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Posts tagged: Lesley Gore

Unlearning the lessons of “It’s My Party”

People ask me, “Paul, why were so many baby boomers clueless for so long when it came to affairs of the heart?”

That's easy. It all goes back to 1963 and Lesley Gore's hit story-songs, “It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)” and “Judy's Turn to Cry.”

These were peppy Top 40 tunes that offered seriously misguided life lessons.

In the first song, we hear Lesley sing:

“Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone.

“Judy left the same time.

“Why was he holding her hand,

“When he's supposed to be mine?”

This sends the clear message that it's OK for girls to be utter dopes. Why else would the song's narrator be so slow to pick up on the fact she has been bagged and dropped off at Dump City?

When the newly minted couple return to the party, this chick Judy is wearing Johnny's ring. And yet the singer inexplicably voices surprise.

Hello? Who didn't see that coming? And why couldn't the ditsy storyteller recognize that our man Johnny simply was not the most emotionally reliable cat in town?

It gets worse, of course.

Let's review a few lines from the follow-up, “Judy's Turn to Cry.”

“Oh, one night I saw them kissin' at a party,

“So I kissed some other guy.

“Johnny jumped up and he hit him,

“'Cause he still loved me, that's why.”

Lesley, Lesley, Lesley. That's your idea of love? Girl, you had better wise up.

Can you imagine the signal that sent to impressionable baby boomer youth?

To recap:

1. Brainless babe fails to realize her boyfriend is a two-timing loser until evidence is presented to her on a platter.

2. Brainless babe decides to make her knuckledragger ex jealous.

3. Knuckledragger ex resorts to violence against some innocent dupe.

4. Brainless babe is thrilled and feeling flush with feminine conquest pride, even though her loser boyfriend clearly is motivated by a macho notion of property rights and not some romantic impulse.

5. Brainless babe, no big booster of sisterhood, takes devilish pleasure in the emotional injury to the aforementioned Judy.

6. Millions of kids spend decades unlearning these lessons.

7. Marriage counselors take a lot of trips to Hawaii.

 

This later record helped start the healing.

www.45cat.com

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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