10 of 69: The Cactus Where Your heart Should be / Has Lovely Little Flowers
"The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be"
Alright, time to man up and get back on this project. My competitor is gearing up to lap me. Although to be fair, my discussions of the 69LS have like, paragraphs and stuff, whereas hers are twitter-esque in their succintity. Anyhow, on to my tenth entry in what increasingly appears to be a Summer long quest to pick apart the Mag Fields magnum opus.
"Cactus" coming right on the heals of "Bunnies" packs a helluva a one-two punch. The playful randiness of the previous song (where our protagonists are content to roll around in the hay all day--let's disregard the 'furries' undertone) is supplanted by a downright cranky guy who is refreshingly equal parts wistful. This is just another example of how strategic the 69 songs are arranged. And disparate pairings like this have the effect of augmenting each partner's salient features. you know, like a collage. or a really nice BLT.
At first blush, a cactus doesn't seem like a particularly attractive vehicle in a metaphor for love. Rather simplistic, no? It's spiky and forbidding. If your heart was a cactus, well, you wouldn't be attracting to many mates. But this short song is overflowing with unexpected connotations. Leave it to Merritt to remind us that just like any other forbidding plants, cacti produce incredibly beautiful flowers. And thus the singer can be both 'stuck' on their love object's spines and completely enamored of her "lovely little flowers."
And when the cactus becomes less a person and more a person's heart all kinds of nice lines of thought can be drawn. A cactus is one tough customer, built to thrive in a harsh environment. It can go long periods of time without nourishment. It defends itself with princkly spines but can also be quite grand and statuesque. "Cactus" the song doesn't cite these possible meanings, but they are there, and suddenly a heart as a cactus isn't all that far-fetched. It's actually pretty damn wonderful.
A surprisingly powerful little song. Grade: "Adoration" (4 out of 6)