An original interpretation of "'97 Bonnie and Clyde"

An original interpretation of « ’97 Bonnie And Clyde »

In 2001, a female artist, Tori Amos decides to work on Eminem’s well known track « ‘97 Bonnie And Clyde ». Kim has been inspirational to her. Not Kim Mathers, but the victim of the fictional murder by Slim Shady…
I have listened to her track. Tori Amos hasn’t changed any word from Eminem’s lyrics. She has sung the song with a female voice, leaving a scary atmosphere behind her. Interpreted this way, the song becomes very emotional from the victim’s side:

“When you talk about killing your wife, you don’t get to control whom she becomes friends with after she’s dead.” — Tori Amos

It is fascinating how Tori Amos makes a fictional story look real. Maybe because she obviously ignores the reality of the context of the song:

– a father (Eminem) was obviously being manipulated by his baby’s mom (Kim) who wouldn’t let him see his daughter, as Mike Mazur, Eminem’s former boss confirms it:

« He would come in to work and worry and say, ‘The bitch took my daughter and won’t let me see her. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know what I’m going to do. »

Before despising Eminem, whose song is nothing else but artistic expression, the public should be aware of Kim’s manipulative side towards Marshall:

« Whenever we fight she takes Hailie away and uses her as a weapon against me. » (Eminem)

To record « ‘97 Bonnie And Clyde », Marshall had to lie to Kim:

” I lied to Kim and told her I was taking her to Chuck E. Cheese that day. But I took her to the studio. When she found out I used our daughter to write a song about killer her, she fucking blew. We had just got back together for a couple of weeks. Then I played her the song, and she bugged the fuck out.”P

People shouldn’t ignore Marshall’s reconciliation attempt. The existence of « ‘97 Bonnie And Clyde » expresses Eminem’s pain about Kim’s behavior. The main reason why this song was created was his reconciliation attempt. It worked: in a couple of weeks Marshall and Kim were back together.

Tori Amos’ work is a beautiful peace of work. I am not convinced she understood Eminem’s motivations, when you look at the way she describes the original song:

« I’ve always found it fascinating how men say things and how women hear them. Words can wound and words can heal, and both are included on the album. When she first heard “97′ Bonnie & Clyde, the scariest thing was … the realization that people are getting into the music and grooving along to a song about a man who is butchering his wife.” (Tori Amos)

Tori Amos also missed that important point: usually people who are getting into Eminem’s music have a sense of humor. They are perfectly conscious of the fictional character of a song like « ‘97 Bonnie And Clyde ». Knowing the context of the song, you could barely take Slim Shady seriously when he « murders » Kim, who -by the way- is still alive since her double fictional « murder ».

2 thoughts on “An original interpretation of "'97 Bonnie and Clyde"”

  1. To be honest I don’t think Tori Amos lost Eminiem meaning I think you misunderstood her.

    ” When she first heard “97′ Bonnie & Clyde, the scariest thing was … the realization that people are getting into the music and grooving along to a song about a man who is butchering his wife.”

    This isn’t a critisizm to Eminem, not the least bit but you have to understand it is absurd to just blindly dance to this song and not listent to it’s lyrics. It’s bone-chilling lyrics. Now this doens’t make Eminem a bad person. Not the least bit.

    The lyrics are an amazing work of art, highly expressive. This is what Tori Amos thought, she couldnt’ figure out how people didn’t pay attention to the song. Nor was she saying or even thinking Eminem is prone to murdering Kim, not at all. She is full aware that it’s artistic expression and Tori is never the artist to think that artistic expression shoudl be limited. If she did why would she even bothering covering 97 Bonnie and Clyde?

    Personally I do like Tori Amos version better because she took the lyrics and made it high-end art with the music. She made it into a story where there are no bad-guys. You understand the fathers frustration and hurt with his ex-wife and you understood his undying love and care for his daughter. You also can sence the daughters fear and confusion (who wouldn’t be scared in this situation, honestly?). The music in the Eminem version is way to cheesy and even insulting to the lyrics (amazing lyrics!). The two just don’t fit but this is just my opinon.

    I know Eminem has a sence of humour but this song would of flourished more if he took it seriously (such as in Stan or Cleaning Out My Closet) those two are amazing songs but I do understand how his has fans prefer the non-serious stuff because they dont’ really listen to how much talent he has as a lyrisist.

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