I heard a song the other night on the radio during the quiet storm that I hadn’t heard in quite some time. And I happened to really, really listen to the lyrics. Hmph. I sure didn’t hear it or process it like that back in the day. Then last night while driving home, it happened again. Different song, same reaction. Dang, all THAT was going on??? Most of it surely passed over my head. I started thinking about a few of my favs from the 80’s/90’s and now, after hearing them with older and wiser ears, I’m wondering if I’m the only one the “missed” some of the themes and references the first few times around.
Maybe I’m over thinking these tunes, but damn if all these folks don’t sound touched in different ways. Allow me a moment to discuss three such songs that have piqued my interest lately:
Pipe down music police – I know it’s a Natalie Cole remake, but I loved the En Vogue version before I discovered the Natalie version. I used to think that this song was oh so romantic and about the power of love and being drawn to your partner despite the challenges. Ummm, not anymore.
And though it’s not the first time, baby
I ever wanted to get away, no
Oh, but the magic of your love
Just would not let me stray
So I find that I just can’t stay away from you
Hmm, she “wanted to get away” but couldn’t? Sounding kinda suspicious there. Then they go on to say,
You see, my mama scorned me
Oh yes she did
And my closest friends, oh Lord
You know how they warned me
They say you’re no good for me
But I just ignored it, yes I did
Hmm, well sometimes your friends don’t always like the person you’re dating. But to have your mama “scorn” you and other folks warning you that the dude is no good? Wow. What’s really happening here sis? What is it about this dude?
When someone controls your mind
There’s not much you can do
Oooooohhhhh! It’s the power of the adult stuff. She’s become “d*ck dumb*! (circa Robyn T, 2010). Well hell, that explains it all. We’ve all seen THAT phenomena play out time and time again. Save yourself girlfriend, there’s plenty of good loving out there that comes with all the love, respect, friendship, trust and honesty that you deserve. Geez!
This one came out in 1988, so your girl was only 12. I was able to listen when in the presence of older, mature cousins. Allegations that would still be denied if Mama and Daddy TDJ were to ask said cousins today. “Nah, we never let her listen to any inappropriate music.” At the time, “Teddy’s Jam” and “Groove Me” where THE CUTS to dance and lose your mind. But then there was, “Piece of My Love”. So sexy and needy from the first beat. And in a very juvenile way, it sounded to me, at the time, that he was a bad boy looking for love. **smh** Yeah, I know. Really paying attention last night? Can anyone say serial cheater??
Baby, you can’t have all of me
Cause I’m not totally free.
I can’t tell you everything that’s going on.
Yeah, dark and mysterious, huh?
There are a few things in my past
That should not be explained
Like what? Your girlfriend? Wife? Kids? Fool please!! Get the hell outta here with that nonsense. I’m not even going to touch on the whispered utterance in the beginning. Ninja please!
Me’Shell Ndeogeocello – Outside Your Door
This one surprised me the most. Hmm, let’s see. October 93 when her album “Plantation Lullabies” came out, I was a carefree, first year college student taking in the sights at Mr. Jefferson’s University. At that moment in time, I was much more interested in the “Just Kickin’ It” with Xscape or doing the “Gangsta Lean” with DRS. I loved slow jams, but I hadn’t yet been exposed to Ms. Ndeogecello. The first time I heard the song, I was mesmerized. A beautiful mellow little diddy with the haunting sound of rain drops in the background. The raspiness of her voice makes you feel her pain of loving a dude that didn’t love her back, yet the song was still beautiful.
That’s what I heard in ’93. Last night, I heard, STALKER AZZ STALKER. Let’s take a look see at the lyrics:
Anticipating a chance to run into you.
I sit here for hours.
One day I even sat through a rain shower.
For just a glance.
A chance to talk to you.
Wow!! Old girl sat outside, through an entire rain shower hoping to get a PEEK at this dude????? Hmmm, well, maybe there’s a whole lot to their history. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re in love and had a breakup, or maybe they got physical and then he pulled away so she’s emotional attached, but he isn’t. Um, ok, I guess MAYBE I could go with that, until she says,
You’re probably wondering how I even know you
Huh? Say what???? Damn! You’re stalking a STRANGER??????? Damn Me’Shell. I guess he gives good eye or something, huh? Whew. Stalker azz stalker!!
I can still see myself jamming and humming along with these three, but now that I’ve really, really heard and digested the lyrics, they just don’t sound as good.
Have the lyrics to a song that you loved ever thrown you for a loop or am I the only one?