On Tuesday, I wrote about the stuffed lion in Get Out (2017). Today, I want to look at the song that plays when we first encounter Chris and Rose on screen. As images of Chris’s photographs flash across the screen, we hear Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” from “Awaken, My Love” (2016). Countering the soulful sound of the song, the lyrics focus on the narrator’s paranoia over infidelity in a relationship. Jordan Peele talks about his choice of “Redbone” for the film and mentions “But stay woke” which opens the chorus. While this song is important, it made me start to think about my first introduction to Childish Gambino back in 2011 when I heard about his album Camp on NPR and looked up the video for the first single, “Bonfire.”
Finally, during its third week in theaters, I saw Get Out (2017). Plenty of people have commented on the film; however, there are two aspects of the film that I have not found anyone discussing: the stuffed lion that sits on the nightstand next to Rose Armitage’s bed and the use of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone”playing over the audience’s first introduction to Chris Washington as he gets out of the shower. These two subtle items warrant some type of commentary considering the layered aspects of the film itself.
Last post, I wrote about “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” in Richard Wright’s “Long Black Song.” Today, I want to look at another song in a short story, this time in Flannery O’Connor’s “Revelation.” The bluegrass, gospel song “You Go to Your Church and I’ll Go to Mine” appears in “Revelation” while Ruby Turpin and her husband Claud sit in the doctor’s waiting room. The appearance of he song’s lyrics work in a subversive manner to undercut the facade that Ruby Turpin puts on for the world to see.