Songs that just wouldn't fly today

I have heard some music that I personally find objectionable - mostly “gangsta” rap stuff. But recently, I was going through some old tapes and records, and I was remembering some songs that, when they were recorded, seemed innocuous enough, but would never get off the ground these days.


Run For Your Life, by the Beatles: “I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to see you with another man.” This song is about stalking the woman who dumped him! Yikes!

Bobby’s Girl by Marcie Blaine: “I wanna be Bobby’s girl, that’s the most important thing to me.” Sure, kid, hang all your prospects for happiness on some guy…who’s going out with some other girl. Very progressive of you.

and likewise:

Wishin’ & Hopin’ by Dusty Springfield: “Show him that you care just for him, do the things he likes to do, wear your hair just for him…”


“Backstabber” by the Ojays

more seriously, “You like me to much.” by the Beatles. Comes across just a wee bit stalker-esque

Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire - Nothing really changes in 35 years.

For What It’s Worth - Buffalo Springfield - Now the ‘The Man’ doesn’t have a gun; he’s got Patriot Act I and possibly Patriot Act II

This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie - Written as his answer to the song “God Bless America.” In his song (originally titled “God Blessed America”) Guthrie expressed his belief that America, and the responsibility for taking care of it and its people, belong to the people. Not in the Bush age.

“to much”
“too much”
“to much”
“too much”

Sic transit crappus mundae…

I think the title of this song is…“Game of Love”.

“The purpose of a man is to love a woman, the purpose of a woman is to love a man”

Also any song that mentions a price for something is bound to age poorly. How many old songs mention putting dimes in the jukebox or phone.

Johnnie Get Angry by Joanie Summers. Sample lyrics:
Johnnie get an-ger-y, Johnnie get mad
Give me the biggest lecture I’ve ever had
I want a brave man; I want a cave man
Johnnie show me that you care, really care for me

Apparently, the narrator has been messing about with other boys, hoping to stimulate Johnnie’s jealousy to prove to her that he really cares for her. Sick stuff, and an invitation to abuse.

You’re Sixteen by Ringo Starr

Nice song to sing but really, really creepy. “You walked out of my dreams, and into my car.” That’s the last thing I’d want my 16 year old daughter doing.

From syncrolecyne:

Put another nickel in
In the nickelodeon
All I want is lovin’ you
And music! music! music!

  • Teresa Brewer with the Dixieland All Stars
  • Words and Music by Stephan Weiss and Bernie Baum

“drop a dime in the box and play the song about New Orleans”
–Billy Joel, Scenes from an Italian restaurant, 1977

Grazing in the Grass is a Gas, Baby can you dig it?
Modern version: Bitch, get your clothes off and do me, ya Ho’!

Duckster, I get the feeling you’re trying to tell us something, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

My vote goes to Wives and Lovers by Burt Bacharach, made (in)famous by Jack Jones. Hey, little girl! Time to get ready for love…

I always thought that “One Way or Another” by Blondie was the total stalker song. If a band put out that song today there would be a huge outcry against the song. It would get really nasty if a male recorded the song.

At the same time Debra Harry could stalk me any day and I would be happy. She is a hottie.


Ah, SolGrundy! You reminded me of another one!

“Young girl, get out of my life,
my love for you is way out of line…”

(Yes, Gary, it is, and 15 will get you 20.)

Oh; I quoted the wrong bits I guess. Actually, the song doesn’t have so much the pedophilia angle as it’s a very condescending, out-dated attitude about women.

No no no - I got that. I remember the song. (Damn, is it getting old in here or is it just me?) But the “little girl” line reminded me of Young Girl.

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Sweet sixteen, which always seems to be played at the relevant birthday parties.

Tonight’s the night I’m waiting for
Because tonight you’re not a baby any more
You’ve grown into a complete teenage dream
Happy birthday sweet sixteen

And then in a more blatant vein there’s Alice Cooper’s Poison, which contains the lyric I want to hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.

However I don’t think people should let themselves be wound up by these things. They’re just songs for goodness’ sake. And pretty good ones at that.

I agree that Wives and lovers is an appallingly sexist song though. But then that’s why I like it in a perverse sort of way. Day after day, there are girls at the office, and men will always be men….

Why the heartburn over the “Sweet Sixteen” type songs? Presumably, they were written with boys of roughly the same age group in mind.

Most of them, that is. If you want to catch a real slice of life, check out B.B. King’s “Sweet Sixteen”.

“When I first met you Baby,
Honey you was just sweet sixteen
You’d just left your home then woman,
The sweetest thing I’d ever seen”

Hell, stalking isn’t a reason to disqualify a song. They play Every Step You Take at weddings.

Songs with blatant drug references don’t fly today. Consider Strike a Match and Light Another.

When your feet are in the stirrups and your ass is on the ground
Cause the grass that you’ve been eatin’ is the finest stuff around.
Oh, let us now remember boys, let us not forget
Strike a match and light another marijuana cigarette.

They cut Irving Berlin’s I’m an Indian, Too from the last revival of “Annie Get Your Gun,” and I suspect it will rarely be heard again.

In fairness to Billy, this particular song isn’t dated, because it’s a reminiscence! He’s singing about the early 1960s, when he and his friends (like Brenda and Eddie) USED to wear leather jackets, USED to hang out in the Village, and USED to play songs on the jukebox for a dime.

Now, one song title that REALLY hasn’t aged well: “He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss” by the Crystals (an old Phil SPector “classic”).

There are a lot of songs that I think fall into this category. But my all-time fave vote would have to go to Lightning Strikes by Lou Christie. The basic gist is this guy telling his girlfriend, “look, baby, I gotta go screw around now, but you sit here like a good little woman, and when I’m done screwin’ around, I’ll come back and marry you. Won’t that be nice?”

Also, Gary Puckett’s This Girl Is A Woman Now which strongly implies that the only thing a woman has to give that’s worth anything is sex.