All this time, I thought Natalie Merchant was singing to someone named Anna in her song “Tell Yourself,” but really, she was just singing to me. Or my 13-year-old self, who used to bury her nose in Sassy magazine.
I know what you tell yourself, you tell yourself.
Look in the mirror, look in the mirror,
what does it show?
I hear you counting,
I know you’re adding up the score,
I know, oh yes, I know what you tell yourself,
you tell yourself.
Who taught you how to lie so well,
and to be mean in each and every word you say?
Who told you that nothing about you is alright?
It’s just no use, it’s just no good, you’ll never be Okay.
Well I know, I know that wrongs been done to you.
“It’s such a tough world,”
that’s what you say.
Well I know, I know it’s easier said than done.
But that’s enough girl.
Give it away, give it,
give it all away.
I wish 13-year-old Christine had heard this song when she was growing up, but I’m glad I hear it now.