PJ Harvey’s West Side Story Redux

Walked today in the heat, under the rumbling thunder, and listened to music, hoping I could beat the rain. PJ Harvey sang into my ears and I thought about some of the melodies that may have sparked her own, especially the one in the video below.

My favorite PJ Harvey album, which I dove into a bit in in this post from 2009, is her Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000). Every song works, shows grit, unique style, originality. This one reminds me, just a little bit, of one of the songs from West Side Story, stripped down and turned on its head, with a well-earned edge to boot. The video of the song makes it even clearer that she’s got this, and she knows she’s in control.


Women as equal partner, at least. Days of damsels in distress, long, long gone. Days of repressed, silenced genders, ancient, fading fast, embarrassed. Yeah, we haven’t gotten to the place where true equality is so much the norm, it’s not even worth noting anymore. But we’re getting closer every day. Music helps, a ton.

“A Place Called Home” makes me think of Chrissie Hynde’s “I’ll Stand by you,” and we’re closer still.


Solidarity is genderless.


PJ Harvey’s West Side Story Redux
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