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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ultimate Geek Fu

(With apologies to Bruce Springsteen)

We're riding in my car.
You turn on the radio.
Then a song comes on
that sucks so badly it makes me just about lunge across the dashboard to hit the button to change the station.

No, I won't tell you what the song was; suffice to say it led to an interesting discussion with my daughter about a woman's self-expression. And with that as a springboard, here is today's Ultimate Geek Fu question. I want you to consider two songs:

"You Oughta Know," as written and performed by Alanis Morissette
"Before He Cheats," written by Tompkins & Kear, as performed by Carrie Underwood

For a moment, forget that one is alt-rock and the other is country. Try (if you can) to get the music and its performance out of your head and think about the lyrics only. (It may help to go look the lyrics up online and read them, but if you do so, watch out for pop-ups. I'd provide links but I can't seem to find a site that does not also saturation-bomb me with pop-ups trying to sell me ringtones.)

Now, considered as a pair of dramatic monologues, which of these songs tells the more interesting story of a strong woman, fully in charge of her own destiny?

Not a nice song; not a spiritual or inspirational song. Which of these is the more interesting story told by the more interesting character? Or alternately, what is your pick for a song to fill that role?

Let the arguments begin.
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