Welcome to another edition of Rich Karski’s A SONG I HEARD TODAY: the only internet music review column that is not designed as a ploy to get you to argue/sleep with the author.
Today was a big music day for me, as I did a lot of tedious things at work that required me to sit at my desk with my headphones in waiting for the Dark Lord to finally call my number and whisk me away to the underworld where I will probably have to spend eternity in a room that smells like bananas where someone else is flossing and describing episodes of “Friends” in great detail.
Needless to say, I heard A TON of songs today. I had so many to choose from, that it was going to take a really special effort from the artist to stand out from the pack and make it into the column, and boy did one song overtake the competition like a shark overtaking a mule that had somehow found its way into the ocean and instead of realizing he didn’t belong there just kind of hung out trying to play it cool but the shark was having none of it because he knows that isn’t where mules go.
The song? Sophie B. Hawkins- Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover. Holy shit is this one a doozy. Let’s sink our teeth into this motherfucker like some sweet, sweet mule flesh, shall we?
First: The Artist. Sophie B. Hawkins is a lady from the 90’s who is probably hiking or thinking about hiking most of the time. The rest of the time she is writing songs that sound like her musical inspiration is standing in line at CVS and thinking “All of this music is great, but it’s just not hip enough for today’s MTV youth.”
I would guess that she spends a lot of time talking about famous people she has smoked pot with that you’ve never heard of because they are only famous in San Francisco. I bet after any conversation with Sophie B. Hawkins you will end up holding a suggested reading list consisting entirely of books with titles that are more than six words long. She probably says “vaginal” a lot.
Now, the song. At first listen, it seems like a pretty straightforward admission by Sophie B. that she wishes that she was your lover. She even throws a “DAMN” in there at the beginning either to be edgy or because she has seen it work for African-American men on the subway. She EMPHATICALLY wishes that she was your lover, objectifying you in a way that is almost at once uncomfortable and baffling. This is possibly a dig at the patriarchy? Why can’t a woman express a strong desire to be a stranger’s lover?! This is America! It’s the 90’s!
If Sophie B. wants to be your lover then you had better be ready to ride the Hawkins Express or get the hell out of its way because SOMEBODY IS FUCKING SOPHIE B. AND IF IT AIN’T YOU THEN SHE AIN’T GOT TIME TO WAIT AT THE STATION!
When you start to dig a little bit deeper into the lyrics, however… my god. This is not a well-adjusted individual. Or at least an individual with any experience discussing sexuality with a human person before. She starts the song comparing your current relationship to an abused dog’s relationship with its cruel owner. So I guess you’re not a stranger to Sophie B. She’s been watching you for quite while now. Intent on making you HER love slave. This isn’t a terrible metaphor, but a little strong for the current situation, no? “Look, I’m going to free you from your sex cage, and take you to my sex palace where the sex will be much more appealing as long as you listen to NONE of the things I say after this verse.” And hoo boy the things she says…
We get to the chorus and she starts out innocent enough, saying she will “rock you till the daylight comes/make sure you are smiling and warm.” Aww, what a considerate lover Sophie B. is! She’s going to rock your world and keep you warm and happy! Sounds a lot better than being chained and beaten, right? Sophie, you may have sold me on this. What else do you have in store??? “I am everything/tonight I’ll be your mother.” WHOA HOLY SHIT HANG THE FUCK ON! That is not something you EVER say to someone you are trying to fuck/fucking/IS NOT YOUR OWN DAMN CHILD.
She then goes on to say you won’t feel ashamed and that is a BOLD claim for a woman who just told me she was going to fuck me and be my mom in back to back sentences.
You would think she would rethink this and change the chorus but nope she goes all-in on being your mom and repeats that shit over and over, as if you had not checked out of this affair immediately and called child protective services because what if she has her own kids? If that’s what she thinks a mother does those children are in immediate danger because she is MISTAKEN ABOUT THE PROPER ROLE OF A FEMALE GUARDIAN. Oh then she casually says shes going to fill you up and make you cry, as if you haven’t been crying for hours already as she tries to cut the crusts off the filthy fuck sandwich she just served up.
Okay. It got real fucking weird, real fucking quick. But what if I told you it got weirder? And quicker? Well she calls herself a monkey, which I guess is how she plans on freeing you from your dog cage because opposable thumbs will be necessary, but being SOME type of animal is also necessary if she plans on fucking the dog version of you. Anyway, this next lyric needs its own paragraph.
“I give you something sweet each time you come inside my jungle book.”
… I mean… no…
…*takes a long walk in the moonlight while smoking a cigarette and contemplating my place in the universe*
SHE JUST CALLED HER VAGINA HER JUNGLE BOOK!!!!! “COME INSIDE MY JUNGLE BOOK” SHE SAYS!!! “I GIVE YOU SOMETHING SWEET” SHE SAYS!!! “MY SWEET SWEET JUNGLE BOOK PUSSY” SHE SAYS NOT VERY IMPLICITLY!!!
I doubted last week that I would ever run into a worse lyric than “Our destiny is time” and… I hold to that as a worse lyric. This might actually be the BEST lyric that I’ve ever encountered. I can’t decide because it flustered me to the point that I dropped a sandwich in my lap and now I’m staring at this mustard stain soaking into my denim wondering if I could even HANDLE Sophie B.’s Jungle Book. I have always considered my dick to be great and well-respected but fuck if my confidence isn’t shaken by this daunting challenge. DAMMIT HAWKINS JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT…
She extends the chorus after this verse, probably to give us time to recover from the bombshell she dropped on the world by further desecrating Rudyard Kipling’s already desecrated racist legacy. In this extended chorus she also drops the word “Shucks” which would be okay if this was a song about fucking in a 1950s television show but this was the 90s when birth control and AIDS were already things so casual sex was not to be taken lightly. What the hell do you have in store for us next Hawkins you horny old lunatic?
“If I was your girl believe me/I’d turn on the Rolling Stones/we could groove along and feel much better.”
This explains so, so much. “Grooving along” to the Rolling Stones is her idea of a sexy evening. Sophie B. Hawkins is EVERYBODY’S mother! She could literally never fuck anybody without fucking her child because she is the universal mom. She is like a mom upstairs at her kid’s first basement orgy yelling downstairs asking if they need some tunes. “I’ve got ‘Exile on Main Street’ on vinyl! Let me know if you kids need some sexy ‘jams’ or any orange drink!” Like… Prince had been a thing for years at this point.
I’M PRETTY SURE MY PARENTS CONCEIVED ME TO PRINCE AND I WAS BORN FIVE YEARS BEFORE THIS SONG CAME OUT. EVERYBODY HAD BEEN FUCKING TO PRINCE FOR A DAMNED DECADE! Jesus Christ Marvin Gaye would have been acceptable. Is Sophie B. just trying to get us nude so she can check our temperature with a rectal thermometer? Has she even had sex since she birthed every literal human on the face of the planet, or has she just been making pot roasts and watching General Hospital and now she’s horny because of menopause? Jesus I have to wrap this up.
Okay here are a few more ridiculous things she says that are somehow not among the five most insane lyrics in this song:
“I lay by the ocean making love to her with visions clear”– she has fucked the ocean, and I am fine with this because I’m at least pretty sure that the ocean is not young enough to be her kid. Step in the right direction Sophie B.
“Gettin’ on a subway, and I’m coming uptown”– Hide your children which are also Sophie’s children because she is coming to fuck them in the most eco-friendly way available to her in the early 90s. For your sake and your children’s I pray you live downtown.
“Gettin’ on my camel, and I’m riding uptown”– she has found a more eco-friendly way of seeking you out for sex! If you see Sophie B. Hawkins riding her fuck-camel in your neighborhood please call the police. This is not a drill. She is looking to fill her Jungle Book with the tears of her children and there is no escape from her monkey claws once you are the target of her perverted desires. She is like a rejected Hindu goddess crossed with the world’s worst urban legend. Whatever you do, never say “Jungle Book” three times in front of a mirror. DON’T DO IT SHE WILL FILL YOU UP WITH TEARS WHILE GROOVING TO “GIMMIE SHELTER!”
Whew. I’m shaking. I’m traumatized. I’m never speaking to my mother again. I’m terrified of camels now. That is an A+ song.
Sophie B. Hawkins is the psychopathic maternal fuck-goddess that this world needs, and we let her slip through our fingers like the grains of sand that probably got stuck to her stretched out over-nursed nipples when she made it with the ocean.