Achilles Heel

Album: Onka's Big Moka (1999)
Charted: 8
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Songfacts®:

  • This was released as the debut single for the Rock group Toploader. They were formed in the South East English coastal town of Eastbourne by vocalist and keyboardist Joseph Washbourn, guitarists Julian Deane and Dan Hipgrave, bassist Matt Knight and drummer Rob Green. The song originally peaked at #64 on the UK singles chart and was re-released the following year, following the success of their "Dancing In The Moonlight" single. This time it peaked at #8.
  • The unusual album title is a reference to a 1976 anthropological documentary Ongka's Big Moka: The Kawelka of Papua New Guinea, which was much shown in university anthropology departments in the mid-1990s, around the time when the band members would have been attending.
  • The phrase 'Achilles Heel' is used to describe somebody's small but potentially damaging weakness It is derived from the tale of Achilles, the great hero of the Iliad, who was taken by his mother Thetis by the heel and dipped into the River Styx. The intention was to make him invulnerable, but the heel in her hand remained dry making it his one weak spot. Achilles was eventually killed by an arrow wound in the heel.

    Here are some more lyrical references to the Achilles heel:

    Small Faces "Don't Be Lonely" ("So stay with me, don't play with me. Don't blow out everything. You've got to know how I feel. It's my Achilles heel.")

    Megadeth "44 Minutes" ("Watching 'The Force' come to a firefight with a pocketknife. Getting schooled until they shot Achilles' heel. And brought down the beast!!!")

    The Roots "I Remember" ("It's only human to express the way you really feel. But that same humanity is my Achilles' heel.")

    R.E.M. "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)" ("Wing, is written on your feet. Your Achilles heel is a tendency to dream.")

    Placebo "Special K" ("I'll describe the way I feel. You're my new Achilles heel. Can this savior be for real. Or are you just my seventh seal?"

    Taylor Swift "State of Grace" ("Love is a ruthless game. Unless you play it good and right. These are the hands of fate. You're my Achilles heel. This is the golden age of something good. And right and real.")

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