February 6, 2012

Sometimes music can touch the soul, and sometimes it can teach you about sluts and morons.

When I was a kid, I was really into music. I had my own tape recorder, and when I wasn’t busy recording my dad snoring, or my parent’s private conversations, or episodes of Laverne & Shirley that I wanted to memorize, or my own soap opera’s that I wrote, directed, and starred in and which revolved around the character’s flatulence problems (The Young and the Farty was a popular one), I was usually using it to listen to my tunes. I even had entire dance routines to go with most of my jams. When I needed more people for said dance routines, I would invite a few of the neighbor girls over, and force them to learn my choreography. There was one girl who would always try to outshine me, so I would stick her in the way back, and sometimes she would get put in charge of lighting or the wind machine, AKA the flashlight and the box fan.

During my performances,  I was usually in costume, hairbrush in hand, singing along. I even made wigs out of yarn when a fancier hairstyle was in order, or the dance routine required a bit more sassy hair tossing than my own, Buster Browned, locks could handle.
I was about 100,000% positive that I would someday be discovered. Basically it would go down like this:  I would start out on Broadway in “Annie.” Then as I matured and my body blossomed into a beautiful garden of butt and boobies, I would move on to something along the lines of a starring role in TV’s “Fame”, or a permanent role on “The Facts of Life” on which I would play the part-time school girl/full-time rock and roller best friend of Jo’s.
In other words, I was really, really, into my music. And I still am. And like most people when they get older, I have a soft spot for the music that I listened to as a child. But now when I listen to some of it, I hear things in it that I missed as a kid.
So today I thought I would share a few of these songs with you. Why? Because it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I don’t watch football. So I’m pretty bored.

#1- Heart: All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You

When I googled this song for the release date, I was actually pretty shocked. It came out in 1990. That realization made me feel like a total loser. Because truth be told, I kinda liked this song for awhile. I mean, only when I was on my period or was having boy trouble. The rest of the time I was into bands like The Cure and The Smiths and Led Zeppelin. But if my estrogen levels were high and this song came on the radio, I ain’t gonna lie to you guys… I sang along. But thanks to the fact that I was 18 when this came out, it didn’t take me more than a few weeks to actually process the insanity of the words that I was singing, and when I did, I felt like an asshole. Cuz this song? This song was about woman who picked up a boy who was out walking during a rainstorm. And he was probably walking cuz he was too young to drive, you guys. So does she  do the appropriate thing and take him home? No. She takes him to a hotel. What hotel? One that she “knew well.” Why did she know it so freakin’ well? Probably cuz she was a whore who picked up young boys and took them to hotels. And what happened there? Well, she pretty much screwed his brains out. Then what? Well, she snuck out while he was sleeping and she left him some dumb-ass note that said “I am the flower, you are the seed, we walked in the garden, we planted a tree.” And that is, like, the dumbest note ever. Cuz if she is a stupid flower, and he is a freakin’ seed, how the hell did either of them walk through a goddamn garden? Flowers and seeds don’t have legs. And even if they did, a flower and a seed don’t make a freakin’ tree. Obviously this songwriter didn’t take Botany in college like I did. And ya know what else bugs me? Not only did she pick  up this “lonely boy in the rain” and take him to a hotel and underage rape him, but she also left him there to find his own way home. Bitch coulda at least left cab fare. And unfortunately it gets worse for him, because later he runs into her and finds out she had his friggin’ baby! The only good part about this song is that there wasn’t a verse about asking for child support.

#2- Dolly Parton: Jolene

So this was a song that I loved as a kid. It came out in 1974 when I was only 3-years-old, but it was always playing on the radio even when I was a few years older. It’s a pretty short song and was easy to memorize, so it became a part of my hairbrush singing repertoire. Sometimes I would even put stuffed animals in my shirt to give myself a Dolly kinda rack. It actually wasn’t until The White Stripes sang it in 2004 when I kinda re-discovered this song and really began to listen to the lyrics. Basically what this song is saying is that Dolly Parton is a woman with very low self-esteem whose man is messing around on her with some red-headed bitch named Jolene. So what does Dolly do? Key her car? Kick her ass? Spork her man in the taint? No, no, and no. What she does do is she sings about how pretty and perfect Jolene is and begs her not to take her man away from her, when what she really needs to do is throw his shit on the lawn and take him for all he’s worth. Really. No wonder he’s messing around with Jolene. She’s pathetic. And that slutty Joleen’s probably giving him the butt sex.

#3-Sylvia: Nobody

This song came out in 1982. I love it big time. I had the 45 and I played it and wore a yarn wig and did the whole American Bandstand performance thing. This song got lots of play time in my house. And I really don’t think I had heard it since 1982, until a couple of weeks ago when it came on the radio in my car. I was super excited and I was flash-backing all over the place. And I was totally surprised to find that I remembered all of the lyrics. But as I sang along I realized that I never knew what the hell I was singing about back when I was 10-years-old. Yes. It’s yet another song about a stupid bitch. Basically this girl is having dinner with her man when this other chick walks past their table, and she notices that he looks at her like he knows her. So she asks him about it and he says it’s nobody. Then all this other shit happens like he says he’s working late with nobody. And then he’s all day-dreamy and stuff and she asks him who he’s thinking about and he says nobody. So then the nobody woman calls the freakin’ house and hangs up when the wife asks what her name is. Obviously they coulda used some caller ID, and the stupid nobody woman could’ve at least cooked up a story before she called, just in case the wife answered. I would think that would be one of the top ten tips for being the other woman: Be prepared to lie your ass off.  And after all this stuff happens, what does the wife do? She just tells her husband that she can love him better than that sleazy-ass nobody woman can. Really? Dude. Get some self-respect. You and Dolly need to go to some kind of support group or something. Or maybe take some testosterone and grow some balls.

#4-Meatloaf: Paradise By The Dashboard Light

This came out in 1977. We had the 8-track. I was 6-years-old and I sang the shit out of it. It was about 17-year-old kids in a car making out and he’s trying to get her to do it with him and she’s fighting it and he keeps on pushing and she asks him if he’s gonna love her forever and he’s mega-horny so he says yes so they do it and then he’s stuck with her forever. So I guess she got knocked up or something. Did I mention that when I sang the shit outta this I was 6-years-old?

My parents really dropped the ball on this one.

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24 Responses to “Sometimes music can touch the soul, and sometimes it can teach you about sluts and morons.”

  1. Meetzar the Magnificent Said:

    HAHAHAAAAA!! I have often wondered the same thing about a few of these songs, Joleen in particular. If I had written this song, it would be even shorter.

    “Joleen, Joleen, Joleen, Joleeeeeeeeen, BITCH, you can have him, sucka!!!”

  2. Valia Said:

    I love this! It brings back all sorts of memories. Also the sense of injustice I still feel that my parents had a cow when I brought home a bible, but my little sister could belt out those nasty songs from “Grease” all day and they thought she was such a talent!

  3. Bele Said:

    “And that slutty Joleen’s probably giving him the butt sex.”

    Out of the whole blog (which made me laugh) this stuck out the most and had me rolling, which is even better cause I have a nasty head cold and sounded like a lethargic seal. Love your work!!

  4. -k Said:

    I was equally impressed at the use of “THE butt sex” – nice wording there. But forever in my heart will live the whole “spork him in the taint” bit. A mental picture that I likely never would have encountered without having read this, but it’s etched in there now! Now begins the countdown until I have the opportunity to use it…and in a case of blatant thievery, take credit for it my ownself! Muaahahaha…

  5. Kelly Said:

    This brings back memories of standing on the front porch with my friends belting out Like A Virgin and my mom opening the front door to ask us what kind of nasty music we were listening to!! I’m pretty sure none of us even knew what a virgin was!

  6. Lilscorpiosweetie Said:

    Haha too funny! I remember belting out I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany I was a HUGE Tiffany fan. Of course back then I had no idea that the song was about this boy wanting to get in this girls pants.

    I also sang to INXS and several others and I think if my mom could boycott my music she would have except she didn’t have the heart to squash any kind of musical talent I might have had. Soo I entered into choir in 6th , 7th, 8th grades and continued through high school and I still can’t stand in front of people and sing. It just scares the bejeezus out of me. So I will stick to groups and singing to myself or singing in the car.

  7. Cassandra Said:

    i remember my parents let me watch grease when i was about 10 – got the album for my birthday and everything. even then something felt off. a couple years later i realized – this movie has one message “ya gotta be a slut to get your man”

    but re: meatloaf – i think your parents were actually onto something. that song certainly made me consider abstinence more than the idea of “saving it” or some other sentimentalized bullshit. if they’d have done a movie for that one i bet i would have held out even longer . . . eh, maybe not.

  8. Kim C Said:

    Loved this! And I’m gonna pimp it out :)….

    Me and my sister used to sing to Prince… Honestly, I can’t pick one of his songs that wasn’t dirty off of his Purple Rain album. We, too, used to put on shows for my parents, and invite over relatives, etc to watch. Imagine their surprise when we opened the show with “Darling Nikki”.. Yep, that’s right. We got a few of the words wrong, which is probably why we didn’t catch what the song was about, but my family sure got what it was about.

    It wasn’t until years later that I got the CD, and my sister came over and we were listening to it, singing along, when we TRULY realized what it was that we were singing about. I always wondered why we had to have a “dress rehearsal” for my mom before we were allowed to do any more shows….

  9. Kim C Said:

    This is too funny.

    My sister and I used to sing the shit out of Prince’s Purple Rain album, and we, too, used to put on shows for my parents, family, friends, etc. So imagine their surprise when we opened one of our “shows” with “Darling Nikki”. Yep… that’s right. We got some of the words wrong, which is probably why we didn’t REALLY know what the song was about, but the “audience” sure did. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen my dad’s face get that red before then.

    Years later, I bought the CD, and my sister and I were listening to it… REALLY listening… and realized exactly what we had been singing about.

    No wonder we had to have a “dress rehearsal” for my mom from then on….

  10. Michelle Higgins Said:

    OMG. F*cking hilarious.

  11. And, This Is Why I'm Me Said:

    When I was about 11 I remember “Almost Paradise” from Footloose came on and my aunt started singing it and crying. Now, I’d heard this song many times before, but I was quite confused so later I asked my mother about it. She told me that it must have meant something to her and it brought her back to some sad memories, that it was probably all about the lyrics. It was then that I learned that songs were more than just random, sometimes rhyming words put to music, they MEANT something. It’s never been the same!

  12. Anonymous Said:

    Awesome!

    I just sang “#3-Sylvia: Nobody” at my desk at work….here it is THIRTY YEARS LATER, and I still knew every word.

    Just goes to show, that all those endless nights of singing to “Nobody” in my dresser mirror, did not go to waste!

  13. LilyPetals Said:

    This reminds me of a particularly poignant point in my parenthood. Hahaha. I didn’t start out to do that but it amused me. Okay, I was saying. We were driving home and I had all six of my kids in the van and I THINK some of my friends kids as well. “Baby Got Back” came on the radio. I talked my hubby into doing another loop around the neighborhood because I JUST LOVE THAT SONG. Uh….that song is very VERY different coming out of the mouths of babes and all 8 or 9 kids were belting that shit out. Yep, mother of the year – that’s me!

  14. Brief Jerkey Said:

    From now on I will always picture you as a blond “Jo” with a stash in front of a flashlight adorned fan singing “Nobody” in the style of Nicole (Nia Peoples from Fame)with a Modelo and unicorn hat of course.

  15. Anonymous Said:

    OMG – what a TRIP down memory lane! Thanks for that!! We used to sing AND act out Paradise by the dashboard light!! I must have been 10 or 11!!!!

    And I did the SAME with MY tape recorder – record my dad snoring or my brother or sister having private conversations, etc!! I loved this post!!

    -Kathy

  16. Krista Said:

    No Laura Branigan love???

  17. Anonymous Said:

    My little brother used to belt out that my baby is a centerfold song… when he was 4… it was amazing! lol

  18. Monica Said:

    Along the same lines, I remeber singing Rockin’ Robin and doing the little hand slap thing. A few years ago, I was standing next to someone humming this song. She got to the line, ” Sister’s on the corner singing fruit, cock, tail” and gasped. Turned to her mom and said, “Why did you let us sing that?” As kids, we thought she meant the little cup of fruit cocktail. Why she was singing it on the corner, dunno.

  19. Monica Said:

    What about Rockin’ Robin? We used to sing that one and do the hand slap thing. Until a few years ago, I thought sister was standing on a corner singing about fruit cups. Fruit.cock.tail.

  20. RachRiot Said:

    HA! Love this…so much good shit. “Jolene” and Sylvia need to grow some fucking balls (so that we can promptly stab them with a spork) I used to re-write Heart songs after they both swole up so big. I changed that one to: “All I Wanna Do Is Eat Some Fattenin’ Food” Maybe one day I’ll sing it to you. If you’re lucky..

  21. panamamama Said:

    Awesome! My kids love to sing “Roxanne.” Yes, great parental choice, I know.

  22. addisgrammies Said:

    OH, PATTI!!! I just f/b this week about the TRUE meaning of the songs I (and my sisters) LOVED, and knew every word when we were children. Prince (check). Dolly (check). MANY, MANY more… I guess I know NOW, why my Mom kept changing the radio stations (continuously) while we were on long road trips. <3 your page; keep it up!! p.s. The spork & the taint comment had me laughing UNCONTROLLABLY. The barn animals looked at me like I TRULY am crazy....!

  23. Anonymous Said:

    ROTFL. Been there and have done that!!!!

    One day I cam home from work. My husband had been off all week and caring for your then 3 year old daughter.
    That night while giving her her bath, she started singing “Shook me all night long” and “Love in an elevator”.
    She is now 16 and to this Day, Daddy is not permitted to listen to music around the children while unsupervised.

  24. Anonymous Said:

    This is my first time on this site n I think I’m a bit older than u, by A LOT( born in the mid to late 50’s), what the hell ’57, but the years may have changed but the situations didn’t. I remember my sister n her friends dancing around a fountain we had in our back yard sing ” If you want it here it is, come and get it” by th Rolling Stones. They had no idea what they were singing, but the guys putting aluminum siding on the house at the time sure did!!! I MUST praise u on ur humorous outlook on these things!! Now I have to start at the beginning n work my way up to this spot, then follow along. Thanks for the laugh. When ur in ur mid 50’s n single, n livin alone, there’s not of things to laugh at except sitcom. At least this is true humor,,,, or hope it is!!! lol

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