the sum total of my youthful musical exposure was my dad's compilation albums (think K-TEL) of 50's and 60's classics, disney and sesame street purchases targeted towards me, and my mom's collection of musical soundtracks.
i LOVED this song when i was a kid. this song was one of several - songs like be my baby, leader of the pack, 16 tons, and california dreamin' - that i'd play over and over on our turntable. in fact, i listened to it so much that even now there's a place in the song when i expect it to skip - where my brain automatically jumps over the words i never heard from that scratched-up LP spinning in our basement all those years ago.
as a kid, i learned this song by heart. but i never really focused on the words till now.
maybe this song is responsible - in tandem with others - for the f-ed up instincts i have about men, women, and relationships.
or maybe, in the words of Nick Hornby in High Fidelity:
"Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as a consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship. Maybe Al Green is directly responsible for more than i ever realized."
so maybe it was more the effect of all those hours, sitting in the basement, listening to pop music and learning the words and singing along, over and over, that did me in.
the current me? yeah, i still love the damn song. and i still sing along. maybe i should stop blaming pop culture, and just admit that there are certain things i can't resist.