The Muse Enjoys the F Word

Lover I Don’t is a trip hoppy lounge song from Jade Lawhon.  Along with the song, she left a phrase that’s an extension of the title and basically explains what it’s about: Lover I don’t have to love.

Jade Lawhon uploaded Lover I Don’t to the Sirenstories SoundCloud a while ago, but I didn’t post it because the song has the word ‘fuck’ in it. I’m not sure why I wanted to keep Sirenstories G rated, probably because my son is 6 and he listens to the songs.

But I like Lover I Don’t, so I want to share it. And I love the word ‘fuck’. It’s . . . special. Right?

At one point, I taught music at a school that was kind of the last stop in New Jersey for kids who would otherwise be on their way to jail. They used the word fuck a LOT, where I, as a teacher, had to curtail my use of it. As a parent, it’s the same of course, but as a musician and a writer, as a person, I’ve always used the word. I told my students, ‘fuck’ is a super powerful word, so sure, use it, but use it when you need it. If you throw it around like it’s a light weight word, it’s going to lose it’s punch, and then when you need to make a strong point, and you reach for the word ‘fuck’ and it means nothing, you might feel like you need to go to the next step to express yourself. You might resort to violence. In fact, that’s what a lot of these kids had done. I loved them, and they were fascinating people, but in addition to the classrooms, each floor of that school had a padded room. Tall, burly guys stood watch at the ends of the main hallways. All day.

Anyway, as many of you know, I’m writing a YA trilogy. As I revise Book I, I’ve been working with the gifted editor Emma Dryden. Emma suggested that there was a scene missing towards the end of the book, between the main character and her sister. She was right, and when I wrote the scene recently, it was amazing to see what came out of the sister’s mouth. In trying to write for teens, I’d purposely tried to keep the language clean, as if it was my responsibility or something. Also, I think that although plenty of people use the word ‘fuck’, there are lots of folks who don’t, and I thought I wanted my books to have the widest readership possible. I don’t think edgy language will help that happen, but my main character’s sister? She needs the word ‘fuck’. And the only real responsibility I have as a writer, is to be truthful. Not factual—the trilogy is fiction—but truthful. So for now, fuck stays in the story.

Jade Lawhon is from Orlando. Lover I Don’t features the beats of Eric Miller. Click on the image below to watch a music video by Ben Sasso for Jade Lawhon‘s song Sounds from the Tomb, it’s adorable, and wonderfully eerie. I fucking love it.

Hip Hop on Sirenstories

I don’t know much about MesAyah except that he’s a hip hop artist from Oslo, and he’s got some cool songs. All his bio says is, “Nas meets Peter Gabriel for conversation”.

This actually works for me, because I’m currently revising book 1 of Sirenstories and my mantra is, less is more.

Mes Ayah‘s song, Painted Perfect, with production by CJBeats, is the more. Enjoy!