That song is kinda rape-y, isn't it?

The link above is to Joe Tex’s I Gotcha. Loved the song as a kid but listening to it on the oldies channel, it sounds like a rape in progress to me now. Can we forgive Jimmy Castor’s Bunch for grabbing women by the hair because they’re Troglodytes? And what the hell was up with Helen Reddy’s Angie Baby?

I’m sure if I keep thinking on it, a lot of old favorites would fall on the rape-y side.

No. Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire,” on the other hand…

Angie Baby is a song about a mutant who can create simulacrums and pulls a neighborhood boy into the radio where he’s at her disposal.


I was going to make a thread along these lines a few months ago when I listened to “The Battle of Kookamonga” by Homer and Jethro (winner of a Grammy, believe it or not). I thought to myself “I like ‘The Battle of New Orleans’ and I like novelty songs, so I should love this!”

Wait – it’s a “humorous” song about a troop of Boy Scouts who spy on some nude Girl Scouts and then they chase after them in order to “catch” and “rub” them? Ick.

Bad Company, Can’t Get Enough.

Opening lyric:

“I take whatever I want
And baby, I want you.”

That’s not rape-y, just cheat-y.

Oh, wait, that’s “I’m on Fire”, you’re right, “Fire” is totally rapey.

Let’s not even get started on Summer Nights.

Man, do I want to like that song - I hadn’t heard it, so thanks for the link. But yeah, his freestyle at the end about “you thought you could get past me but I gotcha, now give it up, etc.” does not sound fun and flirty.

I have been thinking about this thread topic a lot. It is so clear that society/culture has moved a few steps away from norms from even a few decades ago.

When I debated about starting a thread like this, I had a candidate song in mind: Foreigner - Seventeen:

Listen to it - it will creep you right the fuck out. The character is basically making his case that he owns this girl - she’s only 17 and better be careful. Foreigner was at the top of the charts, and this album has just the worst lyrics towards women - hits like Dirty White Boy and Women and I’ll Get Even With You - don’t get me started.

When I was a stupid suburban white boy teenager, this was the stuff that was played. I thought it was a rockin’ song - the drums are still excellent in a puffed-out big rock sort of way - but crap like this and Ted Nugent’s Wang Dang Sweet Poontang are scary in their idiocy.

The other song I thought about was “The Game” from “Damn Yankees”. A guy accidentally walks into the wrong train compartment where a woman is nude and he congratulates himself on leaving politely instead of staying uninvited. Uh…what’s the other option?

A song is a song, a piece of fiction. It may be about rape or pedophilia or even boy scouts spying on girls. That doesn’t mean it’s an endorsement. Would you not read Lolita because Humbert Humbert’s pursuit of a 12-year old girl skeeves you out? Then you’re missing one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.

In other words a song can still be a great song whatever story it’s telling.

Oh sure - if it is The Intruder by Peter Gabriel or even Possum Kingdom by The Toadies I get it. This type of derivative macho stuff, less for me.

ETA another one: Wang Chung’s Dance Hall days. “Take your baby by the ears, play upon her darkest fears.” Just crap.

Sit down and open your newspaper?

Cheap Trick’s “Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School” fits the bill.

I thought for sure this was going to be about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Tonight’s The Night by Rod Stewart.

C’mon angel my hearts on fire
Don’t deny your man’s desire
You’d be a fool to stop this tide
Spread your wings and let me come inside

Tonights the night
It’s gonna be alright
Cause I love you girl
Ain’t nobody gonna stop us now

Don’t say a word my virgin child
Just let your inhibitions run wild
The secret is about to unfold
Upstairs before the night’s too old

Maybe rapey as her age is unspecified, but even if she’s 25 (‘virgin child’ would seem to rule that out) it gets all kinds of eewwwww from me.


Gang Bangby the Sensational Alex Harvey Band might quality.

Zappa’s Bobby Brown (Goes Down)

Well, he took little Susie to the junior prom,
Excitable boy, they all said,
And he raped her and killed her, then he took her home,
Excitable boy, they all said,
Well, he’s just an excitable boy.

  • Warren Zevon

See now, this song is not not “kinda rape-y”. It is straight up about rape. No question.
I always felt Tom Petty’s Breakdown was kinda rape-y in the same way as Tonight’s the Night. More date-rapey, trying to convince the girl to do it. Breaking down her defenses.

Don’t know about the skit but the song isn’t rape-y. It’s two people’s version of consensual fun over the summer. Sure his asshole friend asks if it was rape but, as per Sandy, it wasn’t.