O Superman

(Laurie Anderson)

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared


Marc De Bruyn (emdebe@village.uunet.be), September 6, 2003

Laurie Anderson, sculptor, art history teacher, and (the first "popular") performance artist (born in Chicago, 1947) recorded "O Superman (For Massenet)" for the tiny New York label 110 Records in 1981: an eight-plus-minute single built around electronic drones and featuring opaque lyrics half-spoken and half-sung (in a voice sometimes electronically treated), this most unlikely hit became a smash in Britain, where it reached the number two spot on the national pop charts. The track is available on the album "Big Science" (1982), A thoughtful and often hilariously funny collection of songs, taht will annoy those listeners who can't take Yoko Ono for granted; quite possibly the best art rock album of the last decade of the previous century.

"O Superman. O judge. O Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad. Hi. I'm not home right now. But if you want to leave a message, just start talking at the sound of the tone. Hello? This is your Mother. Are you there? Are you coming home? Hello? Is anybody home? Well, you don't know me, but I know you. And I've got a message to give to you. Here come the planes. So you better get ready. Ready to go. You can come as you are, but pay as you go. Pay as you go. And I said: OK. Who is this really? And the voice said: this is the hand, the hand that takes. Here come the planes. They're American planes. Made in America. Smoking or non-smoking? And the voice said: neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. 'Cause when love is gone, there's always justice. And when justive is gone, there's always force. And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi Mom! So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms. In your arms. So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms. In your electronic arms."


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This page updated: 2003-09-13