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“6 Underground” — Sneaker Pimps

There was no way I wasn’t going to go and see The Saint as soon as it was released–I was infatuated with Val Kilmer at the time and 116 minutes of him on the big screen was something I couldn’t bear to miss. Once I heard him slur “I’m your huckleberry” the first time I saw Tombstone, well, I was a goner. So in April 1997, off to Carmike I went to see Val playing a recreated version of Simon Templar.

I can remember that the reviews of The Saint weren’t all that great, but I didn’t care. I really enjoyed watching Val the movie. I used to have a VHS copy and I’ll still watch it once in a while if it happens to be on HBO or OnDemand. I also loved the music that was incorporated into the film, so I bought a copy of the soundtrack shortly after seeing it in the theater.

That CD lived in my car from 1997-1999, and for the last half of my senior year of high school I found myself constantly putting “6 Underground” by the Sneaker Pimps on repeat. I was mesmerized by how the combination of the piano motif (which was sampled from the Goldfinger score), Kelli Dayton‘s sexy vocals and everything else that made up that song sounded just like I felt.

I’ve got a head full of drought, down here…

It isn’t an easy feeling to verbalize, but the word that comes to mind is bored. Not the “wowthereisnothingontvtonight” variety. I’m talking about the “whydoeseverythingfeelsoemptyandpointless” type. Perhaps bored isn’t the word. Hmmm… stifled? Smothered? Trapped? Maybe those are better.

Anyway, that’s how I felt for the last few months of my senior year. I hid it well (I think) but I was damn sick of everything. I was tired of the persona I was wearing: smart, straight-laced, predictable. I wanted to reinvent myself. I wanted to be reckless, mysterious, alluring. I think that’s why the line “I’m open to falling from grace” resonated with me.

If you do a little reading online, you’ll find many interpretations of the “6 Underground” lyrics. Some believe it is about a prostitute. Some believe it is about being in the grips of a drug addiction. Some believe it is about dying.

I’ll be honest: I don’t have a clue as to whether any of those suggested meanings are correct. I guess I never really heard the song as a narrative. I don’t think it tells a story, exactly, but I do think it captures a feeling of dissatisfaction and that was something I could relate to at the time. The words are dark and I liked that, because I was so over being a *good* girl (whatever that means) and I desperately wanted to break out of that role. “6 Underground” was a great place for me to go to process and try to figure out those feelings, strange and frightening as they were. It was a song that was all about wanting to go a different way, to be a different way. Maybe that way wasn’t the *right* way (again, whatever that means), but to me it promised the excitement of new experiences, new people, and a new scene. And, you know, I guess I just really wanted to misbehave.

After graduation and during college, I was finally able to take off my good girl hat–at least some of the time anyway. I was never brave (or stupid?) enough to push the limits as far as I imagined in my high school dreams, but I did have a bit of fun and I escaped it all with minimal damage. I suppose I was lucky since I know that not everyone who makes similar choices comes out okay on the other side. But I did. And it was awesome.


Find more artists like Sneaker Pimps at Myspace Music.

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