“Boys Will Be Boys”

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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.

 

The Hooters

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No, not those hooters.  This isn’t some kind of nature blog.

We could sing “Boys Will Be Boys” if you want

No, not those hooters, either! (My god, are those poor women wearing pantyhose!?!)

I mean the Philadelphia-based pop-rock band, The Hooters.  You might remember them.  They had a couple of hits in the mid-80s, and then pretty much dropped off the radar.  Which was too bad, because after that pretty darn successful first album (which led to gigs like opening the Philadelphia stage at Live Aid), they continued to put out good music on three more discs.  (They broke up for a while, then got back together this century, but I haven’t been too keen on anything they’ve done since.)

Thing is, The Hooters really have been unfairly forgotten.  The two lead singers and songwriters for the band, Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian, co-wrote “Time After Time” with Cyndi Lauper.  They played both Live Aid and the 1986 Conspiracy of Hope concert in New York.  In the 90s, they appeared in Roger Waters’ revival of The Wall in Germany.  Eric Bazilian wrote Joan Osborne’s hit “One of Us” (and produced and arranged her album Relish).  They were popular in Europe for a lot longer than in the U.S. (which tells me that Europeans are much smarter than Americans).  They were, in short, a hit.

Maybe it was the name, which was a nickname for the melodica (we’ve had one in the house for as long as I can remember, in spite of the fact that no one in the family ever played it).  There are a lot of songs I really love by them, but my favorite is also probably the biggest hit they had.  It’s at least the only one that ever still gets played anywhere.

If possible, I stop whatever I’m doing whenever this comes on somewhere and sing at the top of my lungs.  It’s just such a fun song.  Fun to sing, fun to dance to.  The video’s fun, too.  It makes me nostalgic for drive-ins, although nothing that cool ever happened at my local drive-in.  (The coolest thing I can say about the drive-in I grew up with is that my mom worked at the concession stand for a while when my dad was out of work.  I remember him carrying me when we went to visit her once.)

Look up The Hooters on itunes, or whatever perfectly legal download site you purchase music from.  Or better, root around in the used bins at your local music store.  I’ll bet they have a copy of Satellite or Zig Zag floating around there.  Give them a listen.  You might be surprised at how good they still sound.