Trust Amanda Palmer to tackle the most sensitive issues with sincerity and humor. Her astounding new song, “Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now,” is a collaboration with Welsh songwriter Jasmine Power. Amanda approached writing about the #Metoo Movement with reverent care, including asking for Rose McGowan’s blessing. You can hear the new song and read Amanda’s words about it below. And my own poetic work on sexual assault and domestic violence, “House of Horrors,” is now up at Queen Mob’s Teahouse.
Amanda Palmer’s own words about the song:
“The song began as a ‘let’s write something, anything together’ jam session between me and Jasmine Power, a 24-year-old Welsh songwriter who happened to be over to dinner party at my house, she’d been randomly invited over by a mutual Welsh playwright pal of ours, Hywel John. We’d never heard each other’s music, and after bonding over a late night music-sharing-wine-party, we found ourselves in a studio three days later, excited to create something from scratch.
The news cycle of truth-telling women was just hitting fever pitch, and I found myself thinking about closed doors to hotel rooms across the world and over time and how they’ve been the backdrops of so many of these painful encounters. That was the starting point, and we wrote with the idea of a split self: two voices inside one woman’s head. British film-music arranger, Sketch & Dodds, then added strings and orchestration to make the track more cinematic; almost overdoing it at points to kick Hollywood in the face. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever made before, it’s almost a mini piece of theater.
I’ve been fiddling in my own head for months with ideas for songs and tunes to address the #MeToo movement, and it’s such a hard thing to write about it. It’s so personal to these women, these stories, and it felt too wrong to write something funny and cabaret, the topic is too harrowing. It’s not surprising that, just like the movement itself, it took two women getting into a room together, comparing notes and joining forces to create something almost like an anthem for taking back our narrative.
The working title of the song was ‘The Hotel Room’, then I thought it’d be a stronger statement to call it ‘Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now.’ I mentioned the title to my patrons online and one of my feminist writer friends texted me, warning me that the title itself could be controversial. When I asked why, she said, ‘Because you cannot tell a story that isn’t yours, not this one’. I didn’t agree with that one, as I think that spells the end of all art as we know it, but I said, ‘What if I asked Rose McGowan to read the lyrics and tell me her own opinion?’ So I tweeted Rose McGowan the lyrics, and she gave us her blessing to use the title.
Every time I hear this track I get goosebumps.
Every time I play the track for one of my female friends, we have an important moment together.
I don’t know if most people will even understand this song – and I don’t care.
The women we wrote it for will understand.”