What are some good examples of music videos subverting their songs?

By: | Post date: November 8, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Music

OP, I’ll go first.

Kostas Makedonas, a fine Laïko (bouzouki pop) singer (Κώστας Μακεδόνας). One of his biggest hits was Μαργαριτάρια, “Pearls” (1994), which he duets the chorus of with Alkistis Protopsalti.

It’s a great Zeibekiko, stern and catchy and melancholy, as all great zeibekikos should be. And the verse sings of the splendid arrogance of the stern, melancholy, macho Greek man:

stixoi.info: Μαργαριτάρια

Τα ωραιότερα θα σου ’χα αγορασμένα
μαργαριτάρια στο βυθό που είναι κρυμμένα
πάνω στον άσπρο σου λαιμό να τα φορέσεις
γιατί μ’ αρέσεις, κούκλα μου, πολύ μ’ αρέσεις.

Κι αν είσαι εσύ γυναίκα άστατη και ψεύτρα
κι αν έχεις γίνει της καρδιάς μου τώρα η κλέφτρα
τα ωραιότερα θα σου ’χα αγορασμένα
μαργαριτάρια στο βυθό που είναι κρυμμένα.

Κι αν είσαι εσύ γυναίκα έξυπνη κι ωραία
μ’ εφτά πτυχία και πατέρα εισαγγελέα
μάθε να ξέρεις στη ζωή ο κερδισμένος
είναι ο άντρας ο από μόνος του φτιαγμένος.

Κι αν είσαι εσύ γυναίκα άστατη και ψεύτρα…

I would have bought you the finest
pearls hidden in the deep
for you to wear on your white neck,
because I like you, doll, I like you a lot.

And even if you’re a faithless, lying woman,
even if you’ve become now the thief of my heart,
I would have bought you the finest
pearls hidden in the deep.

You might be a brilliant and beautiful woman,
with seven degrees and a DA father;
but you should know that the winner in life
is the man who’s self-made.

And even if you’re a faithless, lying woman…

All fits the cultural tropes, all very familiar, all very You’re Not The Boss Of Me.

But notice the slight creak in the foundations there: I would have bought you the finest pearls. Something’s gone wrong. The songwriter has used a more marked perfect tense construction, for the sake of rhyme (θα σου ’χα αγορασμένα); so the “would have” is even more emphatic in the original.

The music video takes that doubt, and drives a truck through it.

She’s the thief of his heart? He’s a literal thief. The winner in life? He’s lost the gamble. He’s burgled the pearls, he’s in prison now, singing along with his prison buddies; and he’s smuggling the pearls out via his faithless rich brilliant girlfriend (played of course by Protopsalti herself).

And what does she do with those finest pearls hidden in the deep?

Well, what else would she do?

Watch it:

Leave a Reply

  • November 2016
    M T W T F S S
    « Oct   Dec »
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Join 290 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: