Song Analysis

Pancake

Thursday 22 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

(Coming soon! In the meantime, read Tori’s quotes about the song)

"She picks herself up from division and she moves on into Deleware and then on up through New Jersey, and she’s following a different sort of questioning now, with Pancake, and it’s about power. She’s on the East Coast. She’s going through arguments in her head. She’s reading as much as she can, and she’s taking in information. She’s going and listening to people speak. She’s very much where the ’learning centers’ - quote, unquote - are. And she’s um, drawn to hearing how people see the world.

There’s someone in this who... has a lot of power. And she’s drawn to this person who speaks, and who’s able to rally people. But he doesn’t seem to really walk it. And there’re other people, then, that she begins to look at more closely. Whether they’re leaders or whether they’re... people she knows. People who say one thing and yet, it just doesn’t feel right, and there’s so much at stake. She believes, at a certain point, America’s soul is at stake. The moral compass has been manipulated, and that’s what she’s discovering." (Scarlet Stories CD)

"Pancake" finds Scarlet heading into Delaware and towards the north-eastern seats of learning and power. There she meets a Messiah figure, but swiftly becomes disillusioned. If her Latino revolutionary was all action, this Messiah is all talk. "He doesn’t uphold the values which he preaches. He’s deaf to the real needs of the people and is becoming drunk on the kind of power which he once denounced." (Scarlet’s Walk bio)

"’Pancake’ is really about the abuse of power, whether by presidents or rock stars. There seems to be a right wing ideology held by some young hipsters - Jesse Helms in tattoos. This thinking has to find something to hate, whether it’s a gay person, a woman, a different race or a different religion. It’s so boring! But people get drawn in by it. (VH1.com October 28, 2002)