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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lily Allen makes deplorable adorable

My daughter Jerusha recently introduced me to the delightfully profane music of British singer/songwriter Lily Allen, who looks like Petula Clark, sings like your baby sister, and says stuff like...like this:
There was a little old lady, who was walkin down the road
She was struggling with bags from Tesco
There were people from the city havin lunch in the park
I believe that it's called al fresco
Then a kid came along to offer a hand

But before she had time to accept it
hits her over the head, doesn't care if she's dead
Cause he's got all her jewellery and wallet


And I guess this would be Lily's idea of a love song:

Now listen I think you and me have come to the end of our time,
What d'you want some kind of reaction?
Well ok that's fine,
Alright how would it make you feel if I told you that you never ever made me come?
In the year and a half that we spent together,
Yeah I never really had much fun...

I could see it in your face when you give it to me gentle,
Yeah you really must think your great,
Let's see how you feel in a couple of weeks,
When I work my way through your mates.

I never wanted it to end up this way,
You've only got yourself to blame,
I'm gonna tell them that your rubbish in bed now
and that your small in the game.

It's gotten me thinking about the juxtaposition of innocence and profanity and why it surprises and amuses us so. A trucker saying the F word = so what? But a nun saying the F word = hilarious. Because Lily Allen has the face and voice of a cherub, her gritty lyrics smack us upside the head in an entirely different way. The backstory is hinted at. How did this girl get to this place in her head?

According to the bio on her official website:
Lily Allen is the 21 year old strange glint in her eyes singer/writer who has been tearing up the web at a rate of knots. When she was a young girl- "I was very lonely actually. I went to 13 different schools so never had time to make enduring friendships. Music became a lifeline to me."

Lily finally left school at 15 when it became obvious her creative needs were not being met. "I always read a lot. It was frustrating moving schools so much because I always felt I couldn't articulate my feelings as much as I wanted to. Books and music helped me do that. I became obsessed by quite arcane subjects, like second world war evacuation stories and books about 18th century aristocracy. I started to feel like I could have a voice. But I wanted to write about my own world in an entertaining way. So I did."

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