Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Bountiful Feast: Boiled Potato

Blake Babies: Boiled Potato


The Blake Babies were college music darlings in the early 90s. Their jangly rock style paired with the the girly and sweet vocals of Juliana Hatfield made them stand out from the grunge scene. As many will know, Juliana Hatfield went solo after a few albums with the Blake Babies and became another college music darling in her own right over the years.

This song is sung like a love song to a potato. If you replace all mentions of potato with a name it becomes a lot less odd, so it does seem like it could most certainly be a love song had they not chosen to use the words "boiled potato" instead of someone's name. But the content goes much deeper than that. Though the song is cute and jangly, you get this whole new view of it when you hear a re-worked version of it off a b-side single from Juliana's first solo record a few years later. The song, then called "Feed Me", shares the same tune and many of the same lyrics, except now instead of "boiled potato" she simply says "oh baby", and it's much more sad, and it is quite clearly about dealing with an eating disorder. I find it hard to ever hear "Boiled Potato" the same way after hearing "Feed Me".

Juliana herself has dealt with an eating disorder off and on for most of her adult life, and just recently finally went to a rehab program to try to get better. You can read about her experience on her blog where she talks about her song "Universal Heartbeat". And I have uploaded "Feed Me" here as well.

Juliana Hatfield: Feed Me


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