25 June 2007

Live and let die

Profanity was unacceptable in the house in which I grew up (unless, of course, the adults were using it, but to be honest, what they said didn't veer far from "hell" and "damn"). Substitutes like "heck" were ok, but discouraged.

Rock music was unacceptable in the house in which I grew up (sex! drugs! profanity! alternative lifestyles!) until my brother got a crystal AM radio kit for Christmas, and then the genie was out of the bottle. We discovered there was more to music than show tunes, Arthur Fiedler, the Kingston Trio, the Carpenters, the Jackson Five and the hymns we sang at church. To be fair, I still like show tunes, the Kingston Trio (who were far more subversive than I think the parents realized), the Carpenters (who taught me things that would make my mother cringe if she knew), and classical music (talk about a hotbed of alternative lifestyle!). I never did care much for the Jackson Five.

So my brother and I discovered AM radio and Top 20 pop, which was all the AM radio played where we grew up, there apparently not being enough room amongst the commercials for drag racing for the bottom 20 that would have comprised the Top 40. We survived because eventually we would have access to FM radio and AOR, but that was later. And a lot more subversive.

But in the summer of 1973, Paul McCartney and Wings' "Live and Let Die," the theme to the James Bond film of the same name, hit the Top 20. And I bought the single with the meager proceeds of my allowance.

And discovered I could sing profanity.

"...you got to give the other fella HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL."

But Mom, it's in the song.

It's in the song. Weeeee-hooooooo!

I have no idea why she let us get away with that.

It was a mistake because Wings next single was "Helen Wheels." Which was, of course, "hell on wheels."

But Mom, I'm saying "Helen." See, it's the title of the song.

Children. Honestly. Mine try the same stuff. Sorry, darlings, been there, done that.

Go listen to some good music: "Live and Let Die" from the album All the Best by Paul McCartney.