Paramore is retiring its breakthrough single and biggest hit, “Misery Business,” from its live show.
The band announced the news while performing at the inaugural Paramore Art + Friends festival in its hometown of Nashville on Friday (September 7th). Singer Hayley Williams told the audience, “Tonight we’re playing this song for the last time for a really long time. This is a choice that we’ve made because we feel that we should. We feel like it’s time to move away from it for a little.”
The song, which originally appeared on the band’s 2007 sophomore album Riot!, has been criticized as “anti-feminist” for the lines “Once a whore, you’re nothing more/ I’m sorry that’ll never change.” Williams has opted not to sing those lines at some shows in the past, and she addressed the controversy directly in an interview with Track 7 last year to commemorate the album’s 10th anniversary.
Williams explained at the time, “The thing that annoyed me was that I had already done so much soul-searching about it, years before anyone else had decided there was an issue . . . I was a 17-year-old kid when I wrote the lyrics in question and if I can somehow exemplify what it means to grow up, get information, and become any shade of ‘woke,’ then that’s a-okay with me.”
Williams has said in the past that the lyrics were ripped directly from a page in her high school diary. She remarked, “I believe I was supposed to have written those backwards words and I was supposed to learn something from them years later. It’s made me more compassionate toward other women, who maybe have social anxieties … and toward younger girls who are at this very moment learning to cope and to relate and to connect.”
Paramore has been touring behind its fifth and latest album, 2017’s After Laughter.
At the Paramore concert in Nashville and they just announced that they won’t be performing Misery Business again for a long time after this show. Omg. pic.twitter.com/wARvoYGz76
— Tyler Matl (@TylerMatl) September 8, 2018