Grace Woodroofe
Grace Woodroofe | Credit: Jody Pachniuk

Love Letter to a Record: Grace Woodroofe on ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Grace Woodroofe heaps praise on Ms. Lauryn Hill’s solo debut, 1998’s ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’.

Grace Woodroofe is beginning anew with her latest single ‘Beginning’. It’s Woodroofe’s first release in eight years and the first taste of her forthcoming second album. The song title refers to the beginning phase of a relationship’s downfall, a time characterised by “bargaining, denial and desperation.” Woodroofe will launch the new single at shows in Perth and Melbourne over the next couple of months.

Grace Woodroofe’s Love Letter to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Grace: I discovered and then rediscovered this record numerous times throughout my life and always at pivotal moments. Most recently was when I returned to the city that homed my former relationship. I had to reclaim the city as my own; as it was before I met him.

I had a whole history that was dormant beneath the memories of him. I was terrified to return and see what feelings might come to the surface, but I also knew I needed to reclaim the space as my own and find the joy of independence I once had there.

On my first day back after many years, I woke up early and went outside. I put Miseducation on as loud as it would go in my headphones and walked. I walked for hours listening to this record everyday. I mouthed the words as I walked down the streets, danced around the villages, the shops, the suburbs. I couldn’t stop my body from reacting to the words and beats. It took over me.

Over my time spent back there, the songs become synonymous with my reclamation of the city. I felt empowered; vulnerable, but strong. I felt like I had loved and lost. I had lived and died and come back to life. Such a fundamental part of that was thanks to this record. To this day when I listen to it, it takes me back to that magical time.

There are so many stinging lines on the album that make me feel strong and vengeful. ‘Lost Ones’ has this anger and power I absolutely revelled in. In ‘Ex-Factor’, the lyric, “And when I try to walk away / You’d hurt yourself to make me stay,” is such a painfully familiar narrative. ‘When It Hurts So Bad’ has a story that absolutely speaks to me: “Gave up my power / I existed for you,” and “If you’ve ever been in love / Then you’d understand.”

This album has so many incredible moments: ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’, ‘I Used To Love Him’, ‘To Zion’, ‘Tell Him’. A magnificent collection of work that a young woman made to honour her experience. I can only hope to do the same.

Grace Woodroofe – ‘Beginning’

Grace Woodroofe Live 2023

  • Saturday, 18th March – The Workers Club, Melbourne VIC
  • Tickets: Oztix
  • Monday, 24th April – The Ellington Jazz Club, Perth WA
  • Tickets: Venue

Further Reading

Ms. Lauryn Hill to Headline the 2023 Promiseland Festival

Ms. Lauryn Hill And Wyclef Jean Reunite For Brief Set Of Fugees Songs

Love Letter to a Record: Keanu on Prince’s ‘Breakfast Can Wait’

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