Monday, September 13, 2010

Songs in the Key of Me

Cyndi at Her 80's Best

So, I've started to put together a list of music I want to use for pre-show, intermission and scene changes for Top Girls. The play is set in 1982, so of course I went and pulled all my '80's CDs, looking for pieces that might be appropriate. Thinking I have to sneak "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" in there somewhere, I started listening to Cyndi Lauper's debut debut album "She's So Unusual" and came across a song I'd almost forgotten about: "She Bop." Which of course led Uncle P to think about other songs that deal with... um... well, pleasuring one's self.

While hardly the first song ever written about onanistic behavior, "She Bop" features some of the most overt lyrics ever written on the subject, including my favorite: "They say I better stop or I'll go blind."

Love her or hate her (and I so very much love her), Cyndi is probably an even more iconic '80's star than Madonna, Billy Idol (remind me someday to tell you about that concert) or Adam Ant.

 R.I.P. Captain Lou Albano (though I never really got the whole rubberband thing).

Of course, Cyndi wasn't the only one singing about the joys of being alone in the 80's. Billy Idol's biggest hit was about that very subject, no matter how many zombies he put in the video for "Dancing with Myself" And it wasn't just new-age punks singing about one-handing it. Classic rocker Billy Joel had his own take on the subject with "Sometimes a Fantasy:"

And quintessential '80's band Devo had this to say on the subject:

And then there's the Violent Femmes "Blister in the Sun:"

Mot to mention the Divinyls' "I Touch Myself,"  The Vapors' "Turning Japanese" and the Buzzcocks' "Orgasm Addict:"

Even Prince got into the act with "Darling Nikki:"

But by no means was masturbation (there I've said it) an exclusively 80's musical phenomenon. Chuck Berry explored the subject in the Mid '70's with "My Ding-a- Ling:"

Of course, "Darling Nikki" is about so much more than just self-love...

And in the 90's, the subject was still being explored (all puns intended) by artists such as Tori Amos:

Even Country Western stars sing about it (albeit disguised as patriotism):

Hell, if you don't love yourself, who will? So be proud of your toys, soiled hand-towels and waste cans filled with stiffened Kleenex... I'm not here to judge, but rather to comment, even if that comment is "Oh, yes!"

More, anon.


Anonymous said...

If you didn't love Cyndi, I might have had to stop reading you.

I'm surprised that you didn't dedicate this post to that teabag wingnut O'Donnell in DE running on the anti-masturbation platform.

Prospero said...

I hadn't heard about O'Donnell, actually. Now I have to go look him up...

Stephen said...

When I Think About You, I Touch Myself.

"Don't knock masterbation. It's sex with someone I love"