Objectionable Lyrics

I have noticed over the years that there are some popular songs that people say they love and that are played regularly on the radio, that have some lyrics I find to be objectionable.  Here are a few.
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In the Summertime, by Mungo Jerry:
“If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal; if her daddy’s poor then do what you feel…”
“…if she’s rich, if she’s nice, bring your friends and we’ll all go into town.”

This is supposed to be an upbeat summertime little ditty.  I turn the radio off as soon as I hear the opening notes.  It’s offensive.
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She’s a Lady, written by Paul Anka, sung by Tom Jones:

“Well, she always knows her place…”
“Well, she’s never in the way…”
“I can leave her on her own, knowing she’s okay alone…”
“She knows just what to do and how to please me…”

This guy is a real jewel.  He also says he’d never abuse her… lucky for her, maybe not for some of his previous or future girlfriends.
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I have several from, believe it or not, John Denver.  We have 2 chock-full CD’s of his stuff, and he is supposedly Mr. Romantic, but have you ever listened to some of his lyrics?

“Follow me, where I go, who I am, and what I know.  Make it part of you to be a part of me…” (In other words, give up your own individuality and ride my coattails for your worth.)
“So many times I’ve played around… I tell you now, they don’t mean a thing…” (Oh, well, I feel better now.)
“Why do we always fight when I have to go?”  (Maybe because you’re always GOING, and maybe because I know you’re going to PLAY AROUND.)
“I’m sorry for all the lies I told you, I’m sorry for all the things I didn’t say, but more than anything else, I’m sorry for myself, I can’t believe you went away…” (You can’t?)

He does have some really good songs – I love “Calypso” and “Rocky Mountain High” – but I just hear a very selfish theme running through a bunch of his songs.  He seems to love nature more than people, especially women.
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Here’s a favorite:

American Woman, by Guess Who:

“American woman, stay away from me, American Woman, mama let me be…”
“I don’t need your war machines, I don’t need your ghetto scenes…”

Drives me crazy when they play this on the radio on 4th of July or Flag Day because they think its patriotic.  Dancing with the Stars used this song on their American Theme Night.  This whole song is anti-American!
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Honorable Mention:

My Sweet Lord, by George Harrison

The lyrics to this song are not necessarily offensive per se, but it should be noted that his “sweet lord” was the hindu god Krishna, for pete’s sake.
———————-

I’ll admit to a couple of guilty pleasures:  I like “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John, even though it’s about gay pride and gay freedom.  It’s catchy.  I like it.  I also love the Doobie Brothers “China Town”, though some might find the lyrics a little on the racist side (and inaccurate, too – it talks about a “samurai sword”, and that’s a Japanese reference, not Chinese.)

Anyway, this is something I’ve just wanted to get off my chest.  There are far worse songs out there these days, with far worse language and sentiments, but these are examples of pop songs with insidious lyrics, and they bug me.

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About amyenoch

My name is Amy Enoch. I have been married for 25 years to the love of my life. I have two daughters, ages 19 and 16. I live in the Dallas area. Mostly I am a stay-at-home mom, but I do work part-time in an office job, and I do some contract work from home when it is available. I'll update this as I think of stuff that might be pertinent!
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6 Responses to Objectionable Lyrics

  1. Russell Johnson says:

    Ha! “She’s A Lady” is actually the ringtone Kristi calls my cell phone! We saw TJ in Vegas a few years ago and he was incredible. One of my top five vocalists, of any genre, of all time. He was 68 or 69 at the time and still had the pipes. Though certainly not PC in this day and age (remember, it was written in 1971), the lyrics largely are lyrics of praise and admiration for his woman. My $.02, at least.

    • amyenoch says:

      Yes, he does have a great voice. My opinion, though, is he’s praising and admiring her for what a doormat she is. But we can agree to disagree :).

  2. Russell Johnson says:

    Warning: Somewhat tongue-in-check counterpoint follows.

    “Well, she always knows her place…” – She’s confident and self-assured, aware of her unique and special role in the world, which she embraces with vim.
    “Well, she’s never in the way…” – She’s unobtrusive. Elegantly slips in and out of a room with grace. Like a vampire.
    “I can leave her on her own, knowing she’s okay alone…” – She’s faithful. (Unlike the singer.)
    “She knows just what to do and how to please me…” – Uber-competent in all endeavors. (Plus, she apparently reads Cosmoplitan’s “50 Sex Secrets Every Woman Should Know.”)

    And by “abuse,” perhaps he means “mistreat” instead of “slap upside the head.” Probably chosen because it rhymes with “refuse.”

    Be sure to tune in next week when Amy and Russell particpate in the debate: ” ‘Lick It Up’ by KISS – Misogyny or Tender Love Song?'”

    • amyenoch says:

      “Vim”? “Minutiae”? “Misogyny”? What, have you got word-of-the-day toilet paper or something? Anyway, thanks for the input. Yes, I’m sure this is a much better interpretation that, itself, shows no misogyny at all.

  3. Russell Johnson says:

    What I lack in respect for women I make up for with an excellent vocabulary. 🙂

  4. amyenoch says:

    LOL, I think I’ll just leave that comment completely alone.

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