#958: ‘Twist In My Sobriety’ – Tanita Tikaram

Tanita Tikaram was, to most of the world, a one hit wonder. To be fair, she’s the very definition of one because, if you look at her chart results of her career, there are five countries in which this song reached the top 10, and never saw her again. While this could probably be explained away by saying the rest of her discography isn’t very good, it’s certainly a shame, namely due to the excess amounts of talent that she holds.

‘Twist In My Sobriety’ is a track which is rather famous for its obscure meaning. If one was to look up the song on almost any website that focuses on the meaning of songs, you’ll undoubtedly find a write-up about how the song is all about religion. While that is certainly a fitting interpretation (although it sounds as though whoever thought that up didn’t get past the second word of the song), according to the song’s author, it’s also incorrect.

As Tikaram explains, “the song is really about not understanding – when you’re 18, you’ve got a very particular emotional relationship with the world, you feel very isolated, and everybody else is so distant and cold. And I think I was singing about not feeling anything or not being moved by things around. I think this is a strong feeling when you’re just after adolescence.”  While this is certainly a feeling that many of us would have experienced during this time in our life, it’s insertion into the song brings about a similar feeling of not understanding; especially coming from those who have tried their best to interpret the song before.

Also, much to the disappointment of what I’m sure is everyone, there are no more songs in this countdown that feature the oboe as prominently as this song. I know, I’m sorry, but this is just how it’s turned out.

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