A Thursday Interruption: Tori Amos’ “97 Bonnie and Clyde,” Bree Sharp’s “Boys of Summer,” Save Ferris’ “Come on Eileen” (and yes THESE ARE ALL COVERS). Also: Some thoughts on La Gaga and white privilege, and Kelis’ “Acappella”

Uhhh Tori Amos covers Eminem’s “97 Bonnie and Clyde” and it is CREEPY as hell!!

Another cover: Bree Sharp does “Boys of Summer,” which is, incidentally, the song that was playing when I decided I’d probably marry my fiance. Take note, children, that WILL be on the test.


Save Ferris’ has a pretty bouncy cover of “Come on Eileen.”

Some thoughts on Lady Gaga and white privilege. I just want to highlight the Kelis timeline because I fucking love Kelis.

Finally: It’s not just Amanda Palmer who sucks… it’s also her fans.


  1. Savannah says

    Always loved the Tori cover. She really ripped the spine out of that song and made it into art. Supposedly she recorded her voice from inside a custom-made wooden box so she’d sound like she was in a car trunk. I liked what she had to say about it, too:

    “When I first heard the song, the scariest thing to me was the realization that people are getting into the music and grooving along to a song about a man who is butchering his wife. So half the world is dancing to this, oblivious, with blood on their sneakers. But when you talk about killing your wife, you don’t get to control whom she becomes friends with after she’s dead. She had to have a voice.”
    — Tori; Atlantic Records Website, Jul 2, 2001

  2. scarlett says

    It’s been years since I listened to Strange Little Girls, but I remember thinking how Tori totally owned all the covers she did on that album; the fact they were all male singers she was covering and often sang in the masculine only emphasised that. I’ve never heard the Eminem version, but I can’t imagine how different a song it wouldbe, going from a hateful, misogynistic song to a song about the victim, even when told from the perspective of the perpetrator.

  3. scarlett says

    I know, I used to be crazy about her. But I hated Scarlett’s walk and didn’t listen to anything after that. But watching that clip makes me want to go find all my CDs again. And be a redhead again.

  4. sbg says

    Isn’t it Bree Sharp? I was going to edit that for you, but you consistently called her Bree Summer so I thought maybe I was wrong. 😉

    The Tori Amos cover is testament to why we really ought to listen to the lyrics of the songs we dance to.

  5. scarlett says

    Actually, you know that song Pina Colada? I know heaps of people who are aware of the lyrics… and think it’s funny. Uh, both partners of a married couple want to cheat… that they turned out to be cheating with *each other* doesn’t make infidelity funny.

  6. sbg says

    Oh, it’s you!
    Then we laughed for a moment. <– that part of the song, HI-larious. See? “Babooshka” is a much better play on a similar theme. 😉

  7. scarlett says

    Yeah, it’s like, these two people are bored and unhappy, and rather than TALK to each other about it, they make plans to cheat instead… that they happen to inadvertently plan to cheat WITH each other doesn’t mitigate the fact they planned to cheat ON each other… so I wouldn’t put much faith in people’s ability to listen to the lyrics if they do and think a message like that is cute/funny/romantic.

  8. says

    My favorite song for the *longest* time was The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”–and then Sting said in an interview that he didn’t quite understand why it was played at weddings so much when it was about a *stalker*!
    There’s another song out now called “Papparazzi” about a girl who’s stalking a male celebrity and how he’s going to realize she’s the One for him [or else!]. It was one of my daughter’s favorite songs for a while.
    I wish I knew the title of a song that was on in the past year or so-it was *really* catchy, but I could never understand the lyrics. My daughter’s friend showed her the lyrics online, and after that, when it came on, catchy or not, daughter would switch stations immediately. There’s another song she likes-up to a certain point, and then again, she switches THAT one off, too, because the lyrics turn horribly misogynist after that point.
    And of course, there was a song all about a date rape situation that I heard on a local LA radio station; it was their signature song for a long time. I haven’t heard them play it recently, though. It has just about every rotten rape meme in it that you can think of. Ah, here’s the link so you can out about it firsthand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_Rape_(song)

  9. says

    The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”–and then Sting said in an interview that he didn’t quite understand why it was played at weddings so much when it was about a *stalker*!

    Don’t forget people using “I will always love you” as a wedding song. The song is about leaving someone you will never stop loving because he’s not happy with you anymore. Hello?

    also, that Ray Parker Jr. song – “I still can’t get over loving you.” I found the video recently and I *think* he may have been consciously trying to put across an abusive relationship, but the video’s kind of from his (the abuser’s) perspective. And clearly most people at the time were just taking it as an intense love song, so then the radio stations had to edit out the ad lib line at the end: “Don’t you ever try to leave, girl… it’ll be the last thing you ever do.”

    I was 11. I thought it was just an over-the-top bit of poetry and did NOT realize how triggery it was for people who’d been through it. (Also, I didn’t yet quite get how some people can simultaneously enjoy hurting someone AND want to keep them around for more.)

  10. sbg says

    Gategrrl, I always took that song as anti date-rape but that wiki blurb about how they’d heard some guy say that line at a party and everyone laughed up a storm is filled with so much fail I cannot even adequately articulate the horror.

    I think the other song could have been “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne? Or was it the video that was more terrible than the lyrics?

  11. Charles RB says

    Tori Amos covers Eminem’s “97 Bonnie and Clyde” and

    Jesus Christ!

    re sbg: Oh god, Girlfriend. That was a nasty one too. That could also do with Tori Amos making a disturbing cover of it, since the video depicts a girl waging a campaign of violence and terror against someone’s girlfriend for being in the way.

  12. says

    No, not “Girlfriend”. This one was a ska/rap type song sung by a guy. I’ll have to ask my daughter’s friend what the song is. My daughter doesn’t remember what it is, so I can’t look it up.

    SBG, I suppose it could be given a postive spin.

  13. scarlett says

    Ooops, sorry, I seemed to have kicked off the ‘crappy song lyrics’ discussion again. But while we’re at it…

    People, Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Angel’ is about drug addiction. The ‘angel’ that is ‘lifting the person up’ is heroine. It’s not a love song… unless you stretch it to include a person’s love for heroine.

  14. Patrick says

    Two other songs along those lines that spring to mind are

    Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession”

    and Pearl Jam’s “Better Man”

    The latter one is another that gets played at weddings, which disturbs the hell out of me. It’s like these people don’t hear a single word other than “can’t find a better man,” which is immediately preceded by “She lies and says she’s in love with him.”

  15. scarlett says

    Possession’s on Fumbling Towards Ecstacy, isn’t it? From what I remember (alas, another singer I used to love but drifted away from after a really disappointing alubum) that album was big on themes of abusive relationships – ‘Mary’ and ‘Good Enough’ come to mind.

  16. says

    I believe Possession was the one where a fan sued her, claiming she got the lyrics from his letters to her. I was like, dude, and you’re admitting it on public record? 8~0

  17. Gategrrl says

    Charles RB-Wow, what a kick in the head that version of Every Breath You Take was-fantastic! (note: one of the commenters below the vid said someone else had rewritten the lyrics and that Sting sang it because he liked it so much?)

  18. Jen says

    this sounds like a shameless plug… cos it is.
    my band wants to play at the Green Man Festival in Wales and to do so we have to win votes on our music video here: http://www.greenman.net/greenpollartist2010/colour-me-wednesday/2472

    so I was hoping all you guys would vote for us, I would just die if another bland all-male indie band won another one of these popularity contests!
    When you could have an awesome feminist ska-punk band instead!!!!!
    (also you could show the music video in next week’s interruption if you like it)

    • Maria says

      No, it’s a little creepy because it’s about the singer trying to persuade a younger girl to have sex with him. I know the story’s that he’s singing as his 13 yr old self to his 13 yr old BFF, but the repeated “you’ve grown, you’ve grown” is creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

  19. Patrick says

    Sarah McLachlan’s album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is largely about disfuntional or abusive relationships. “Possession” was the subject of a lawsuit from a stalker, but he committed suicide before it went anywhere.

  20. sbg says

    It really is no wonder I adore Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Yes, I realize this reflects rather sadly on me. 😉

  21. scarlett says

    SBG, it used to be one of my fave albums. Sweet Surrender, Mary and Good Enough were my favourite songs but it was one of those albums that really gelled as a whole piece, not just a few good single and some filler songs. (BTW, have you heard Paula Cole’s Harbinger or This Fire? Same kinda deal – S&P were actually the main people involved with Lilithfair.) I was in an abusive relationship at the time and as I listen to Good Enough again, I’m begining to understand why it resonated with me.

    And OMG, Good Enough was an amazing enough song, but now that I’ve seen the clip to it, I’m reminded of what attracted me to McLachlan, like, fifteen years ago now.

  22. Patrick says

    Paula Cole is another great example of people cheerfully liking songs while ignoring the lyrics. Her best known song is probably “I Don’t Wanna Wait” (a.k.a. The theme to Dawson’s Creek), but the number of people who could actually tell you what it was about were miniscule.

    And when you look at the rest of This Fire and its predecessor Harbinger… yeah, she’s not afraid to talk about some f’d up relationship, nor to call out abuse for what it is.

  23. says

    re: “Possession” lawsuit stalker suicide. Wiki says he admitted he concocted the frivolous lawsuitjust to get close to her – and admitted he was stalking her. It’s sad he was that disturbed and no one got him into treatment. It’s also sad he lived in a society where he felt he could say these things publicly while in the meantime, feminists are embarrassed to say they’re feminists. That says a whole lot, none of it good. I’m not happy he died, but I am glad MacLachlan was spared the ordeal and expense of trial that… well, it would’ve been a bit like a kidnapping, wouldn’t it? You want contact with someone who doesn’t want contact with you, you can either bundle her up in the trunk of your car, or sue her. That’s truly scary.

  24. scarlett says

    Patrick, I *love* IDWtW ‘cos it’s about enduring love, not infatuatated love… but people tend not to get that until I point out the lyrics… um, yeah, what did you THINK ‘the years pass by and now he has granddaughters’ meant?

  25. Scarlett says

    Yeah. She’s writing about her grandparents and how the issues they went through when he came back from WWII. (He showed up all wet/on the rainy front step/wearing shrapnel in his skin/and the war he saw/lives inside him still/it’s so hard to be gentle an warm/the years passed by and now they have granddaughters.) It’s my kind of love song ‘cos it’s about two people who went through a lot of stuff and kept at it for decades, as opposed to Taylor Swift crap about love at first sight and yearing to be with the one (who is with someone else and can’t see how perfect she is for him). It shitted me that they made it the theme song to Dawson’s Creek ‘cos a bunch of angsty teenagers who think everything is the End of the World was SO NOT what the song was about.

  26. says

    Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” — the song whose actual full name is “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” I remember watching the video and hearing the song for the first time and thinking, “Whoa! Ultimate sarcastic kiss-off song!” Then I watched as person after person, group after group, proceeded to completely misrepresent the song and its meaning. The pinnacle of the madness was watching an episode of “ER” in which the Jeannie Boulet doctor character sang it at a patient’s funeral–!?

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