Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oh, my beloved revolutionary sweetheart.

Just like me, today's song is full of longing for simpler times, when newspapers were filled with grainy security cam footage of Patty Hearst holding up a bank in San Francisco. Why are the rich girls of today not nearly so interesting? Since most of them seem to have their own reality show, maybe they're just spreading their crazy too thinly upon the masses. Why not save it up for a really special occasion? 

Camper Van Beethoven's "Tania" refers to Patty Hearst by her Symbionese Liberation Army name, which she took in honor of one of Che Guevara's comrades. Her name change was an important development in her abduction--it came two months after she was kidnapped by the SLA, and was announced in conjuction with the news that she had willfully joined the terrorist group. In the two months prior, members of the SLA had kept Patty in a closet, threatened her with death, and eventually given her SLA pamphlets to read. When her captors began talking of either killing her or letting her stay on as a member, it's easy to see why a name change and a new life as an urban guerilla sounded like a pretty good option.

"Tania" comes from Camper Van Beethoven's 1988 major label debut, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. The lyrics are from the point of view of someone looking back on their Patty Hearst crush, and yearning to once again be liberated from their routine existence by news of a rich girl-turned-revolutionary. I hear ya, buddy, and I'm right there with ya.

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