My day started with the following email. I’m not including the man’s name.
My name is (removed) and I am one of the judges for the contest. I have been a song writer and a performing musician for about 40 years. I was disappointed and disturbed by your video. I am the last person to what to censor someone. I think you should be able to express yourself freely, but with that comes consequences. I don’t know if rape and child molestation are your thing or you just think it’s funny? Either way your a sick fuck and need help. With that being said You out of the contest. Please seek the help you need.
By the way your song sucks..."
Except for the removal of his name, that’s verbatim. I copied and pasted the text. His email is a reaction to this video, which I recorded specifically for a songwriting contest I won’t name:
Just so there is no confusion about what I’m singing/saying, here are the song’s lyrics:
Pretty little girl with a short skirt on
She was mine, now she's gone
Now she's gone
She loved to dance, loved to sing
I was her God, I was her king
She called me her king
tied her down
Had my way
Pleasure and pain
She took it all
With the sweetest smile
She loved me
For a little while
I took her home, gave her a life
Then one night she went for a knife
She went for a knife
I had no choice, we had to part
Put her out, it broke my heart
It broke my heart
I didn’t know
How hurt she was
Has its flaws
We were happy
We were wild
We had love
For a little while
Pretty little girl with a short skirt on
She was mine, now she’s gone
Now she’s gone
The song is NOT about rape, nor child molestation. As I say in the video, it is based on a true story. I will add it involved a consenting adult. I wasn’t planning on explaining the song’s meaning - it’s art, and open to interpretation - but because someone (multiple people; I’ll get to that) was so far off base, I feel the need to spell things out.
The song is about a brief, passionate relationship. We had kinky sex; I won’t elaborate, except to again say everything involved a consenting adult partner. The bit about her going for a knife? She was out of her mind after combining anti depressants and alcohol and tried to run out of the house naked. I stopped her, and she reached for a knife. That was the end of our relationship because I felt I could no longer trust her. I put her out, meaning I made her leave, and it did indeed break my heart.
Now then. Do I see how someone could interpret those words and come up with raping a child? Sort of, but I think it’s a serious reach. The phrase “little girl” is not meant to imply she was a child; men often refer to their adult companions as little girls. Hell, girlfriend is standard reference, regardless of age, and she happened to be short - so in the literal sense, she was a little girl. Not a child.
I use the words love, kinky lust, pleasure and pain, and talked about how she took it all with the sweetest smile. That doesn’t say “rape” to me. I talk about not knowing how hurt she was; that’s a reference to her being raped BEFORE we met, while she was a child. It affected her; it’s why she dulled her paid with medication and alcohol, and why I say “every diamond has its flaws.” She had issues; at the time, I didn’t fully understand how deeply they affected her.
The judge and I exchanged a couple more emails. I did not explain the song as I have here, other than to say there was no child and no rape. He apologized for insulting me, but also said that he had multiple people watch the video and they all had the same interpretation. That surprises me, but I don’t see why he’d lie.
I love this song. I’ve called it the best thing I’ve ever written. It’s deeply personal, I like my vocals, it’s brief, but poignant. At least, that’s what I thought. I’m not exactly impartial. And while I can handle being rejected for just about any reason - let’s face it, I’ve had far more rejection than success; maybe that’s most of us - being labeled a child rapist is a difficult pill to swallow, and it’s been bothering me all day. I suppose I could write a song about it, but that feels like going too far down the rabbit hole.
No, I suspect discussing it here will suffice. I hope.
I’ll add one more thing. My wife called me when she got home because there was a kitten in our driveway and wanted to know what to do. We both knew having another cat was NOT an option. We currently have 5 dogs and 5 cats. It’s too many; we know it. We’re not adding. We decided she’d take the kitten to the local humane society, though they were closed. If no one was there, she’d take it to our vet because she said it was obviously sick, though friendly. I was willing to pay for its care and either have them find it a home, or take it to the humane society later. Thankfully, someone was there, and they took the kitty. Rachel gave them $40 to sponsor the kitten and named her Lilac.
This was a rough topper for my day. I have a very soft spot for animals, and not taking this one in hurt. I know we did the right thing, but this was the straw the broke the camel’s back, so to speak, after a horrible start and a long day at work.
I cried. Sitting in my fucking cubicle. I cried about a kitten who somehow found its way to my home, ran up to my wife for help, and I had her take it elsewhere. What if that kitten was there for a reason? Well, what if the reason was so that we’d see it gets proper care instead of wandering out onto the busy country road we live on? I cried as a stress reliever for a particularly shitty day with a horrible fucking start.
Am I embarrassed to admit it? A little. I’m an emotional man, but I don’t often cry in public. I wasn’t wailing like a scared child; I was quiet. But my wife could tell when she got me on the phone to let me know what happened with Lilac; of course she could.
That’s it for now. Be good.