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Country music act Eight Belles just released an album (with an eponymous song) called Girls Underground. Not really my style of music, but interesting nonetheless. I wonder what her inspiration was – I certainly doubt she’s ever heard of my blog or concept, but the exact phrasing is quite a coincidence.

Website | Bandcamp page (where you can listen to the tracks)

I just found an entire song called “The Girl Underground” by Cloud Cult. Here are the lyrics. You can listen to it here and buy it here.

Freddy fell in love with a girl underground
He was only 8 years old when he first started digging down
Singing “I love you more than you know”

Mother said “Fred, people underground are dead
You’ve never even seen her, something’s wrong with your head
And I love you more than you know”

Freddy disappeared when he was 80 years old
Still digging for his lover in a bottomless hole
Singing “I love you more than you know”

Some say he’s still digging, others say his love is found
You can still hear him singing, put your ear to the ground
Listen: “I love you more than you know”

“She lives in a fairy tale
Somewhere too far for us to find
Forgotten the taste and smell
Of the world that she’s left behind”

Check out the video for “Brick by Boring Brick” by the band Paramore. Not only are the lyrics very applicable to the Girl Underground, but the video itself is totally part of the archetype, right down to the very end when the girl indeed goes under the ground.

Thanks to reader Sofia for pointing me to this one!

Over the weekend I became quite obsessed with a new music video made by Don Kenn for the Danish singer Fallulah. I’ve profiled Kenn’s monster drawings on my other blog, but he takes them to a new level here, bringing them to life  in three dimensions. While the song doesn’t do much for me personally, the imagery is absolutely Girls Underground – a girl runs through the forest alone, finds a strange cottage there, enters and finds it set for a party, and spends the night dancing and drinking with several bizarre creatures who come calling, before a conflict sends her running again.

It’s not the full GU story, of course, but a snapshot that captures the darkness and delirium of a life underground with monsters. [“Out of It” by Fallulah on Vimeo – embedded below.]

One night, we decided to experiment, playing different dark Girls Underground songs over the video instead of the original music, and each time found that it changed the tone of the film dramatically, with fascinating results. These songs may not, again, seem obviously GU related, but they capture the feeling of the archetype to me. So a few suggestions (with YouTube links if you want to listen):

And while I’m thinking of it, there is another music video that fits the Girls Underground archetype – in imagery and music – quite reminiscent of Labyrinth in certain ways, in fact. It is “Devil of Mine” by The Moulettes, a fairly recent addition to my list of favorite bands:
ETA: I’ve been re-listening to the Fallulah song, and I may have dismissed it too quickly, due to its bouncy tempo. The lyrics are actually quite on-topic: “I’ll never know what I’m capable of / If I don’t go where I’m scared to be lost”


Songstress S.J. Tucker has just released her new album Mischief which features a couple of songs of interest, including one with Alice references – “Cheshire Kitten (We’re all mad here)” – and one which accompanies that wonderful GU story I profiled a little while back, Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. The latter is called “September’s Rhyme” and is a brief but utterly charming song which to my mind is enchanting regardless of if you know the references.

Even if you don’t know Tucker’s work already, you may remember her from a previous post I made on music related to Girls Underground, as she wrote a fabulous Persephone/Inanna song, “The Crystal Cave.”

You can listen to the full new album on her website, and if you like it, please pay to download it, as we should all support artists like this!

As my second post to this blog can attest, Alice in Wonderland has been a huge influence on the Girls Underground concept. For that and many other personal reasons, I am a huge Alice fan – I collect related knick-knacks and books and movies, and even celebrate an Alice-themed holiday each May. So it should come as no surprise that I am eagerly anticipating the newest Alice movie by Tim Burton (who I also love dearly), and am even planning to go to the midnight showing next Thursday night when it opens (which will make for a very tired Kate the next day at work, but it’ll be worth it). In celebration of this impending addition to the vast catalogue of Alice movies, I will be making a series of Alice-themed posts here over the next 7 days (7, of course, is the age Alice was in the book). There is so much good, and weird, Alice stuff out there, it will be hard to choose what to feature…

Today, to build on my previous post about songs related to Girls Underground, let’s start with music.

Most everyone knows about “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, which incites you to “feed your head” (even though the dormouse never said that) and includes a ton of Alice references. (The link goes to a neat video someone made for the song on YouTube. And how about another one, remixed as a techno version. Or another.) A classic of the 60’s acid-trip culture. [On a related tangent, my mother always tells me stories of the time period when she lived in New York City in the late 60’s and there was some performance art troupe that did an Alice show with a lot of trippy features, and she followed them around the city to various shows. She even has some book about it, which I should try to scan in and post someday.]

While many people are familiar with the Disney movie (in fact, an alarming amount of Americans seem to think of Alice in Wonderland solely in terms of this movie, and don’t even know it was originally a book!), few know of the wonderful song written for the Cheshire Cat, “I’m Odd,” which ended up getting cut.

There are also several songs that are only peripherally, if at all, related to Alice, but which have music videos with an Alice theme. These include “Sunshine” by Aerosmith, “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani, “You Know Me” by Robbie Williams, and of course “Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty. Possibly my favorite these days is “Labyrinth” by the German band Oomph, which really captures the creepy, dark side of Alice. “Alice in Wonder Underground” by Buck Tick may or may not fit here, unfortunately I don’t speak Japanese so I’m not sure.

Now on to some of my personal favorites, songs with strong Alice imagery in the lyrics.

“Alice” by Sisters of Mercy – “Alice pressed against the wall / So she can see the door / In case the laughing strangers crawl and / Crush the petals on the floor”

“Through the Looking Glass” by Symphony X
– a bizarre metal epic in three parts

“Looking Glass” by Hypnogaja – “So go ask Alice / Why the hatter is mad / She’ll turn when you see her / And laugh and laugh”

“Off With Your Head” by Mz Ann Thropik – “And the Cheshire cat with his evil grin / And the Mad Hatter with his cups of tea / No size matters to the caterpillar”

And my absolute obsession for the past couple weeks: “The Streets Fell Into My Window” by The Red Paintings – it begins and ends with a voiceover from the story itself (slightly modified) in a deliciously evil sort of way, and the middle of the song isn’t directly Alice related but is just so haunting I can’t get it out of my mind

As you can see by the Wikipedia article, there are many, many more of these, and I’m sure that will only continue now that the Burton movie will draw in a new generation of Alice fanatics.

A little departure from my normal format here, but I thought it would be interesting to mention a few songs that remind me of the Girls Underground storyline (not including obvious ones from related movies, such as “Underground” by David Bowie from the Labyrinth soundtrack, or the eponymous “Phantom of the Opera” song).

“Crystal Cave” by S.J. Tucker (you can listen, download, and read the full lyrics here)

Girl you must prove bold and brave
Go wandering inside the Crystal Cave
You will know it as your own mind before the sun dies away.
You’ll see your heart’s dreams come into play.
Shining, shimmering, all these days!

Follow Inanna’s footsteps down
We’ll find what you need in the Underground.
Follow the daughter’s footsteps down
We’ll find you a king in the Underground.
Follow the Lady’s footsteps down
Believe what you see in the Underground.
Follow Inanna’s footsteps down.
You’ll find what you need in the Underground.

“In Other Worlds” (sometimes titled “The Cold Black Key”) by Azam Ali

Available as the former title on the album Elysium for the Brave or as the latter title on the compilation Where’s Neil When You Need Him (songs inspired by Neil Gaiman work)

The key to this place
Is a cold you know
The real dispelled
Into the world you know
Doubt, tasted, you fall in
Down you sink
Into her deep devour

She’s still the key holder
And through this portal
She courts you now

“Moth” by Faun Fables

I’ve always heard this as a song between Persephone and Haides, though I doubt that was the original intent. You can buy the album, Mother Twilight here, or listen to a clip of the song on their website. Since the lyrics aren’t available online, I’m going to transcribe the whole song here:

I saw you once
and dreamed you might
become my love and I was right
It wasn’t easy, we cut our ties
Our hearts broke
as we took the prize
I’m drawn to you,
your lights all bright

(the seize of love, my wings wet
this golden cage, this silken net
but my feet are cold,
they do not rest
I stumble around
to find your nest)

I’m drawn to you
your lights all bright
even to death, the moth will fly

(remember when you were alone
your power formed a safety zone)

A shield is gone, we live inside
my edge is ground,
my melting pride
But what is life
when we don’t live
we mustn’t fear our molting skin

I’m drawn to you
and hope to learn
just why to you I must return

“Stay” by Shakespear’s Sister

For me, this song is inseparable from the gorgeous music video, which highlights the conflict between Girl (the one sitting vigil by her dying lover) and Adversary (the witchy woman come to take him).

You’d better hope and pray
That you make it safe
Back to your own world
You’d better hope and pray
That you’ll wake one day
In your own world
Coz when you sleep at night
They don’t hear your cries
In your own world
Only time will tell
If you can break the spell
Back in your own world

http://www.youtube.com/v/5pC3VJA_CB8&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&border=1

“Persephone” by Kula Shaker (listen here)

She saw the dawn with the light in her hair
Twisted and torn she was taken from there
now she’s gone gone gone
Oh my dear Persephone
Your heart sings a melody
We hope your safe and sound…underground

“The traffic flow from folklore to fiction and film has always been heavy.” - Maria Tatar, Secrets Beyond the Door

An exploration of story…

In which I describe examples of the Girls Underground archetype that I have discovered in literature and film. For more information regarding the concept, including its earlier incarnations in fairytales and mythology, visit the pages linked above. Here is a list of all the examples I have covered thus far.

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If you enjoy the Girls Underground concept, please help me keep reading and blogging by donating any amount!

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Alice Days

Celebrate one of the primary inspirations for Girls Underground - Alice in Wonderland - with a holiday down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass! Check out the Alice Days page for party ideas, movie recommendations, and more.

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