Pat Benatar won't preform 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot'

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ASPartOfMe
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27 Jul 2022, 7:26 pm

Pat Benatar will no longer perform her song Hit Me With Your Best Shot

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Singer Pat Benatar said she will stop performing her song Hit Me With Your Best Shot in light of recent mass shootings in the US.

Benatar told USA Today that she has decided to stop playing the song “in deference to the victims [and] the families of these mass shootings”.

“Fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, I’m sorry,” Benatar, who is in the middle of a US summer tour, said. “I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. [The title] is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line.”

The song was released in 1980 and was one of the top songs of the year, reaching the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s chorus is a repetition of its title, along with the phrase “fire away”.

“I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t. I’m not going to go on stage and soapbox – I go to my legislators – but that’s my small contribution to protesting,” Benatar said. “I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”

Her art, her choice, her emotional reaction, I respect that, but I don't have to agree with it.

When listening to the song these days the thought did occur to me that it might get canceled for triggering, but over domestic abuse, not mass shootings. After all the lyrics say "put up your dukes" so I assumed "your best shot" were punches not bullets. Pat came into popularity at the same time as other "tough rock chicks" Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde in a misogynistic era that was especially acute in the rock music world. So I have always interpreted the song as a feminist call to stand up to that. Oh well.


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27 Jul 2022, 7:39 pm

Another one I never want to hear again is "Pumped Up Kicks" (I think that is the title). It has more violent lyrics than that Benatar song.



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27 Jul 2022, 7:47 pm

The song was about a womanizing man, and the the title was strictly metaphorical.

We've really gone potty with this crap.


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27 Jul 2022, 7:59 pm

One station programed on my car radio plays hit me with your best shot, heartbreaker, and harden my heart quite a lot. I thought harden my hart was Benatar too, but I see it's quaterflash.



Misslizard
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27 Jul 2022, 8:13 pm

I always thought it was punching someone and never about shooting.
It won’t matter to me, her music doesn’t interest me.I hear it played on the local station occasionally ,not by choice.


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27 Jul 2022, 8:23 pm

Misslizard wrote:
I always thought it was punching someone and never about shooting.
It won’t matter to me, her music doesn’t interest me.I hear it played on the local station occasionally ,not by choice.


I think it was about emotional violence, not physical violence.


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27 Jul 2022, 8:35 pm

At the beginning of the song, Benatar sings:

[You're a real tough cookie
With a long history
Of breaking little hearts
Like the one in me


She then proceeds to basically challenge him to bring it, let's see who's tougher, hence the line "Hit me with your best shot."


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27 Jul 2022, 8:50 pm

Hit me with your best shot
Fire away!



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27 Jul 2022, 8:53 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
I always thought it was punching someone and never about shooting.
It won’t matter to me, her music doesn’t interest me.I hear it played on the local station occasionally ,not by choice.


I think it was about emotional violence, not physical violence.

You’re right, for me it’s still about punching.


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27 Jul 2022, 9:07 pm

Maybe I would be more put out if I liked this song. I can’t stand it. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. Whenever it’s come on the radio in the past, I’ve turned the station.


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27 Jul 2022, 10:21 pm

It’s about a woman enduring a man, and getting tough in the process.

I don’t see anything wrong with it.

But Pat apparently does at this point.



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27 Jul 2022, 10:26 pm

I think that hearing the chorus could be triggering for some people. Often, people don’t hear/listen to/understand the words in the other parts of songs.

Even though the overall meaning is harmless, it could still be triggering. I respect her decision here. I really do.


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27 Jul 2022, 10:29 pm

And we all wrong.
Songfacts

Quote:
Sometimes if we're feeling particularly confident or have nothing to lose, we feel we can take anything life throws at us. That's the sentiment in "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," written by Eddie Schwartz, a struggling guitarist living in Toronto. He told Songfacts the story behind the song: "I was in a kind of weird therapy when I was in my mid-20s, it was called bio-energetics, I believe. One of the things we did was punch pillows, I guess it had something to do with getting out hostility. I went to a session where we punched the pillows for a while. It all seemed kind of strange, but I remember walking outside of this therapy session and standing on the doorstep of the building I'd been in, this small house in Toronto, and the title just came to me, 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot.' I haven't been to therapy before or since. Maybe I should go back."

The song was written from a male standpoint, with the lyric "Before I put another notch in your lipstick case." When male bands cover it, they sometimes sing the line as "Put another notch in my guitar case." This was the only line Benatar changed when she recorded it, changing your to my.

"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" can be interpreted as a song about a one-night-stand, but that's not what its writer had in mind. Eddie Schwartz told Songfacts: "The song is laden with sexual innuendo, but at the core is a song about self confidence. It's a song saying 'no matter what you throw at me, I can handle it, I can play in your league.'"

In 1984, Benatar had an interesting exchange with Songwriter Connection magazine regarding this song. Responding to a question about standing behind what she sings, Benatar said: "There's very few songs where I let lyrics go. I mean, there's times when I let lyrics go because the rest of the song is fine. But, most of the time, I'm real meticulous with the lyrics because I gotta sing them. There were certain parts of that song ('Hit Me With Your Best Shot') that I liked, but most of it that I've sort of outgrown. I mean, it's so hard to sing, 'you're a real tough cookie.'

One night, you know sometimes you announce people's names, this is by so-and-so? When I said 'Eddie Schwartz,' I swear to God, the room - it wasn't very big, then, it was about 1500 people - it just went dead - silence, like, Eddie Schwartz?"
The lyrics are suggestive, but most people didn't consider the song offensive. There was some politically correct commentary in newspapers at the time about it being sexist and about encouraging violence against women. Says Eddie: "This shocked me because it was written from a man's standpoint at the beginning and it was always meant metaphorically - no punches are actually thrown in the song."

We were wrong but that is how it goes. Once a song is released the listener interprets based on their priors and we often get it all wrong. Back then there was no Songfacts or Wikipedia and the bands encouraged listeners to interpret their songs for personal needs. It made the bands seem mysterious. Back then people poured over their favorite bands lyrics as having some sort of deep literary, philosophical, or religious meaning. It made these fans feel their bands were geniuses and themselves by geniuses by association because they solved the mystery.

Nowadays they pour over lyrics in order to label the song "problematic" and the singer racist, misogynistic etc. Progress :roll:


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 27 Jul 2022, 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ASPartOfMe
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27 Jul 2022, 10:36 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
I think that hearing the chorus could be triggering for some people. Often, people don’t hear/listen to/understand the words in the other parts of songs.

Even though the overall meaning is harmless, it could still be triggering. I respect her decision here. I really do.

People should be more discerning about these things. While obviously, I do not know her personally, Career-wise she has more than earned respect.


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27 Jul 2022, 10:57 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
I think that hearing the chorus could be triggering for some people. Often, people don’t hear/listen to/understand the words in the other parts of songs.

Even though the overall meaning is harmless, it could still be triggering. I respect her decision here. I really do.

People should be more discerning about these things. While obviously, I do not know her personally, Career-wise she has more than earned respect.


I really don't think it's that big of a deal. Maybe she's just not comfortable performing it right now. She has many other songs to choose from.

I don't know if people "should" be more discerning. It's just a song. People don't even know the lyrics to the National Anthem.

I wouldn't agree that having a great career would mean that she's earned respect. Actors and singers disappoint us on a regular basis, like anyone else. I do respect her decision here, though.


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ASPartOfMe
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27 Jul 2022, 11:16 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
I think that hearing the chorus could be triggering for some people. Often, people don’t hear/listen to/understand the words in the other parts of songs.

Even though the overall meaning is harmless, it could still be triggering. I respect her decision here. I really do.

People should be more discerning about these things. While obviously, I do not know her personally, Career-wise she has more than earned respect.


Maybe she's just not comfortable performing it right now.

No maybe about it. She isn't comfortable with the lyrics because of the mass shootings and she is not performing it.


Twilightprincess wrote:
I wouldn't agree that having a great career would mean that she's earned respect. Actors and singers disappoint us on a regular basis, like anyone else. I do respect her decision here, though.

True, that is why I said career-wise. She has earned my respect for the decisions she makes about her work.

I disagree but respect her decision. That is what I was trying to say in my OP.


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