As we all grow older there is probably a significant percentage of the population who hasn’t a clue who Annie Lennox is. But when I was an undergrad student, she was the coolest thing since ice cubes.
With Dave Stewart, her two-person band the Eurythmics helped to redefine what pop music meant and what it could do.
After the Eurythmics she released at least two commercially successful solo albums, Diva (1992) and Medusa (1995). Diva contains original songs and Medusa is a covers album. Both good, Diva is the one that really shines for me.
I found myself in a lonely place with a suitcase full of dreams
And I soon grew up to realise what living in the doghouse means
But everyday I told myself good things would happen soon
‘Cause I knew that I was going to be a legend in my living room
~ Legend In My Living Room
In a slightly more general way, “Money Can’t Buy It” depicts a hero or heroine’s quest, a gradual transformation from poverty to wealth and a journey from mundane to spiritual awareness:
Kick down the door and throw away the key
Give up your needs…
Your poisoned seeds
Find yourself elected to a different kind of creed
And in “Why”:
I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you’re thinking
Is Lennox talking about putting things together with conventional sensory data or does she believe it is possible to read other people’s thoughts without the aid of sensory cues?
We can’t know.
When I first heard this song, I assumed she was talking about psi. Today, I’m not so sure.
If she is talking about psi, it is pretty clear she is not one of those alleged evil psychics that conspiracy theorists say are hell-bent to uproot the democratic way.
No. In the Eurythmics song “There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart),” we hear of someone on a sincere spiritual path and not ‘of the devil’ as some knee-jerk, anti-mystical religious fundamentalists would likely say.
No-one on earth could feel like this
I’m thrown and overblown with bliss
There must be an angel
Playing with my heart
Also, Lennox’s direct style tempts us to think she sings about herself but we can’t really know without talking to her. Artistic representation isn’t always about the artist. Nor does it necessarily advocate the message it represents.¹
¹ This is a lesson Bruce Cockburn learned all too well with his song, “If I Had A Rocket Launcher.”