Your Childhood Favorites through Adult Eyes (or Ears)

I opted to indulge in a guilty pleasure the other day, and bought the soundtrack to Grease from I-Tunes. I hadn’t listened to it in about 25 years – not since I was an innocent 3rd grader back in 1981. As you can well imagine, hearing these songs now through my now 35 year-old ears was quite a revelation.

For an encore, I looked up the movie on IMDB and read through some of the dialogue. Jesus Christ! There was a **lot **of stuff in there that soared a mile over my head (yeah, I was a sheltered kid…deal with it). My parents were pretty conservative in their choices of entertainment, so I am tempted to conclude from the fact that I was allowed to watch the movie repeatedly that the innuendo was lost on them as well. Either that, or they were a lot more liberal than I thought.

Anyway, I’ve been very amused not only by the inferences I didn’t catch, but also by my recollections of perfectly innocent meanings to loaded phrases. It’s amazing what your mind will come up with when you don’t understand what’s being said. One comeback in particular springs to mind. Danny tells Rizzo that she’s looking good. She says “Eat your heart out.” He snaps back “Sloppy seconds ain’t my style.” My 10 year old brain got the gist of “Eat your heart out”, but interpreted the reply as “I’m certainly man enough to rip my own heart out of my chest and eat it, but that would make a pretty messy second course for my dinner.” Took me 25 years to get it. :o

Ahh, youth and innocence. At the same time.

I think I was nearly 30 when it hit me what Styx’s “Light Up” meant.

Somehow the lyrics “All I need is just one hit to get me by…” didn’t clue me in.

FWIW, I was a pretty sheltered kid, too.

When I was a kid, I was unaccountably fond of an old WWI song called “Mademoiselle from Armentieres.” [sp?]

There’s a line about a sergeant that I thought was screamingly funny: “If he ever changes his underwear / The frogs will give him the Croix de Guerre.”

Oddly, I knew what the Croix de Guerre was, but I did not know that “frogs” was a nickname for the French. In my mind I had an image of a slovenly man whose underwear was so raunchy that small amphibians were living in it.

When I was in college, I encountered the song again, and suddenly it dawned on me that I had been amused by a misunderstanding.

I remember, on first reading Charlotte’s Web, a description near the beginning of Fern swinging from a rope that hung from a beam. I had never heard that word before except in the context of a sunbeam. It was a confusing, if magical, image.

More in line with the OP, I recently caught *Shock Treatment * on cable. You know, the abysmally bad “sequel” to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was still abysmally bad, but some of the songs were still pretty dang good. It was also odd to see Barry Humphries as a vaguely androgynous Nazi game show host. Jessica Harper has lots of weird associations too: not only is she currently one of the best children’s-music artists out there, she was also the lead ingenue in both The Phantom of the Palace and Suspiria.

This is pretty obscure, but when i was a kid, my mother had this 78 record of Frank Sinatra singing “The Coffee Song.” There must have been a surplus of coffee in Brazil at some point in the '40s, and somebody wrote this song about it. The lyrics are about how there is so much coffee, you can’t get anything else to drink. In the bridge, it says:

No tea, or tomato juice
You’ll see, no potato juice…"

I always wondered what potato juice was, and wondered why anyone would drink it. I was 'way into adulthood when it dawned on me one day… “oh yeah! He’s talking about vodka!”

It looks like my coding skills have been on the potato juice. Might a passing mod fix that for me, please?