Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gender roles, alternative readings, and a song I love

After my last post, featuring pens for ladies, I thought I’d share one the songs I listen to when I’m writing. It's a favourite of mine. 

Preconceived ideas of sexuality and gender roles? Pfft. Leave those at the door, thanks. 

What I like about most about this song is that it gives us an alternative reading to the original. I think I've got that right -- if I haven't my sister Kath, an English teacher, will correct me. Kath, is this an alternative or a resistant reading? Or have I overreached entirely? 

(I'm actually pretty excited to ask Kath this because, after years of reading my blog posts, she finally figured out how to comment last week. I'm the technologically advanced one in our family, which you know means the rest of them are back at the cave knocking rocks together, right?) 

The alternative reading is a reading of a text that differs from the commonly accepted interpretation, or the dominant reading. Listen to a man singing Jolene, and suddenly that familiar old love triangle is different than you first perceived it to be. And I like that. I like it when you rethink one tiny thing, and the entire framework shifts. 

And this is how I've always approached my reading. I like to look for more underneath the story. I like to speculate. I like to wonder. And I like to have more questions than answers when I've finished. 

I also really like this version because I find the original, despite the depressing lyrics, just a little bit too toe-tapping. Heartbreak should not be toe-tapping. Sorry, Dolly. 

What are you listening to this week? 


  1. I like how he didn't change it to Joey. When Shawn Colvin did "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," she changed the gender, and in another song someone screwed up the rhyme scheme to do the same. Which is entirely understandable and a personal decision, but I do like it when a song is presented in a new light.

    One song that comes to mind that does that well is when Amy Ray of Indigo Girls covered "Romeo and Juliet," where she's singing her love straight to Juliet. Which definitely fits for her.

    And I learned a new word here - I thought "resistant reading" was what you get when you hand me a classic in school.

  2. I think when they handed out classics in school it wasn't "resistant" so much as "kicking and screaming".

    I will check out Romeo and Juliet. Sounds good!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...