I’m not sure I would write this song today. Since writing this song, fairy tales have become more commercialized by popular culture than ever. It’s hard to write about a fairy tale and not seem cliché. But truth be told, I love fairy tales, especially the old weird versions. Not only did I love them as a kid, but as an adult I bought into their richness and depth. I was influenced by Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment. A great podcast on adult appreciation of fairy tales from Krista Tippett's series, On Being can be found here.
But, (as usual) this song has something else going on besides a fairy tale. It takes a left turn that some listeners don’t want to take. When the narrator puts on the shoes and waltzes around, I am attempting to create a comment about masculinity itself.
I was raised the youngest of 4 boys. My father was a hard boiled bird and my mother basically became “one of the guys” in order to survive and keep the rest of us in line. Consequently there was not a lot of “feminine energy” in my house. So I had to manifest my own. I’ve never, ever been a macho kinda guy. I tend to prefer “chick flicks” to blockbusters, and romcoms to action adventure. I’d rather read Austen than Hemmingway. When the subject of sports comes up at the bar, I get very quiet. But if the conversation changes to Downton, I’m leader of the pack. When my brothers teased me for buying a glow-in-the-dark Tinkerbell wand at Disneyland (when I coulda bought a gun), it made me feel like there was something wrong with me. I played with that wand by myself in the closet. And I loved it.
I’m encouraged that the world has changed so much from when I was a kid. Now there’s female sportscasters, and male kindergarten teachers. We have begun to view gender as being on a spectrum, as opposed to the black and white polar opposites of male and female. In the end the heart wants what it wants. And god damn it, I’ll waltz around in those f**king shoes if I want to. I might even break out my Tinkerbell wand.