Monday, January 12, 2009

This Song is like that Song (Part I)

Have you ever listened to a song on the radio for the umpteenth time when suddenly you realize how the song shares an obscure theme or structure with some other old song? Probably not, but this happens to me. Here’s an example of one such odd pairing of songs which, you wouldn’t think it, but actually have a lot in common:

Song #1: Heart’s All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You

Bizarrely enough, this song has come up twice in the last year in conversations with different friends. If you are 30 or older, you have definitely heard this ballad although you may not have ever paid attention to the lyrics.

The narratress tells the story of how she was driving along in the rain one evening when she picked some random guy up off the side of the road. They end up driving to a motel and getting it on. When the guy wakes up the next morning, he’s surprised to find out she’s gone but she left a note which reads “I am the flower you are the seed / We walked in the garden; we planted a tree.” It also tells him not to try and find her.

If it wasn’t clear yet what was going on, in the last verse the two lovers stumble into each other on the street after an unspecified amount of time has passed and the guy is surprised “when he saw his own eyes.” She then tells him to

please understand
I’m in love with another man
And the one thing he couldn’t give me
Was the one little thing that you can.
So, to break it down, her man was “shooting blanks” so she slept with this random dudes in the hopes of getting pregnant. This kind of begs the question “how did she know she’d get pregnant?” Did she know she was ovulating? Did he look like a particularly virile specimen? Even so there’s no guarantee. But I guess the answer is that it was fate. Here’s the video…

Song #2: Ace of Base’s All That She Wants

Believe it or not there is another song from the ‘90s which deals with the pressing issue of women who have one night stands with random men for the sole purpose of getting knocked up, to wit, “All That She Wants” the first big hit by the Swedish band Ace of Base. All that the girl in the song wants is another baby, and Ace of Base warns guys to watch out for this maneater (“she’s a hunter you’re the fox”) who is just looking to chew them up and spit them out (“she’s gone tomorrow, boy.”)

I read that this song is about girls in Denmark who go out looking for a “stud bull” to knock them up, so that they can kick back and let the well-developed Scandinavian welfare state take care of them and their baby. I always suspected something like this since the song describes the girl as lazy, “catching tan” on the beach all day instead of working. So it’s definitely not as romantic as the story in “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You,” but you can still see the connection. Here’s the video…

To dwell on the topic of Ace of Base for a second longer, this Europop quartet from Sweden was totally looking to follow Swedish supergroup ABBA’s road to success and even copied the ABBA formula of 1 blonde girl + 1 brunette + 2 dudes = pop chart gold! I must also admit that the first CD I ever bought was indeed Ace of Base’s The Sign (which was called “Happy Nation” outside the US). I think this is really way more embarrassing than last week’s revelation that I read fantasy novels in Junior High.


nola32 said...

ok, here we go again! i know that this has come up with other people but you totally have to admit that i was the first person to come to you to discuss the craziness of the heart song.
also, you have to admit that this post is based on a convo that we had about the heart song (remember, i called you because it had come on the radio while i was driving home from work) and then you brought up how the ace of base song is essentially the same thing (might i add that we totally talked about 'nothing better' in the same convo).
seems like our convos are a veritable cornicopia of blog-post starters!

Meeg said...

That conversation was definitely the catalyst for this series of posts.

But I really did have the same conversation about the whole "her man is shooting blanks" thing months earlier with my friend Leigh-Anne. Very bizarre.