Friday, January 07, 2011


"He couldn't stand to hear me say
That I'd been with someone new
And when I told him I had been untrue
He hit me and it felt like a kiss.
He hit me and I knew he loved me."

Over the past few months i've been delving back into the music i loved as a teenager. I had forgotten how surprised and taken aback i was by the lyrics the first time i heard it. It was written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin after they discovered that Little Eva, a member of The Crystals, was regularly abused by her partner. When they expressed concern, she explained it was his way of letting her know that he loved her. In my opinion it remains one of their finest songs and an ode to the tangled web that is domestic violence.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never really listened to the lyrics of the song before. It's so risky to put a song like that out there, because you kind of have to assume that the listener knows you're problematising the sentiments. And that's a big assumption. At the same time the song tackles head-on the psychological layers that are often involved in situations of domestic abuse - layers that are usually swept aside as we simplify the situation into tyrant and victim. Powerful stuff.

Green of Eye, Sharp of Claw said...

@DL: The first time i listened i thought i had misheard it. On second listen i was like "what the heck?".

It's a powerful song. A good 15 years down the road i listen to it with different ears and an expanded mind. When it was released it was said to have discussed domestic abuse in an era where it was acceptable i.e. not spoken about. The elephant in the room so to speak.

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