Thursday, February 4, 2016

Man's Favorite Sport

Last time I was at Audio Archaeology, I asked the owner for a recommendation for what I was then calling "White People Music," before I knew the term "Beautiful Music." He pointed me to this excellent record, Dear Heart and Other Songs About Love (1965), by Henry Mancini. It's choral music, sort of. It sounds a lot like supposed Jazz Choir from back in the 70s.

The songs on this record are terrible! They say terrible things about "love" and relationships. There's a cover of "Frankie and Johnnie," which is really the kind message we should be sending people about relationships. "Mr. Lucky" is pretty okay, because at least this "lucky guy" recognizes how awesome is "lucky girl" is. I actually think that the Everett High School jazz choir might have performed this tune.

One song was so upsetting to me that I had to Google it. "Man's Favorite Sport." Here is a sample:

Some men say Judo is their dish
While others fish where mountain waters swirl

But let a girl appear, he'll pursue her
And run his fingers through her curls
And that's the way it's been since the world began
The favorite sport of men, is girls!

There is just so much wrong with this song. First of all, the verses are just lists of sports. They are solitary and elitist. But then these sports are compared to forming a lasting relationship with a woman, as if it is a competition. But maybe a lasting relationship isn't exactly what the man wants. Then there's the bit where the males are "men" and the females are "girls." Really? My Googling led me to learn that this is the theme song from a 1964 film of the same name, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Rock Hudson and Paula Prentiss. This film is clearly one of those awesome 60s sex comedies that I love so much. Seeing that it stars the queer-as-a-three-dollar-bill Rock Hudson, my opinion of this song changed. I think it was written to be intentionally campy. I can only hope. Still, it's pretty messed up.

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