Ammo Grrrll revisits the soundtrack of her road trip and gets real about those PROMISES, PROMISES! She writes:
Regular readers know that I recently made a long road trip. But, it really doesn’t matter if I’m only driving two miles to the Walmart — basically, I cannot drive without music.
My eclectic driving soundtracks range from Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto to Broadway show tunes to Toby Keith’s sensitive love ballad, “Get Out of Your Clothes or Get Out of My Car.” (Our son once told us that “if you want to clear the room of chicks” that the band Rush will do the trick. Similarly, if I want Mr. AG to leave the house, all I have to do is play Toby Keith’s Red Solo Cup. In fact, the mere THREAT to play it can shape him right up.)
My compilation CDs for travel are not universally appreciated. Obviously, tastes differ. But I am guessing that there would be wide agreement that the Eagles would be considered quintessential road music. I typically began each driving day on my recent journey with their Greatest Hits (“The Very Best of”) CD. That – and the third cup of coffee – woke me up enough to prepare me for the first 2-300 miles. I love the tight harmonies, the familiar, warble-along lyrics, the “greater than the sum of the parts” effect of the musicians.
I am particularly fond of bassist Timothy B. Schmit, whose sweet voice stars in just a couple of tunes, my favorite of which is “Love Will Keep Us Alive.” However, as with many, many pop songs, it does not behoove one to think too deeply about the lyrics, starting with the debatable premise in the title. Unfortunately, I had a LOT of time on my hands in my recent 5,000-mile trip, and I behooved up a storm. Yes, it is true that love is very important to keeping one alive, but the occasional sammich and a glass of water do help.
In confessing the extent of their love, the 3 songwriters (Pete Vale, Jim Capaldi and Paul Carrack) and Mr. Schmit make several extravagant promises. Not least of which is “I would die for you,” and “I would climb the highest mountain.” Men are always promising things of this nature in song. They swear they will swim the deepest ocean, lasso the stars and the moon, or climb a mountain – and not just any old high hill, always the “highest,” like a hyperbolic President Trump speech, bless his little heart!
Now, first of all, I do not know a single woman who has ever requested such physical tests of devotion because, among many problems, they would involve long ABSENCES. What is to become of her while you are off dog-paddling across the Pacific? Who will kill the spiders and reach high shelves while you trudge up Everest? Then there is the issue of how many men can remotely accomplish such feats. Mr. AG, for example, swims like an anvil. I would not want him in the deep end of the pool, much less tackling the deepest sea.
When we examine these promises, however heartfelt they sound, what is the common denominator in all of them? Nobody – not even Michael Phelps or Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner – can deliver on them! Now I am not suggesting for even a moment that they are just insincere and cunning ways to get you into bed. I am simply saying that as promises go, these particular ones are guaranteed to be as meaningless as “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
And I am here, as a service to male love song writers everywhere to suggest more realistic promises to indicate undying love for your woman. The great Brad Paisley has already covered putting the toilet seat down. Here are just a few more ideas. Read and learn, fellas.
I will clean your Kimber 1911 with its 47 parts
And its special tiny takedown tool and springs that fly like darts.
I will do the taxes you detest, to rid you of your tension,
I already guessed you’d start too late, and filed for an extension.
I will ask if you are losing weight; though the opposite is clear.
And just to show I mean it, say: “Here’s a cupcake, dear!”
I will let you use the bathroom first when we get to a hotel.
No need to go in detail why, but to say it’s just as well.
See how USEFUL and CONCRETE these promises are? With verifiable results, just like Obama’s Late, Great Iran Nuclear Deal…oh wait…that was more in the vein of swimming the deepest ocean. Or rather sending a very deep ocean of hard cold cash to Ms. Jarrett’s homies in Iran on the hilarious pretext that maybe, possibly, later, the pathological lying mullahs won’t go nuclear. Unless they feel like it. What could go wrong with taking the word of a “Death to America” culture that states that deliberate lying to infidels is not only allowed, but recommended?
But I digress. Women never sing songs promising proof of their love through triathalon-style physical challenges. And here – despite all the gender nonsense – we see a very basic difference between males and females. A love song aimed at men, promising the sun, the moon, the stars, will be an epic failure with its target audience. Men will say, “Hey, the sun, the moon, all that crap, love ‘em, babe. Oceans are cool, especially in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. But you know what would be really great? If you got naked!”
If we are honest here, isn’t getting the woman into bed either the explicit theme or the subtext of virtually every love song in existence? (See: “Let’s Get It On,” “Lay, Lady Lay,” “Let It Snow,” “Baby Ima Want You,” “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” ”Lay Down Sally,” ad infinitum…)
The underlying theme of almost every pop song from a woman to a man is, “Why yes, I WILL have sex with you.” In real life, we may couch that promise in what we believe is more romantic terms, “Honey, tonight why don’t I make you a homemade meatloaf sandwich on your favorite bread, and we’ll watch some sports on TV, and then we’ll go to bed early?”
And the man will take notice and say, “What a great idea! Except how about we have the sex NOW and then maybe watch sports and eat? I mean, the game might be really good and we could get distracted and accidentally forget about the sex.”
It’s not easy to capture that kind of commitment to romance in a song.
PAUL ADDS: This reminds me of an old joke (AG probably has heard it more than once) about a love letter that reads:
I would climb the highest mountain for you, my darling.
I would swim the deepest sea.
I would cross the longest desert.
P.S. See you Saturday night if it doesn’t rain.