Dec 6: OPHELIA by Natalie Merchant

OPHELIA (by Natalie  Merchant)



Ophelia was a bride of God
A novice Carmelite
In sister cells the cloister bells
Tolled on her wedding night

Ophelia was a rebel girl
A blue stocking suffragette
Who remedied society
Between her cigarettes

Ophelia was a sweetheart
To the nation over night
Curvaceous thighs
Vivacious eyes
Love was at first sight…

Ophelia was a demigoddess
In pre war Babylon
So statuesque a silhouette
In black satin evening gowns

Ophelia was the mistress to a
Vegas gambling man
Signora Ophelia Maraschina
Mafia courtesan

Ophelia was a circus queen
The female cannonball
Projected through five flaming hoops
To wild and shocked applause…

Ophelia was a cyclone, tempest
A god damned hurricane
Your common sense
Your best defense
Lay wasted and in vain

Ophelia’d know your every woe
And pain you’d ever had
She’d sympathize
And dry your eyes
And help you to forget…

Ophelia’s mind went wandering
You’d wonder where she’d gone
Through secret doors
Down corridors
She’d wander them alone
All alone…

Natalie Anne Merchant (born October 26, 1963) is an American singer-songwriter and musician
Merchant’s song imagines Ophelia living varied lives throughout history , which in the end  appear to be delusions from a mental patient (the real Ophelia).

The women Merchant desctibes are those who dared question the patriarchal status quo and who were often punished  for doing so.They are  not  simply good or  bad girls, but  a series of women : a nun, a socialite, a ‘moll’, a beauty queen, an idol, a circus performer , and so on. These are powerful portaits of  non-traditional types of woman, who may be misunderstood by society or driven mad by social limitations  And all of them   have a piece of submissive hopeless Ophelia inside, but  no one is weak.



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