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Lyrics that make you go . . . ewwwwww

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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 4:16 pm | Updated: 4:27 pm, Wed Oct 13, 2010.

Song lyrics are one of my favorite topics. And you have to understand that very often, lyric writers have to take a certain amount of creative or poetic license to make a song work. They reach for the rhyme; they put together words that we wouldn't use in everyday conversation. But sometimes songs are stupid.

Now and then my husband and I listen to an oldies (1950s-1960s) radio station. We're old enough to remember most of the songs, and it's fun to try to remember who did what song and sometimes we're right.

Subject matter in songs changed drastically in the 1960s, but for the life of me, I can't figure out why this song was written, recorded, and even became a hit. And it was a hit - back in 1962.

Apparently this chick is not happy with her boyfriend because he's just not as big a jackass as she thinks he should be. I won't post the entire song - the chorus is redundant. But here's the gist of "Johnny Get Angry" by Joanie Sommers:

[This song is sung in a minor key, which was an effort, I expect, to make it sound edgy; but the singer was so perky about the whole thing she only came off as demented. Adding to the dementia is a killer kazoo solo.]

Johnny I said we were through

Just to see what you would do

You stood there and hung your head

Made me wish that I were dead

Every time you dance with me

You let Freddy cut in constantly

When he does you never speak

Must you always be so meek?

Every girl wants someone who

She can always look up to

You know I love you of course

Let me know that you're the boss

Oh Johnny get angry, Johnny get mad

Give me the biggest lecture that I ever had

I want a brave man I want a cave man

Johnny show me that you care really care for me


I'm not a hard-core feminist. I never burned a bra or got offended if a gentleman opened a door for me. But Gad!!! What's this girl want? An angry, rude and potentially abusive boyfriend, I guess. Maybe Freddy would have been a better catch.

One more set of lyrics that makes me question the integrity of pre-feminist song writing is from that chart-topper from 1964 "Leader of the Pack"

My folks were always putting him down

They said he came from the wrong side of town

They told me he was bad

But I knew he was sad

That's why I fell for the leader of the pack

I thought that was stupid logic even when I was a kid hearing this song for the first time. She fell for a guy because he was sad? Way to set the bar high sister!

Actually, as a 10 year old girl, I thought the Shangri-Las were pretty groovy. I forgave them this piece of song-writing weirdness because they were good singers and had kind of a bad ass demeanor.

And also because the stupid lyrics were written by men.




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  • Jim Anger posted at 4:51 pm on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.

    Jim Anger Posts: 89

    Ahhhh...those wonderful, wistful lyrics of the early 60's! "Folks, pick a number! Cuz... now..."its Judy's turn to cry!" I always thought "Walk like a man," as Rudy Vallie of the Four Seasons, sang like a WHINY LITTLE GIRL was to say the least...ironic. But!, THE song of the early 60's that was most like...UH... me jamming rusted nails into my temples while simultaneously cramming shards of jagged glass into my ear canals, HAD to be: "The Lion Sleep's Tonight!" (what the heck's a freaking' - Weeemah-Wett!?) Whenever I hear that song...I tap my index finger on the top of the steering wheel while attempting to jam the car HARD off a ravine (hopefully to my sudden death). There never was a more pathetic piece of recorded garbage EVER set to wax. (mebbe with the exception of "What's New Pussycat?!" (WHOOA A'OHHH, A'OHHH!)...Please, KILL ME NOW!!! 8-\

  • posted at 12:25 pm on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.


    Well Poe has some pretty interesting Johnny lyrics. I'm assuming NO ONE would cut in on this girl...

    Johnny, Angry Johnny, this is Jezebel in H**l.
    I wanna k**l you, I wanna blow you...Away!!
    I can do it to you gently, I can do it with an animal's grace.
    I can do it with precision, I can do it with gourmet taste.
    But either way, I wanna k**l you
    I wanna blow you...Away

  • posted at 12:07 pm on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.


    Peter Gabriel's "Snapshot into the light" covers the assassination of President Kennedy.

  • posted at 10:33 am on Thu, Oct 14, 2010.


    Mack the Knife. How many people realized that song was about a killer on the loose?

  • Brandi Poole posted at 5:19 pm on Wed, Oct 13, 2010.

    Brandi Poole Posts: 79

    Johnny punch me in the face,
    You know I love your touch.
    A good ol' beatin's no disgrace,
    Bruise me- I love you so much.

    Ahh, yeah. Nothing like those oldies to make us wimmen folk miss that abuse.


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