Worrying Lyrics

Perhaps it is unwise to listen too closely to song lyrics. I will leave opera alone, as if it weren’t for the (often) foreign languages used it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Though, having said that, unless the fish were very large relative to the size of the barrel, I suspect that would be much more difficult than is often supposed. I guess only experiment will be able to prove my suspicions right or wrong – but sadly I lack a barrel or a gun, though I do have half a trout in the fridge.

But I was struck by the issue of lyrics after hearing Ricky Martin singing “Livin’ la vida loca” on the radio earlier today. Ignoring the mixed languages of the title, at some point his paramour (for the purposes of the song) eschews water to drink insisting instead on French champagne. This is at best tautology and at worst risks trade war with the European Union for supplying champagne of some other nationality in breach of the Protected Designation of Origin status.

However, the song I have always felt contains the most worrying lyrics is Neil Sedaka’s hit of yesteryear, “Calendar Girl”. The concept of this song (or so I believe) is that the singer works his way through the months of the year linking each one with either some positive attribute of his belle or something he would like to do with her.

Thus, in January the year starts off fine and in February he seeks to become her valentine. So far, so good.

The relationship then accelerates and by March he is planning to take her up the aisle – we presume in some nuptial sense, rather than merely the canned goods aisle of his local Tesco.

In April, we learn that the poor lass may not be much of a looker as he is reminded of a rabbit every time she smiles. However, I’m sure a good orthodontist could help out in this department.

In May and June, he takes the full two months to ask her parents for the chance to take her on a date – perhaps a tad late given his earlier marriage plans. However, we don’t have to wait long to discover potential reasons for his procrastination. Come July, she is reported as all aglow – a clear hint of a pregnancy. Further shocking developments arise in September when it is revealed that she is yet to turn sixteen. October brings a worrying reference to Romeo and Juliet – and I’m starting to fear a double suicide. Fortunately, the rest of the year seems to pass off without major incident – though our “hero” does reveal a rather possessive streak.

The final refrain hints that our hero may also be suffering from some form of cardiac arrhythmia. Even assuming the marriage takes place, I fear our heroine will find herself a widowed, single mother before she can vote.

A harrowing tale I think you’ll agree – and quite at odds with the rather jaunty tune employed by Mr Sedaka.


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