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September 16, 2020 10:17 am  #1


Songs with a Common Theme

Here are some songs whose lyrics are thematically linked.  The common thread is the complications that arise in rich vs poor relationships.  

 DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKSPoor boy loves rich girl but he "don't fit her society".Further complication: "her daddy is my boss man". A comment on the song - one of the most recognizable intros to a song ever.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdrmLdugA8g 

PATCHESPoor girl (from Old Shantytown) and not-so-poor boy plan to marry.  His parents say no ("a girl from that place would only bring me disgrace")Further complication: they find her face-down in the river, and now he's planning to take his own life ("I'll join you tonight"). A comment on the song - an important part of the tragedy song genre of the 50's and 60s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3we1ldAi3U 

RAG DOLLPoor girl is mocked when she comes into town.  Not-so-poor boy wants to "change her sad rags into glad rags",  but his folks won't let him "'cause they say that she's no good".https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqpjPgj_a8I 

POOR SIDE OF TOWNLittle bit of a twist on this one.  Poor boy and poor girl have split up because she had a fling with someone from the richer side of town. But now she's back ("that rich guy you've been seein' must have put you down"), and he seems receptive to taking her back ("together we can make it on the poor side of town") A comment on the song - beautiful backing vocals by Darlene Love and the Blossoms - so smooth and sweet sounding.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJO89DeYACg 

3000 MILES AWAY (an obscure B-side to one of Brian Hyland's hits - couldn't find video with lyrics but they're pretty clear)Poor boy and rich girl (from 3000 miles away) have married, but he wonders if she's happy (" you could have married a millionaire"  "sometimes is your mind 3000 miles away?") A comment on the song - IMHO this could have been a hit record - great hook ("3000 miles away ......") that sticks in your head after the first listen.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzBos_b0FHM   

Last edited by GrimsbyFan (September 16, 2020 10:18 am)

 

September 16, 2020 10:45 am  #2


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

GrimsbyFan wrote:

RAG DOLLPoor girl is mocked when she comes into town.  Not-so-poor boy wants to "change her sad rags into glad rags",  but his folks won't let him "'cause they say that she's no good".https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqpjPgj_a8I 

The corollary to this tune is another Four Seasons song. "DAWN" is the opposite to Rag Doll, a story in which the boy isn't good enough for the girl. "Think what the future would be with a poor boy like me." This time, it's her folks that get in the way. "Think what your family would say." He winds up telling her to go away because "I'm no good for you." (Actually, this song was released before Rag Doll, which made it to #1. Dawn had to be satisfied to go away at #3 on the charts. Both came out in 1964.)

Interesting to get both sides of the same coin from the same group.  

Last edited by aflem (September 16, 2020 10:50 am)

 

September 16, 2020 11:47 am  #3


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

Excellent response, Aflem.  Dawn is a perfect addition to the songs in this thread.

There was an answer song to "Rag Doll", called "Society Girl", done by a girl group called (interestingly enough) The Rag Dolls.  In this one, Rag Doll couldn't take the put downs any longer so she left town and became a Society Girl. Even though she's now rich and wishes her old friends could see her now, she "misses the guy who loved me when I was a rag doll".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZWpM-zOGms

     Thread Starter
 

September 16, 2020 1:57 pm  #4


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

Leader Of The Pack - The Shangri-Las

It don't fit the theme but the thread made me think of Don't Go Near the Indians by Rex Allen

 

September 17, 2020 2:42 am  #5


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

Taz wrote:

Leader Of The Pack - The Shangri-Las

It don't fit the theme but the thread made me think of Don't Go Near the Indians by Rex Allen

might want to avoid the laundromat, also.
 

 

September 17, 2020 7:46 am  #6


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

How about Saginaw Michigan? And happily, in the end, the poor guy gets the rich girl.

 

September 17, 2020 3:31 pm  #7


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

gopher wrote:

might want to avoid the laundromat, also.
 

I thought of it when I posted.  I actually have the song on CD.

 

September 17, 2020 4:25 pm  #8


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

I was waiting for someone to post " Hang On Sloopy" by The McCoys. It was (and is) one of my favourite songs of the mid sixties

 

September 18, 2020 6:21 am  #9


Re: Songs with a Common Theme

Roman wrote:

How about Saginaw Michigan? And happily, in the end, the poor guy gets the rich girl.

...or, loses her on "the streets of baltimore".
 

Last edited by gopher (September 19, 2020 5:26 am)

 

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