View Poll Results: How Do you Interpret "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
The relationship is affirmed - now that they know each other's hidden depths, it can be exciting. 97 69.78%
The relationship is destroyed - they can never trust each other again. 29 20.86%
Something else entirely - hopefully more creative than "This song sucks." 13 9.35%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-04-2019, 12:10 PM
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How Do You Interpret Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)"


I realize that this song has a substantial hatedom, but I'm asking you to look outside of your blinding hatred for this one. What message do you think the song is trying to convey?
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:23 PM
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Hmmm...I could have sworn I had question marks in there.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:24 PM
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I don't think it's trying to convey a message...just tell a story of two people who didn't realize they already had what they wanted.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:25 PM
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I really don't think there's much below the surface of that song.
Guy decides to cheat on and/or dump his wife/girlfriend (it's not clear which), so he places an ad in the personals (which actually used to be an actual thing in actual paper newspapers). In a crazy twist of fate, his "own lovely lady" is the one who answers the ad, and they realize they were meant for each other all along.

If there's any message, I guess it's to appreciate what you already have.

(For the record, I don't hate it. But it's surely not a masterpiece of 20th-century musicianship.)
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:29 PM
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I really don't think there's much below the surface of that song.
Guy decides to cheat on and/or dump his wife/girlfriend (it's not clear which), so he places an ad in the personals (which actually used to be an actual thing in actual paper newspapers). In a crazy twist of fate, his "own lovely lady" is the one who answers the ad, and they realize they were meant for each other all along.

If there's any message, I guess it's to appreciate what you already have.

(For the record, I don't hate it. But it's surely not a masterpiece of 20th-century musicianship.)
No, you have it backwards. Wife decides to cheat on Husband. Husband answers ad.

And I like it, but not too often.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:39 PM
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It's an excuse for Gen-Xers to reaffirm their own relationships via personals ads.

Yes, I have seen this exact ad in a personals column:
Quote:
If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape
I'm the love that you've looked for, write to me, and escape.
  #7  
Old 09-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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What message do you think the song is trying to convey?
Clearly by its cheerful bouncy tone and the fact they are both laughing at the end, it intends to convey that the relationship is affirmed. Of course, a cynic (or a realist) will conclude it's destroyed, but that would require a level of self awareness on the part of both members of the couple that is not apparent in the song. They're both extremely shallow.

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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
Guy decides to cheat on and/or dump his wife/girlfriend (it's not clear which), so he places an ad in the personals (which actually used to be an actual thing in actual paper newspapers). In a crazy twist of fate, his "own lovely lady" is the one who answers the ad, and they realize they were meant for each other all along.
Actually, she's the one who put an ad in the personals first. He reads it while she is sleeping beside him, and responds to it in kind.

Last edited by Colibri; 09-04-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:52 PM
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Actually, she's the one who put an ad in the personals first. He reads it while she is sleeping beside him, and responds to it in kind.

I hereby turn in my "1970's one-hit wonder expert" card.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:57 PM
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Clearly by its cheerful bouncy tone and the fact they are both laughing at the end, it intends to convey that the relationship is affirmed. Of course, a cynic (or a realist) will conclude it's destroyed, but that would require a level of self awareness on the part of both members of the couple that is not apparent in the song. They're both extremely shallow.
Agreed, but I would argue that a shallow person would turn on their heel and dump the chump who wanted to bail on the relationship. Never mind that they wanted to bail as well - true shallowness does not admit such self-awareness.

Conversely, it takes a certain degree of maturity and acceptance to swallow one's pride and admit that the problem all along was communication and failing to be genuine with each other.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:42 PM
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You have a couple of people who are supposedly in a relationship, that are doing some pre-Tinder fooling around looking for someone to cheat on the other with.

And then the person they find is, surprise!, the partner they were trying to betray. Everyone is so happy because they both like the same things, and probably always have, and they end up together, still entirely sick of each other. They go home in a brief romantic mood and find that the dog has puked on the carpet, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, and they did not find what they were looking for. One on the couch, one in the bedroom, both crying.

Dreaming of the "what if?" What if I had just swiped left instead of right? I would still have my somewhat imperfect marriage/relationship. But that is all gone now. And then the lawyers came.

Too sickly sweet and nausea inducing, much like a Pina Colada.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:44 PM
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Given that it came out in 1979 and considering the way the song ends, it seems like they went off and enjoyed a romantic escape to a tropical beach and had their piña coladas.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:46 PM
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It's a cautionary tale about the perils of not being open with your partner about what you really want. If either of them had bitten the bullet and admitted they wanted pina coladas et al., the other would have either jumped at it, and re-affirmed their relationship, or suddenly realized how stupid those desires were, allowing them to end the relationship on an honest basis.


Now it's just awkward.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:38 PM
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It's a cautionary tale about the perils of not being open with your partner about what you really want. If either of them had bitten the bullet and admitted they wanted pina coladas et al., the other would have either jumped at it, and re-affirmed their relationship, or suddenly realized how stupid those desires were, allowing them to end the relationship on an honest basis.


Now it's just awkward.
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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Hold on folk...

SHE places the ad that HE is answering.

Edit: Col....come on. You beat me literally by seconds.

Last edited by Dale Sams; 09-04-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:55 PM
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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.
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:00 PM
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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.
Something like this happened to my uncle. He'd been through a bitter divorce a few years prior, and a couple of (new) friends said they knew someone he would like.

Sure enough, they inadvertently introduced him to his ex-wife.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2019, 01:26 PM
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Something like this happened to my uncle. He'd been through a bitter divorce a few years prior, and a couple of (new) friends said they knew someone he would like.

Sure enough, they inadvertently introduced him to his ex-wife.
I have had dating apps that matched me with exes before. I figure it is quite common.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:32 PM
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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.
Yeah, but the things that unite them are extremely trite and are likes/dislikes shared by thousands of other couples. It's not like they're searching for a soul mate who loves Eraserhead, absinthe, and Captain Beefheart.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:38 PM
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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".
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:38 PM
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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.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:38 AM
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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.

Last edited by Sitnam; 09-07-2019 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:47 AM
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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."?

Last edited by Royal Nonesutch; 09-07-2019 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:18 PM
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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.
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:53 PM
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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.

Last edited by CarnalK; 09-07-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:18 AM
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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.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:51 AM
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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.
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"There's a plate of homemade wishes on the kitchen windowsill, and Eight is Enough to fill our lives with love."

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Old 09-04-2019, 01:43 PM
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I have to conclude that these people are VERY different than the people I hang around with. A couple catches each other, red handed, in the act of attempting to cheat - that doesn't end with a laugh and a, "Oh, it's you." It ends with sirens.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:46 PM
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It’s an episode of Love, American Style, set to a bubblegum tune.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:05 PM
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Well, if two people who both kinda likes Breakfast at Tiffany's is enough for one couple then both liking Pina Colada should be good enough for this couple. If anybody doesn't know, that's from a song called Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:12 PM
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Well, if two people who both kinda likes Breakfast at Tiffany's is enough for one couple then both liking Pina Colada should be good enough for this couple. If anybody doesn't know, that's from a song called Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something.
Something. The name of the band is “Deep Blue Somethi-

Oh.

Belay my last.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 09-04-2019 at 03:13 PM.
  #31  
Old 09-04-2019, 03:47 PM
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Well, if two people who both kinda likes Breakfast at Tiffany's is enough for one couple then both liking Pina Colada should be good enough for this couple. If anybody doesn't know, that's from a song called Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something.
I never got the sense the Tiffany's couple stayed together though. They are breaking up, and decide they have one thing in common. So they break up with one happy memory as they walk away.
The Pina Colada couple seems like they tried to break up and ended up stuck with each other.

Last edited by xizor; 09-04-2019 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:54 PM
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I never got the sense the Tiffany's couple stayed together though. They are breaking up, and decide they have one thing in common. So they break up with one happy memory as they walk away.
The Pina Colada couple seems like they tried to break up and ended up stuck with each other.
Nah, in Breakfast at Tiffany's, the guy is trying desperately to prevent the breakup, so he grasps at one very superficial thing they agree on. My feeling is that it doesn't work.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:56 PM
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Well, if two people who both kinda likes Breakfast at Tiffany's is enough for one couple then both liking Pina Colada should be good enough for this couple. If anybody doesn't know, that's from a song called Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something.
Yeah, but that's a really good song.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:36 PM
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What message do you think the song is trying to convey?
Love is a very stupid thing.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:42 PM
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Sorry, I think I misvoted. I think the song conveys #2, but means to convey #1.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:59 PM
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Sorry, I think I misvoted. I think the song conveys #2, but means to convey #1.
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.
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:02 AM
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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.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:16 PM
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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.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:00 PM
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I expect in the real world after they get past their embarrassment at looking around and their amazement that they're perfectly matched after all, they'll realize that they were cheated on and that will be that.

Or I could be wrong...
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:40 PM
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I voted "affirmed" because that's how I interpret that it is meant. But I agree, in real life, it would have ended with teeth on the floor.

This concept was handled better in The Munsters, where Herman and Lily, both wanting to get an anniversary present for each other, surreptitiously get part-time jobs as welders. They meet on the job, but are both wearing heavy masks, and don't know that they are each other. They start flirting, with no nefarious intentions, but things get out of hand. I seem to recall that the resolution acknowledged both interpretations were possible.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:05 PM
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vI think the couple is too stupid to realize their relation ship is doomed. They THINK they affirmed it, but it is rotten at the core.

Since the song is 40 years old, they have since broke up, she is now a yoga instructor, he's working at a menial job and imagining himself 28 years old and attractive to women, neither of which is true any longer. He wears his Hawaiian shirts unbuttoned and leans in too close when he hits on 20 somethings in bars.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:21 PM
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What message do you think the song is trying to convey?
I think you messed up your poll by asking two different questions.

I think what the song is trying to convey is the first option. But my interpretation of the relationship in the song is far more negative (though not totally hopeless).
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:28 PM
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The relationship is doomed, and the song sucks. End of story.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:54 PM
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One's escape is another's prison


Mad magazine ran an article that was a series of one-panel cartoons, You Know You're Really Divorced When...

One read, "You finally sign up with a 'computer dating' service, and the only name they send you is your ex".
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:56 PM
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Of course I have to post this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBeKaR-IOrA&t=3s
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:14 PM
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Damn this thread is, like, crawling with ninjas! I was gonna quote Tom Servo, but no, here comes Cumberdale to spit up all over it.

That last line about spitting up is from MST3K too.

Hah! Bet you didn't see that one coming Cumberdale!
Lessee you ninja that!
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:44 PM
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E(TPCS) is as lame as you can get. However, Rupert Holmes had a lesser-known but far better song called Answering Machine with an absolutely SICK groove.

Now that I think of it, Him also has a pretty sick groove, and cool chords too, kinda Steely Dan-ish.

Rupert Holmes was basically a cooler version of Stephen Bishop. (Yeah I know, not the highest bar to clear.)

Edit - it's worth mentioning that I was exposed to the latter two songs by the Yacht Rock channel on Sirius XM - worth checking out if you like that kind of style.

Last edited by Lamoral; 09-04-2019 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:08 PM
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The implication I get is A, that their relationship is renewed by learning more about each other and realising they've been foolish and had been missing out on things from each other.

The reality is more complex, and I don't expect their marriage to last more than a couple of years after this. The truth is they're bored with each other, and this rediscovery is just a blip.
  #49  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:28 PM
zombywoof is offline
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According to wikipedia, he changed the lyric at the last minute - something tells me it wouldn't have been the deathless singalong hit that it is if he had stuck with "If you like Humphrey Bogart..."
  #50  
Old 09-04-2019, 11:48 PM
Temporary Name is offline
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I was still a wee lad in the early seventies which seems to be the setting for this song, but by the early eighties I had a very different idea of relationships. During those years I recall a decided shift away from ‘traditional family values’ and it being quite the topic of derision for my mother’s coffee klatches and my father’s poker games. Besides the obvious observation that this new generation was taking our beloved America to hell in a hand basket, was the seemingly obvious fact that everything was disposable in this modern world and marriage (when these youngsters bothered with it at all) was a temporary thing at best and not the sort of institution my parent’s generation build their stability upon.

Women were working outside the home (in a non Rosie the Riveter sense) for the first time in history if my parents and their friends knew what they were talking about. Rita Rudner had a joke about relationships just after this time that really scored: “Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?” Relationships and much of society were just less nuclear family traditional than they were in our little suburban traditional neighborhood. My point is that things changed back to a more monogamous ethic due to some brand new PERMANENT and/or DEADLY venereal diseases.

For example Bill Murray’s character from STRIPES loses his girlfriend in the first reel and it hardly has any impact. Things were just more temporary and transient in those days from my perspective and I think the value of the song is that it captured that time perfectly. One could reading the personals while one’s significant other slept next to them—and later a relationship can be rekindled by some very shallow information.
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