Ambiguity #2: “The HIV Song”
Here’s a recent-ish post from the lovely blog for Continuum Press’s “33 1/3” series of pocket-sized books about individual albums. It’s an excerpt from that series’s book on Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese – specifically, that album’s semi-notorious tune “The HIV Song.”
I couldn’t possibly love Ween any more than I already do. I’m glad to see them finally getting their due. Too long were they dismissed as “joke rock”; I happen to think they’re one of the more important and creative rock bands of the last twenty years.
Just one of the many many wonderful things about Ween is the ambiguity inherent in “The HIV Song,” whose only two words are “HIV” and “AIDS” – no commentary or context whatsoever (unless you count the whimsically insane calliope music that accompanies those half-sung, half-spoken words). What’s great about this song is that by saying almost nothing, Gene and Dean open up the text tremendously, thus generating quite a lot of controversy, none of which, really, can be made to stick. The excerpt from the book does a very nice job of addressing this issue, and is well worth reading.
Long live the Boognish.