Thursday, June 23, 2011

Disturbing Showtune Lyrics

I remember seeing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra on TV years ago. And I remember being horrified to the lyrics from one of the songs, whose name I could never remember. So finally I looked it up, and it's called "Yes, Indeedy."

It tells the story of the love 'em & leave 'em antics of the two main characters as they leave a trail of broken hearts across the USA, which is really kind of  dickish behavior to be celebrating in song, but that's not even the half of it.

The first verse is just about the type of jerk behavior one might expect from a baseball star cum vaudeville song and dance man:

I kissed a gal in old Wyoming,

She rode a horse in a wild west show

When I said, baby, I'm bent on roaming

She cried we just got started

And she thought we can't be parted,

When I left her broken hearted at the rodeo.,

Oh yes indeed, yes indeedy. . .

But the song quickly takes a rather dark turn:

I kissed a gal in old Poughkeepsie

That `s where the college of Vassar's found,

She couldn't study, love made her tipsy

Her teachers wouldn't pass 'er,

And so she just turned on the gas

And now the sweetest gal at Vassar's in the cold cold ground.

Yes indeed, yes indeedy,

Yes indeed, the boy's unbound,

Yes Indeed, yes indeedy,

The sweetest gal at Vassar's in the cold cold ground.

Holy shit! They're singing - quite merrily, I might add - about a girl committing suicide!

They're very jovially singing about her being "in the cold, cold ground!"

And they seem to view this as some sort of triumph.

But the next verse might be even worse:

I kissed a gal down in Mississippi,

A Southern belle named Emmy Jo

I thought for once love has got me tippy

She called me Lucky Seven,

Said my kisses were from heaven,

But I learned she was eleven, and I had to go.

ELEVEN! A grown man was making out with an ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL! And this is, what, just one of the hazards of the swingin' bachelor lifestyle? Sometimes, the girl you're putting the moves on turns out to be pre-pubescent? Haha, hey, who hasn't had that happen, amirite? Just one of those pitfalls of modern life!

Maybe, MAYBE, you could get away with the light-hearted approach to statutory rape if the girl was 17, maybe even 16. Then maybe you could go with the old "how was I to know? She looked 18 to me!" But Eleven? Eleven? There is no way in Hell anyone could mistake an eleven-year-old girl for a grown woman. That's just disgusting.

I'm totally not making this up. See for yourself:

Frank Sinatra & Gene Kelly - Yes Indeedy 1949 by kamatrikero