After much thought and deliberation, I’m moving Hall & Oates out of the category of guilty pleasures. Among other things, their best work honestly draws on their background in Philly soul. Moreover, in the spirit of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage diktat, I ask (facetiously) who’s to judge? As Justice Kennedy might put it, all music seeks to comfort the lonely heart; all music must be accorded equal respect. (Not.)
In the video below, Hall & Oates perform an audacious cover of the Billy Paul hit “Me and Mrs. Jones,” written and produced by Philadelphia’s own Gamble and Huff (with writing help from Cary Gilbert). Hall’s vocal honors the Paul original (video below).
Performing before a Philadelphia audience, Hall notes the song’s local connection. In the city of brotherly love, where the Constitution itself was drafted, history must be told!
“Me and Mrs. Jones” is a memorable song of guilty love. The Supreme Court is in the process of rendering the notion of guilty love obsolete. As Justice Kennedy puts it, our “hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness.” Even adulterous love seeks to assuage our essential loneliness and is therefore deserving of constitutional respect and protection. “Outlaw to outcast may be a step forward, but it does not achieve the full promise of liberty.” Me and Mrs. Jones, we just wanna be free!