Archive | 12:51 PM

Brandi Carlile’s Mama Werewolf-Vices Tempered by Children

26 Jan

Mama werewolf-

It seems like this is already a fan favorite on the album. It has very clear symbolism, and I think resonates with a lot of people who feel like they have a vice that might have conquered them if not for the children they straightened up for.

Brandi is now speaking as a mother (or whoever our narrator is now talks as a parent). They say how they’re awake at night, in the streets, full of fear. But when all the good intentions become actions that cause pain to her family, Brandi remembers her children. The kids are what keep her from damaging herself and others. When Brandi comes out of this dangerous, problematic werewolf-like state, she feels empty and regretful. I think the key to the song, and possibly the album is in the following verse:

“The curse I get from my father’s kin they fought the beast I feel within we don’t talk about it we don’t call its name we just carry on hoping it will change though we know it will never change”

I can’t be certain what Brandi is talking about here. But to me, it sounds like genetics, “curse from my father’s kin” might be some problematic genes passed paternally. This bad thing might be an independent streak, wildness, dreaminess, or an addiction, like alcoholism.

Is Brandi the alke?

Whatever this problem is that has been passed down, it goes unacknowledged. The family ostriches about it, if you will. They don’t deal with it directly, instead hoping if they ignore it the problematic thing will just disappear.

But Brandi sings the one thing keeping this main character from self-destructing is the child. They are the silver bullet that keeps her (the werewolf) from going off the rails (too much).

In the progression of the album, it’s been discussed that there’s a problem with the narrator that ‘s impacting the lover negatively. The narrator wants to try and keep the relationship together, because they’re dependent on the lover. But the lover is dead in the eyes, and lost their spark through all the trying times they’ve been put through by the narrator. The main character gives a bit of background about why their foundation is damaged in the broken horses and pastor songs. Then, the narrator ventures that the lover is in the wrong too. Not in their behavior, but in the closed way they think of the relationship and put the narrator in the punishment box. In judging and picking winners and losers, the lover is also in the wrong. Love is not a game. And furthermore, the narrator says the lover could stand to be more vulnerable. The lover always puts on a strong front, and as such is very closed-off and hidden emotionally. Then, this last werewolf song addresses the children, and how the narrator values them above all else, and keeps it reigned in because of the kids.