So let’s continue with our examination of creepy love songs, shall we? My last Tunes-day post discussed Stalker Songs – all those tunes that celebrate lurking in the shadows, refusing to take “no” for an answer. Today, we turn our attention to some songs with an even higher “ick” factor. You could call them the Paeons to Pedophilia.
This category of creepy love song first came to my attention when I was watching GLEE a couple of years ago. Rachel got a crush on Mr. Schuester (easy enough to understand), leading him to do a medley of songs about how older men feel about young girls. And once I started looking at the lyrics, both the original and the Bowdlerized GLEE versions, it became clear that there are some sick pups out there writing love songs!
First of all, here’s an excerpt from “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, a favorite from my own childhood days:
“With all the charms of a woman, you’ve kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe you’re old enough, and now it hurts to know the truth.”
(Yeah, you know those teenage girls, always leading forty-year old guys on.)
“Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line,
Better run girl – you’re much too young girl.”
The updated version as performed by Mr. Schue at least changes the chorus to “Young girl, you’re out of your mind, your love for me is way out of line.” At least Mr. Schue wasn’t saying that he had the hots for Rachel. But the GLEE version still contained the immortal lines:
“Beneath your perfume and makeup, you’re just a baby in disguise.
And though you know it’s wrong to be with me,
That come-on look is in your eyes.”
Ok, I’m thinking that is enough to void Mr. Schuester’s teaching certificates in many states.
But it gets better. GLEE includes a favorite from our old stalking-song champions, The Police. Mr. Schue also sings Sting’s tribute to underage girls, Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Here’s a few lines:
“Sometimes it’s not so easy to be the teacher’s pet.
Temptation, frustration, so bad it makes him cry.
Wet bus stop, she’s waiting.
His car is warm and dry . . .
Strong words in the staff room, the accusations fly.
It’s no use, he sees her. He starts to shake and cough.
Just like the old man in that book by Nabokov.”
(That book by Nabokov would be Lolita. Which is another whole blog post about creepiness, all by itself.)
One of the highest scores on my personal ick scale is reserved for – no surprises here! – Michael Jackson, has given mothers of young children many sleepless hours from listening to his PYT (Pretty Young Thing).
“Then tonight ease the lovin’ pain
Let me take you to the max.
I want to love you (P.Y.T.)
Pretty young thing…
Gotta get to you, baby,
Won’t you come,
Hit the lovin’ spot
I’ll give you all that I’ve got.”
(I never thought of McCauley Culkin as pretty, but back when he was having slumber parties with Michael, he certainly was young.)
But good old GLEE managed to take even Michael Jackson to new heights of creepiness, when Arnie (who I generally adore) did the world’s most inappropriate rendering of P.Y.T., complete with him growling the following new lyrics in a voice that drips with sleaze:
“You know you
You make me feel
So good inside.
I want a girl cause,
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
(The lyrics alone don’t tell the story – you have to hear the way Arnie says them to get the full disgusting effect.)
I’m sorry. No. This is just too much for me. Stalker songs are bad enough, but if two adults have that kind of relationship problem, that’s their … well, problem. But leave the young things alone!