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Possession – Challenge #190

‘Possession’ was the break-out hit on Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan’s best-selling third studio album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which was released in 1993.  The song was inspired by McLachlan’s reaction to two deranged fans, both of whom had concocted a fantasy in which they were already in a relationship with her.  Sarah said that writing this song was very therapeutic for her, and after it was released, she had stopped getting stalker-type fan letters, which made her grateful.  From a young age, McLachlan attracted a lot of attention in the music industry and she was offered a contract while she was still in school, but her parents encouraged her to focus on her studies.  In 1988, she released her first album, Touch, which was an instant hit and in 1991 her second album Solace was released.

McLachlan is known for founding the tour Lilith Fair a concert tour and travelling music festival which took place during the summers of 1997 to 1999, and was revived in the summer of 2010.  It consisted solely of female solo artists and female-led bands.  McLachlan created Lilith Fair as a way to empower and promote female artists.  Sarah has a considerable lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) fanbase, and she is a strong advocate for gay and lesbian rights.  She said that she’s no stranger to kissing girls, however she considers herself to be pretty straight, although there were times when she enjoyed a box lunch of sushi.  I always thought that eating a box lunch at the Y referred to cunnilingus, but Sara said that she has never had sex with a woman, so maybe I still have a lot to learn about being gay, or this could be one of those Bill Clinton things.

Trouble often comes along with success and throughout McLachlan’s journey to fame, her name, story, and photographs were popping up in the media everywhere.  Unfortunately, as a result, a dangerous situation slowly began to unfold and invade McLachlan’s privacy.  Most celebrities get fan mail, but sometimes this crosses the line, and that was the case for McLachlan and her crazed fan Uwe Vandrei.  ‘Possession’ was written as a response to the stalkers that Sarah McLachlan had to deal with early in her career, with two stalkers in particular who had these elaborate fantasies where they believed that they were actually in relationships with McLachlan really driving the song, which is written from the perspective of a stalker.

Sarah McLachlan admitted that she tried to put herself into the shoes of these stalkers, getting into their minds when they were so obsessed with another person that they could conceive murdering them.  It took her awhile to justify that, as a woman, living with fear in the back of her mind every day and the possibility of being raped by a whacko.  She thought it was kind of weird for her to write these lyrics, but she looked at this situation as being a bad dream, which put her into a false sense of reality, and it helped.  Not just that, but writing the whole song, was kind of a cleansing thing for her, because she had two people in particular who just became incredibly intense with the fantasy world that they created, and demanded that that was reality and that they needed to be together.  They went to great lengths to make this happen, which was frightening, and it ticked her off and made her look over her shoulder every time she walked out the door.  She was told to hire a bodyguard, but she refused to do that.  She didn’t want to live in fear, but this made her so angry, so instead of recoiling in terror, she penned a song.

Vandrei worked in the computer programming industry in Ottawa, and in 1991 and he started writing letters to McLachlan.  McLachlan revealed that they were, in fact, love letters, and they also were pretty creepy.  Just three years later and the letters that McLachlan received climbed into the thousands.  Things got even weirder for McLachlan and Vandrei when he decided to take legal action against McLachlan filing a lawsuit against her claiming that she stole his words from his mailed letters and used them in her song ‘Possession’.  Vandrei asked for $250, 000 and a televised meeting with Sarah.  Many suspected that the lawsuit was a charade created by Vandrei as a way to get physically closer to McLachlan.

The situation involving McLachlan and Vandrei was both scary and sad.  On November 3, 1994, Vandrei’s body was found in the local woods.  Uwe Vandrei climbed into the back of his pick-up truck, and blasted himself with a shotgun five days earlier.  Authorities confirmed that Vandrei had taken his own life.  Few people noticed Uwe Vandrei’s disappearance and his neighbors described him as a loner.  Like many obsessed fans, Vandrei kept to himself and the chance discovery of his truck parked in the Manotick woods, with his decomposing body inside brought to light the end of his tragic life.  The source of his pain was his love for Vancouver singer Sarah McLachlan and that obsession drove him to suicide.  Vandrei was so desperate for McLachlan’s attention that he decided to expose his obsession and launch the lawsuit, then he sent copies of his letters to CKCU radio.  All that mattered to him was reaching the siren of his dreams.  The court case wasn’t about money, as he didn’t need it, because he was very well off and all he wanted to do was meet her.  He was in love with her music, and her as a person.  He was clearly obsessed with McLachlan, as he kept journals dedicated to the singer and he told anyone who would listen about his overwhelming admiration for her.  He wasn’t violent or hostile, but he just had to meet his idol.  Both David Letterman and Jodie Foster had crazed fans and that is inevitable for some people when they become famous.

Many people have misunderstood this song and thought that was about a romantic relationship, because of its tender lyrics and McLachlan said that a lot of people use it for their wedding song.  This makes her smile quietly to herself and say, “Oh, that’s nice.”  Over the decades, McLachlan has created and shared many albums that received noteworthy and acclaimed praises.  Overall, McLachlan was nominated for 21 Juno awards and received three Grammy awards.  McLachlan has managed to impress the world and her fans everywhere with her musical career.

Listen as the wind blows
From across the great divide
Voices trapped in yearning
Memories trapped in time
The night is my companion
And solitude my guide
Would I spend forever here
And not be satisfied

And I would be the one
To hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I’ll take your breath away
And after I’d, wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes dear

Through this world I’ve stumbled
So many times betrayed
Trying to find an honest word
To find the truth enslaved
Oh you speak to me in riddles and
You speak to me in rhymes
My body aches to breathe your breath
Your words keep me alive

And I would be the one
To hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I’ll take your breath away
And after I’d, wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes, dear

Into this night I wander
It’s morning that I dread
Another day of knowing of
The path I fear to tread
Oh, into the sea of waking dreams
I follow without pride
Nothing stands between us here
And I won’t be denied

And I would be the one
To hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I’ll take your breath away
And after I’d, wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes dear

I’ll hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I’ll take your breath away
And after I’d wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes

 

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as you could write about another Sarah McLachlan song.  You could also write about why you think people become stalkers.  You could write about David Letterman and Jodie Foster.  If you would like to write about kissing somebody so hard that it takes their breath away.  You could write about getting a love letter or fan mail.  You could write about what you feel is your greatest possession.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about female solo artists and female-led bands.  You could write a post about your thoughts on suicide.  It would be fine of you want to explain the difference between being bisexual and lesbian, or why we shouldn’t be using any more labels like this anymore because your sexual orientation should not be determined by sexual activities.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday on September 10 Dylan Hughes will be here with her First Line Friday.  I will be back on Friday, September 17 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Rock With You’.  You can either create a ping back to this post, or place your link in the comments section below.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

7 comments on “Possession – Challenge #190

  1. newepicauthor
    September 3, 2021

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Sarah McLachlan is 53 and she sings, plays piano, keyboards, guitar, banjo, ukulele and the harp. In 1998, she won Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year (along with her producer Pierre Marchand), Single of the Year for ‘Building a Mystery’, and Album of the Year for Surfacing. In 1999, Sarah McLachlan was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada by then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in recognition of her successful recording career, her role in Lilith Fair, and the charitable donations she made to women’s shelters across Canada. In 2000, she won an International Achievement award and in 2004, won Pop Album of the Year for Afterglow and again shared the Songwriter of the Year award with Pierre Marchand for the singles ‘Fallen’, ‘World on Fire’, and ‘Stupid’. In 2001, she was inducted to the Order of British Columbia. On October 23, 2001, ‘Building a Mystery’ became the first song ever played on an Apple iPod. Apple Founder, Chairman and CEO Steven P. Jobs selected and played a short portion of the song at the iPod Introduction keynote held at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. It was the first song in his “Favorites” playlist. On February 12, 2010, McLachlan performed her song ‘Ordinary Miracle’ at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

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  5. Sheena
    September 6, 2021
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