Dori Freeman has released the video for the second single, “I Am”, from her forthcoming album Ten Thousand Roses, due out 10 September via Blue Hens Music. The humorous, self-deprecating ditty falls midway between Popeye the Sailor Man and Neil Diamond on the “I Am” scale. The cartoon character Popeye lives by the motto “I am what I am”. It means he puts on no pretenses or false faces. He is what is he appears to be and proud of it. Neil Diamond is more defiant if no less comic. “I am, I said to no one there / But no one heard at all, not even the chair.” Since when does furniture have ears? No matter. While Diamond’s arrogance may be overbearing, his pain is real. Freeman’s hurting also, but she insulates herself with humor.
Freeman repeats her declaration “I am” in a self-mocking manner that expresses both Popeye’s self-satisfaction and Diamond’s insolence. She pompously proclaims she’s not a good girl (“My mind is as dirty as the bottom of a coffee can”) and boasts she’s a drama queen. The song culminates with her stating she doesn’t give a damn even though she suffers from a broken heart.
The video recapitulates the sentiment. It was filmed on Freeman’s phone in one day with $50 spent on set props. She sprays the words “I Am” on a trash bag that also functions as a gravestone marker to which she brings pink flowers. Freeman’s modesty is only exceeded by her self-righteous conceit. It’s funny, haha, until it isn’t—like watching someone slip and fall on a banana peel and break their back. But Freeman doesn’t need spinach to save her. Like Diamond, she has chutzpah enough to spare.
Hear this song on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.