Artist: Amanda Palmer
Album: Who Killed Amanda Palmer
Release date: September 16, 2008
Why this song was chosen: When I first came across this song, it was when gathering pieces of music for this particular Every Day In May campaign. I am not familiar with much of Amanda Palmer’s musical work. I’ve listened to and read what she has to say about everything from record labels to crowd-funding to women’s issues to sex crimes. But I hadn’t heard this song. I read the lyrics and thought I’d add it. Then I watched the video and retracted a bit from the idea of using it. After thinking about what the song said to me, and who Amanda Palmer was, I realized why this song was perfect. First – Amanda Palmer isn’t some artist who is just looking to make a top 40 pop hit off of whatever topic she can muster up. She’s very well spoken and very educated makes topical, well thought out points of view. Second – was it more likely that she was glossing over date rape and abortion? Or was she probably being satirical about the fact that we live in a culture that typically glosses over such topics? Knowing the little bit that I know about Palmer, I am going with the latter option. Which is why this song was chosen for our day 6 selection. I think it is a fantastic statement about how these things are trivialized in our society. We ignore the heavy topics so that we can move on to the fun ones. Like our favorite bands. Well done, Amanda.
What the artist has to say about the song: Amanda Palmer received some push back after her release of this song and video. On her personal blog, she ranted: “I sat down one day in or around 2002 and wrote a tongue-in-cheek, ironic up-tempo pop song. A song about a girl who got drunk, was date raped, and had an abortion. She sings about these things lightly and joyfully and says that she doesn’t care that these things have happened to her because Oasis, (her favorite band) has sent her an autographed photo in the mail. And to make things even better (!!), her bitchy friend melissa, who told the whole school about the abortion, is really jealous. If you cannot sense the irony in this song, you’re about two intelligence points above a kumquat. I then recorded this song with Ben Folds (who is way more intelligent than a kumquat) for my record, WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER, in 2007. He produced the song to sound fantastically happy, a full-on peppy beach-boys style number complete with ba ba ba back-up vocals. We were very proud of it. It was funny, and sad, and made sense. To us. Then I made a video with Michael Pope that portrayed a VERY literal play-by-play of what was being related in the song. It also made sense to us. Now people in the UK are telling me that the song “makes light of rape, religion and abortion”. Can i simply state: WHEN YOU CANNOT JOKE ABOUT THE DARKNESS OF LIFE, THAT’S WHEN THE DARKNESS TAKES OVER. OK? The song is not a lecture. The song is a SONG. It’s a reflection, a character sketch.” She rants for a bit longer about this topic, and it’s all brilliant. And we highly recommend you read it at amandapalmer.net.
How do you think this song contributes to the conversation on sex crimes?
Is there a song you think belongs here? Let us know in the comments!
Also please share with your friends; you never know who needs encouragement to tell their story.
Read the lyrics here.
Possible trigger warning. As with all of the content we post, the songs in the Every Day In May campaign should be listened to at your own discretion. Some may make you feel uplifted and others may make you feel angry, disturbed, or disgusted. The songs should also be considered not safe for work.