Songs You Can No Longer Sing
A couple years ago, I was working on a house project. The sun was out and the windows were open, letting a summer breeze drift through the room.
My girlfriend was buzzing around somewhere else in the house doing her own project. The nine-year-old was off causing whatever mischief little boys do on sunny afternoons. The seventeen-year-old daughter was in her room, sulking, or reading, or doing whatever teenage girls do in the bedrooms on most afternoons. It’s still a mystery to me.
I was painting the lower landing of our tri-level home, just outside my office, our daughter’s bedroom and the laundry room. It wasn’t hard work, just time consuming.
Therefore, I entertained myself with one of my favorite past times – ‘80s hair metal which in my humble opinion is the most fun music of all time. I’m a huge fan of the blues, but painting to Billie Holiday isn’t my thing. When physical labor is involved, I’m a guy who likes listening to Sammy Hagar, Motely Crue, and Van Halen.
So, I plugged in my Sonos and turned on the Ratt station. I was feeling a little down and dirty while I worked.
Some great songs came on. Lay It Down by Ratt is one of my favorite. I was singing to it while I applied paint to the wall. Then a few other songs played and I zoned out, enjoying what I was doing. A big, dopey smile was on my face.
Soon a guitar riff started, and I immediately recognized it. It was Winger’s Seventeen and one of my favorite tracks while I was in the Army. As I sang along, my voice slowly faded as a realization crept in to where the song was headed.
I froze on my ladder as Kip Winger belted out:
And just when I thought
she was comin’ to my door,
She whispered sweet
and brought me to the floor, she said
I’m only seventeen (seventeen),
but I’ll show you love
like you’ve never seen
She’s only seventeen (seventeen),
daddy says she’s too young,
but she’s old enough for me.
As I mentioned before, the seventeen-year-old was in her room next door – doing who knows what – and Kip Winger was singing about a seventeen-year-old heart-breaker.
I loved this song when I was in the Army, but suddenly it was wrong on so many levels. First, my daughter was seventeen! WTF?
Second, I was forty-eight and I should never sing lyrics like
She’s only seventeen (seventeen),
daddy says she’s too young, but she’s old enough for me.
And that’s when I realized, there will never be some songs I can sing along with again…
For example, Warrant’s Cherry Pie. Another ‘80s classic, but forever ruined.
Swingin’ in the bathroom, swingin’ on the floor
Swingin’ so hard we forgot to lock the door
In walks her daddy standin’ six foot four
He said you ain’t gonna swing with my daughter no more.
I’m now the old man in these songs! This is complete and utter horseshit.
My oldest daughter (who’s twenty-six now) lived through a period of my being a bit dense – when I didn’t pay attention to what lyrics were and what she subsequently heard on my radio.
I’m a bit embarrassed by that now and hope most of it went in one ear and out the other. Although, she is quick to remind of the day that I was home listening to some music while cleaning. She was in her teens and had been out with friends. I didn’t hear her walk in because I had the music very loud. I was in a good mood, dancing and singing along with the latest hit.
Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?
She burst out laughing and made fun of me for listening to the Pussycat Doll’s hit Don’t Cha. I can’t blame her for laughing. I was a metal head listening to a sugary pop song. Worse, I’d been caught dancing to it.
I’m just thankful she didn’t video tape it.