Music

St. Vincent’s Expletive-Laden Break Down Of Writing ‘New York’ Is Almost As Good As The Song Itself

Who doesn’t love a good swear word? Maybe some of the more pious among us prefer to abstain from slipping in a bit of profanity into casual conversation, but there are times when a well-timed f*ck or sh*t is everything you need to add that extra bit of oomph to whatever point you’re trying to make. Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, understands this all to well and was more than happy to drop a few megaton curse words into her recent breakdown of the single “New York” while a guest on the Song Exploder podcast.

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When asked specifically about the lyric in the song, “You’re the only motherf*cker in the city who can handle me,” she explained that, “I get a lot of pleasure from saying ‘f*ck.”

“I just like the idea of using really blue language as a term of endearment. ‘This motherf*cker, that motherf*cker, no way! Motherf*cker better get his sh*t together.’ My mom would be horrified, but I’ve been cursing like a sailor since I was 8. ‘Motherf*cker’ says, like, I know you inside and out. And you know me. Don’t pretend.”

You may not have noticed it, but within “New York” is a subtle allusion to David Bowie, who died early last year. In the song, Clark refers to the iconic British musician while singing, “I have lost a hero /I have lost a friend.” In the interview, she touched on what Bowie meant to her. “It’s very silly to make something like David Bowie’s death about me. It has nothing to do with me, but I will say that I was really affected. And I cried. I cried for somebody I didn’t even know. And I don’t know that I’ve done that before.”

You can hear her explanation of “New York” above and the actual song itself below.

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