Faye (Mistress of my domain, love of my life, She Who Must Be Obeyed) and I listen to The Oldies often. We can't seem to get into Hip Hop and Rap. Which is all to the good because the image of me wearing my pants halfway down my hips and Faye with a pierced tongue (among other things) and tats is not one that pleases me. Or would please anyone else. There comes a time in one's life when much of the flesh is best left unexposed.
There is a game we (ok, I) play while these songs are playing. I find hidden meanings, social programming, and worse in the lyrics. Take Two Lovers, for example, where a young woman extols the virtues of have a boyfriend with a split personality with one of those personalities basically an abuser. Or Make me your baby where the young woman is helpless and needs to be controlled by her intended boyfriend. How about Johnny get angry? In that one, the young woman wants her boyfriend to be jealous and act out so she flirts with other boys. It is no wonder people have relationship troubles.
Songs, even the new ones and the ones older than what we call the Oldies, are full of relationships that are bound for trouble. Women who want strong, powerful, controlling boyfriends. Men who want sweet, compliant, subservient women. Women willing to tolerate philanderers who don't love them (You don't have to say you love me Dusty Springfield; Sweet talkin' guy, Chiffons; Baby, it's you, the Shirelles). Men who would let a woman walk all over them (When a man loves a woman, Percy Sledge), stalkers (I can see for miles, the Who; Baby, I need your lovin', Johnny Rivers), and worse.
It seems like all the best songs, the ones which burrow into your brain and take over, are about dysfunctional relationships. The new stuff is worse, there is little or no respect given (especially for the woman). I think all of this is a form of subtle social programming.
Still, I listen and think back to my teenage years when I lived as if a song was my story. Teenage angst, I guess you call it.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago