I’ve heard that music has things to say. Sometimes though, what it has to say is not all that nice. I’ve recently paid attention to a couple of songs, and been disturbed.
Vocal group Home Free has redone Kenny Rogers’, The Gambler. On a warm summer’s evening, on a train bound for nowhere. So, the gambler has no goal, no destination. It seems like he left the last town one step ahead of ‘Resign or be prosecuted,’ or being tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. He has no home, no family, and no friends.
He relies on the goodness of strangers. He is so broke that he has no whiskey for anesthetic against the physical and psychological aches and pains. He has to cadge cigarettes and doesn’t even have a 1¢ pack of paper matches to light them. He manages to die alone, un-noticed, unloved, unmourned, yet the song holds him up as the epitome of a compelling source of life-style advice.
Even worse, Home Free does a cover of Boyz II Men’s End Of The Road. Their arrangement and delivery make it sound great, until you actually listen to the lyrics.
Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let go
You belong to me
I belong to you
Girl, I know you really love me
You just don’t realize
You’ve never been there before
It’s only your first time
Maybe I’ll forgive you
Maybe you’ll try
We should be happy together
Forever, you and I
The ‘she’ of this couple wisely wants the relationship to be over. The obsessive, abuser boyfriend/husband is creepy and scary. END OF THE ROAD – I CAN’T LET GO – YOU BELONG TO ME – I BELONG TO YOU – MAYBE I’LL FORGIVE YOU – WE SHOULD BE HAPPY TOGETHER – FOREVER! 😯 👿
This isn’t a ‘Happy Ever After’ love song. This is a murder/suicide plot – a prelude to stalking charges, restraining orders, and an application for a handgun permit. Paul Anka never wrote shit like this, maybe because it’s hard to rhyme Psychotherapy. 😳
Then there’s their version of Travelling Soldier, where a young soldier, about to be shipped overseas, puts the moves on an adolescent, local girl before he leaves. It says, So they went down, and they sat on the pier. He said, “I bet you got a boyfriend, but I don’t care.”
This song was previously done by the all-female group, The Dixie Chicks, until Dixie got an injunction, preventing them from using that name. Now they’re just The Chicks, like the Peeps. I’ve seen a YouTube video of their concert presentation. If you’re gonna play in Texas, Ya gotta have a fiddle in the band. They got a fiddle, alright. The catgut for the strings sounds like it’s still being pulled out of the cat.
Home Free do a cover of God Bless Texas, with the line – God blessed Texas with His own hand – and all proceeds from the performance of this song will go to aid the Billions of dollars of damage caused by hurricanes and floods, which they show in the video. Couldn’t take much more of that blessing.
Stop back for some better music soon. 😀