Yale College Council President Vidhya Prabhakaran ’03 fills many roles on the YCC — his most recent being rumor controller.
The YCC announced the six options for Spring Fling bands Thursday — Alien Ant Farm, Guster, Live, O.A.R., Rusted Root and Sugar Ray — and collected student opinion through a YaleStation survey.
But then Freshman Class Council representatives discovered that some students were concerned that Live might be anti-Semitic.
Lyrics from the song “Top” on Live’s Throwing Copper album include the line, “oh Hitler, in a robe of truth / my emptiness has built your altar / and I’ve worshiped myself in you forever / until now!”
Prabhakaran investigated the issue and found an interview in “Straight Out of York” with Live lead singer Ed Kowalczyk, who explained the song and why he did not think it was anti-Semitic.
“I’ve been really anxious to clear up this thing about the lyrics to ‘Top,'” Kowalczyk said in the interview. “A lot of times I write lyrics in a very stream of consciousness kind of way and in no way is the Hitler referral in that song sympathy at all. I think if you know our history, you would probably know that. The way the lyrics go, the song is really about leaders in general and people’s affection for them — The song’s about liberating yourself from leaders and that kind of influence.”
Prabhakaran said the explanation seemed to assuage most people’s concerns about Live’s lyrics. He said people are “rooting for the bands,” and while he had not heard of anyone who loved all of the bands, he had not heard of anyone who did not like at least one of them.
Katherine Mannheimer GRD ’06 said she would probably go to Spring Fling no matter what.
“I’d want to hear Rusted Root,” said Mannheimer, who was not at Yale for Spring Fling in 1999 when Rusted Root played.
While students had varied opinions about which band was their favorite, most had in common that they had not heard all of the bands.
“I’m most excited about Live,” Thomas Kalvik ’04 said. “I haven’t seen them before — that’s why. To me, there were a lot of unknown names on the list.”
Diana Swett ’05 said she voted for Rusted Root online. But she said she was surprised because she had not heard of several of the other finalists.
“None of the bands I’d requested on the first part [of the survey] ended up being on the second part,” Swett said.
David Meiklejohn ’05 said he was not excited about the April event.
“I’m not really interested in that kind of music, to be honest,” Meiklejohn said. “I’m not exactly a party animal.”
And while some students are discussing the list of bands, Elizabeth Wright ’02 is less concerned.
“I haven’t seen the list,” Wright said. “I’m probably not going to go.”