Fiona Apple – Criminal

Fiona Apple, writing with passion, honesty, and insight, requires no decoding:

“I’ve been a bad, bad girl
I’ve been careless with a delicate man
And it’s a sad, sad world
When a girl will break a boy just because she can

Don’t you tell me to deny it
I’ve done wrong and I want to suffer for my sins
I’ve come to you ’cause I need guidance to be true
And I just don’t know where I can begin

What I need is a good defense
‘Cause I’m feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I’ve sinned against
Because he’s all I ever knew of love

Heaven help me for the way I am
Save me from these evil deeds before I get them done
I know tomorrow brings the consequence at hand
But I keep living this day like the next will never come

Oh help me but don’t tell me to deny it
I’ve got to cleanse myself of all these lies
’till I’m good enough for him
I’ve got a lot to lose and I’m bettin’ high so I’m begging you
Before it ends just tell me where to begin

What I need is a good defense
‘Cause I’m feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I’ve sinned against
Because he’s all I ever knew of love

Let me know the way
Before there’s hell to pay
Give me room to lay the law and let me go
I’ve got to make a play
To make my lover stay
So what would an angel say, the devil wants to know

What I need is a good defense
‘Cause I’m feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I’ve sinned against
Because he’s all I ever knew of
looooooooooooooooooooooooooove
Yeah yeah yeah uhh uhh uhhhhhh…
Hey hey hey haaayyyyyyyyyyyyy
yeahhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhh hiyee ehhh…”

It’s endearing that her narrator feels “like a criminal” for “breaking” the “delicate man” who is “all [she] ever knew of love”.

Why does she break him?
Because he is delicate. Because he is in love with her, so she has all the power, so she is no longer attracted to him.

Is it a crime that she is not attracted to him any longer?
No.

Was she attracted to him before?
Most likely, yes. Why else would she have played with him to begin with?

What has changed in the meantime to make him unattractive?
He fell in love with her.

Does she have something to feel guilty about?
Perhaps she does. Perhaps she played with him just to experience her own power.

But what if he had turned out more powerful? This may have lead to a happy relationship or to him breaking her heart.

Note the asymmetry: Female sexuality requires male dominance for a happy relationship. He can be attracted to her regardless of the power balance. She, by contrast, loses all attraction, as soon as she feels more powerful.

Power is central to female, but not to male sexuality.

He needs to learn about female sexuality.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: