Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (1968)



Great songs can have terrible lyrics. Sometimes terrible songs can have great lyrics. You can't judge a song by its lyrics.

Um, well...

There have to be a few exceptions. This absolutely vile testament to, well, the joys of young love is one example. I won't include lyrics here, but I'll include a link to them. Notice how the song is not merely about lecherous drooling regarding a 'baby in disguise' who should 'hurry home to (her) mama', but it even has the cheek to blame the child in question for her 'come-on look'.

Gary Puckett's oddly-titled backup group the Union Gap features horns blaring in a minutely-Latin manner. They don't sound all that bad, despite the hackneyed half-time lead in. But Mr. Puckett's 'throaty' vocalisations ruin even the chance of enjoying this song by ignoring the lyrics. His bravura would be sickening if he were, for example, comparing his (adult) love to the moon or some rubbish. However using his brassy, charmless tenor to shout accusingly at the child he's sexually attracted to merely compounds the problem.

When this song was released, it was a #1 hit in the UK and #2 in the USA. Somehow, people actually enjoyed this repugnant song and went out and purchased it, or else requested it on the radio. Perhaps some were young girls, and could maybe be excused. Yet how this playground-stalkers' anthem could ever be played in clean conscience by adults, I have no idea.

Truly hideous.

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