Day Twenty-Four: Guilty Pleasure
It's a coincidence that today's "guilty pleasure" prompt falls on a Saturday, but I can't think of anything better to represent the theme than one particular song I love, so I've chosen that one as this week's Saturday Song Selection. The song is so pleasurable that I can never listen to it only once; I always replay it at least two or three times when it comes up on my iTunes shuffle. The singer's voice is so soft and soothing that it makes even an old woman like me long for a man to talk to me in that same gentle tone, and it reminds me of a time when one did. And the music, ah, the music--some of the richest, sweetest notes I've ever heard.
But (here comes the guilty part) the lyrics, mostly a nonsensical jumble of old movie titles, include a word that is not only politically incorrect but also as offensive as the word that got Paula Deen in so much trouble. And the singer, who also wrote the song, may have had an exceptional musical talent, but he was evidently a sick, twisted individual, one whose true-life story gives me a good case of the creeps.
What makes the guilt worse is that I can't claim to have loved this song since it first came out in 1970, so that I could rationalize that my fondness for it has roots in nostalgia. I never heard it in my life until about a year ago. By then I'd already learned that that one word was offensive to a large group of people who don't deserve to be disrespected, and I'd already heard on Oprah that the singer, John Phillips, had engaged in an incestuous relationship with his daughter. Ick.
It makes me feel kind of dirty, but I listen. Over and over, I still listen. And it's so good.
Thanks to Camiel Delclef for posting this video on YouTube.
Click here to read the lyrics.