‘My Life’ At 15: ‘I’m Goin’ Down’

Though it was first popularized nearly 20 years earlier by Rose Royce, Mary's rendition of "I'm Going Down" is arguably the definitive one. This has everything to do her truth at the time. While she doesn't diverge much from it stylistically, it's her depression, drug use, and destrictive love that coats the song's lyrics with a deeper desperation than on the original. Although "I'm Going Down" is painful--especially when reading it with the knowledge of her personal melodrama--the song's emotional punch is fortified by its straightforward, almost pragmatic resignation. She knew she was going down, everything was wrong, and it could not be stopped. Mary's clarity about that comes through in her delivery. When she directs the apologies and the pleas and the explanations to her partner, the agony and frustration seethes in a way only Mary can express.
After the bounce

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2 Responses

  1. I think the video really sold it for me. I'm not a fan of remakes, but the imagery of multiple Marys descending the steps was a good foil for the chorus of the song.

  2. I actually am a huge fan of remakes, several of Mary's to be specific. However, I do agree with Soulrific, the imagery of going down the steps was fantastic. and it being in black and white. loved the video.


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