So for whatever reason, my musical selection is skewed strongly male. It probably has more than a little to do with the fact that I primarily listen to rock and hip-hop, both of which genres have strong macho bias. But whatever the reason, there are very few female singers who I really like to listen to. I’m a big fan of the Cardigans, Lauryn Hill (obviously), I was a big fan of Poe’s debut album (long before her name was a synonym for an internet troll), I thought Tragic Kingdom was pretty good… other than that though, women don’t feature large on my iTunes.
There is one female artist, however, that grabbed me from the moment I first heard her voice in a duet with Ben Folds – Regina Spektor:
(Please forgive the intro and the Spanish lyrics – the official video has embedding disabled)
She has a lot of amazing songs, and a lot of amazing videos, but this one got stuck in my head the other day. The lyrics are incredibly enigmatic, and they strike me as something of a Rorschach Test – the level of subjectivity lends itself to multiple interpretations. Ms Spektor apparently refuses to tell people what they ‘really’ mean, leaving it up to interpretation.
To me, it seems like she’s talking about the concept of ‘God’ as opposed to expressing an actual belief. Everyone takes the idea very seriously when the chips are down, but you’ve got to remember the lighter, more hilarious side of the idea that there’s a supernatural being handing out rewards and punishments. She also singles out its most fervent believers for a bit of ridicule – basically, it’s not something to be taken seriously. It’s a joke that we can laugh with.
Then again, the top-rated comment says something completely different:
Basically, if your plane is crashing, God doesn’t seem like a joke. You can spend your whole life not believing in a higher power and even ridiculing it, but if you’re moments from death and you know it, I think everyone would wonder.
Ah yes, the old ‘atheists in foxholes’ nonsense. Glad to see that some things never die. Wait, did I say ‘glad’? I mean ‘exasperated’.
Anyway, leave your interpretations in the comments! Lyrics below the fold.
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