Song of the Day, February 14: For Today I Am A Boy by Antony and the Johnsons

A&JForTodayToday’s song is For Today I Am A Boy by Antony and the Johnsons. It appears on their brilliant second album I Am A Bird Now. The whole album deals with growth, identity, and finding one’s place. Leader Antony Hegarty is transgender and a few of the songs deal explicitly with reconciling imposed gender with personal gender identity.

For Today I Am A Boy is one of the most direct, juxtaposing how the child is perceived by the self and society. Presented in Antony’s clear, beautiful voice with fragile instrumental backing, it’s a compelling listen. In spite — or perhaps because — of the specific story, the lyrics open themselves up for anyone’s struggle to find their own identity in the modern world.

One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful woman.
One day I’ll grow up, I’ll be a beautiful girl.
But for today I am a child, for today I am a boy.
For today I am a child, for today I am a boy.

Enjoy this wonderful song today.

BONUS: As part of their 2011 “Diversions” series, the Unthanks performed concerts in tribute to the music of Antony and the Johnsons and Robert Wyatt. Sisters Rachel and Becky crafted a lovely live interpretation of this song.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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