Morning Music: Father John Misty

I Love You, Honeybear - Father John MistyI asked my sister if she could recommend a song for today’s morning music and she told me there was this song that her husband was really into these days. This caused me to (silently) freak out, “No! Not a new song! New music baaad!” But I shouldn’t have thought that, because her husband, Lee, is a musician, professional sound engineer (I think he has a Emmy — or something else of equal impressiveness), and obviously is a very sophisticated listener. The song was “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” by Father John Misty. That is the new moniker of singer-songwriter Joshua Tillman. And he is really great. He sounds a lot like Loudon Wainwright.

The song itself is part of a sub-genre of long songs that older people write: the “I love my wife” song. And lyrically, it is largely pretty standard. But it has some unusual lyrics, especially at the beginning. These appear to be in connection with the fear of hipsters and idiosyncratics everywhere: will I lose my authenticity by accepting the traditional expression of my love and commitment? The answer is that it doesn’t matter because when it comes to love, we are all bourgeois. But check out what he tries to do here, “I wanna take you in the kitchen; lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in.” The second line is very edgy, but the first line gives the game away. “Take you”? Unintentionally patriarchal. It’s a good thing his wife is a photographer and not a postmodern feminist scholar! But like I said, we’re all bourgeois. And it is a lovely song.

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: Father John Misty

  1. There is also a line that goes something like, “You take my name.” I did not take my husband’s name, though I’m not a post-modern feminist scholar, maybe somewhat feminist, though. And I have developed a liking for the song, even though some of the lyrics make me uncomfortable. My favorite line is “People are boring, but you’re something else, completely.” Lee feels very sentimental about the song. He says it reminds him of when we were first together.

    • I think it is a very sweet song. I was just razzing him. As I said, when it comes to love, it is impossible to not be rather traditional. That isn’t to say that his relationship with his wife isn’t relatively equal. But I’ll bet his wife wishes he would clean the toilet now and then.

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