Hands up anyone who recognized the song from the beginning of the episode! *Crickets chirp*
It was “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot and I’m not sure how much meaning I should take from this song choice, considering the lightness of the 200th episode, but it’s a very cool choice for the show.
Firstly, it’s the first time they have used Gordon Lightfoot, who is a Canadian legend, but less known outside our borders, which could be taken as a bit of a nod towards the location of filming. Additionally, the song was released in 1974, which positions it firmly in the timeframe of the classic rock, that the show so loves to celebrate.
Now, if we look at the content of the song, it makes sense why they were playing it:
Sometimes I think it’s a shame When I get feeling better when I’m feeling no pain Sometimes I think it’s a shame When I get feeling better when I’m feeling no pain
Sometimes I think it’s a sin When I feel like I’m winning when I’m losing again (x)
Since it played as we watched Dean put back together the Impala, which has always symbolized his soul and his state of being, this song emphasizes the fact that, in that moment, Dean is feeling “better,” but “no pain.” Dean hasn’t yet been shown trying to numb himself with alcohol as he has in the past, following his stint as a demon, however, in 10x04, he seemed flat. Empty. Broken. Him repairing the Impala is an attempt to fix himself. Like if he can fix her, he can fix himself.
But in the end, it “feel[s] like I’m winning when I’m losing again.”
40 years ago, on November 10, 1975, the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm in Lake Superior near Whitefish Point off the coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There are several theories as to what may have caused the ship to sink in a flash, but the actual reason will likely never be known. The remains of the 29 crew members were never recovered.
The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead When the skies of November turn gloomy With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed When the gales of November came early
The ship was the pride of the American side Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most With a crew and good captain well seasoned Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms When they left fully loaded for Cleveland Then later that night when the ship's bell rang Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound When the wave broke over the railing And every man knew, as the captain did too 'Twas the witch of November come stealin' The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait When the gales of November came slashin' When afternoon came it was freezing rain In the face of a hurricane west wind
When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck Sayin' "Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya" At seven PM a main hatchway caved in He said, "Fellas, it's been good to know ya" The captain wired in he had water comin' in And the good ship and crew was in peril And later that night when his lights went out of sight Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Does anyone know where the love of God goes When the waves turn the minutes to hours? The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her They might have split up or they might have capsized They may have broke deep and took water And all that remains is the faces and the names Of the wives and the sons and the daughters
Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings In the rooms of her ice-water mansion Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams The islands and bays are for sportsmen And farther below, Lake Ontario Takes in what Lake Erie can send her And the iron boats go as the mariners all know With the gales of November remembered
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee Superior, they said, never gives up her dead When the gales of November come early
Way back in the heady days of 2009, the year of swine flu, chillwave, and Avatar,1 back before the massive “212” and the endless internet drama events,2 Azealia Banks was just a New York City high-schooler with a MySpace page, and rap aspirations. Using the moniker Miss Bank$, she recorded the track above over a beat by skully riddem dancehall producer 77Klash, and oh my god it is so filthy.
Really, man, be super careful about playing this song. If you grandma accidentally hears this track, her poor little heart will explode and you’ll feel eternally guilty for being the reason that “Raunchy Rap Lyrics” were listed under Cause of Death on her death certificate.
<Honestly, I don’t think that its possible to overstate how obscene this track is. I mean, it’s called “P-U-S-S-Y” and Azealia isn’t exactly Will Smith. But this track gives Khia a run for her money.
ANYWAY, in hindsight, this track looks like a clear predecessor of the sort of music Azealia’s made since she started using her real name, and blew the fuck up. She always had a clear predilection for rapping over dance-influenced bangers, and she already had a deft way with words. You can see the sound repetition that eventually became her trademark is already starting to crop up in lines like “I’m me from the feet to the stitchin’ in the weave."
But, she still had a way to go. The rapid-fire, syllable-spewing flow that made her later tracks so distinctive is wholly absent here, as is her wild vocal shifts. Instead, she goes with a more laidback (and far less distinctive) style. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with what she’s doing on the mic here, it’s easy to see why this wasn’t the song that catapulted her into the spotlight.
Thus, as is often the case with an artist’s early work, "P-U-S-S-Y” is a work that shows glimmers of what’s to come, and also highlights the variables that they needed to discover before coming into their own.
If you’d like to download it, it’s available here.
1. In descending order of terribleness. (ZING! ZING! ZING! It’s funny because I implied that two slightly maligned cultural artifacts were worse than and epidemic that killed more that 14,000 people! ZING-A-ZING-ZING!)
2. From her Wikipedia:
“Banks has also taken part in feuds with fellow musicians T.I., Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, The Stone Roses, Iggy Azalea, Kreayshawn, ASAP Rocky, Rita Ora, Shystie, Sam Sparro, Jim Jones, Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, Disclosure, Funkmaster Flex, Lily Allen, Dominique Young Unique, Pharrell, past managers such as Troy Carter and Dave Holmes, and novelist Amanda Brunker.”
Her page also details feuds with Perez Hilton, Angel Haze, Diplo and Baauer. At this point, couldn’t you believe that Azealia got into an internet fight with just about anyone? “Azealia Banks Slams Gordon Lightfoot!” “Azealia Banks Goes on Anti-Casey Affleck Rant!” “Azealia Banks Attacks Brobee From Yo Gabba Gabba on Twitter!”