Sunday, March 14, 2010

Musical Crap From The Seventies

It's come to my attention that during the 1970s, America was a flaccid, flaccid nation when it came to our music. What were we thinking? Actually, let me rephrase that. What were y'all thinking? I can't take a whole lot of responsibility for any of it, really. I started out the 1970s being 2 years old and there's rarely anything that you can hold a 2-year old accountable for, much less, responsible.

Let's start with a Number One hit from 1974. Paul Anka sang a horribly sappy song called "You're Having My Baby". I don't get this song at all. Allow me to give you a sample of the lyrics if you're not already familiar with this atrocity. Ahem....

That you're havin' my baby
You're the woman I love and I love what it's doin' to ya
Havin' my baby
You're a woman in love and I love what's goin' through ya

The need inside you, I see it showin'
Whoa, the seed inside ya, baby, do you feel it growin'?
Are you happy you know it?
That you're having my baby.

Are you kidding me? "The seed inside ya, baby, do you feel it growin'?" What. The. Hell? And those aren't just crappy lyrics. That was a number one song!! What was wrong with this country?! Y'all listened to that crap? Willingly??

Then there was the David Geddes hit "Run, Joey, Run". I was not familiar with this song until just a few days ago when the fabulous Armstrong & Getty were discussing it on their morning radio show. (Download the podcast of their show over at iTunes. These two are fabulous!) "Run, Joey, Run" is a song about a girl who gets knocked up by her boyfriend. The girl's father finds out and gets angry. The girl's father then proceeds (from what I can figure out according to the lyrics) to hit the girl and then get his gun to go daughter-knocker-upper hunting. She tries to warn the boy, the aforementioned Joey, but he doesn't listen. He comes over to her house, the Dad goes to shoot him and the daughter (I believe her name is Julie) jumps in front of him and the Dad ends up killing her. Top of the charts!

Lyrics David Geddes lyrics - Run Joey Run lyrics

Seriously. What was going in y'all's lives that you wanted to listen to that? Granted, it has kind of a catchy tune and all, but it really gets weird once you start thinking, "What now? A gun? Run? He shot his daughter? What the hell?" I mean, it's really weird.

But here's my favorite weird-ass song of the 1970s. Are you familiar with a song called "Timothy"? "Timothy" was a catchy little ditty by the one-hit wonder group, The Buoys. While the song itself is disturbing to say the least, I'm kind of glad that they only had just the one hit, as I can't imagine how they'd possibly follow up a song about cannibalism. Wait. What now?

That's right. Cannibalism. Pop-culture cannibalism. That song made it inexplicably all the way to Number 17 during the year of our Lord 1971. Number 17. How did...? Wait. I need to fill you in on "Timothy" before I go on babbling about how weird this is.

It seems that Joe and Timothy and "me" (the narrator of this morbid tale with a catchy tune) were trapped in a mine. The tale goes something like....

"Trapped in a mine that had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim....

When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Was Joe and me

Now, normally, you wouldn't think that "the only ones left to tell the tale was Joe and me" would mean that the two dudes ate their freaking friend! You'd just figure that Tim died, wouldn't you? Yes! You would! Because that would be what? Normal, that is correct. But this song is far from normal. And it goes on....

"Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you
Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do"

Huh. I dunno. What did you do? Let's skip a couple of lyrical passages ahead to find out, shall we?

"My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around to finding Timothy". Oh, God.

Now, according to Wikipedia (take it for what it's worth), once folks figured out what the weirdo lyrics were about, it began to demand more airtime and move its way up the chart. When the radio executives began to realize that there was a hit record hidden in this morbidness, they tried to claim, of all things, that Timothy was really a mule and not a person. This was supposed to somehow make the airing of such a song more palatable to the stations and the listeners. I don't know if that worked or not, but the song did make it up to Number 17 that year. I really can't imagine that saying that they ate a mule was going to make the song anymore happy-go-lucky than if it were a person. Don't get me wrong. Eating a mule is much better than eating your buddy. But when it's in a Top 20 song? It's still freaking weird.

Seriously, what would be your next act after you've had a hit with cannibalism? A polka medley about bestiality? Is K-TEL still around? Are they still producing their 8-track collections of various genres of songs? Hits from the 80s? Things like that? If they are, they need to get on this one right now. They need to come out with "Crap We Used To Listen To - The Seventies". They could have a "Crap We Used To Listen To" for all decades, really. It would be a hit. I'd buy it just for the sheer awfulness of it all.

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Scott Jacobs said...

You were 2 in 1970?

You're far older than I thought... This pleases me... :)

Though I have to say that I think there's a lot to be said for stuff that came out in the 80's and 90's...

"Daughter" by Pearl Jam, and "Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith did a lot to mainstream incest and molestation, for example...

Mare said...

Scott, I have to ask, how old did you have me pegged for? Granted, "far older than I thought" isn't exactly what I've always wanted to hear, but that it pleases you makes it all just fine. =) (And yes, I was 2 in 1970.)

Good points on your songs cited. Look for a follow up post in the future "Musical Crap From The Eighties and Nineties"!

As long as we're on the subject, let's not forget the insufferable "Luka" by Suzanne Vega, which paired some jazzed up elevator music with lyrics about child abuse. A song about beating your kid made it to Number Three. USA! USA!

~ Mary

Scott Jacobs said...

I - for some reason - had you pegged at around 22-24. You just seemed so young to me.

I guess I don't expect such snark and sarcasm from people my age and older (not saying how old I am - your turn to guess).

As for music about beating kids, I would probably buy an entire album that was music to beat your children too. Or with. I suppose if the made it an over-sized DVD-case or something, and used sturdy materials...

Of course, I would have to have kids to beat. Or I could just go to stores and offer my services to parents of kids who are screaming bloody murder.

"Excuse me, miss? I can't help but notice that your child is screaming for no God Damn Reason - frankly, people in France can hear the little bastard... Have you ever considered a sound beating to impress on your little 'tard-spawn the need to act like a human being when in public?"


What? Stop looking at me like that.

Don't you judge me...

Mare said...


You had me pegged at being between 22-24? I LOVE the Internets!

And I'm looking at you like that (and totally judging) because you might be the male version of me. Or I might be the female version of you. (I wasn't sure which one sounded better, so I figured I'd throw 'em both in.)

As far as your age goes, I'm going to guess you're right around the same age as me. I'll give and take the same span you gave me, with my age being the median, so between 39-43. How'd I do? (If it makes you feel better, before you said that, I had you pegged at being between 22 and 24 also!)

I'm a big fan of beating other people's children with oversized DVD cases. I would hire you to beat other people's children (as I have none of my own to beat). I'd hire you to beat a few people who act like children as well. Rielle Hunter. Nancy Pelosi. A lady in New Jersey who is trying to become the world's fattest woman. I have a list.

~ Mary

Scott Jacobs said...

31, actually.

So, you know...

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson... ;)

If you tell me that you loved the TV show "Firefly", I might have to fly out to CA and propose. :)

Mare said...

Don't buy that plane ticket just yet, Scott. I had to look up what 'Firefly' was. (Though I'm lovin' the Mrs. Robinson reference. Awesome.)

But at least now I know how you roll. And I like it. ;)

~ Mary

Scott Jacobs said...

Here's the deal - I'll hold off buying a ticket (and ring), and you watch all 13 episodes of Firefly.

Upon finishing those eps, we'll talk co-habitation. :)

Mare said...

All 13, huh? You drive a hard bargain in your quest for a potential theoretical mate via the Internets. But whatever. Deal. Hulu, here I come!

~ Mary

Scott Jacobs said...

What should bug you isn't my search via the internet for that mate, but that you are willingly checking to see if you are indeed that mate. :)

Which one of us is the sadder individual? :)

Mare said...

Not only do you drive a hard bargain, you make a good point.

We are equally sad. =)

~ Mary