Lots of people bemoan the morally-bankrupt lyrics that fill today’s popular music. Whether it’s Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Lady Gaga singing about a “disco stick,” or just about anything from Miley Cyrus, it seems as though today’s artists are fixated on promoting loose sexual ethics.
Just like musicians did 60 years ago….
It’s inevitable. Every once in a while, your SUV’s radio presets get messed with, and you have to pan through the stations one by one, reselecting your favorites. Without a doubt, you’ll come across an “oldies” station (or two) in the process. But have you ever paused on that station long enough to contemplate the music – and the messages – that were being pumped across the airwaves to your parents’ generation?
Case in point, Dion’s first #1 hit Runaround Sue.
In October of 1961, The Bronx native struck gold with his tune about a girl named Sue who was, shall we say, “monogamously challenged.” Here’s the warning he gave all his buddies about getting mixed up with Runaround Sue:
Ah, she likes to travel around
She’ll love you but she’ll put you down
Now people let me put you wise
Sue goes out with other guys
Here’s the moral and the story from the guy who knows
I fell in love and my love still grows
Ask any fool that she ever knew, they’ll say
Keep away from-a Runaround Sue
The song went on to sell a million copies, making Dion a household name. Hopefully, all that cash and fame helped Dion deal with his broken heart….
But after singing about having his heart broken, Dion changed his tune – and his ethics – when he released The Wanderer in December of that same year. Take a look at how Dion viewed the ladies with whom he was romantically involved:
Oh well, I’m the type of guy who will never settle down
Where pretty girls are well, you know that I’m around
I kiss ‘em and I love ‘em ‘cause to me they’re all the same
I hug ‘em and I squeeze ‘em they don’t even know my name
They call me the wanderer
Yeah, the wanderer
I roam around, around, around
So, Dion gets his heart broken by a girl with very relaxed morals, and his response is to become the male version of Runaround Sue. Runaround Stu?
Don’t get caught up in the obvious double standard that plagued Dion’s music. Instead, reflect on the fact that for decades, the integrity of music has been compromised with sexually-irresponsible lyrics. Sadly, infidelity in music is nothing new.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)