Bitch | Mixtape | Mixtape XVII, Lassie Jams, by BITCHES
Music As Reading: Mixtape XVII, Lassie Jams, by BITCHES
And to that day we expire and turn to vapours
Me and my capers – I’ll be somewhere stackin plenty papers
Keepin it real, packin steel, gettin high
Cause life’s a bitch and then you die
It being ‘bitch’ week at Silkworms, we decided to ask clattery drum, bass and screaming band BITCHES for a mixtape. Bassist slash screamer Blake’s response was to explore and interrogate his meandering literary relationship with curse words – a relationship responsible for his band’s rude name, amongst other things – via a combination of commercial hip-hop and turn of the millennium chart hits. Another YouTube mixtape this week – apparently you have to be 18 or over to watch the Christina video, hilariously. I hope that doesn’t rule too many of you out. Oh, and open your exercise books here for more BITCHES songs and words and pictures and songs and so on.
At my primary school, each of us kids would have to take some time out from our busy schedules and ‘read to teach’, an uncomfortably intimate moment with my gold chain wearing, over-perfumed educator, Mr Lewis. I was steaming through the books at the time, taking on some weighty tomes. One of these fierce works of art was The Firm, by John Grisham, a book sodden with swears and dirty-talk. Mr Lewis summoned me over, and I prayed for a couple of pages of lawyer intrigue, with no rude words. I scanned ahead. Midway down the first page the word ‘Bitch’ danced around, sending a sick feeling into my eleven year old stomach. I couldn’t read it out. This was a church school! A school of Jesus etc.! I got on with the task in hand. I’ll deal with the curse when I get there. I got to the curse. I looked at Mr Lewis. ‘I’d rather not read the rude words. I’m a Christian...’ He nodded, he looked a bit odd and then Mr Lewis applauded my maturity. I had triumphed over bad talk. Mr Lewis even gave a little talk to the class later on, saying that we didn’t need to repeat swear words if they were against our religion or whatever. It was a lie though. Back home, much to my mother’s displeasure (she hates swearing, especially ‘bitch’), I danced my way around the house singing all the swear words I could, especially ‘fuck’ and ‘bitch’ and ‘willy’. I loved them then and still do, and am not a Christian, which is why I called my band BITCHES, a hark back to the Grisham days – and also the result of an attempt to pick a band name that isn’t a cool, one-word name packed with posi vibes, but one that was gross and rude and would annoy my mum. One of the problems that comes with the swear word bandname is that the ‘bitch’ word often gets a lot of attention when interviewers ask us questions. They don’t look impressed when I grunt and say ‘I picked it because it was rude and cool,’ rather than give them some kind of irono-feminist-no penis-the girl in the band came up with it excuse, and so trying to come up with a bunch of songs about the word ‘bitch’ has taught me a lot about the different ways people use this swear. Here are these songs, along with seductive explanations for each, that are crammed with painstakingly researched info and light humour.
Don’t freak out! The Baha Men are smart guys. This song is about how MEN are dogs, slobbering all over the beautiful girls of Jamaica. They flipped the ‘bitch’ insult on its head for the pre-school market.
The Baha Men were forced into action because of records like this. A gang of loveless rap lads convened to fill the air with nothing but bad vibes towards girls. I think all the guys are married now, so they’re probably not allowed to casual rap this round the house/in the shower.
When Paul Daniels falls out with Debbie, he finds a record to blast out. He clutches The Chronic, but he knows he can’t get away with it, not in this house, so he plops this on the turntable. TAKE THAT MCGEE, you old bitch.
This is the band I was talking about earlier, the band that I’m in. We have a swear word name. The song itself is about fertiliser and the act of going out to ‘pull birds.’ Some men that ‘pull birds’ call women ‘bitches’, because they hear it in rap songs and read Jackie Collins books. Horrible.
Of course, a bitch is also a lady dog, so I thought really hard about my favourite dog song. It’s not really about, you know, woof woof dogs living it up and how they face the day, but still my favourite song that sings about dogs, even in a ‘suburbs are horrible’ way, that isn’t the littlest hobo theme.