Saturday, July 4, 2020

What's Goin' On (with that song)? - "Behind Closed Doors" by Charlie Rich.

I don't have any idea why this song plays out the way it does. Is the singer married to the woman in this song? Are they witches or spies or other folks who need to protect their secrets? The entire song seems to be based on some "nudge nudge wink wink" innuendo that completely eludes me.

According to Wikipedia, "Behind Closed Doors" was a number one song for Charlie Rich. And I'm trying to understand why.

The song opens with lyrics about how the singer is proud of his "baby" because she never hangs all over him in a crowd.

I guess that's something. Not having a woman act all mushy, and making sure she behaves herself like she's a pet, like a well-trained dog.

But then the singer goes on, "people like to talk, Lord, how they love to talk."

WTF? What are people saying? Again, is this a couple? Are they a secret couple? Are they siblings? Is this "baby" literally the singer's own child? I. DO. NOT. KNOW.

If this couple is married, what are people talking about? "Oh, look at that man and woman and how she has her hair all done up so that she can let it down later when they get BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. We bet she's gonna make him glad he's a man. In some way we can't fathom yet."

Is that something people say?

So let's assume this is a married couple. And there is no incest involved. And she is not literally a baby. Does the singer assume that no one knows what sex is? Is that why he sings, "no one knows what goes on behind closed doors"?

Has he asked his buddies what they think he does with his baby behind closed doors? Because I'm sure they have a good guess. And it rhymes with 'trucking.'

So the only thing I can imagine about the intent of the singer is that he wants us to know that his woman is a prim and proper lady in public and a dirty filthy whore in the bedroom. And that when she lets her hair hang down, she straps on a giant dildo and pounds the singer up his back door until he cries like a baby, when they get BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

Because if people knew about that ass-reaming, I'm pretty sure there would be talk. And some cancelled church picnic invitations.

p.s. Diana Ross has covered this song and swapped the gender roles so that she was letting her hair down for her man whore. Stan Ridgway covered it, too. Although I think Stan Ridgway was hit by a car and was suffering brain trauma and wasn't aware he was recording it.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

What's Goin' On (with that song)? - "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy.

I love the song, "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy. But What's Goin' On (with that song)?

It starts, "Guess who just got back today, Them wild eyed boys .."

Who is telling the story? From right off, you know there's something different about the narrator because (s)he's not one of the Boys.

You can assume that because the singer is male, that the narrator/subject is also male. And I guess we can lock that in as a fact. But the narrator could also be female without any lyrics changes, if a woman wanted to sing the song.

Either way, the narrator has to be someone from the Town. And this could change the focus of the song because if it's a woman: maybe she's been intimate with one or more of the Boys because of when she sings, "If that chick don't want to know, forget her"? 

"Don't want to know" what? What it's like to sleep with one or more of the Boys? Maybe. That fits the lyrics even when we thing the narrator is male.

You could look up the inspiration for the song and learn that it might be about some local gang who comes to town after being elsewhere. Were they in jail? Dunno. But the real key to the song is that the narrator is NOT a member of the Boys.

And when you understand that, you can see how this is a sad, pathetic dude. Listen to his one close encounter with the band where "that chick that used to dance a lot" "slapped Johnny's face."

How does the narrator know the band? Is his job to "Spread the word around"? Is his job to put money in the "jukebox in the corner blasting out my favourite song"?

I don't know the answers. But whenever I hear this song, I both love it as a rock song, but I also feel sad for this poor loser of a guy, who lives his life for that one time each year when he gets to pretend he's one of the Boys.