Marina Lambrini Diamandis or better known by her stage name, MARINA is making a return to music not soon after her fourth studio album released in April 2019. The Welsh singer-songwriter released a brand new single, titled “Man’s World,” from her upcoming fifth studio album. As the title suggests, the singer takes on the misogynistic nature of society in most cases favoring men over women.
In an interview with Vogue magazine, MARINA explained the inspiration and idea behind her new single;
I wrote it last summer in August. I’d already decided I was gonna write this new record alone, and the process felt like a reaction to what I had previously released, which is often the case. Each record I do is sort of like the opposite of the previous one. At the time I was mostly inspired by the shifts that are happening for people who are discriminated against. The original idea for the song was to write a snapshot of how women and LGBTQ+ individuals have been subjugated and discriminated against throughout history going back to the Salem witch trials, where any person who was deemed abnormal or slightly alternative was singled out. Those kinds of patterns are still present in society. That’s something inspiring to me and worth writing about.
Watch “Man’s World” Music Video by MARINA
“Man’s World” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse of the song, MARINA adores women for who they are and what they represent.
‘Cherub’ is a reference to everything that is baby-like innocence. MARINA also gives a reference to Francois Boucher’s artworks of cherubs. These cherub paintings mostly compromise of the color pink or rose.
MARINA goes on to draw some heavenly and earthly connections to different features of women, signifying how pure and real women are.
The singer also brings in a page from the history books about the Salem witch trials–a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. Out of around 200 people accused, 19 were killed by hanging, of whom 15 were women and 4 were men. Arguably, there were no valid grounds for these accusations and these were innocents being killed. Fast-forward a few centuries, women still suffer injustice and unequal treatment in society. But today, you cannot accuse a person of being a witch and kill them. Instead, people resort to verbal abuse, which can be equally, if not more, damaging.
In the hook of the song, MARINA goes on a rant about not wanting to live in this world dominated by patriarchy. Although women have made massive strides towards gaining an equal status compared to men in society, there still are lapses in many aspects. Equal treatment, equal pay, and equal opportunities are yet to be fully balanced. There are very few women in business ownership, top management of companies, politics, sports, and many more areas. However, things are improving, thanks to powerful female voices such as MARINA herself.
The second verse ties around the life of iconic Marilyn Monroe, who is possibly the most famed sex symbol in history. Her roles in movies, modeling career, and social life helped make the taboo topic of ‘sex’ somewhat acceptable back in the 1950s.
MARINA ties up Monroe’s story with yet another powerful man who was not so well looked up to. The Sultan of Brunei, Sheik Hassanal Bolkiah, who owned the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Marilyn Monroe lived, imposed the death penalty for homosexuals in Brunei. MARINA tries to unearth some secret knowledge as to why a homophobic Sultan purchased a ‘pink-walled’ hotel in Los Angeles. The color ‘pink’ is often associated with the LGBTQ+ community.
In these lyrics of “Man’s World,” MARINA tries to open the listener’s eyes and give a different perspective. She claims that the world is not what men perceive it to be. From a woman’s perspective, the world is a dangerous place and a place with walls all around her. So, MARINA asks the listener to think about their own mother, daughters, or sisters and envision a better world for them–a world with equal opportunity–a world with equal treatment.
There is an underlying message about the environment and the Earth throughout the song. She calls for action against the death of mother nature, which has been a result of human ‘progress.’ However, the singer reminds us that there is nothing more powerful than Mother Nature herself, yet another female figure. The ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 is a good example of what Mother Nature can cook up to heal herself. The whole world came to a standstill for a year by a mere virus.
MARINA has an important message for all of us in “Man’s World” lyrics. The only question is, are you willing to listen to the words?
Let us hear your thoughts about the song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.