• Elise Chandler

Behind the Lyrics - Father John Misty: "Nancy From Now On"



This week on "Behind the Lyrics", I'm taking a request to cover a Father John Misty song. To be honest, what always stands out to me in his songs is the fact that the music is usually romantic, but the lyrics always seem to be a call for help. This song is a great example of that. 


Without further ado: 


"Nancy From Now On" -- Father John Misty

"Oh, pour me another drink

And punch me in the face You can call me Nancy Every man wears a symbol And I know I have mine I've got my right hand stamped In the concentration camp where my organs scream "slow down, man"

Ooh, flowers and bows Milk and honey flow Just a couple states below

Ooh

Oh, hook me up to the tank And roll me to the door I'm going where my body leads me I can fend for myself With what looks I have left I'll put away a few And pretty soon I'll be breaking things I have of you

Ooh, flowers and bows Milk and honey flow Just a couple states below

Ooh, give me how it was A place under the sun Before the devil made me run Run boy, run boy

Ooh"


So, I watched video, and if you haven't yet - one interpretation is that the narrator is into a dominatrix. Lyrics like "And punch me in the face/You can call me Nancy" all point to support this video. 


I think this song is a great choice for Mental Health Awareness. It sounds like our narrator is calling for help from what I believe is alcoholism. He begins the song with "pour me another drink/and punch me in the face". Everything is very brutal, as if he truly believes he deserves no kindness. 


This theme continues on "Oh, hook me up to the tank/And roll me to the door

/I'm going where my body leads me." He clearly has some past trauma that he is drinking "tanks" full of alcohol to block out and lets his body control his needs. 

Finally, these lines solidify my belief with, "Ooh, give me how it was/A place under the sun". So, he had something wonderful at one time he desires to go back to, but "before the devil made me run/Run boy, run boy"


These lyrics are just vague enough to appeal to a wide audience. Don't we all have things in our past we'd like to forget? And not everyone has access to support groups or counseling to deal with trauma in healthy ways. 

It leaves listeners a lot to think about, especially when you begin to realize, perhaps the romantic tone of the song is the love he has for his alcoholism, especially that while it is killing him, it is also saving him. Until next time. 

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