Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dare you take the love quiz?

I'm home sick today.

No, not homesick, like when your parents make you stay with Grandma and Grandpa while they go to Vegas for a week, and Grandma thinks, for whatever reason, that you love tomato juice and salted green pepper chunks with every meal, and you pray silently and tearfully every night for your parents to eschew any more 9 AM  cocktails and liberate you from your well-intended, yet life-shortening geriatric confinement.

No, I'm at home, sick. I've got a cold—the kind where you can't breathe through your nose, so when you wake up in the morning, your mouth, having been the sole receptor of oxygen for the past eight hours, feels like a sheet of caribou jerky that's been flapping in a windy desert and ultimately coated with a sticky, salty, furry, gelatinous dew.

And that first cough of the day feels like it blew a couple of JFK-sized holes through your temples. That's the kind of sick I am today.

To distract myself from this self-pity, I came up with an idea while listening to my teenage daughter's radio playing this morning. A song by L'il Wayne was playing, entitled, "How to Love." Upon listening to its lyrics, I thought smugly, "Yeah, like you know how to love, Mr. Little Wayne. Don't think for a second that you can pound out nineteen recordings about all the money and chicks and drugs you enjoy, and then on the twentieth, teach, how to love."

I know how to love, little shirtless, tattooed guy. I am a lover of love.

Then I wondered if. just maybe, today's kids hold an entirely different definition of what love is. Maybe it's evolved to where, what was once a feeling of giddiness, anxiety and wonder has morphed into conquest and short-term gratification. So I decided to put it to the test.

I looked up Billboard's top ten songs for this week, both currently and during my senior year of high school. I hypothesized that the lyrics may shed a bit of light upon the mindset of our youth through the artists to which they listen. And to make it more interesting, I'm going to structure it as a quiz for you, the unwitting reader.

Of the following songs, try to surmise which set of lyrics are from 2011 and which are from 1980.

Billboard Song Number Three—

Choice A:
Instinctively you give to me
The love that I need
I cherish the moments with you
Respectfully I say to thee
"I'm aware that you're cheating
When no one makes me feel like you do."

Choice B:
Shine a light through an open door
Love and life I will divide
Turn away cause I need you more
Feel the heartbeat in my mind

If you selected Choice B as lyrics from a gentler, more innocent time, you'd be wrong. It's "We Found Love," released in 2011 by Rihanna. Choice A is "Upside Down" by Dianna Ross from October, 1980. 

Okay, my theory isn't off to a good start.

Billboard Song Number 2—

Choice A:
Maybe it's hard
When you feel like you're broken and scarred
Nothing feels right
But when you're with me 
I make you believe
That I've got the key

Choice B
I am a woman in love
And I'd do anything
To get you into my world
And hold you within
It's a right I defend
Over and over again
What do I do?

I've got to call this one a tie. Each song basically says that it's up to the dude to make everything right. Choice A is 2011's "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5, while Choice B is "Woman in Love" by Barbara Streisand in 1980. Okay, one more.

Billboard Song Number 1—

Choice A:
I heard that you're settled down
That you found a girl and you're married now 
I heard that your dreams came true 
Guess she gave you things I didn't give you
I hat to turn up out of the blue, uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it
I had hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded
That for me, it isn't over

Choice B:
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I'm gonna get you, too
Another one bites the dust

Unless you've just crawled out from under a rock or have been listening to continuous Christmas favorites for the past thirty-one years, you know that Choice B is Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" from 1980. Adele cranks up those smokey pipes for Choice A, "Someone Like You."

This hasn't gone well. Maybe young folks do understand love. After all, I nearly tear up just typing out the lyrics to "Someone Like You," while "Another One Bites the Dust" isn't exactly penned by Freddie Mercury to see us through a tough break-up.

I suppose I feel better about kids after performing this study. I'm apparently underestimating our youth, repeating the same mistake countless other older generations have. Well, it's never too late to change.

I wonder if the YMCA offers hot freak dancing.

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