The story of a fable

Well, this story - fable - parable - whatever the fuck - only confirmed our own, worst suspicions, that - like Elizabeth Wurtzel's - Liz Phair's self-pity party had turned slightly sureal. The mystery of the storm, indeed.

And yet, if you're at or around my age, or Meghan O'Rourke's - MO's edited me at Slate, and we worked together at a print magazine before that, and I think we're about the same age, anyway - there was a time when Liz Phair's music meant a lot to you. If not, you'll get a sense of why it might have, from the songs above and below - early and later versions of the same songs, from Phair's home-made "Girlysound" tapes, and EIG, respectively. The differences are subtle, but telling.

"Flower" : I never liked this song much; it tried too hard. Paid too much attention to the taboos it was supposedly breaking, and to whether or not we, too, were paying attention to it. "I'll fuck you and your minions, too" was just a terrible line; like something out of a porno aimed at warlocks and hobbits. The original line: "I'll fuck you and your girlfriend, too" was way better, and hotter to boot.

"Just Run" : I always liked this song, and was curious to find that, originally, it shifted perspectives, allowed the guys in, and showed you how far apart two people can be, even and especially at their closest. The final version is more polished, maybe, but maybe a little less human.

"Divorce Song" : Liked this song, too. "Also" became "had too" later on. Had too is better, of course...