Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Helen Love – We Love You

Channel Five first hit our screens on Easter Day 1997. A brick first hit my screen shortly afterwards. Channel Five decided that the best way to launch itself was with the now tired looking Spice Girls trotting out an uninspired, cheesy rehash of a dated pop song. This was closely followed by an ad for Chanel No.5. The public opinion of five was eloquently summed up in twee popster Adam Faith’s dying words, “Channel 5 is all shit, isn’t it. Christ, the crap they put on there. It’s a waste of space.”

It’s hard to believe it when watching the Spice Girls vacuously yelling it at the behest of the highest bidder, but the phrase ‘Girl Power’ did mean something at one time. The term was originally the rallying cry of the feminist Riot Grrrl movement of the early 90’s. It announced a rejection of and a direct challenge the violent male domination of society. Quite how the Spice Girls managed to remould is as something to shout while doing bikini shoots for Loaded remains clouded in mystery.

Before ‘Girl Power’ was misappropriated by the Spices, it was used by Welsh lo-fi rockers and Ramones obsessives Helen Love. They used it (reportedly its first use in song) in their tribute to Riot Grrrl Formula One Racing Girl in 1993. The lyrics made it clear their meaning of girl power:

I bought these boots to make you happy,
I strapped them up to turn you on.
Now I don’t care about you,
I’ve got my Huggy Bear t-shirt on.

I assume ‘Huggy Bear’ is a reference to the Riot Grrrl band rather than the adorable comedy pimp.

The lyrics of Formula One Racing Girl were reprised (stripped of the now hollow ‘Girl Power’ shouts) for 1997’s We Love You

Helen Love – We Love You

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