Joanna Newsom is enchanting. She makes me wish I had be taught to play the harp. This song has been on repeat for several days now and I recently stumbled upon this live perforamnce. It is so rich, complex and eloquent; levels and levels of emotion and melody building upon each other. The lyrics are both haunting and reflective and strike a chord that resonates deeply within. I feel that I can relate to Go Long on a deeply emotive level. Newsom appears heartbroken, struggling with her own identity yet unable to understand that of the person she is speaking to (Who made you this way? Who made you this way?) Yet, fundamentally I think the message of the song is strong, defiant and clear:
What a woman does is open doors,
And it is not a question of locking and unlocking.
Doors. Barriers. Masks. Hearts. We all hide behind them as taught by society, behind our forged identities: clothes, make-up, layers and layers of fabric and paint. Digging deeper, behind the curtains, is not as simple as somebody handing us a magical key that unlocks all binaries.
I have discovered a really interesting blog called Blessing All the Birds: allthebirds.tumblr.com which presents some inspiring and varied discussions about Joanna Newsom’s work in regard to feminity, sexuality and feminist identification. I feel this blog, and many of the links on it, explains and expands in greater depth and length some of the issues I have lightly touched on here. More to follow…
Enjoy this beautiful, beautiful video.