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Joyful Motherfuckers - Allison Russell





The third track from Allison Russell's wonderful debut solo album "Outside Child", "Joyful Motherfuckers" has Russell's ex-husband and father of her child Jeremy Lindsay aka JT Nero sharing the vocals.


The song is an exhortation and celebration of the power of love, and in it, amazingly, she pauses to forgive her stepfather for his abuse of her (see last post), urging him to let love conquer his hatred for people, including "non-whites". Russell's frequent use of her native French reminds us of the universality of her message, movingly counterpointing the stunning English quatrain at the song's personal centre:


"Blessings be upon the thief of my childhood,

the ragged jackal, that loveless coward.

Oh my father, you were the thief of nothing -

I'll be a child in the garden, ten-thousand years and counting".


It's the final song of "Outside Child", itself a self-confessed therapeutic antidote for Russell's damaged early years. It's as though, as we're walking away from her life Russell stops us with a shout:


Hey you, hey you, who you think I'm talking to?

Show 'em what you got in your heart......


.....If you've got love in your heart, but it's way down in the dark,

you better let it see the sun, this world is almost done.

Grandma always told me love will conquer hate

I don't know if it's too late, I don't know if it's too late

Hey you, hey you, who you think I'm talking to?

Show 'em what you got in your heart."




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