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“Boys Will Be Boys”

Posted by purplemary54 on July 31, 2014

Part of me feels a little funny posting this song.  The phrase “boys will be boys” has been historically used to excuse a lot of bad behavior by the male half of the population.  Bar fight?  Boys will be boys.  Sexual harassment?  Boys will be boys.  Rape and domestic violence?  Boys will be boys–but he was probably provoked, so that makes it her fault.

The football world (and not a few feminists and anti-violence groups) are kind of pissed at the paltry two game suspension Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received for apparently knocking out his then-fiancee.  (The two have since married, and Janay Rice has publicly stood by her husband.)  Law enforcement has put a temporary hold on prosecuting Rice, in lieu of completing ordered treatment and no further incidents of domestic violence.  The NFL seems to think that two games is adequate suspension.  Nobody else does.  Rice spoke about the issue today, and he seems sincere.  I hope this was a one-time incident, and they go on to have a long and successful marriage.  Nobody outside of law enforcement has seen the complete surveillance video, so we don’t know exactly how Janay Rice came to be unconscious (their story is that he pushed/shoved her, and she hit her head).  And we certainly don’t know the circumstances of their relationship.  But if that had been me, I’d have run as far and fast as I could away from that bastard.

But lucky for me, this song has none of that baggage.  I suppose in a way I just burdened it somewhat, but the infectious joy here kind of liberates it from any sort of real world association.

Of course, it also helps that there’s a rambling, incoherent quality to the lyrics.  There’s no narrative consistency here.  Some guy is just singing out his happiness at being in love with his girl, “sometimes you make me feel like I’ve got a heart full of toys.”  Maybe she forgave him for something.  Maybe they just met.  Maybe he’s a little goofy.  (Okay, there’s really no ‘maybe’ about that last one.)  I’ve never quite understood Cyndi Lauper’s “girls will be girls” portion.  Like the rest of the song, it doesn’t really make much sense.  It’s all just tossed together like a big musical salad.  But who cares.  This song just makes me smile.  It’s one way to cure the bad feelings brought on by the news.



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