Young Ain’t What It Used To Be
Shuffling the songs on your iPod can be illuminating.
The random selections from one’s digital music catalog (I keep about 5,550 songs on my iPod) often spur new thoughts about artists, song titles, or lyrics.
This week, the presence of three songs in the space of a couple of hours led to a lyrical revelation:
Over time, rockers singing about the young women they want to boink have raised the ages of their desired conquests.
I’ll admit that my argument suffers from methodological weaknesses. Most notably, it is based only on songs that appear on my iPod. (Worse still, it is based only on songs that popped up in my random mix.) There may be several other songs in my catalog—and dozens elsewhere—that would refute the notion.
Nevertheless, here are the songs that led my to my conclusion.
KISS, “Christine Sixteen” (1977). Gene Simmons crooned about someone way too young for him (even in the 1970s)—and probably sparked many community watch programs—with lines like:
I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age
But when I saw you coming out of the school that day
That day I knew, I knew
I've got to have you, I've got to have you!
Let’s all say it together: Eww.
Winger, “Seventeen” (1988). Also below the age of consent was Kip Winger’s target. He creeped out a generation when, at 27 years old, he sang about his 17 year old lover:
And just when I thought
She was coming to my door
She whispered sweet
And brought me to the floor
She said, I’m only seventeen
I’ll show you love like you’ve never seen
Sure, she was a year older than Simmons’ prey … but, to this day, the most common reaction to this song is a resounding chorus of “Eww!”
Eagles of Death Metal, “I Gotta Feeling (Just Nineteen)” (2006). Lesser known is this song from the very fun (and not actually death metal) band Eagles of Death Metal, featuring Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age. In it, we hear about a slightly older—and finally legal—young lady:
I gotta feeling that you wanna come over
I get you here and I will make you roll over
Now look it baby, you're just nineteen
I got the flesh and I will make you scream
Finally, we have it. A song about playing around with younger women that doesn’t also involve a felony.
Which, of course, reminds me of another song on my iPod, “Felony” by Dokken (1983):
Felony in tight blue jeans
I did not know she was so sweet
Felony, what you did to me
The judge said sorry—first degree …
Those tight blue jeans that drove my wild
I did not know she was just a child