Interpretations:Marty Beller Mask
15 long years
I'm torn on how to interpret the line "It's been 15 long years since I put on the Marty mask". Has the narrator been wearing the mask for 15 years non-stop or is the narrator about to wear it again for the first time in 15 years? It kind of changes the tone of the entire song depending on how you look at it. Perhaps, that is the genius of John Linnell at work. -thevince 5 November 2011
Narrator ambiguity, and surprisingly heavy subtext
Is the narrator really Whitney Houston posing as Marty Beller, or Marty Beller deluded into thinking he is Whitney Houston posing as Marty Beller, or someone else entirely? The world may never know.
The line "Marty gets the mention, while I get his skins" plays on the dual meaning of "skins" as drumskins and the skin of a person; the last word is drawn out and for a few beats it's not clear that it's "skins" rather than "skin". Which gets into surprisingly heavy political subtext (ignoring the celebrity angle and all the specifics of Whitney Houston, the lyrics describe a black woman posing as a white man, with all the associated baggage in American society). Probably heavier subtext than was intended, but I'm going to go there anyway...