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Leeds United by Amanda Palmer

Album: Who Killed Amanda Palmer?Released: 2008
  • Leeds United is an English football (soccer) club, which makes it an odd choice for an Amanda Palmer song title. After all, Palmer is from Massachusetts and is much more into performance art than European soccer. So why the title? In our interview with Amanda Palmer, she explained: "I had been dating this guy from Leeds, Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs, and we had a totally brief flash-in-the-pan fling. He was great. I really liked him and I loved his band. I think we found quickly that we had very little in common other than the fact that we were lead singers in bands. We had a really great time together. I really liked him, and I went up to his house in Leeds for a week. He gave me this great Leeds United jersey, which I prized. And then when I got back on tour a couple of days later I wore it on stage. I had a bra underneath, so I took off the jersey and finished the encore all sweaty and stuff. I went back to look for it, the stage was being cleaned, and it was like, 'F--k! Where's my shirt!?' I had that shirt for all of about 5 days. I'd already gotten all excited and sentimental about it, and then it vanished.

    Around the same time, I lost my wallet,and I lost my keys. I was like, Am I still f--king 12? I'm losing all my s--t. And I loved the words 'Leeds United.' It's such a sexy name for a team, and there's something so great and military and bold sounding about that united, Leeds United, it's so often heard. I had a whole pile of whatever was going on in the relationship with Ricky, and I also had some really, really weird stuff going on emotionally within the band, and I had the fact that I felt like I was falling apart at the seams, and just losing everything. And that's what initially started to write the song. Leeds United was going to be this really ironic bold united statement, where everything was falling apart. That was the seed of the song. But then the lyrics ended up morphing into stream-of-consciousness territory, and I let that happen."
  • Explaining the meaning of this song, Palmer told us: "That was one of those songs that I had an idea for, and it took a left turn. It ended up being a song about everything and nothing, where I was like, Ah, this is gonna be one of those f--king songs. I'm not even clear what it's about, but I'm gonna dump all of the lyrics that sound good, and do it, and just leave it at that.

    It started out as a song about how pissed at myself that I constantly am that I lose everything. I'm sure I have the lyrics all on scraps of paper somewhere. That song is a lot like 'Ampersand,' with six ingredients that didn't necessarily have anything to do with each other."
  • Since Palmer wrote this in a stream-of-consciousness style, we wondered if she changed the words when she sang it live. She explained: "I'll change little things here or there, but generally I keep things the way they are on the record. It's very, very easy to remember the songs that I write in one sitting, and it's very, very difficult for me to remember the songs that I don't. It's a simple formula. There's some songs that I never, ever forget a single lyric, and they're really dense songs, but I wrote them linearly, and that's the way they make sense in my mind. So I never really have to think about it. And then the songs that I've patchworked together and changed things and verses around, I can sing those songs six hundred times live, and they'll never really gel in my mind."
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