Thursday Inspiration #208 Bitch

Respond to this challenge, by either using the prompt word today, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Bitch’, or by going with another song by Meredith Brooks, or anything else that you think fits.  38-year-old American singer-songwriter Meredith Brooks released ‘Bitch’ on her second studio album Blurring the Edges in 1997.  The single charted #6 in the UK and it went all the way to #2 in the US and it earned a Best Rock Song Grammy nomination.  The song explores the complexities of being a woman, and how one label cannot define her.  Brooks says the song is about “re-education and realignment,” adding, “until women integrate their shadow selves, they can’t become whole.”  It has a great opening line, “I hate the world today” and the chorus is classic, “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I’m a sinner, I’m a saint, I do not feel ashamed.”  “Bitch” is one of those borderline offensive words, although the Rolling Stones had a hit with this title on their 1971 Sticky Fingers album and Elton John wrote ‘The Bitch Is Back’, but nobody had ever referred to themselves as being a bitch before.  This title created problems for some radio stations, however it made it past many skittish radio programmers that were able to deal with risqué language.  Brooks wrote this with singer-songwriter Shelly Peiken, whose career has spanned decades, and has been a prolific, behind-the-scenes force in the music business and later co-wrote Christina Aguilera’s #1 hits ‘What A Girl Wants’ and ‘Come On Over Baby’, but she had yet to write a hit.

Meredith Brooks was a member of the Oregon music scene since the mid-1970s at the age of 15 being a member of an all-female band called Sapphire.  When that band dissolved, she moved to Los Angeles, but she saw limited success.  In 1995, Brooks landed a solo contract with Capitol Records, and she had a development deal on Interscope Records which is under the umbrella of Capitol Music Group, but they kept dismissing her songs.  Shelly Peiken’s career was doing okay until the music industry switched over to digital delivery and physical albums stopped selling, so songwriters could not sustain a livelihood anymore because digital royalties didn’t pay.  This song was born because Shelly was in a funk and she was frustrated, because she had 10 years of album cuts and never had a single.  Shelly was thinking about her boyfriend who she was living with and she felt bad for him knowing that, “He loves me even when I can be such a bitch.”  Meredith and Shelly were introduced to me by Meredith’s manager and Shelly went to see her play at a club in Hollywood.  Shelly started writing the line, “I hate the world today” after having a miserable day and she thought this could work for Meredith, as she needed a song for Interscope.  Brooks was only the third woman to grace the cover of “Guitar Player” magazine, leading the charge for women who would follow in her footsteps for decades after.

I hate the world today
You’re so good to me
I know but I can’t change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I’m an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet

25 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration #208 Bitch

    1. The crying at the end is so ridiculously funny. Somehow, I’m reminded of the last episode I’ve seen for Ted Lasso… which had me crying, for a better reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This comment was about the “Bitch School” [not Bitch] video. As for the (distant) similarity to my reaction for a show — but my identifying with a woman rather than any guy — the show has a narcissistic man as the ex of a main character.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I thought you would do the Stones Bitch when I saw the post…but you picked a good one. For some reason I automatically think of the Stones song.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm… 1997, heh? Meredith Brooks; will try to remember her name. I really see — I mean hear — the comparison to Alanis Morissette.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The internet is awash with the song being attributed to Alanis, sometimes to her as writer as well as singer and sometimes to her as singer but Meredith as writer.

        I searched around to see if Morissette ever covered it, and there sure are videos out there calling Brooks’ voice Morissette 🙄 while it’s actually not Morissette…

        …ever as far I can tell. I can’t find a similar song by Morissette, either. It’s only the similarity of the voice. I was a very busy person in 1997; sorting this out now.

        Covers and parodies

        … In 2000, Australian comedian Chris Franklin released a parody of the song titled “Bloke” with the lyrics changed to reflect the stereotypical Australian male lifestyle. The song peaked at number one on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart.[82]

        American comedy music group Raymond and Scum parodied the song as “Blair Witch”, a parody about the film The Blair Witch Project (1999).[83]

        Kim Gordon of the band Sonic Youth has stated that their song “Female Mechanic Now on Duty” was inspired by “Bitch”. “It’s worth mentioning,” says Kim, “that the song, ‘Female Mechanic on Duty’ was inspired by ‘Bitch’ by that famous Lilith-type female singer, Meredith Brooks. It’s an answer song.”[84]

        In 2016, Britney Spears gave a spoken word performance of the song during her Britney: Piece of Me concert residency.[85]

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