Monday, October 23, 2006

Go Out and See What You Can Find

So my brother, Mac, in all his manly glory, responded again to the question set forth in the post "I Won't Cuss Or Hitcha" where I asked all three readers of this blog to name a song written by a white man that celebrates a quality in women that is usually derided. That post was inspired by the songs "Big Leg Women" by Muddy Waters and "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot. I argued that the kind of values these songs embody are only appropriate in the context of songs sung by black men. Paul Dunn, one of Mac's best friends from high school, met my challenge with the song "Trashy Women" by Confederate Railroad.

In yesterday's post, Mac pointed out a whole genre of songs that almost fit this qualification: the I-Love-An-Ugly-Woman song. If you want to read what he wrote, just look at the comments from yesterday's post. As examples, he provided:

"Casimira" by Banda Machos. The gist of this song, which Mac was kind enough to translate, is that there is an ugly woman who a man dances with all night long.

"Get An Ugly Girl to Marry You" by Jimmy Soul. As Mac said, "Granted this song isn't about mutual sexual satisfaction, the asshole just wants someone to cook for him."

Then, Mac pointed to two "Butterface" songs. This term refers a woman who is ideal except her face. Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Yell Help, Wednesday Night, Ugly" and Bob Dylan's "The Ugliest Girl In the World" (see Shakespeare's Sonnet 130). Dylan even notes that "she's not much to look at." These songs are about loving a woman, in spite of, not because of, some physical quality. Muddy Waters loves the women BECAUSE of their big legs, not IN SPITE OF their big legs.

He also suggested "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry. I don't quite understand what Mac intended by relating this song to the topic of loving a woman because of a quality that is usually considered unattractive. I think he's referring to the line: "If her Daddy's rich, take her out for a meal. If her Daddy's poor, just do what you feel." Mac thinks this song is misogynistic, but I think it's actually pretty sexy. Wanting to sleep with all the ladies isn't misogynistic; it's lovely. He's equal opportunity, which I am for. I think he's just saying that dating a poor girl is easier cause you can just hang out. I mean he even tells us, "we're not dirty, we're not mean." Plus, you have to love the naivete of "Have a drink, have a drive." And, to further prove my theory, here is a photo of this equal-opportunity man:

Mac also pointed out E.U.'s "Doin' the Butt." Um, I, uh, think this, kinda, um, refers to an action and not a specific body part.

Although I love the song, I didn't even think about "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. After all, "the morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age, but that don't worry me none, in my eyes you're everything." Aw, this from creepy Mr. Stewart. However, again, he loves her despite the fact that she's getting old, not because of.

But, my sweet sweet brother, "Maggie May" reminded me of "Lady Midnight" by Leonard Cohen, which does work:

I came by myself to a very crowded place;
I was looking for someone who had lines in her face.
I found her there but she was past all concern;
I asked her to hold me, I said, "Lady, unfold me,"
but she scorned me and she told me
I was dead and I could never return.
Well, I argued all night like so many have before,
saying, "Whatever you give me, I seem to need so much more."
Then she pointed at me where I kneeled on her floor,
she said, "Don't try to use me or slyly refuse me,
just win me or lose me,
it is this that the darkness is for."

I cried, "Oh, Lady Midnight, I fear that you grow old,
the stars eat your body and the wind makes you cold."
"If we cry now," she said, "it will just be ignored."
So I walked through the morning, sweet early morning,
I could hear my lady calling,
"You've won me, you've won me, my lord,
you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
yes, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord,
ah, you've won me, you've won me, my lord."

So, I guess Mac was right afterall. Thanks, Pooks.

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