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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jacob Marley's Chain/Aimee Mann

Most of us are all familiar enough with Charles Dickens' 1843 classic A Christmas Carol to know that Scrooge's deceased partner, Jacob Marley, carries the weight of his selfish, wicked deeds into the afterlife in the form of an enormous chain. "I wear the chain I forged in life" Marley's ghost tells Scrooge. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it." Aimee Mann adapted the image of Marley's burden a bit for her song Jacob Marley's Chain, from her 1993 album Whatever. "I felt that was a really apt metaphor for the way that you can feel weighted down by events that have happened to you or things that you've done in the past," Mann said when she performed the song on the BBC's "Words and Music: American Stories 2." But it's not like life's such a vale of tears/It's just full of thoughts that act as souvenirs/For those tiny blunders made in yesteryear/That comprise Jacob Marley's chain.

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