September 28, 2005

Chaucer's work surfacing in Christina Aguilera's songs

two points of interest from Chaucer's Wife of Bath's prologue and tale caught my attention when I was listening to Christina Aguilera's songs "Can't Hold Us Down" and "What a girl wants."

In "Can't Hold Us Down" Aguilera sang that in society throughout history there was a double standard: " The guy gets all the glory the more he can score while the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore." The Wife of Bath was probably one of the earliest female model to argue this point and perhaps inspirred Aguilera. In her prologue, she claimed that she had five husbands: " Of husbands at church door have I had five." She was reprimanded by the church. They told her that she should follow the example of Jesus. She said: " Thus, by this same example, showed He [Jesus] me, I never should have married more than once."

The wife of bath rationalized that it was okay for her to remarry rather than stay a widow. She used the Bible to point out that God made humans to "pro-create." and she argued that if King Solomon could have wives and concubines, why couldn't she? For approximately seven centuries the wife of bathe's revolutionary thinking is still being reconfigure in today's society. Lil' Kim rapping along Aguilera's song: "the table's about to turn." They encourage females today to return the favor: "Do it right back to him and let that be that, you need to let him know that his game is whack."

The wife of bath's tal

Posted by Michael Diezmos at September 28, 2005 9:24 PM

What a cool way to bring Chaucer into the now! Awesome concept!!

Posted by: moira at September 29, 2005 5:37 PM

thanks, I think much of today's pop's song are derived from the classics, great way for our pop artists to use their education, good business!

Posted by: mike at September 30, 2005 10:30 AM

Is it the pop artists using their education, though, or their songwriters? I highly doubt Christina Aguilera has read Chaucer...

Posted by: Johanna at October 6, 2005 12:09 PM

good point Johanna, maybe the writers were reminded of the characters...the song "what a girl wants" most likely was written by writers, but the new one "Can't hold us down" --> I think she co-wrote this song...

Posted by: mike at October 6, 2005 11:56 PM

i love christina agulera she the best singer in the world(i think) and i hope ever one likes her shes the best but i dont think she has read chaucer dont no if you guys are right or not???

Posted by: **aphra** at May 9, 2006 1:28 PM

I was comparing her song to the gender issue brought up (women facing double standards...)

Posted by: mike at May 12, 2006 12:56 PM
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