is a great song that builds quietly from a twangy little guitar riff (kissin’ cousin to “Suspicious Minds”) on up to a stomp-along rocker.
But none of that addresses what it actually means. That’s a good question, because “Losering” has lyrics that are spare and mysterious enough to make the song open to interpretation. Here’s mine: “Losering” describes two people waiting each other out (“patiently”) and trying to decide if they’re going to commit, or part ways. They are, in essence, contemplating whether or not they’re willing to give up what they have in order to get what they want.
See what you have been losing, see what you have been
Throw in the catch-in-the-throat ache evoked by Ryan’s vocal, and I’d say it’s a perfect metaphor for his career. But that would be heavy-handed, wouldn’t it?