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  • Writer's picturePhilip Bryer

The Dark Age of Song

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

A brief reappraisal of lyrical content

Wives and Lovers – Bacharach/David

Unreconstructed sexist claptrap from the Dark Ages.

Sample lyric:

Day after day

There are girls at the office

And men will always be men

Don't send him off

With your hair still in curlers

You may not see him again

Really? Bloody good riddance, then.

Young Girl - Fuller

The fish in a barrel choice, obviously. But there is a caveat.

Sample lyric:

Beneath your perfume and make-up

You're just a baby in disguise

And though you know that it's wrong to be

Alone with me

That come on look is in your eyes

When all’s said and done, the singer is trying to do the right thing. Isn't he?

By the Time I Get to Phoenix – Webb

A song which chronicles the self-pitying road-trip of a spineless git.

Sample lyric:

She'll find the note I left hanging on her door

She'll laugh, when she reads the part that says I'm leaving

Cause I've left that girl, so many times before

There’s phrase which Mrs B employs at times of heightened stress: “Rack off, fart face.” I think we can make use of it here.

Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa - Bacharach/David

Well, well, it’s Burt and Hal again.

Sample lyric:

And so I walked up to her

Asked where I could get something to eat

And she showed me where

Despite the geography being in favour of his existing LTR, apparently this chap is unable to resist the gal who’s a little, shall we say, forward.

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen – Sedaka/Greenfield

Neil Sedaka, a man whose appearance suggests he went straight from puberty to middle-age.

Sample lyric:

Tonight's the night

I've waited for

Ticking off the dates on the calendar. Creepy, Neil, creepy.

Stray Cat Blues – Jagger/Richards

Where to start?

Sample lyric:

There'll be a feast if you just come upstairs

But it's no hanging matter

It's no capital crime

I can see that you're fifteen years old

No I don't want your ID

The Stones were dubbed ‘them British bad boys’ by Bob Dylan on his most recent release. But surely, if they're that ‘bad’ why haven't they played this live since 2003?

Los Paraguayos – Stewart/Wood

Demanding old geezer ditches attentive girlfriend/skivvy because it’s getting chilly.

Sample lyric:

Honey don't even ask me if you can come along

Down at the border you need to be older

and you sure don't look like my daughter

Your ridiculous age, start a state outrage

and I'll end up in a Mexican jail

Unless her ‘ridiculous age’ means she has plenty more miles on the clock than Rod Stewart. Which seems unlikely.

Look Through Any Window – Gouldman/Silverman

The Hollies don their dirty macs and set off for a night on the local housing estate.

Sample lyric:

Oh you can see the little ladies in their gowns when you

Look through any window yeah, any time of day

Mildly stalky

Honey Hush - Turner

Domestic violence dished out as a reaction to having a tearful yet talkative partner.

Sample lyric:

I said come in this house, stop all that yackety yack

Come in here woman, stop all that yackety yack

Don't make me nervous 'cause I'm holdin' a baseball bat, honey hush

After Big Joe Turner wrote this, he assigned the copyright to his wife, Lou Willie Turner. Which was smart, if only it wasn’t all over Wikipedia.

Wishin’ and Hopin’ – Bacharah/David

You two again!

Sample lyric:

Show him that you care just for him

Do the things he likes to do

Wear your hair just for him, cause

You won’t get him

Thinkin’ and a-prayin’

Wishin’ and hopin’

The kings of the doormat song strike again.

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