Mixtapes for Hookers

Celebrating An Icon
July 22, 2009, 3:08 pm
Filed under: hookers, music | Tags: , ,


Today, July 22nd, marks the the feast of Mary Magdalene in the Catholic Church. For about fourteen centuries, the Church identified Jesus’s closest female companion as a reformed prostitute, though in 1969 the church changed its mind and quietly admitted that the claim wasn’t actually based on anything written in the Bible.

Culturally the image of Magdalene as a loose woman lingers, though.  From Jesus Christ Superstar to the Last Temptation of Christ to Hal Hartley’s awkward Apple ad The Book Of Life, she’s portrayed sexually.  She’s been portrayed in film by Monica Bellucci, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson, Yvonne Elliman and PJ Harvey.  Harvey’s aggressive, gothy take on the Saint in The Book of Life especially sticks.

Growing up Catholic, I always thought Mary Magdalene was one of the most intriguing Biblical figures.  That a woman, a prostitute, should be the first to discover the resurrection was very exciting to me, and it hinted that Christianity didn’t have to be as backward and misogynistic as everyone made it out to me.  Some Biblical scholars argue that Mary Magdalene actually even wrote the Gospel of John, and others say that she was the wife of Jesus.  I certainly haven’t done any research to back up or refute either of those claims, and really don’t want to, but I do think of her as a cultural icon, even if few others do.  (She’s also the patron saint of hairdressers, which I think would elevate her cool status a little, but I guess not.)

After the jump, PJ Harvey’s The Faster I Breathe The Further I Go (from The Book of Life) and a video of If I Can’t Have You singer Yvonne Elliman in Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as three audio versions of the song:

Yvonne Elliman, I Don’t Know How To Love Him
Helen Reddy, I Don’t Know How To Love Him
Sinead O’Connor, I Don’t Know How To Love Him

And that concludes all the Andrew Lloyd Weber that will ever be on this blog, probably.

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[…] Mixtapes for Hookers celebrates Mary Magdalene, one of my favorite ladies to […]

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