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MarthaStewart's avatar

People who complain about modern song lyrics, why don't they complain about Little Richard?

Asked by MarthaStewart (639 points ) June 14th, 2010

Good Golly, Miss Molly, Sure like to Ball! -Little Richard 1958

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21 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

They certainly did at the time.

YARNLADY's avatar

People have been complaining about music and lyrics ever since the beginning of time.

Seek's avatar

Didn’t we very recently have a question about all the disgusting grammatical errors in our favourite classic rock songs?

gailcalled's avatar

Bessie Smith sang this in the 1920’s: perhaps the innuendo was more fun than the modern-day explicit lyrics.

Tired of bein’ lonely, tired of bein’ blue
I wished I had some good man, to tell my troubles to
Seem like the whole world’s wrong
Since my man’s been gone

I need a little sugar in my bowl
I need a little hot dog on my roll
I can stand a bit of lovin’, oh so bad
I feel so funny, I feel so sad

wyrenyth's avatar

You can’t expect a druggie to have good grammar, man. It, like, interrupts the flow of the high, dude. Y’know?

There are a few reasons people these days don’t generally see fit to complain about music made before most of the internet generation was born.

1) Most things have different meanings now. Even double entendres were much tamer than they are now, for the most part. Polite society wouldn’t even discuss the fact that a woman had menses. Or went to the bathroom.

2) Branching off of number one, society was much, much tamer back then in general. Even oblique references to sex or any romantic interludes at all were considered crude . Today’s society is, for the most part, quite blase about . . . Well, just about everything.

Besides, I like a little snuck-in innuendo in my music. Better than talking about pimping and drugs and hoes.

evandad's avatar

That was before ball meant have sex. It meant to dance.

janedelila's avatar

@evandad…suuuure it did.

gailcalled's avatar

Bessie Smith took drugs.

Jonathan Swift wrote poems in 1732 about defecation. (Repeating myself)...

From The Lady’s Dressing Room

”“Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!”

wyrenyth's avatar

@janedelila The meanings of a great deal of words have changed over the years. For instance, when I was growing up, “LOL” meant “Laugh Out Loud”. Now it means “I have nothing better to say and am using ‘lol’ so you think I’m still interested in what you are saying”.

gailcalled's avatar

And a line from an old favorite; Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II (1940)

“The last time I saw Paris,
Our hearts were warm and gay”

lillycoyote's avatar

And here’s this little bawdy song. I don’t see a date for it but it’s in Middle English so it’s from a while ago. :-) Nothing new under the sun.

gailcalled's avatar

@lillycoyote: Charming and new to me. Thanks

lillycoyote's avatar

@gailcalled My mother’s vocation was being a statistics professor but her avocation was playing Early Music on original instruments, well replicas of original instruments. One of the ways she tried to get me interested in the music she loved so much was to play the bawdy, saucy songs. There are a lot of them:)

aprilsimnel's avatar

So. None of you have heard of Millie Jackson, I take it?

fundevogel's avatar

Don’t forget ‘ol king Jelly Roll Morton. He had carnal knowledge of your mother back in 1938.

“I had a bitch
wouldn’t fuck me cause she had the itch
yeah she’s my bitch
an ya mammy don’t wear no drawers.”

fundevogel's avatar

@mrentropy I’ve had a cover of #6 in my itunes library for years. I didn’t know the song was that old though.

john65pennington's avatar

You may be too young to remember when AM radio had censorship. the airwaves were very strick and the FCC cited a lot of stations for “suggestive comments and suggestive songs”. i was around when this occured. many songs were banned from radio play at the time. like, Annie Had A Baby, Work With Me Annie, Cherry Pie, and My DingALing by LIttle Richard. some radio stations received 3 citations from the FCC and their license was suspended for 30 days. this meant no air play for the station. shut down. lyrics to songs, good or bad, have been around for many years. Most of Lightnin’ Hopkins music was banned before it got started. Little Richard’s songs were not banned, except My DingALing. your reference to ball, referred to dancing. a disc jockey in Nashville, John Richberg, was almost thrown off the air with his reading of a commercial for White Rose Petroleum Jelly. he always talked about having a big “pool-size package of White Rose Petroleum Jelly on hand for whatever might come along”. was that suggestive radio? yes back then. probably no today.

HungryGuy's avatar

Hey Martha! You jumped the sinking Answerbag ship too, eh? Well, every generation of songwriters has their ups and down. On the one hand, we have rap. But on the other hand, we have Loreena McKennitt, Modest Mouse, and many others. What style of music do you like?

MarthaStewart's avatar

Hi @HungryGuy. Yes, this is my new home :D I enjoy an eclectic mix from classical and opera (speaking of racy lyrics) through jazz, blues, rock, folk, and international.

HungryGuy's avatar

@MarthaStewart – I’m not into opera, but I like some classical (I used to love to blast the 1812 Overture out my dorm window during stereo wars!). Right now, the top tunes on my playlist are: Praan (some beautiful songs get attached to the oddest videos), I don’t know the title of this song, but it fits the mood of the video perfectly, Right Now (every time I hear this song, it reminds me of a train going through a tunnel) , The Mean Kitty Song (some people are just sooo talented!), A Thousand Miles, and Miasto Budzi Sie.

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