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Last updated: Sat. Jul. 12, 2014 - 05:03 am EDT

Not all classic rock 'n' roll song lyrics translate well today, but they're sure better than rap music

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I've made no secret of the fact that I think music from the last century is immeasurably better than the tunes of today, ... if there even is a tune and not just shouting over noise. Unfortunately, some of the golden oldies lyrics definitely do not stand the test of time.

Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl'' is a great record, as are most of Mr. Sedaka's songs, but he might have a little trouble selling one of his verses to today's liberated women. Sure, she's his little Valentine in February and she's the Easter Bunny when she smiles in April.

However, when November rolls around and he sings, "I'll give thanks that you belong to me,'' he may run into a little backlash. Sorry, Neil, that just wouldn't cut it today.

Let's be honest, though: Sedaka comes off sounding like Prince Charming compared to some of the crap that passes for rap lyrics these days, none of which can be printed here as an example.

I wonder if "Calendar Girl'' prompted Lesley Gore to respond with one of her big hits, "You Don't Own Me'' (I'm not just one of your many toys). You tell him, Lesley! (Did you know the song that kept "You Don't Own Me'' from hitting No. 1 in early 1964 was "I Want to Hold Your Hand''? I wonder what ever became of that group?)

To be fair, there are many 45 rpm records that hold up quite well. Paul Revere and the Raiders' "Too Much Talk,'' written by lead singer Mark Lindsay, and Doris Day's son, Terry Melcher, in 1967 could have just as easily been written yesterday: "Too much talk and not enough action. Do you know anybody getting satisfaction? Everybody wonders 'bout the crowd reaction, and the world gets better by a very small fraction.''

Sad, but true.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he's not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.


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