Behind the Lyrics - Florence + The Machine: "Girls Against God"
(Photo Credit: Autumn de Wilde)
Wow. I didn't realize how much I needed to write a feminist analysis until I heard this song. Unfortunately, if you look at the news, women are under attack here in the United States. We have never been equal, and I mourn to see steps taken to get us closer being taken from us, but this song reminds me -- I am not alone. Let's check out some women's rage.
"Girls Against God" -- Florence and the Machine
[Verse 1] What a thing to admit That when someone looks at me with real love I don't like it very much Kinda makes me feel like I'm bein' crushed Is this something that you would like to discuss? [Chorus] And it's good to be alive Crying into cereal at midnight If they ever let me out, I'm gonna really let it out I listen to music from 2006 and feel kind of sick But, oh God, you're gonna get it You'll be sorry that you messed with this [Verse 2] Remember being in that basement with Tom Vek? Everyone treated us like little pets Oh, tell me it's not over yet And in my darkest fantasies I am the picture of passivity Waitin' for you side of stage Suppressing all my private rage But as my sister said, I'd probably last six days [Chorus] Oh, it's good to be alive Crying into cereal at midnight And if they ever let me out, I'm gonna really let it out When I decided to wage holy war It looked very much like staring at my bedroom floor But, oh God, you're gonna get it You'll be sorry that you messed with me And I know I may not look like much Just another screaming speck of dust But, oh God, you're gonna get it You'll be sorry that you messed with us (Oh God, you're gonna get it) [Post-Chorus] But it's good to be alive Crying into cereal at midnight But, oh God, you're gonna get it You'll be sorry that you messed with us [Bridge] Oh God, you're gonna get it You'll be sorry that you messed with us (Oh God, you're gonna get it) Oh God, you're gonna get it You'll be sorry that you messed with me [Outro] I met the Devil You know, he gave me a choice A golden heart Or a golden voice Damn, what a song! There are many ways you can view this, but since I am focusing on the feminist lens, I will be analyzing this from its commentary on women. God is usually referred to as "He". That is an important fact we must agree upon before launching into this. Because her descriptions throughout do not refer to one "He", but many "He". Examples -- "Tom Vek", "someone", and "you". All of these references have a romantic tilt to them, and so, the song is much an elegy for any chance she has with a relationship with a man. There are several reasons -- "That when someone looks at me with real love I don't like it very much Kinda makes me feel like I'm bein' crushed"
It is sad. Shouldn't love make a girl feel special? Unfortunately for many women, they fall only to be controlled, belittled, or de-voiced. She is beginning the song by asking -- Is this something you'd like to discuss? Because she is so used to being asked things like -- ever want to settle down? What about this guy? And no one actually caring why she just can't In verse 2, the narrator informs us that they were "treated as little pets" and she dreams of being "the picture of passivity". Again, this is a societal expectation. The "He" in this song is the patriarchy. What does it expect of us women? Silence, acceptance, to look cute and do whatever we are told. Look at the rape culture. The victim blaming in the media. This is where it stems from. An ingrained societal belief that many women have to overcome and which when they do, it festers into "a private rage". Because when we try to share our thoughts, we are "bitches" or "bossy". Another way to keep our voices silenced. This outro is amazing -- I met the Devil You know, he gave me a choice A golden heart Or a golden voice In Biblical allusion, the devil was referred to as the serpent in the garden. Now, it is humanity's commentary that has led him to be called "evil", but really, he was giving Eve and Adam a choice -- wisdom or ignorance. Humanity chose wisdom. In the same manner, our narrator declares -- I could be quiet and passive or I could speak for myself. It is evident by the song that she chose her voice. This is beautiful, well-thought, and awesome commentary because she confesses she spends many the night crying alone, but if she did choose to be passive and quiet, she would be miserable. It would be better to be alone than suppressed. Musically? It does exactly what it needs to -- supports the narrator's voice. Empowering her. So remember, if you have a strong message in your lyrics -- put that first ALWAYS. Until next time.