22 Nov 2013

Jackie's strenght - Tori Amos

22.11.1963: 50 years ago US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated while parading through the ways of Dallas. His wife Jacqueline was next to him in the moment he was shot and stayed close to him in the moments right after. Jacqueline Kennedy has always been acknowledged not only for her style and elegance, but also for her strength, for how she "held the country together after she watched her husband get cut down in front of her", to say it in the words of Tori Amos. The American singer-songwriter dedicated her song Jackie's Strength to the famous First Lady. The choice of Jackie as the theme of the song, which also refers to the assassination ("shots rung out, the police came"), is about Tori's personal doubts around the idea of marriage. She says: "I saw Jackie as a bride - and I used to think I would never be a bride." Tori portrays a cynical and pessimistic view on marriage, implicitly referring to how JFK has been unfaithful to Jackie and how she still maintained her dignity and grace, but also singing about how she was keeping herself for a boyfriend who promised to marry her and who was sleeping with the bridesmaids in the meanwhile. There are also references to anorexia
("you're only popular with anorexia"), to virginity ("virgins always get backstage, no matter what they've got to say") and to dark times in life in general. Tori hopes she will be as strong as Jackie in enduring the burdens of life and I think this lesson is a great takeaway from this moment of recollection.

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