Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Smooth song of the day # 6: Wives and Lovers

Champagne cocktails! Damn but I love those things. I don't drink them often because they are expensive at a bar. At home the problem is that you have to drink most of a bottle of champagne. That wasn't a problem this evening. I mention that because it may explain how I come to post what I have seen described as "the most sexist song ever" for today.

(That's not the original by the way.) It's telling that such a song is so threatening that it would attract such harsh condemnation. It's not like women don't willingly strive to be better lovers. There are websites out there that draw huge numbers of women simply by recycling the same lame tricks "to really blow his mind" over and over again. No, the thing that gets the feminists wrought up is the suggestion that a woman should make special efforts for her husband.

I don't think any further comment is needed on that.

That said, the song makes this pitch entirely in terms of fear. Do all these things so you don't lose him. It's a sad thing both then and now that doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do is beyond the reach of popular culture.

The song is an early hit for Bacharach and David and it has all their strengths. (Something I plan to revisit by doing Bacharach and David songs all week.) It is a remarkably sophisticated tune that doesn't seem to be.  Anyone catching it on the radio back in the day might have thought they were listening to just another pop song. It is the sort of art that conceals its art and that is always impressive.

By the way, the notion that a wife should be a lover too was revisited in a movie that came out in the late 1970s. Know as Mogliamante in Italian and Wifemistress in English, the movie was praised by the cool people when it came out. The difference was that the movie made it look like it was the husband who was keeping the woman from being both rather tan suggesting, as the uncool quote of the month does, that "One is born female, but being a woman is a personal accomplishment."

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