Jennifer's Body (song)
|Song by Hole from the album Live Through This|
|Released||April 12, 1994|
|Recorded||October 1993 at Triclops Studios in Atlanta, Georgia|
|Genre||Alternative rock, punk rock|
Paul Q. Kolderie|
|Live Through This track listing|
"Jennifer's Body" is a song written and performed by American alternative rock band Hole, from their 1994 album Live Through This. The song was the inspiration for the title of the 2009 film of the same name.
Origin and recording
According to drummer Patty Schemel, she and Courtney Love came up with the idea for the song in 1992 while in San Francisco; at the time, Love's husband Kurt Cobain was working with Melvins on their album Lysol (1992). The song was recorded at Triclops Studios in October 1993 during the recording sessions for Live Through This. Schemel recalled that the song was recorded in two takes.
Composition and lyrics
The meaning of the song has been interpreted and deciphered many different ways; however, the general theme of the lyrics deal with a woman's kidnapping and dismemberment. According to Everett True, the song was thought to be inspired by Jennie Boddy, a music publicist. Its lyrics appear to tell the narrative of a woman in captivity, being held "in a box by the bed," before eventually being murdered and dismembered.
The line in the song, "He keeps you in a box by the bed, alive, but just barely" bears similarity to the 1977 kidnapping of Colleen Stan, a woman who was taken captive and kept as a sex slave for seven years by Cameron and Janice Hooker. During her seven-year captivity, Stan was frequently imprisoned in a wooden box underneath Hooker's bed. Though the case bears a similarity, Love and the band have never commented on it being an inspiration.
The song has been interpreted by feminist scholars as about literal violence against a woman's body, as well as using "corporeal fragmentation," representing a woman's body being enjoyed "piecemeal in objectified parts." The song's ending with the repeated lines "Just relax, just relax, just go to sleep," have been interpreted by feminist scholars as assuming the role of a male aggressor speaking to his female victim who is either being lulled to sleep, or experiencing death.
When Diablo Cody wrote the script for her 2009 film of the same name, she said she had been drawn to it because of how dark it was, and chose to name the film after it because "[It was] a creepy song. It's sort of like a horror movie."
- Hopper, Jessica (April 14, 2014). "You Will Ache Like I Ache: The Oral History of Hole's 'Live Through This'". Spin. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- Raha 2004, p. 179.
- True 2006, p. 183.
- Burns & Lafrance 2002, p. 116.
- "Man who tortured 'girl in the box' denied parole". USA Today. April 17, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- Burns & Lafrance 2002, pp. 114-15.
- Burns & Lafrance 2002, p. 114.
- Guillen, Michael (June 22, 2010). "Midnites for Maniacs: Diablo Cody on Jennifer's Body (2009)". Twitch Film. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
- Burns, Lori and Melissa Lafrance (2002). Disruptive Divas: Feminism, Identity and Popular Music. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-81533-554-2.
- Raha, Maria (2004). Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground. Live Girls. Seal Press. ISBN 978-1-58005-116-3.
- True, Everett (2006). Nirvana: The Biography. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-30681-554-6.