Black

Album: Wanderer (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song deals with Cat Power's journey through addiction, which affected her and claimed the lives of some of her friends. "Black" signifies death, which spared her.
  • Power had a mental breakdown in 2006 that was triggered by a binge of alcohol and cocaine. In this song, she tells the story of someone who saved her when she was at her worst:

    Threw me in the bath, with the ice and a slap
    Can of coke down my throat, almost his whole hand fittin in - I was dying
    First I was amused, close to death ever been
    But when the white light went away I knew Death was setting in


    She made it out alive, but her friend wasn't so lucky. "How was I to know Black would have turned from me to you," she sings at the end.
  • This is part of Wanderer, Power's 10th album and her first since Sun in 2012. The album is a look through her past, with this song standing out as one of her more harrowing moments. In 2015, she had a baby and found a greater degree of stability and self-acceptance.
  • Cat Power told Mojo magazine the track concerns the angel of death as an ominous dude.

    "The song is about death and friends that have overdosed and it's about friends who are still using and haven't been able to, you know... friends who've made an agreement with that ominous dude.

    The song is just telling a story about death because I believe everyone who passes is still alive in the other dimension or whatever. I believe there is a continued transaction somehow, whether it's in dreams or... Anyway I won't get into it. I know that sounds crazy but I don't care how it sounds."

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