The Origin of Love

Just been re-watching Hedwig and The Angry Inch (2001) on DVD whilst crashed out ill on my sofa (booo – fed up of being ill now!), and stumbled across / rediscovered my intense love for the uber-amazing song ‘The Origin of Love‘.

Absolutely amazing performance from John Cameron Mitchell, and I truly adore the accompanying visualisation (created by Emily Hubley)

The Origin of Love” is a song from the stage show Hedwig and the Angry Inch and subsequent film written by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask. Stephen Trask wrote the song, which is based on a story from Plato‘s Symposium.

In the Symposium, a party is being held in which a series of speeches are given paying homage to Eros, the Greek god of love. “The Origin of Love” is taken from the speech given by the playwright Aristophanes.

According to the speech, long ago, humans were composed of two people stuck back-to-back, with two faces and eight limbs. Male-male humans came from the Sun, female-female humans from the Earth and male-female humans from the Moon. The gods, out of jealousy, split them in half. Now, throughout our lives, we are always trying to find our “other half”, and sexual intercourse is the only means we have to put the two halves back together; this desire to be one person again is what we call “love”. However, it is impossible to fully rejoin two people because it is our souls and not our bodies that most desire to be reunited.

Harking back to the original Symposium, I absolutely adore the metaphor that is created by Plato, I find it quite tragically beautiful!

For those who are fans of Rufus, you may also recognise that he covered this song a few years ago… not a patch on the original in my opinion… but not a bad whack all-said. Sorry! 😛

About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

1 Response

  1. Oh, I absolutely agree. All them, the film, the song, and the ideas expressed are tragically beautiful. Yesterday I watched the film and new and different ideas flourished in my mind. Thanks for this clarifying explanation in your blog 🙂


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