Romeo

Songfacts®:

  • The song is written from the perspective of the Greek mythological character Atalanta.

    Hey Romeo
    Put on your running shoes
    I'm ready to go


    Atalanta was the daughter of King Iasus, who had hoped for a son. Disappointed that instead she was a girl, he left her on a mountaintop to die. A she-bear suckled and cared for Atalanta until hunters found and raised her, and she became a strong huntress. Swift of foot, Atalanta refused to marry unless the suitors defeated her in a trace, and she killed those who lost.

    Many young men died in the attempt to win her hand until Hippomenes outrun her. He won the race by dropping three irresistible golden apples, given to him by the goddess Aphrodite. Every time Atalanta got ahead of Hippomenes, he rolled an apple ahead of her, and she would stop to pick it up. The victorious Hippomenes married Atalanta and they had a son Parthenopaios, whose part in the war against Thebes was outlined in Aeschylus' play Seven against Thebes.
  • Caroline Polachek fell in love with Handel during a period when she was studying opera. The Chairlift frontwoman said that she "tried to channel that same stately, baroque feeling in the chorus of 'Romeo.'"

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