On June 5, 1956 teenage girls across the United States sat on their living room rugs with their bobby-socked feet tucked under them watching the Milton Berle Show transfixed by a handsome young man with slicked back hair rotating his mid-section while singing about a hound dog.
Thirty seconds later parents across the United States were flicking off television sets in their living rooms and bemoaning the lack of morality of this younger generation.
These same teenagers grew up to be parents who rolled their eyes at Mohawks and piercings and questioned the talent of the new British invasion.
So long as there are teenagers, there will be music that makes even the most open-minded parents cringe.
For all we know the ancient Greeks were throwing their arms up to the gods and begging them to make their offspring stop walking like Egyptians.
It was the Christmas of 1990 when I unwrapped two gifts from my parents that they most certainly regretted. The first was a turquoise and grey Sony Sport Walkman with the newly released matching ear buds and the second was The Immaculate Collection, a compilation of Madonna’s greatest hits to date.
With my ear buds firmly tucked in and the volume far surpassing a healthy level, I would replay that cassette over and over, belting out the lyrics to Like a Virgin with a pitch and tone that could easily be confused for the sound of dueling raccoons.
I made it through the wilderness…. I didn’t know how lost I was until I found you. I was beat incomplete. I’d been had. I was sad and blue. But you made me feel, oooh, you made me feel shiny and new! Like a virgin! Touch for the very first time! Like a virrrrrrrign with your heartbeat, next to mine. (credit)
I was ten years old and completely oblivious to the meaning of these words. In my naïve mind I thought that someone had pulled some girl named Virgina from the forest.
Yup. I was a smart kid.
But rest assured that as the years passed both Seventeen and YM Magazines educated me to what Colour Me Badd was really crooning about with I Wanna Sex You Up, and my animated backseat car concerts that took place for the pure listening enjoyment of my parents, abruptly stopped.
As for today’s milieu of sexy performers with their risqué lyrics, my guess is that once the soccer moms start stripper-cizing to these songs, tweens and teens will tune out of their volition. Really, what could be more uncool than a middle-aged white woman listening to gangsta rap with the base cranked up and the mini-van windows rolled down? A
And as for my little ones? So long as they continue to think that Rihanna’s S & M is a song about their brother, S-A-M, than I am livin’ the easy life.
Because how am I going to explain that one?