Songs with dated lyrics

Discussion in 'The Musiquarium' started by Peter Paltridge, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    37,509
    Likes Received:
    203
    "And now you find yourself in '82,
    The disco hotspots hold the charm for you."
    --Heat of the Moment


    There are a lot of songs that remain in rotation on the radio to this day, despite the fact that their lyrics are firmly specific to the time and audience for which they were created. Such as the line "Watergate does not bother me" from "Sweet Home Alabama."

    The ones I find most curious are ones that are explicitly about nostalgia for a certain time period, and became popular pretty much because everybody listening remembered it. Then they remained on the radio because a different generation grew up hearing THAT song and considers the song itself nostalgic.

    "Old Time Rock and Roll" is a big one here. It's about the superiority of fifties rock, which barely gets any airplay nowadays unless you get lucky on the AM dial. The song's protagonist was a teenager in the fifties and hates that "modern disco." Odds are good nobody hearing the song now is "reminiscing about the days of old."

    Then the song became synonymous with the most famous scene in 1983's Risky Business, and gained a completely different reason for being. Now it's a song associated with the 80's, despite clearly trashing that era and singing the praises of tunes thirty years older than that.
     
  2. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Messages:
    29,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Songs about payphones, like the country hit "Callin' Baton Rouge," Jim Croce's tearjerker "Operator," and Dr. Hook's I'll-Jerk-Even-More-Tears-Out-Of-You-er "Sylvia's Mother" must be very confusing to today's young people.

    Ooh, how about this one. It's called "Democrat Blues" and it's specifically about misgivings about the election of Eisenhower.

    [video=youtube;sOG6No8o7y4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOG6No8o7y4[/video]
     
  3. magicdog

    magicdog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    Everytime I hear The Lovin' Sponful sing, "Happy Togather":

    "If I should call you up... invest a dime...."

    First it was payphones during the era when they only cost a dime to make the call. Then it was, "Payphones? What are those?" since we have cell phones now.
     
  4. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Messages:
    29,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ooh, thought of another one. You can't get much more dated than Jesus Jones' "Right Here, Right Now." It's about how, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we Gen-Xers were going to change the world in the 90s.

    [video=youtube;7z6dxQVhE8o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z6dxQVhE8o[/video]

    Didn't work out.
     
  5. BartWinkle

    BartWinkle Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    2
    Happy Together was by The Turtles, not the Lovin' Spoonful.
     
  6. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    23,796
    Likes Received:
    6
    An obvious one is Prince's "1999."

    I remember reading that during a 1999 New Year's Eve concert, he announced it would be the last time he'd ever perform it, and he actually made good on it for almost ten years until he started performing it again.
     
  7. Zorak Masaki

    Zorak Masaki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Messages:
    7,746
    Likes Received:
    26
    Songs with references to records,tapes,cd's, or even radio are also kind of dated.
     
  8. Storm Eagle

    Storm Eagle Power to the peaceful

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12,689
    Likes Received:
    14
    "We Trying to Stay Alive" by Wyclef Jean.

    I thought of that song a few days ago, and how there was a mention of Sam Goody, which a now defunct record store chain.
     
  9. Neo Ultra Mike

    Neo Ultra Mike Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    16,675
    Likes Received:
    329
    "Money For Nothing" by the Dire Straits is pretty dated now, espeically bits like this.

    "Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
    You play the guitar on the MTV"

    Yeah cause it's sadly dated now to say you actually see people playing guitar or well... any music videos at all now on MTV. To be current they'd probably need to say something about being from Jersey or being a pregnent Teen on the MTV or something like that.
     
  10. simpsonsfan

    simpsonsfan Froakie - Bubble Frog Pokemon
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,662
    Likes Received:
    1
    How about Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire? It is all about dated references.
     
  11. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    23,796
    Likes Received:
    6
    It's more like pointing out key moments in history than things that were popular at the time but now obscure. I think most of the people/events mentioned in the song are still recognizable.
     
  12. Aquadementia

    Aquadementia That's a lot of Mulaney!
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    8,211
    Likes Received:
    12
    The Beatles "Back in the U.S.S.R."
    Back in the where?

    Paul Simon "Kodachrome"
    Mamma don't take my phone with HD camera away.

    Jefferson Airplane "Get me a ticket for an aeroplane"
    You ain't got time to take a fast train, after waiting days for that letter to arrive? My baby texted me LOL I LUV U :)
     
  13. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    15,997
    Likes Received:
    221
    Bowling for Soup "Girl All the Bad Guys Want"
    Her CD changer is full of singers that are mad at their dad.

    More like her iPod
     
  14. RandomMe

    RandomMe An Imaginary Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    41,011
    Likes Received:
    838
    A song called "TV WC", written by Portuguese band Taxi in 1981, has a part that reflects the state of television at the time:
    Na abertura o desenhos animado ("A cartoon at the start of transmission" - there were cartoons and such at 18:00, that's when TV transmissions started on weekdays back then)
    Logo depois o Telejornal ("And then the news" - "Telejornal" is a newscast here)
    Mais à noite o filme ultrapassado ("Later on in the evening, the outdated movie" - refers to the old movies that aired at primetime)
    E no fim o hino nacional ("And at the end, the national anthem" - it's a fact, TV transmissions shut down here with the national anthem, and there were only two state-run channels in Portugal at the time the song was written)
    Quando ligo o primeiro canal, sempre o anúncio de um sabão tal ("When I turn on the first channel [RTP 1], always an ad for that soap" - ads for soap bars were common at the time?)
    E se mudo para o segundo, então é que é o fim do mundo ("And if I switch to the second one [RTP 2], then it's the end of the world" - I can't understand this, sadly)
    The chorus still remains "real" - "Quem vê TV sofre mais que no WC" (Who watches TV suffes more than in the bathroom/WC).

    Just an example from my country.
     
  15. avastye

    avastye New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    2
    Wouldn't everything that is not in 2016 be dated?
     
  16. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    37,509
    Likes Received:
    203
    No. We're talking specifically about songs that reference things and events that meant something to the generation that initially heard it. One other qualifier: they have to be songs people still know about today.
     
  17. Kitschensyngk

    Kitschensyngk The kids are all wrong

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    32,718
    Likes Received:
    494
    The Doors' "Twentieth Century Fox" is not a song about the movie studio.
     

Share This Page

  • Find Toonzone on Facebook

  • Toonzone News

  • Site Updates

    Upcoming Premieres

  • Toonzone Fan Sites


Tac Anti Spam from Surrey Forum