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-   -   How Do You Interpret Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=881486)

Eonwe 09-06-2019 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21844337)
I would say the message of the song is pretty positive in that it's saying, maybe the relationship wouldn't have fallen into the same old dull routine if they had talked about what they wanted.

This.

I think that this song is not intended as literal relationship advice, and those who choose to interpret it through that lens are . . . well, are welcome to do so, but then this song is hardly unique or remarkable in the world of popular lyrics that portray unhealthy or logically flawed relationships/decision making, yet somehow bears the brunt of popular criticism.

Against the backdrop of a long term but probably not married relationship, we get a simple story of people who discover that their dissatisfaction was a product of their failure to talk about what they wanted. And then they ride off into the sunset.

Yes, it's basic. Yes, in reality it's likely going to be much more complicated. Yes, it's not deep literature. But, it holds together quite well in a feel-good-movie kinda way, and is internally consistent.

Royal Nonesutch 09-06-2019 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by actualliberalnotoneofthose (Post 21843675)
I know very few people in (working/effective) traditional monogamous relationships now.

How terribly sophisticated and Continental of you.

Thuringwethil 09-06-2019 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zyada (Post 21843239)
I remember Rupert Holmes as writing a number of songs about cultural trends - personal ads, answering machines, etc. - that were kind of joke songs. (Although I'm trying to find more than those two and coming up with only songs about being 20-something and single.)

Let's not forget "Timothy" :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqDu5LBT8_Y

Inigo Montoya 09-06-2019 03:03 PM

1. THEY think their relationship is reaffirmed
2. Their friends all had their fingers crossed, hoping for a breakup because they're terrible together
3. They will have a night of earnest but ultimately unsatisfying sex following the end of the song. Over coffee and toast the next morning they will start to fight over the cheating thing, but they will quickly realize they were both despicable. They will bond over the fact that they enjoy each other's company but that they both want more. They will become a swinger team, always on the lookout for a third strange. They will enter their hunting grounds separately, pretending not to know each other. One will chat up the strange, and when it's looking like a hit the other will slide up and begin to compete for the strange's favor. This goes on until the strange either walks away from these two psychos, or suggests they all just play together.

Miller 09-06-2019 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by actualliberalnotoneofthose (Post 21843675)
I get what you are saying here and I find most of the responses in this thread to be very conservative and moralistic, from a family values traditional relationship sort of perspective. There are a lot of assumptions about the type of relationship and people these characters were. I was born in 1979, so I wasn't around for the 70s. However, I've always assumed that the '70s were a little more casual and "free" and the AIDS/Reagan eras came along with more "tradition" and monogamy. now things, IMHO, are a little more back in the other direction. I know very few people in (working/effective) traditional monogamous relationships now.

I know a ton of people in open/poly relationships, but that's absolutely not what the song is talking about. The issue with the song isn't wanting to have sex with someone other than your partner, it's lying to your partner and violating boundaries you'd agreed not to violate. The couple in the song are, apparently, in a (nominally) monogamous relationship. I'm not especially pro-monogamy, but if someone tells their partner they're exclusive, and then sleeps around, they're kind of a scumbag.

DrDeth 09-06-2019 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miller (Post 21845464)
I know a ton of people in open/poly relationships, but that's absolutely not what the song is talking about. The issue with the song isn't wanting to have sex with someone other than your partner, it's lying to your partner and violating boundaries you'd agreed not to violate. The couple in the song are, apparently, in a (nominally) monogamous relationship. I'm not especially pro-monogamy, but if someone tells their partner they're exclusive, and then sleeps around, they're kind of a scumbag.

Well, they hadn't yet. They were considering it. He admits "I didn't think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean...".

Slow Moving Vehicle 09-06-2019 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21840977)
Several years ago there was a new report about a couple who apparently actually experienced this phenomenon -- both placed personal ads and ended up inadvertently meting each other. as I recall, it didn't do much for their relationship.

I'm not surprised they hooked up again -- despite the song lyrics, you're likely to write an ad looking for someone like your current SO, and so are they. There's a pretty good chance of being set up with your prospective ex.

I really have a hard time imagining that this would make their bond better -- they were both actively looking for a new partner on the sly, which has got to make you suspicious, even if you learn more commonalities from the experience.

I remember an episode of Eight Is Enough that played with this trope. The elder brother, the carpenter - David, can't remember the actor - gets set up for a double date with his buddy and girlfriend. The two guys walk up to the movie theater and David meets his blind date....his sister.

Kinda cute, because they played it for laughs. "Haven't we met before? In Cabo?" "No, I think it was St. Tropez".

Freddy the Pig 09-06-2019 11:38 PM

The line that would be a deal-breaker for me is "if you have half a brain". I would take that as an assertion that her current partner (me) was lacking such.

Of course the characters in the song don't seem to have half a brain, so maybe the guy takes it as an accurate assessment of his strengths and weaknesses.

GuanoLad 09-07-2019 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle (Post 21845569)
The elder brother, the carpenter - David, can't remember the actor

Grant Goodeve! I pulled that from the IMDb I have in my brain. Useless trivia like this is packed in there tight, including that David was played by Mark Hamill in the pilot episode.

Royal Nonesutch 09-07-2019 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GuanoLad (Post 21846204)
Grant Goodeve! I pulled that from the IMDb I have in my brain.

I did the same, and I also remembered an equally useless bit of trivia that you doubtless overlooked mentioning, namely that Grant Goodeve also sang the "Eight Is Enough" theme song that played during the opening credits.
--------------------------------
"There's a plate of homemade wishes on the kitchen windowsill, and Eight is Enough to fill our lives with love."

Brayne Ded 09-07-2019 06:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 21841497)
This is how I've always heard it. It's supposed to be a breezy, fun little cute pop number with a happy ending but, goddamn, I just cannot get past the whole "I was going to cheat on you, and you were going to cheat on me" scenario of the song. I really don't see something like that ending in a rekindled romance and just shrug of the shoulders and laughing the whole thing off as "what a wacky coincidence! We both like pina coladas, and dancing in the rain! And are open to cheating on our spouses!"

Yes, that relationship is a winner.

The reason why I hate the song is precisely because it is so bright and breezy about a couple who are cheating on each other.. The lyrics, Rupert Holmes's singing and the tune just glide over the nasty problem of what happens now. Too superficial by far. Too unrealistic. So they end up happily sharing what turns out to be the favorite drink of both of them? Yeah, really.

msmith537 09-07-2019 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21845546)
Well, they hadn't yet. They were considering it. He admits "I didn't think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean...".

Yeah, from the tone of the song, I get the impression that they were relieved and pleasantly surprised that it was each other.

IMHO whether they ultimately stay together really depends on how cynical or romantic the listener is.

It's kind of the 70s musical equivalent of one of those rom coms where we believe all the drama and nonsense of the past 90 minutes is resolved by one party chasing the other to the airport and what amounts to committing any number of felonies related to disrupting the operations of an airplane. Best not to over think it.

don't ask 09-07-2019 08:18 AM

I had always assumed that, having decided in the third verse to laugh the whole thing off, they continued with the artifice that this was a cute, one-off instance of almost philandering and just continued with the affairs they both were already having with others.

Sitnam 09-07-2019 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freddy the Pig (Post 21846058)
The line that would be a deal-breaker for me is "if you have half a brain". I would take that as an assertion that her current partner (me) was lacking such.

Exactly. Also the strangely specific, ‘if you’re not into yoga’ line in a personal want ad. What the fuck? STDs, face tattoos, or a molestation record are reasonable deal breakers, I’ve never heard anyone have such strong feeling about yoga.

She’s sick of this particular dude and he just mentions he doesn’t care for health food and likes drinking, what that has to do with yoga I don’t know.

Royal Nonesutch 09-07-2019 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sitnam (Post 21846539)
She’s sick of this particular dude and he just mentions he doesn’t care for health food and likes drinking, what that has to do with yoga I don’t know.

YOU ever tried to get into the Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) while eating a bacon jalapeno double cheeseburg and drinking a delicious frozen tropical cocktail all in sweet anticipation of "Makin' love at midnight."?

DrDeth 09-07-2019 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brayne Ded (Post 21846219)
The reason why I hate the song is precisely because it is so bright and breezy about a couple who are cheating on each other.. ...

Not cheating - yet. Seriously contemplating cheating, yes.

DrDeth 09-07-2019 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sitnam (Post 21846539)
Exactly. Also the strangely specific, ‘if you’re not into yoga’ line in a personal want ad. What the fuck? STDs, face tattoos, or a molestation record are reasonable deal breakers, I’ve never heard anyone have such strong feeling about yoga.
....

It wasnt yoga or health food per se, it was more of "If you're not into getting into whatever trend is now trending, just because it's trending..." You had to be there. People who didnt know what Yoga was were doing it.

CarnalK 09-07-2019 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sitnam (Post 21846539)
Exactly. Also the strangely specific, ‘if you’re not into yoga’ line in a personal want ad. What the fuck? STDs, face tattoos, or a molestation record are reasonable deal breakers, I’ve never heard anyone have such strong feeling about yoga.

She’s sick of this particular dude and he just mentions he doesn’t care for health food and likes drinking, what that has to do with yoga I don’t know.

You think a personal ad that said "No STDs or child molesters please" would get more action? Sounds a little too much like "been there, done that" methinks.


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