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Return to Oz (song)

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"Return to Oz" is a song by the pop/electronica band Scissor Sisters. It is the last song on their 2004 self-titled debut album and uses the lyrical motif of the film Return to Oz as an allegory for crystal meth abuse. The song is about drug abuse within the gay community, especially crystal meth. In the words of the frontman for the band, Jake Shears, this song is about "friends I have had who became lost along the way".


The chorus refers to the film sharing the title of the song, in reference to when Dorothy Gale returns to Oz only to find it in a post-apocalyptic state where the Yellow Brick Road is desecrated - "gold is brown" - and the Emerald City is a collapsing ruin ("the grass is dead", as in it is not green anymore) where the inhabitants have been turned to crystalline stone - "what once was Emerald City is now a Crystal Town" - and the only life she finds is Tik-Tok, the "wind up man walking round and round". The line "gold is brown" is a reference to the initial feeling of using meth and the harsh realities accompanying addiction.

It also continues the reference to Return to Oz by mentioning the queen with a hundred heads, a character in the film who combined features of Mombi and Langwidere from the original Oz books. At the end, the references become clearer and the intention of the song becomes easier to determine. A reference first to the Wheelers from Return to Oz, and then to the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal is made to play on the inhuman, decaying appearance of these characters, and remark on the physical appearance of the addict; "sunken faces and their wild rolling eyes" followed by a mention of clenching jaws.

"The patchwork girl has come to cinch the deal" — The Patchwork Girl is both a reference to the character from the Oz books, and a metaphor for the AIDS quilt which is made up of many "patches" signifying the number of lives lost to the disease.

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