Dream, girl Part Two: What did she just say?


By now, you know I love my Girl Groups. You know I am absolutely fascinated with those bee-hived, shoop-shooping wonders of the 60s and would do anything to fly back in time to see them live on stage. But, for the record, 60s Girl Group lyrics are completely and utterly insane – and there are a few that truly concern me.  Some songs make no sense at all like “Shoop Shoop De Doop Rama Lama Ding Dong Yeah Yeah Yeah”  by the Clinger Sisters or how about “When My Pimples Turned to Dimples” by Jeanne Hayes. Um… Huh? During my obsessive Girl Group period around 12, half of the time I hardly knew what most of these groups were going on about – and just appriciated the music at face value. But it’s really a good thing that I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics. The other day while reminiscing about those old tunes, I found myself actually listening to what the lyrics said. My dreamgirl antics were stopped dead in their tracks. Hold on a second… are you KIDDING ME with this stuff?


Let’s start with Lesley Gore. What is going on with this woman?


That’s The Way Boys Are by Lesley Gore


When I’m with my guy and he watches all the pretty girls go by…
Well I feel so hurt deep inside, I wish that I could die!
Not a word do I say…
I just look the other way!
‘Cause that’s the way boys are!
That’s the way boys are!
When he treats me rough and he acts as though he doesn’t really care…
Well, I never tell him that he is so unfair!
Plus, he loves me and I know it…
But he’s just afraid to show it!
‘Cause that’s the way boys are!
That’s the way boys are!
Oh, when he wants to be alone…
I just let him be!
‘Cause I know that soon enough…
He will come back to me!
When we have a fight,
I think that I won’t see him anymore!
Then before I know it – there he is…
Standin’ at my door!
Well I let him kiss me then…
‘Cause I know he wants me back again!
That’s the way boys are!
Yes, that’s the way boys are!
Oh, I love him!
Well now, that’s the way boys are!
I said that’s the way boys are!



Maybe I Know by Lesley Gore


Maybe I know that he’s been a cheatin’
Maybe I know that he’s been untrue
But what can I do


I hear them whispering when I walk by
He’s gonna break her heart and make her cry
I know it’s me they’re talking about
I bet they all think I’ll never find out


Ohhh but Maybe I know that he’s been a cheatin’
Maybe I know that he’s been untrue but what can I do


My friends are telling me that he’s no good
He isn’t treating me the way he should
He really loves me that’s all I can say
Before my tears fall I just walk away


Ohh but Maybe I know that he’s been a cheatin’
Maybe I know that he’s been untrue
But what can I do


Deep down inside he loves me
Though he may run around
Deep down inside he loves me
Some day he’ll settle down
These songs honestly give me the heebie jeebies. You have to understand, I used to sing these songs over and over and over on my way to school, kicking stones in my Blessed Sacrament school uniform, dreaming about the pimpled, peach fuzzed boys in my class, even if they were a good head shorter than me. Good Lord, I was brain washing myself! These lyrics were putting insane expectations of relationships in my head! My poor sweet little innocent 12 year old ears! Where were my parents??? Oh yeah, they listened to this stuff growing up too. No WONDER Gloria Steinem jumped on her soapbox and declared enough was enough. No wonder women started burning those pointy horrid scary bras they wore back then. These songs were an atrocity!






Here’s another fav of mine. My awesome feminist college A Capella group actually sang this one because, honestly, what a joke…


Johnny Get Angry  by Shelley Faberes


Johnny, I said we were through
Just to see what you would do
You stood there and hung your head
Made me wish that I were dead
Oh, Johnny get angry, Johnny get mad
Give me the biggest lecture I ever had
I want a brave man, I want a cave man
Johnny, show me that you care, really care for me
Every time you danced with me
You let Freddy cut in constantly
When he’d ask, you’d never speak
Must you always be so meek?


Every girl wants someone who
She can always look up to
You know I love you, of course
Let me know that you’re the boss
Johnny, get angry, Johnny
Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny




One repeating theme through lots of these songs seems to go something like “He treats me like crap but I know he loves me anyway” It’s insane. Another example by the Angels.


I Adore Him by The Angels


When we’re with other people

He treats me mean

But when we’re off together

Oh, you know I’m his queen


Tho sometimes I cry at night

He makes things turn out alright

Yes, sir


When we walk hand in hand

Through the roughest part of town

I never feel afraid

Knowing he’s around


He may be cheating on me

But I don’t care

Cause when I need his loving

He’s always there


I can’t help but wonder why

I’ve been blessed with such a guy


But the group that honestly takes the cake is The Crystals.


He Hit me (and it felt like a kiss) by The Crystals


He hit me and it felt like a kiss
He hit me but it didn’t hurt me
He couldn’t stand to hear me say,
That I had been with someone new
And when I told him I had been untrue
He hit me and it felt like a kiss
He hit me and I knew he loved me
If he didn’t care for me
I could have never made him mad
But he hit me and I was glad


Yes he hit me and it felt like a kiss
And then he took me in his arms
With all the tenderness there is
And when he kissed me
He made me his.




Please Hurt Me by The Crystals


If you gotta hurt somebody, please hurt me
and if you gotta break a heart, then please break mine
I won’t cry if you deceive me
I’ll take it with a smile
I know someday you will leave me
but at least I’ll have you for a while
So darlin’, if you gotta hurt somebody, please hurt me
and if I have to be a plaything, that’s what I’ll be
Please hurt me, oh please hurt me
Come on and please hurt me

Why don’t you please hurt me


Seriously. What the hell. Reading their lyrics leaves me at a total loss. I am trying to wrap my head around the idea that these lyrics were not considered controversial at all but, in fact, were completely acceptable. They wouldn’t play Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las because it was a “Death” song, but *THIS* stuff was just fine?


And more importantly, does anyone know if The Crystals turned out ok? For real, I’m worried. Who were their fathers – and are they in jail? Did these women seek out heaps of therapy and eventually find loving partners and joy in their lives? Have they recovered from whatever abuse they must have endured?


But wait, did these women actually write their own music? Hell no! (Of course not.) After a quick stop over at our favorite search engine, Google, it has become apparent that The Crystals, amongst other 60s girl groups, were actually produced by the one and only (eeeks!) Phil Spector. AH. Everything has become a whole lot clearer. But no less worrisome.


Nevertheless, I continue to adore 60s Girl Groups. When they’re not asking their men to hit them, this  music is just fun. And at least we can be rest assured that our girl Lesley Gore did come around and find the strength within to tell those boys to step off. For whatever comfort it is worth, I will leave you with one of her hits, “You Don’t Own Me”.









Filed under Feminist tendancies, Music

3 responses to “Dream, girl Part Two: What did she just say?

  1. I couldn’t get the videos to play but the lyrics are scary!!! (There is a reason he’s called “Spector”- OMG it’s the same killer guy!) Creepy Creepertons!

    ff 30 years. Here’s one I love. From Courtney Love:

    Doll Parts by Hole

    I am doll eyes
    Doll mouth, doll legs
    I am doll arms, big veins, dog bait
    Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, they really do
    Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, but I do too
    I want to be the girl with the most cake
    I love him so much it just turns to hate
    I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
    And someday, you will ache like I ache
    Someday, you will ache like I ache

    I am doll parts
    Bad skin, doll heart
    It stands for knife
    For the rest of my life
    Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, they really do
    Yeah, they really want you, they really want you, but I do, too
    I want to be the girl with the most cake
    He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
    I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
    And someday, you will ache like I ache
    Someday you will ache like I ache

    Yes, the haunting, self-mutilating tones of an iconic punk angster. It’s such a good song and it really gets at the hollow feelings of longing to belong. So interesting. The difference with this is that I think it actually gives misfits a place to belong. And no matter how bad your day was, it was probably not as bad as Courtney’s was.

    BTW- You should think about cross posting your original post to feministing.com. :o)

  2. tcmom

    Cami – Insane. So true that she was playing up that misfit, my life sucks thing. How literally do young ppl take this stuff I guess is my question. (I loved Lesley Gore music and dated some assholes, it is all her fault??! lol) And I wonder if Courtney wrote that? I am trying to work out which is worse, being a pawn and singing awful stuff someone else wrote or writing/performing such stuff yourself? I am thinking the latter. Nevertheless, there is NO doubt at all that we have yet to evolve and current day lyrics can be JUST as bad. How about our girl Brit-Brit?
    “My loneliness is killing me
    I must confess, I still believe
    When I’m not with you I lose my mind
    Give me a sign
    Hit me baby one more time”
    For real WHO thought a 16 year old singing THOSE lyrics was a good idea? I am a big freedom of speech girl so banning any sort of expression should never happen. But I really feel like kicking some music producer ass, right about now.

  3. Gail

    At least I could understand the words to those songs even if what they said was not the greatest message. I am showing my age I know but many songs today, I can’t understand a word or when I do the song is telling the listener to kill someone or beat up their b (another word for girl).

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