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Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner

by

The Dresden Dolls



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The Dresden Dolls' lead singer and songwriter Amanda Palmer has a very dark sense of humor, which explains this song about an organist who rapes the person responsible for turning the pages of his music. How did she come up with this image? In our interview with Amanda Palmer, she explained: "I grew up in an Episcopal church, but I was never an official page turner. The organist never had a page turner. It was a small operation. I wrote that song in college, because there was this guy, I think he might still tour, called The Lonesome Organist. He was like a great sort of vaudeville-y one-man band. And his shtick was that he played, like, 12 different instruments, and he had them all in one contraption. So it was like a big, crazy drum set with keyboards and accordion, and things to blow in, and all sorts of stuff. I remember seeing him, because he toured at my college, and the name stuck. And I remember thinking, Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner would be a really hilarious newspaper heading. So it was one of those songs that was written off the title. He was totally Dr. Seuss. And his music was really throwback rag-timey, great theatrical crazy stuff."

After our interview with Amanda, we heard from The Lonesome Organist, whose name is Jeremy. He told us: "I always wondered if that band had some sort of vendetta against me. Now I know that that is not the case even if their song paints the lonesome organist name in a creepy unflattering manner. How freeking weird."
Palmer wrote this song when she was in her late-teens or early-20s. She said: "I think it's my most Smith-sy song to date. I am a huge, huge Smiths fan and Morrissey fan, but I don't think you can always hear the influence in that song. To me it sounds like a blatant rip-off. It was inspired by this running joke that I had this long string of piano teachers who all came on to me. I did various things in various situations (laughing), but I thought that was a very Morrissey situation to find myself in, and so I should write a very Morrissey-like song." When we if she slapped these piano teachers in response to their advances, Palmer said: "No, no... see, it's never dramatic like that. I mean, the part of the equation you have to remember is that I was an incredibly saucy, flirty teenage girl with all sorts of stuff going on all the time. But I think it's probably fair to say that I seduced as many piano teachers as tried to seduce me."
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