Music can evoke powerful memories of the past. (Disclaimer: Music can also evoke powerful memories of the future if you are a time traveler.) As I was driving to work this morning, I heard the song December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. As I was driving home, the radio was playing Prince’s 1999. Together, they got me thinking about music and time, and how some songs don’t age very well.
Oh, What a Night was released in 1975, so when it came out, it described the events of one yuletide night a dozen years earlier. Those same events are now 50 years in the past. If you are still reminiscing about one night half a century ago, you really have to ask what you’ve done with your life.
My musical tastes run to high-energy cheesy 70’s and 80’s pop music, primarily. I like music that makes other people want to dance. (Not me. I don’t dance. I never did, really, but now I use the stroke as my excuse.) I don’t like music that evokes sadness, since I’m not a big fan of being sad, and I don’t like music with a message because usually the message is stupid or wrong.
That said, I’ve come to realize over the years that some songs have lyrics which lack even an internal consistency, to the point where I become completely distracted trying to, in a sense, solve them.
For example, take the song “Good Golly Miss Molly” by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. As we all know, Miss Molly works “from the early, early morning to the early, early night” at “the House of Blue Lights”. Now supposedly, this is offered as supporting evidence for the assertion that Miss Molly is “lots of fun”. But if you think about it, she’s working from the early, early morning (say 6AM) to the early, early night (say 6PM). This is what most of us refer to as “day shift”. Which begs the question, what kind of establishment is the House of Blue Lights? From context, the implication is that it is either a nightclub or a house of ill repute. In either case, the day shift is not going to be where all the action is, which mitigates the amout of fun Molly can be. What I suspect is that Miss Molly works days at the local K-Mart, home of the Blue Light Special, and that the term “lots of fun” is relative to the other sales associates. Continue reading