Original Sin

April 6, 2013
Original Sin by Pandora's Box

Original Sin by Pandora’s Box

For over a year I posted each month about a “new” song I particularly enjoyed. But I became preoccupied with other activities and my new discoveries dwindled. So at the start of this week I decided to suspend that monthly task. But today my 12,000+ song music collection was on shuffle and an old Jim Steinman song was dealt, prompting me to link and write. (You can always search for my song posts by clicking on the music tag in the cloud in the right sidebar of this website.)

Jim Steinman’s bombastic rock opera is a guilty pleasure of mine. His songs are typically quite long, linking together several motifs, with extensive lyrics. Most of his best songs are dark tales of sex and sin, and Original Sinwhich originally was performed by Pandora’s Box, is a classic example.

Unfortunately, Original Sin lacks the humor and interweaved contrasting motifs of Steinman’s best songs, such as one finds in I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back and You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth. The prior song’s “Bless all the girls” segment is a wonderful and welcome break from the driving main section, and those verses take me right back to my high school days, perfectly capturing the terrible wonders of teenage sexuality. The latter song is one of my all-time favorites with Steinman’s beautiful piano licks and Todd Rundgren’s tremendous production; the closing crescendo is wonderful, and I can’t help but clap along at the end.

The video I found for the Pandora’s box version of Original Sin features sensual art from Luis Royo, another form of guilty pleasure, and is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. His Fallen Angel is quite striking to me; you could build a tragic story around that pictured moment in time.

Taylor Dayne did a modified cover of the song, but it did not chart. Bonnie Tyler is another female artist who did great versions of Steinman songs, with him producing her album Faster Than the Speed of Night.

But of course the artist most closely associated with Steinman is the mighty Meat Loaf with the fantastic bombastic Bat Out of Hell, Dead Ringer, and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell albums. Meat did a cover of Original Sin on his Welcome to the Neighborhood album.

No one sings Steinman better than Meat Loaf, but I was sufficiently intrigued by the original Pandora’s Box version to order the album CD (it was not available on MP3 from Amazon or iTunes), which was made with Jim Steinman and has their original takes on several songs Meat Loaf would later cover on Bat Out of Hell II.

Some of Steinman’s lyrics are especially good, right up there with other choice bits which speak to me. The scrap of verse which hooked into my ears today and drew my full attention to the song, which had been playing in the background, was:

I’ve been looking for the ultimate crime
Infinite victims, infinitesimal time
And I’m so very guilty for no reason or rhyme

This and other Steinman songs supply plenty of reasons and rhymes for this sort of guilty pleasure.

Original Sin

I’ve been looking for an original sin
One with a twist and a bit of a spin
And since I’ve done all of the old ones
Till they’ve all been done in
Now I’m just looking
Then I’m gone with the wind
Endlessly searching for an original sin

You can dance forever
You got a fire in your feet
But will it ever be enough?
You know that it’ll never be enough
You can fly and never land
And never need to sleep
But will it ever be enough?
You know that it’ll never be enough

It’s not enough to make the nightmares go away
It’s not enough to make the tears run dry
It’s not enough to live a little better every day
Everything that they taught us
Was nothing but lies
Everything that they brought us
Was nothing but bribes

But it’ll all be over now
All I wanted was a piece of the night
I never got an equal share
When the stars are out of sight
And the moon is down
The natives are so restless tonight

I’ve been looking for an original sin
One with a twist and a bit of a spin
And since I’ve done all of the old ones
Till they’ve all been done in
Now I’m just looking
Then I’m gone with the wind
Endlessly searching for an original sin

You can lose yourself in pleasure
Till your body’s going numb
But will it ever be enough?
You know that it’ll never be enough
You can always take whatever
You conceivably could want
But will it ever be enough?
You know that it will never be enough

It’s not enough to make the nightmares go away
It’s not enough to make the tears run dry
It’s not enough to live a little better every day
Everything that they taught us
Was nothing but lies
Everything that they brought us
Was nothing but bribes

But the lies are over now
All I wanted was a piece of the night
It never had to get so dark
When the stars are out of sight
And the moon is down
The natives are so restless tonight

I’ve been looking for an original sin
One with a twist and a bit of a spin
And since I’ve done all of the old ones
Till they’ve all been done in
Now I’m just looking
For an original sin

I’ve been looking for the ultimate crime
Infinite victims, infinitesimal time
And I’m so very guilty for no reason or rhyme
So now I’m just looking
And killing some time
Endlessly searching for the ultimate crime

I’ve been looking for an original sin
One with a twist and a bit of a spin
And since I’ve done all of the old ones
Till they’ve all been done in
Now I’m just looking
Then I’m gone with the wind
Endlessly searching for an original sin

I’m applying for a license to thrill
Going out on the edge
Moving in for the kill
There’ll be hell to pay someday
So put it all on the bill
Cause we’ll always be paying
And paying until
We’re beyond expiration
With a license to thrill

I’ve been looking for an original sin…

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife, Wendy, and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
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