Bad Luck

Album: Hell-On (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • While Neko Case was creating her Hell-On album in Stockholm, Sweden with producer Bjorn Yttling [of Peter Bjorn and John], her rural Vermont home went up in flames. Six hours after Case received the middle of the night call informing her of the bad news, she was laying down the vocals for this ironically titled track, which ends "So I died and went to work."

    Asked by The Independent, how hard it was to be recording a song about unwanted fortune, having just experienced a huge slice of bad luck, Case replied:

    "'Bad Luck' had already been written before the fire and I did find some humor in the situation. My studio mate Bjorn Yttling was very supportive and made fun of me and told me jokes. It made me feel so much better, it was like let's have some levity here. No one is hurt, but your house is f---ing gone."
  • The tender, witty track has a sing-songy melody, belying its negative subject matter. Case told Billboard she wanted it to be in the same vein as "Ring Around the Rosie," which is believed to be about the bubonic plague.

    She added: "'Bad Luck' isn't so dark as 'Ring Around The Rosie,' but that's not a superstition specifically; it's in English folklore and it's not that old, but I just wanted to play with that idea."
  • Neko Case told Q Magazine: "Bad Luck was intended as a folklore song about folklore that hasn't been written yet. I like to make up new ones and I was thinking a lot about superstition."

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