Tag Archives: Hugh Cornwell

Wringing the Exotic out of Golden Brown

When a white man sings about a brown girl, the word brown carries a complicated history. Think of Jagger’s Brown Sugar. Think of the Stranglers kneading and stretching the diphthong of plain old brown until it exhales into the exotic, sensuous ‘otherness‘ of Golden Brown.

Singer/songwriter Kizzy Crawford has different plans for both brown and golden, as a home-made antidote to the bullying she experienced as a child. How does she warm up the words, making them personal and precious, not exotically ‘other’? She stretches the diphthong of brown beyond anything the Stranglers imagined. Then, like spun sugar, she twirls brown into a shape that’s light and warm:

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