Origin of Love
Origin of Love is a song from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The lyrics of the song are based on a story from Plato's Symposium which describes humans originally existing as two people conjoined at the back, however, the gods became angry and afraid of them, so they cut the humans into two separate individuals. This caused the origin of love, the act of two people trying to push themselves back together into a single person.
The lyrics and music were composed by Stephen Trask. The song is track 2 on the film soundtrack recording, and vocals are by John Cameron Mitchell, backup vocals by Trask and Miriam Shor, lead guitar was played by Bob Mould, rhythm guitar by Trask, keyboards by Trask, bass by Ted Liscinski, and drums by Perry James.
I first heard this song when I watched the film version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch with my friend Sarah in the early-2000s. I especially enjoyed this song and its fantastic visuals in the film. The song became my favorite from the musical and one of my favorite songs from musicals in general. In particular, I love how the song has a very mellow, matter-of-fact beginning, even though it describes all these fantastical elements. My favorite part is the break after the third verse which erupts into hard rock and becomes highly emotional. The final verse is full of sorrow, but also the hope that people can reconnect with those who understand and love them.
When the earth was still flat And clouds made of fire And mountains stretched up to the sky Sometimes higher Folks roamed the earth Like big rolling kegs They had two sets of arms They had two sets of legs They had two faces peering Out of one giant head So they could watch all around them As they talked while they read And they never knew nothing of love It was before, oh The origin of love (origin of love) The origin of love (origin of love) Now there was three sexes then One that looked like two men Glued up back to back They called the children of the sun And similar in shape and girth Was the children of the earth They looked like Two girls rolled up in one And the children of the moon Was like a fork shoved on a spoon They was part sun, part earth Part daughter, part son Ah-ah, the origin of love Now the gods grew quite scared Of our strength and defiance And Thor said, "I'm gonna kill them all with my hammer, Like I killed the giants." But Zeus said, "No- You better let me Use my lightning like scissors Like I cut the legs off the whales Dinosaurs into lizards" And then he grabbed up some bolts He let out a laugh Said, "I'll split them right down the middle Gonna cut 'em right up in half" And then storm clouds gathered above Into great balls of fire And then fire shot down From the sky in bolts Like shining blades of a knife And it ripped right through the flesh Of the children of the sun and the moon and the earth And some Indian god Sewed the wound up into a hole Pulled it round to our belly To remind us of the price we pay And Osiris and the gods of the Nile Gathered up a big storm To blow a hurricane To scatter us away In a flood of wind and rain A sea of tidal waves To wash us all away And if we don't behave They'll cut us down again And we'll be hopping around on one foot And looking through one eye Last time I saw you We'd just split in two You were looking at me I was looking at you You had a way so familiar I could not recognize 'Cause you had blood on your face I had blood in my eyes But I could swear by your expression That the pain down in your soul Was the same as the one down in mine That's the pain That cuts a straight line down through the heart We call it love We wrapped our arms 'round each other Tried to shove ourselves back together We was makin' love Makin' love It was a cold, dark evening Such a long time ago When by the mighty hand of Jove It was a sad story how we became Lonely two-legged creatures The story, the origin of love That's the origin of love (oh, yeah) The origin of love The origin of love (ah-ha) The origin of love
- youtube.com/watch?v=_zU3U7E1Odc - Film version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=scdql4LNe48 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=GrmNOTu27GQ - Original off-Broadway version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=ZVWMtaAskZg - Live, 1999-01-15.
- youtube.com/watch?v=VZtyFQQPnEs - Neil Patrick Harris version.
- youtube.com/watch?v=6f_AqX5WIss - Live, not in character, 2003-10-21.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_and_the_Angry_Inch_(soundtrack)#The_Origin_of_Love - Sountrack on Wikipedia.