Popular Songs That They Couldn't Write Now

gattino

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#1
By which I mean in a "it was alright in the 70s" sense.

Standards or chart hits whose lyrics were fine - and possibly remain popular - but which couldn't have been written in 2018. Changes in musical tastes notwithstanding.

The obvious ones are those that reference or would now be seen to allude to interest in underage women.

Thank Heaven For Little Girls from Gigi. (in fact the whole plot of Gigi!)
Any number of songs about someone finally reaching 16.
The 60s hit Young Girl (get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line, you'd better run girl, you're much too young girl!) would surely destroy a career now..it sounds like a paedophile fighting his urges.

But what triggered this posting was listening to Tie A Yellow Ribbon round the old oak tree. If someone received that message today, to give their loved one a sign he was welcome back, s/he would surely just text him.....

So more examples please. Well known successful songs that just wouldn't work/avoid a twitter storm if written today.
 
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#2
"Living Doll" by the 'really normal bloke' Cliff Richard.

Take a look at her hair, it's real
If you don't believe what I say, just feel
I'm gonna lock her up in a trunk so no big hunk
Can steal her away from me...
 
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Verbal Earthworm

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#3
Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones:

Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in the market down in New Orleans
Scarred old slaver knows he's doin' all right
Hear him whip the women just around midnight
Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good
Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should
 
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EnolaGaia

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#4
'Run for Your Life' - The Beatles

Well, I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or you won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand, little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end'a little girl

...

Let this be a sermon
I mean everything I've said
Baby, I'm determined
And I'd rather see you dead
 

Verbal Earthworm

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#5
Money For Nothing by Dire Straits:

See the little faggot with the earring and the make up
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he's a millionaire
 
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INT21

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#6
'I'm gonna get me a gun'. Cat Stevens.

I'm gonna get me a gun.
I'm gonna get me a gun.
and all the people who put me down
better get ready to run.
'cause I'm gonna get me a gun

Changing his religion and name didn't help the situation either.

INT21
 

INT21

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#7
'An Infant Kiss : Kate Bush.

Say good night-night
I tuck him in tight.
But things are not right.
What is this? An infant kiss
That sends my body tingling?
I've never fallen for
A little boy before.
No control.


INT21
 
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#8
"Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones.

I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
 

Verbal Earthworm

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#9
In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry:

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine

You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

If her daddy's rich take her out for a meal
If her daddy's poor just do what you feel

Speed along the lane
Do a turn or return the twenty-five
When the sun goes down
You can make it, make it good and really fine
 
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gattino

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#10
Delilah - it already receives comments, being about a man who kills his wife out of revenge for infidelity. But its too popular to be done away with. However if it only came out now for the first time i imagine there would be discussions on Loose Women. Pardon the pun.

Stand By Your Man.

The 1940s (earlier?) song Sleepy Time Gal tells the lucky little lady "You'll learn to cook and to sew, what's more you'll love it I know"
 

gattino

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#11
In searching for the lyrics of one ive found proof of the point.

The song Melting Pot (originally by a group called Blue Mink apparently) has the shocking lyrics
"Oh like a Curly Latin kinkies
Oh Lordy, Lordy, mixed with yellow Chinkees, yeah"

In searching for the lyrics i found on youtube it had been covered by Boyzone much more recently. Listening to it they've changed "yellow chinkees" to "oriental sexy"
 

Mythopoeika

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#13
Kinky Boots by Blackman and McNee

Everybody's going for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots,

It's a manly kind of fashion that you borrowed from the brutes,
Borrowed from the brutes,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots.

Fashion magazines say wear 'em,
And you rush to obey like the women in a harem.

Full length, half length,
Fully fashion calf length,
Brown boots, black boots,
Patent leather jackboots,
Low boots, high boots,
Lovely lanky thigh boot,
We all dig those boots.

Everybody's crazy for those kinky boots, kinky boots,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots,
And whether you're in evening dress or bathing suits,
You wear boots, boots, kinky boots.

There are twenty million women wearing kinky boots, kinky boots,
Puss in boots,
Footwear manufacturers are gathering the fruits,
Gathering the fruits,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots.

Advertising men say try 'em,
And you all run amok like a flock of sheep to buy 'em.

Sweet girls, street girls,
Grumpy little beat girls,
Square girls, cool girls,
Sexy little schoolgirls,
Maiden aunties,
Mayfair debutantes,
They all dig those boots.

Everybody's rushin' for those Russian boots,
Prussian boots,
(boop, boop)
Kinky boots,
Both: Cover up those slender little tender foots with kinky slinky,
Leather is so kinky,
Come and get those kinky boots, boots, kinky boots.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#14
Tony the Wop, Rossini's Accordion Band!

"I'm Tony-the-Wop, I play the organ,
Believe me, I do,
I'm Tony-the-Wop, I play the organ,
Bananas to you!"

"Rossini's Accordion Band" was nothing to do with the composer of William Tell etc. It was another name for "Primo Scala's Accordion Band" and it was industrious studio-band leader Harry Bidgood who led them. Crown Records was a short-lived 9" label, successor to the 8" Eclipse series and sold, exclusively in Woolworth's, for 6d each. They were made from Bakelite. The shops have gone but the handy Woolworth's Museum Pages live on!

Part of the way Woolworth's kept the cost of their records down was by featuring a copyright song on one side of the record; the B-side was nearly always written in-house by their session-men for a one-off fee. I suspected that Tony-the-Wop might be one of those cheapskate numbers but not so! I see it features in the Calolog of Copyright Entries as a number from 1932, words and music by one Ray Boyd.

:domo:
 

James_H

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#18
Several of Cole Porter's songs were re-written for either taste or comprehensibility reasons. 'Let's Do It' was unusual because Porter himself rewrote it after realising the first verse was a little off-colour even for the time.

 

James_H

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#19
Here's one for anyone who thinks obscenity in music started with gangsta rap. Warning: obscenity.


I also find it cute that along with all of the 'I f*cked that b*tch...' stuff he uses quaint old-timey phrases like 'I want to pitch some peter with you'
 

Bigphoot2

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#21
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl by Sonny Boy Williamson - performed by the Yardbirds among others


Good morning, little schoolgirl.
Good morning, little schoolgirl.
Can I go home with you?
Won't you let me go home with you,
So I can hug, hug, squeeze, squeeze?
If you let me I can tease you baby.
Hey, hey hey hey. Hey hey hey hey. Hey, yeah.

Let's dance, little schoolgirl.
Let's dance, little schoolgirl.
Won't you let me take you to the hop, hop,
Have a party at the soda shop,
So we can do the twist, do the stroll
To the music of the rock 'n' roll.
Hey, hey hey hey. Hey hey hey hey. Hey, yeah.

Good morning, little schoolgirl.
Good morning, little schoolgirl.
Can I go home with you?
Won't you let me go home with you,
So I can hug, hug, squeeze, squeeze?
If you let me I can tease you baby.
Hey, hey hey hey. Hey hey hey hey. Hey, yeah.

Good morning, little schoolgirl.
Good morning, little schoolgirl.
Can I go home with you?
Won't you let me go home with you?
Tell your mama and your papa that I love you.
Tell your sisters and your brother that I love you.
Hey, hey hey hey. Hey, hey hey hey.
Hey, hey hey hey. Hey, hey hey hey.
 

Swifty

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#22
So What by Metallica .. sex with a goat, school girls and jacking up drugs

 

stu neville

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#23
There's loads of ostensibly innocent lyrics with - once you spot them - fairly blatant subtexts, particularly prevalent in the fifties and sixties. Tutti Frutti is a good example, when Little Richard discusses in which direction he "rocks", but Jailhouse Rock really goes for it:
Number forty-seven said to number three:
"You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see.
I sure would be delighted with your company,
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me."
.....
The sad sack was a sittin' on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin' all alone.
The warden said, "Hey, buddy, don't you be no square.
If you can't find a partner use a wooden
.....
Shifty Henry said to Bugs, "For Heaven's sake,
No one's lookin', now's our chance to make a break."
Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, "Nix nix,
I wanna stick around a while and get my kicks"
I had an extended, somewhat drunken discussion with an old mate about this, as he was positive that Elvis wouldn't get involved in such behaviours (mind you, he was also very reticent to accept that a lavishly moustachioed bloke in a leotard fronting a band called Queen was in any way gay.)

I always found Donny and Marie Osmond singing to one another about juvenile romance deeply suspect as well.
 

Swifty

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#25
George Formby's lyrics were pretty risque in their day ..

The blushin' bride, she looks divine
The bridegroom he is doin' fine
I'd rather have his job than mine
When I'm cleanin' windows

Honeymoonin' couples too
You should see them bill 'n coo
You'd be surprised at things they do
When I'm cleanin' windows
 

Mythopoeika

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#26
Those old bluesmen were pretty explicit back in the day.

Here are some lines from Robert Johnson's 'Travelling Riverside Blues':

We can still barrelhouse baby, on the riverside
Now you can squeeze my lemon 'til the juice run down my...
('til the juice run down my leg, baby, you know what I'm talking about)
You can squeeze my lemon 'til the juice run down my leg
(That's what I'm talking 'bout, now)
But I'm going back to Friars Point, if I be rocking to my head


Led Zeppelin did an even more explicit version.
 

stu neville

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#27
George Formby's lyrics were pretty risque in their day ..

The blushin' bride, she looks divine
The bridegroom he is doin' fine
.......
When I'm cleanin' windows
Viz had a modern addition, factoring in the term "bear-trapper's hat", for an unkempt lady-garden:

I put my ladder up to the flat
Saw a nun with a bear-trapper's hat
I get a wank out of things like that
When I'm cleaning windows.
 

escargot

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#28
The 60s hit Young Girl (get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line, you'd better run girl, you're much too young girl!) would surely destroy a career now..it sounds like a paedophile fighting his urges.

But what triggered this posting was listening to Tie A Yellow Ribbon round the old oak tree. If someone received that message today, to give their loved one a sign he was welcome back, s/he would surely just text him.....
Young Girl was proclaimed the most-loved pop song ever by Radio One back in about 1975, supposedly by listeners' votes. On postcards. My old dear reckoned it was because it reminded women of getting away with looking older as teenagers. Yeah...

Tie A Yellow Ribbon - last week I chatted at work with a young man fresh out of prison. He had a clear binbag of his possessions and no credit on his phone. I lent him mine to ring his girlfriend. (Also found him a free coffee, which he said was the best he'd had in exactly 2 months!)
So while yellow ribbons are a bit redundant phones aren't always helpful. ;)
 

escargot

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#30
In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry:

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine

You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

If her daddy's rich take her out for a meal
If her daddy's poor just do what you feel

Speed along the lane
Do a turn or return the twenty-five
When the sun goes down
You can make it, make it good and really fine

That last line is actually 'You can make it, make it good in a lay-by', ie do a spot of dogging!

The song was used in a British TV anti drink driving campaign in the '90s.
Here it is - Mungo Jerry
 
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