Penelope Scott – Rät | Lyrics Meaning Explained

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In the winter of 2020, 20-year-old Penelope Scott achieved mainstream success in her music career with her song “Rät. The song is a love-hate story about all things internet and tech, and our generation’s fascination with both, and often the disappointing destinations we both lead to.

Penelope Scott teased a short clip of “Rät” on TikTok and was originally titled “Elongated Muskrat”. Does that sound a lot like Elon Musk’s name? Because it is meant to be. The song is pretty much a love-hate letter to tech pioneer and business mogul, Elon Musk.

Elon Musk was the face of “bringing humanity to the next stage of evolution”. Although he keeps his promise, it seems to take time, and as a result he has become a billionaire (on the way to even becoming the world’s first trillionaire). While this may be a byproduct of the mission to save humanity, a lot of people seem to have a problem with it. Elon Musk has been inducted into the world’s elitist, untouchable and tax-avoidant group.

Listen to “Rät” by Penelope Scott

Penelope Scott “Rät” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review

Verse 1

Penelope Scott gives us a presentation of herself. Just like any child born after the 2000s, she was also born into a world of technological miracles.

I come from scientists and atheists and white men who kill God

The world is heading for technological bliss. The place of faith and belief is slowly giving way to facts, evidence and research. In this context, the spiritual aspects of humanity such as religion and gods have less and less space. When humanity cannot prove the existence of a god or a paradise above or a hell below, it seems to shy away from these ideas and turn to more tangible products.

Nowadays children are growing up with technological products like smartphones, laptops, iPads, internet, YouTube, etc. Parents have found an easy way to care for children with these addicting products. Of course, children can grow up disconnected from their parents. Penelope Scott refers to the infamous “Daddy Problems” to emphasize this idea. “Daddy issues” generally refer to a type of behavior where a girl usually seeks warmth and affection that she hasn’t received from her father from other men. In this song, Penelope’s daddy issues were met by technological miracles and the men who pioneered them.

Damn, I fell in love with you, your flamethrowers, your tunnels and your tech

The three references above are from Elon Musk. He infamously developed a flamethrower through his company, The Boring Company. The same company also dug tunnels for the SpaceX office. Elon Musk’s name is now synonymous with technology: rockets, self-driving cars, neurotech, digital currency, etc.

Penelope Scott says she is studying computer coding so that she can be like Elon Musk and help change the world. But the reality is that nothing is as they seem. They say don’t meet your idols because you can peek behind the scenes and the backstage isn’t as pretty and glamorous as what you see on screen.

Pre-choir

Penelope Scott has no filter in these lyrics to “Rät”. At the start of the song, she mentioned that she was part of the movement that killed God. She thought it was an accomplishment to be right about things she wanted to believe in. Religion is not something that can be proven (which is not the point of religion, anyway). However, in the song’s pre-chorus, Penelope Scott seems to admit that her clan is as flawed as the institutions she thought she beat.

But we’ve been wicked, we’re elitists, we’re as flawed as any church

Throughout the history of religion, people have looted, murdered and raped in the name of religion. Monarchs and religious institutions have grown rich beyond imagination. However, nothing is different from these institutions and big tech companies. Some steal and sell private information about people to earn money.

Penelope Scott continues to merge themes of religion and technology in these lyrics; “I bit the apple because I trusted you, it tastes like Thomas Malthus.” Biting the Apple is a popular reference to the biblical story of Adam and Eve and their original sin of eating the forbidden fruit. Thomas Malthus is an English economist and demographer who is best known for his theory that population growth will always tend to exceed food supply and that betterment of mankind is impossible without severe limits to reproduction.

Penelope Scott also refers to Selmers, a character in the “Night in the Woods” video game, where Selmers writes a poem about her city’s flight to Silicon Valley. Penelope’s “Rät” is also largely a song about the disappointment of Silicon Valley.

Chorus

Disappointment or dissatisfaction or hatred towards Silicon Valley and what it represents, sings Penelope Scott;

I loved you, I loved you, I loved you, it’s true
I wanted to be you and do what you do

She loved everything Silicon Valley stood for – a miracle garden that promised to change the world we live in. Penelope Scott has watched them all her childhood until now and the plot has been rather underwhelming.

I feel so stupid, and used so much
i feel so used

Verse 2

Penelope Scott draws from her roots where her fascination with technology began. She was the only girl sitting in her science class. She fell in love with circuit boards, computer languages, robots and rockets. Elon Musk was at the forefront of it all. So it was only natural that she developed a crush on him.

On Tiktok, Penelope made a video explaining these lyrics, where she said: “When I call myself a ‘hot girl in your sci-fi class’ (…), as many of you seem to think, I didn’t call myself sexy because I think it’s obvious, or because I »I am vain. I was actually trying to refer to the pressure that many women feel in a male dominated profession or study, to push their femininity to the extreme so as not to lose their gender identity in the work they do. make. I also had the “gamer girl” aesthetic in mind that many of us go through some sort of phase with, in an effort to appeal not only to guys, but to “techie guys” in particular. So I was trying to refer to something a little deeper.

In the last part of the second verse, the singer talks about how disappointed she has been with the uses of technological advancements made by mankind over the past decade. Business tycoons such as Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk have started to commercialize space travel with space tourism – a much less noble use of scarce resources on Earth!

Penelope Scott seems to be losing faith in the promise that technology will be the savior of mankind! The technology was supposed to give humanity another chance to live on another planet as we undoubtedly destroy planet Earth. Instead, the technology is used for private gain.

Pre-choir 3

So… Penelope Scott is done with Elon Musk and his rockets and his cars and his flamethrowers and again, his cars!

You promised you would be Tesla, but you’re just another Edison

Penelope Scott talks about the age-old rivalry of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. While both men are giants in the field of electrical engineering, the popular claim is that Edison stole the ideas and fame from Tesla. Without irony, Elon Musk also likely “stole” Nikola Tesla’s name “Tesla” for his auto company. Clever parallels.

The Nikola-Edison split humanity into two factions to discuss who was the better genius and who should be credited with all of the electric wonders we see today. Elon Musk did no such thing. But as a business mogul, it’s only natural that he wants his electric car competition to be minimal. He has Tesla sales targets to meet. We will never be able to say where his true intentions lie: to save the planet or the business tycoon!

Verse 3

“Eat the rich” has been a popular slogan lately to protest elite billionaires who seem to get away with anything – from taxes to certain laws. Penelope realizes that she doesn’t want these people to go away, but rather for them to change their motivation ?!

Penelope cleverly separates herself from these elitists by saying that her education comes at the cost of blood. By this she means that her parents had to shed blood, sweat and tears to make a living. None of them were born in money. But money is the last thing she thinks about right now.

Let me be on your level, man, like someone guilty of gambling
I took the help, I took the money, I would have taken your last name

The singer was engaged in the game of technology. She had high hopes of saving humanity. She would have loved to become the next Penelope Musk! It was part of the game known as capitalism. She took the money where she could get it and used it to advance in technology. But now she feels betrayed by the same game she was a part of. She feels used by her idols and heroes. She has one final note for the Elon Musks; “you are ad * ck.”

What do you think of what Penelope Scott has to say about the Silicon Valley Promise? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out the full lyrics on Genius.

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