Sippy Cup is a song from Melanie’s debut album Cry Baby released 14 August 2015. She was a contestant in The Voice (USA) in 2012 and made it to the Top 6 before she was eliminated. After that, she signed on with Atlantic Records and released this concept album. All thirteen songs in the album are somehow tied to each other by theme or by character and they focus on heavy themes like drugs, identity and family (or the lack of).
This song in particular is flooded with meaning and emotion. She sings about skeletons in the closet, vulnerability and the desperation to appear normal. Being a concept album, most of the songs surround the life of Cry Baby and her twisted family. A father who’s working in a drug company and sleeping with another woman. A mother who’s dieting, drinking and desperate to forget reality. Cry Baby who’s caught in this mess and dressed up to make the family appear normal. (There is also a brother who’s not present in Sippy Cup but he’s doing drugs too.)
But behind all the backstory, with just the lyrics, Melanie paints an abstract picture loaded with references both to drugs and childhood memories. A sippy cup. A cradle. Harmless happy things.
But are they really?
What if the things placed inside can hurt you? What if the cradle is a prison? What if the sippy cup is a drug? What’s inside?
You can put trash inside a gilded gold box and call it treasure. Colour tissue paper red and call it roses. Paste smiles on skeletons and call them humans. It’s not wrong is it though? We make treasure out of trash and roses out of tissue. But that doesn’t mean we should forget that the treasure is still trash and the roses are tissue paper.
Blood still stains when the sheets are washedSex don’t sleep when the lights are offKids are still depressed when you dress them upAnd syrup is still syrup in a sippy cupHe’s still dead when you’re done with the bottleOf course it’s a corpse that you keep in the cradleKids are still depressed when you dress them upSyrup is still syrup in a sippy cup
I think that we do that all the time. Pretend that nothing is wrong. “Going on with life,” we call it. “I’ll get over it.” We don’t. We just lock up the skeleton and place it in the back of the storeroom with the rest of them. Hiding doesn’t solve problems. Oh, but we do it anyway.