While TV channel surfing the other day, I happened upon a music video. There was a young beautiful woman singing (with appropriate angst) the following lyrics:
I'd give up my sight just to see you
I'd beg, I would borrow and steal
I'd cut off my hands just to touch you
And tear out my heart so you'd know how I feel
There's nowhere that I wouldn't follow
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
'Cause I wouldn't wanna be me
If I didn't have you *
I listened carefully, as I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. This is not a golden oldie from the days before our collective consciousness was (supposed to have been) raised. This is a 1999 song written by the beautiful woman (who turned out to be Amanda Marshall) and her male collaborator, Eric Bazilian.
This is not poor misguided young Shelley Fabares singing "Johnny Angel": "Other fellas call me up for a date but I just sit and wait, I'd rather concentrate on Johnny ANGEL..."
It's not Marcie Blaine (who??? I looked it up, that's who) singing "I wanna be Bobby's girl... that's the most important thing to me.... and if I were Bobby's girl, if I were Bobby's girl, what a grateful thankful girl I'd be."
Have we learned nothing in fifty years? Have we learned it and forgotten it again?
Do we have men singing, "if I were Shirley's guy.. what a grateful thankful guy I'd be"????? Noooo we have men singing "Love the One You're With" and "Fifty Ways to Leave your Lover".
OK I know that's not fair, men sing love songs too. But somehow they sing them with more dignity.
Amanda's lyrics don't make sense. I suppose that's the point.. love often doesn't make sense. I understand the desperation portrayed, really I do. What disturbs me is the message this sends to young girls.
Here we have a gorgeous, talented young woman who wouldn't want to be herself if she didn't have one particular man? It happens, and all too often, because young women are sent the message, in various forms of media and art, that they need a man to be complete. Young men do not get the same message about women. (The message they get might not be much better, but that's another entry!)
And what of the man? How is he supposed to take this revelation?
Many men would turn tail and run very fast, away from this crazy person.
Does he really want a woman who would cut off her hands to touch him? (literally OR figuratively!)
Does he want a drooling puppy dog, adoring his every move and happy just to be patted on the head, or does he want a partner, someone HE can respect?
That's the main issue of course. Respect. Women are not being successfully brought up to respect themselves. If they were, songs like this would not be written and sold in 1999. Sponsors would not be assured of monster ratings and a slew of free publicity in the form of reaction to shows such as that Marry a Multimillionaire fiasco.
Even political correctness seems to have given this issue a pass.
I don't have daughters. If I did I would do whatever it took to make sure they had a sense of self-worth and self-respect. Their accomplishments (large or small) would stand alone and not be coloured by whether they had a man in their life. They would not live in fear of being dateless on Saturday night (as I did) and take forty years to learn better (as I did).
* -- IF I DIDN'T HAVE YOU
from the album, "Tuesday's Child" 1999
Lyrics borrowed (?) from here;
· vocals, electric piano, additional keyboards, percussion, whistle: Amanda Marshall · acoustic piano, additional keyboards, guitars, bass, background vocals: Eric Bazilian · drums: Andy Kravitz · strings arranged by Eric Bazilian and Amanda Marshall · engineered by Andy Kravitz and Eric Bazilian · recorded at Dingbat Sounds and the Amazing Barn Studio PA · published by Metatune Inc./ Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada (SOCAN) / Human Boy Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Hope that's enough to keep me out of copyright trouble!
I found this via a tip from Al on the journals-l mailing list.
The journaller's own introduction:
This is the online journal of Inmate #N508853. On June 30th, 1999, I was leaving a bar after drinking two beers and playing two games of foosball. Leaving the bar in a part of town I was unfamiliar with, I was pulled over for speeding. The officer smelled the alcohol. I did the stupid human tricks. I refused the breathalizer. I was arrested. I went to court. I was sentenced to 55 days in jail. This is my story...
Fascinating. Read the background, from the beginning. Forget about the evil tripod pop-ups and the occasional typo. Whether or not he got a bum rap (do they still say that?) it's material that doesn't crop up in online journals very often.