The topic for this week’s Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday required a lot of thought. Directions read as such:
I know it’s gonna be hard, with Thanksgiving and all, but this is a really fun topic suggested by my favorite mixer-uper, literally, she’s always mixing up the topic. Kerri from Undiagnosed but Okay. She said, how about a “this song could’ve sent me to jail?” I was intrigued, but needed more. Hmmm let’s see the Doors come on baby get higherOr Carrie Underwood doing a little grand larceny beating up her boyfriends truck? Blondie gets arrested after seeing Aliens in Rapture Or even to be funnier: Joe Cocker you can leave your hat on, so if I left just my hat on I would be arrested for indecent exposure. Trust me it wouldn’t be pretty! - Now I get it!
Oooookay. I’m going to apologize in advance for all of the overthinking I had to do to even get to a list of five songs.
1. Walk on the Wild Side-Lou Reed
Lou Reed was one of those artists who make the perfect argument against the notion, “Well, if it’s popular, then it must be good.” He didn’t sell a lot of records and his most famous song, this one, only made up to #16 on the charts, but his popularity and success is measured in how influential he was. To me, that’s worth more than sales and numbers.
I included this song because there is a reference to male prostitution in one of the verses. A hustle here and a hustle there…
RIP Lou Reed.
2. One Toke Over the Line-Brewer & Shipley…or not
This one should be obvious because it makes reference to smoking pot, and possession is against the law. It’s also 9/10′s of the law, but maybe not in marijuana cases.
But I’m not sure which is the bigger crime here. Is it that this song is about consuming illegal substances or that it was referred to as a “modern spiritual” on the Lawrence Welk show back in the 70s, only because it also has the word “Jesus” in it?
Whatever. But it makes me long for the days when things like this went over the “grown-ups” heads so far, it kind of boggles the mind that you could be middle aged and not know what the word “toke” refers to. The same thing happened with the song YMCA. The fact that it is a song about men picking up other men for sex went completely over everyone’s heads. If it hadn’t, then there was no way I would have learned the lyrics to this song in my elementary school music class without someone’s parents complaining that their seven year olds were learning to sing a song about men picking up other men for sex.
3. Lady Marmalade-LaBelle
I prefer to link to the 1975 version by LaBelle because that’s the version I know the best and those outfits are sooooo 1970s. Lady Marmalade is a hooker, so this crime here is prostitution. I was five when this song was originally released. Since we didn’t have Internet or quick access to song lyrics, most people couldn’t look up the lyrics, throw them into Google Translate, and find out what voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir actually means and then be appalled at hearing their five year old daughters attempting to sing this.
This was not the case when the version came out that appeared in the movie Moulin Rouge. By then, we not only had Internet, but we had Babel Fish and then we became unsettled to hear our five and six year old daughters singing Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir, after learning the the English translation, which is “Will you have sex with me tonight?”
Then we realized that’s also what we were singing back in 1975, even though the words in the original sounded garbled and mumbled and like gibberish to our elementary school ears.
Oh, and if you are under the age of 35 and you tell me that this version has the incorrect lyrics, we can’t be friends.
4. Chevy Van-Sammy Johns
The crime? You got a few minutes?
Strange men picking up underage girls in their Chevy Vans aka “Shag Wagons” and having sex with them. Extra creepy points for the fact that the dude singing actually looks like he should be on the sex offender registry and that he’s playing the “oh, I couldn’t control myself” card when he justifies what he’s done.
When I was a child, creeps and perverts cruised around town in vans. In my hometown, our resident Perv-With-The-Van drove a blue one. We were warned to stay away from the “Man in the Blue Van”.
I need to wash the film of yuck off of me now.
5. Afternoon Delight
You could argue that there is no crime committed here. I could argue that sex in public places is not only frowned upon, but can earn you a trip to the county jail. I could also argue that not only does this song contain one of the worst references to oral sex I’ve ever heard (comparing her lady parts to fish bait, which is not a compliment and should be checked out by a gynecologist), but that in some states, oral sex is considered sodomy, which is still illegal. The biggest crime, though, is that there are people who still think that, after 37 years, this song is too risque.
In this age where anyone can read the scary part of Craigslist aka The Personals, how could you think this blandest and whitest odes to the afternoon quickie is raunchy? I mean, really? How?
I was only six when this song came out and in my defense, I thought they were talking about going camping. But I was six then. I know better now.
Mendocino-Sir Douglas Quintet
This is the song I’m the most guilty of over-thinking about, but I included it because the singer makes reference to his “teen-aged lover” and since we don’t know how old either party is, this may or may not be statutory rape. Taking into considering the fullness of the singer’s mutton chops, I tend to lean towards “yes”.