Most sexist song of all time?

February 10, 2023 • 9:15 am

This morning one of my Facebook friends, noting the passing of Burt Bacharach, added, while praising him, that he also wrote the song “Wives and Lovers“, and quoted some of the lyrics to buttress the claim that the song was sexist. First, about that song, which was a big hit in 1963:

Wives and Lovers” is a 1963 song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It has been recorded by numerous male and female vocalists, instrumentalists and ensembles, most notably by Jack Jones in 1963. That recording earned the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male, and peaked at number fourteen on the Hot 100 and number nine on the Easy Listening chart.

“Wives and Lovers” is a song of advice to married women, to stay attractive and attentive to their husbands (“wives should always be lovers, too”) to avoid their husbands straying with “girls at the office”. The song originated when Bacharach and David were asked to write a song with the title “Wives and Lovers”, on the theme of marital infidelity, as a promotional tie-in for the 1963 film Wives and Lovers. The song did not appear in the film but was intended simply to promote the film; which made it what was known at the time as an “exploitation song”. Similarly, the song “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” which Bacharach and David wrote in 1962, promoted, but was not featured in, the film of the same name.

Here’s Jack Jones’s performance of the song. I remember it well.  Note, however, that Hal David wrote the lyrics, which he probably gave to Bacharach to fit a tune, so it’s David who really bears guilt.

And here are the lyrics. As you can see, it’s pretty sexist:

Hey! Little GirlComb your hair, fix your makeupSoon he will open the doorDon’t think because there’s a ring on your fingerYou needn’t try anymore
For wives should always be lovers tooRun to his arms the moment he comes home to youI’m warning you
Day after dayThere are girls at the officeAnd men will always be menDon’t send him off with your hair still in curlersYou may not see him again
For wives should always be lovers tooRun to his arms the moment he comes home to youHe’s almost here
Hey! Little girlBetter wear something prettySomething you’d wear to go to the city andDim all the lights, pour the wine, start the musicTime to get ready for loveTime to get readyTime to get ready for love.

HOWEVER, I have a sentimental attachment to the song “I’ve Never Been to Me” by Charlene (she used one name, but her full name was Charlene Marilynn Oliver). Charlene was a “one-hit wonder” based on the success of song. She never had another hit.

And despite its contention for Worst Song of All Time, “I’ve Never Been to Me” hit the top of the charts in the U.S., Australia, Britain, and even in countries like Norway and Belgium. (This was the 1982 re-release.) As I’ve explained in a post a while back, I first heard this song in 1982 when I was driving south on California Route 395 (America’s most beautiful road) to Death Valley to do fieldwork on fruit flies. The song came on the radio, and was so amazingly dreadful that I pulled the car over to listen to it. Here’s its theme, taken from Wikipedia:

The song is best known as lyrically formatted for a female vocalist and as such is addressed to a desperate wife and mother who would like to trade her prosaic existence for the jet setting lifestyle the song’s narrator has led. The narrator alludes to various hedonistic episodes in her life, concluding that while she’s “been to paradise”, she’s ultimately failed to find self-fulfillment, expressing this with the line, “I’ve never been to me.”

All that paradise, the song avers, is no substitute for having a husband and baby: the epitome, apparently, of female fulfillment.

Here are the lyrics. I’ve put my favorite lines in bold, but what really makes it sexist is the talking bit at the end. (Note that, like “Wives and Lovers”, this one starts out with “Hey”.)

Hey lady, you ladyCursing at your lifeYou’re a discontented motherAnd a regimented wifeI’ve no doubtYou dream about the things you’ll never doBut I wish someone had a talk to me like I wanna talk to you
Ooh, I’ve been to Georgia and California and anywhere I could runTook the hand of a preacher manAnd we made love in the sunBut I ran out of places and friendly facesBecause I had to be free
I’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to me…
Please lady please ladyDon’t just walk away‘Cause I have this need to tell youWhy I’m all alone todayI can see so much of meStill living in your eyes
Won’t you share a partOf a weary heart that has lived a million lives
Ooh, I’ve been to Nice and the Isle of Greece [JAC note: though Greece does have islands, the country itself is not an island, and there is no “Isle of Greece”!]When I sipped champagne on a yachtI moved like Harlow in Monte CarloAnd showed them what I’ve got
I’ve been undressed by kingsAnd I’ve seen some things that a woman ain’t s’posed to seeI’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to me…
The philosophical talking bit:
Hey, you know what paradise is?It’s a lieA fantasy we created about people and placesAs we like them to be
But you know what truth is?

It’s that little baby you’re holdingAnd it’s that man you fought with this morningThe same one you are gonna make love to tonightThat’s truth that’s love

Sometimes I’ve been to crying for unborn childrenThat might have made me completeBut I, I took the sweet lifeI never knew I’d be bitter from the sweet
I spent my life exploringThe subtle whoringThat costs too much to be freeHey lady I’ve been to paradiseBut I’ve never been to me…

I’ve been to paradise – never been to me(I’ve been to Georgia and California, and anywhere I could run)I’ve been to paradise – never been to me(I’ve been to Nice and the isle of GreeceWhile I sipped champagne on a yacht)I’ve been to paradise – never been to me.

Okay, on to the video. As Wikipedia notes:

A music video was made for the song’s 1982 reissue. The video was filmed on location at Blickling Hall, Norfolk, England and features Charlene wearing her actual wedding dress from her marriage to Jeff Oliver, whom she had married at the time of the song’s revival.


I’m sure readers can think of songs that are even more sexist. Put your favorites below, and you can embed the videos if you’d like.

83 thoughts on “Most sexist song of all time?

  1. There can be love songs without the authoritarian stuff going on here.

    I just looked at Mick Jagger’s recording She’s The Boss – the cover art suggests whatever the one with small gametes likes to say or think, the large gametes are running the show.

      1. Holy … I never paid attention to the lyrics – perhaps he was reporting on how that approach worked out in the long run.

      1. Agree with PCC. The refrain is the value statement, sung with intense passion, which completely undercuts the factual assertions of the previous lines.

        Ps. Anyone know why on iPad and Safari, the comment box shows only the top third/half of one line at a time? Normally, I have to use a Windows machine to comment. (But I see that the editing box, after posting a comment, displays clearly.)

  2. “Bitches Ain’t Shit” by Dr. Dre takes some beating:

    Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks

    Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks
    Lick on deez nutz and suck the dick
    Get’s the fuck out after you’re done
    And I hops in my ride to make a quick run…

    It goes on, endlessly, but doesn’t get any less abhorrent.

    Seeing the reference to “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” reminded me of English eccentric John Otway’s version. His film “Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure: Otway the Movie” is an excellent introduction to the man and his irrepressible nature:

    Otway’s er… lyrical genius (!) saw him come in 7th place for best lyrics of the 20th century in an (ill-advised!) online poll by the BBC. (Paul McCartney was placed at #6 for “Yesterday”.)

    1. Ben Folds and a group of young women did an amusing version (a cappella) of Dre’s drivel (absolutely ghastly and utterly misogynistic) some years ago.

  3. I’d forgotten about “I’ve Never Been to Me” and I don’t know whether or not I should thank you or not. Definitely in the running for the worst and it possibly is the most sexist….

  4. Yeah, if our host thinks wives and lovers is the most sexist song of all time it’s only because he hasn’t listened to rap. Everything in the 2 Live Crew “catalogue” is so so so much worse. In fact, most of the rap genre is worse though it is improving somewhat.

    1. That is indeed true, and I didn’t mean to include rap. From what I know of it, and from the lyrics I’ve heard, it’s horribly horribly sexist and may be a genre of songs that has nothing anti-sexist in it at all. I was referring to popular “Billboard 100” style music.

      1. The rap song I cited at post #4 above wasn’t released as a single, but according to Wikipedia the album it came from, The Chronic, “reached number three on the Billboard 200 and has been certified triple platinum with sales of three million copies in the United States, making Dre one of the top ten best-selling American performing artists of 1993”.

        I confess that I don’t know the difference between Billboard 100 and Billboard 200, though.

    2. Although many rap songs are sexist and violent, I suspect that they are essentially the musical version of John Waters movies and aren’t meant to be taken seriously.

    1. Elfman seems to have a thing for little girls. Here’s a stanza from “Nothing to Fear.” But then I have to ask, is pedophilia sexist? Or is it sexist + ?

      Hey little girl won’t you come this way
      Won’t you let me buy you candy or perhaps a chocolate shake
      Or perhaps some nice cocaine or perhaps a little kiss
      Or perhaps a ride in my big car
      Perhaps a ride in my big car
      Won’t you make an old man happy
      Won’t you make an old man happy
      Won’t you let me show you paradise
      (Don’t ask your mother for advice)

      1. How about “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett?

        “Young Girl,
        Get out of my mind!
        My love for you is way out of line . . .
        Better run, girl!
        You’re much too young girl!”

      2. Laurie Anderson- Bright Red

        Come here little girl. Get into the car
        It’s a brand new Cadillac. Bright red. Come here little girl

  5. There are a LOT of contenders for this trophy. Personally I was always struck by an early version of “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)” as recorded in 1949 by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. It had a verse as follows:

    “Your heart of hearts, your dream of dreams, your ravishing brunette
    She’s left you and she’s now become somebody else’s pet
    Lay down that gun, don’t try my friend to reach the great beyond
    You’ll have more fun by reaching for a redhead or a blond”

    1. Ain’t that the truth! It’s hard enough just to pick the most misogynous rock or rap song, but misogynistic songs straddle the entire musical spectrum. Except maybe classical. I will say Rap is probably the worst, though.

  6. The counterpart to “wives and lovers” is missing. That would be the one in which the man is warned to not stop being a “king and a lover.”

    A man is in just as much peril — perhaps more — than a woman if he slacks off being the producer, protector, and striver. Why?

    “There are men at the food store
    And femme will always be femme.”

    “These are obsolete and vile roles for women and men,” you say? Well, billions of people all over the world seek them, negotiate for them, find them, and glory in them. Additionally, billions make families on this model. It is a deliberate choice, made while well aware that a flipped or “distributed” relationship might also be chosen.

    The missing male version is implied. The song is not sexist.

    1. Mr. Donahue “ Well, billions of people all over the world seek them, negotiate for them, find them, and glory in them.”

      I believe we can blame religion (most of them, at least) for that delusional behavior, too.

  7. Pre-women’s liberation, the early 60’s! June Cleaver in a full skirt, pearl necklace and high heels. Ward Cleaver in his dark suit, white shirt and thin black tie. I can literally smell him as all men in suits back then smelled like a dry cleaners shop.

    It was the natural order that wives were no more than concubines, not expected (or allowed) to contribute to anything, just be there. The song lays it out so clearly: grown women are no more than Little Girls.

    To the end my mother never accepted much less embraced liberation. I married a geologist, not June Cleaver and we sent our kids to a day care facility called the Wolf Den. The times they are a-changin’, sang Bob Dylan. My mother didn’t like him, either!

  8. A contender for second place has got to be the old Dean Martin hit written by Frank Loesser:

    Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
    Haven’t got a girl but I can dream
    Haven’t got a girl but I can wish
    So I’ll take me down to Main street
    And that’s where I select my imaginary dear
    Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by

    Brother, if you’ve got a rich imagination
    Give it a whirl, give it a try
    Try standing on a corner watching all the girls
    Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by…
    Brother, you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking
    Or for that wooed look in your eye
    Standing on the corner watching all the girls
    Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by.

    And while it may not be the most sexist, the most irritating love song might well be Frank Sinatra’s “Love and Marriage,” inane lyrics (written, amazingly, by the great Sammy Cahn) backed by a sappy melody.

    Love and marriage, love and marriage
    Go together like a horse and carriage
    This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.

  9. The Beatles song Run for your Life. Essentially, it’s a a man telling his girlfriend/wife that he’s going to kill her if he sees her with another man.

    Maybe it’s a bit unfair to mention a parody band but quite a lot of Spinal Tap’s back catalogue is pretty sexist.

    1. Then there’s “Delilah” by Tom Jones, in which he does stab his unfaithful lover to death. Jones sang the song at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee for some reason.

      1. For some reason two Kenny Rogers hits come to mind:

        “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille”

        “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”

        I think part of the appeal of “Lucille” and “Delilah” was that each had an almost irresistable sing-a-long refrain.

        If memory serves me, someone did a parody of “Lucille” where, just after she legally separated from him, he came into a big pile of money.

    2. Yes! Wanted to add Run for your life, bit you beat me to it. A Lennon song, and he really was like that, but I think the song is somewhat ironic/possibly an attempt to make fun of his darker impulses.

      1. To Lennon’s credit, he did disavow “Run for Your LIfe” later, and he admitted that much of his behavior towards women had been shameful.

    3. Hey, don’t diss The Tap. As Nigel Tufnel said to Bobbi Flekman when she complained about the “Smell the glove” album cover, “What’s wrong with being sexy?”

    1. A 1964 song written by Jeannie Seely and Randy Newman performed by the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas. Made popular again a few years ago by the British series Black Mirror.

      You can blame me
      Try to shame me
      And still I’ll care for you

      You can run around
      Even put me down
      Still I’ll be there for you

      The world
      May think I’m foolish
      They can’t see you
      Like I can
      Oh but anyone
      Who knows what love is
      Will understand

    2. I’ve always considered that song less about sexism than about why people stick around in abusive relationships. Apparently it was inspired by one of the songwriters noticing a black eye on their babysitter.

    3. This takes the cake. Worse even than rap because it is so syrupy and from the point of view of the woman. Truly horrendous. Thanks for sharing! Must go forward this to a friend-

    4. This is the one of the first ones to pop into my mind. Given that the track was produced by Phil Spector, who was a famously violent husband and man towards the women in his life, the song comes off especially bad. If I recall, the last time it was used in anything significant (I don’t think it’s played on the radio anymore for obvious reasons) was over the closing credits of an episode in the first or second season of Mad Men.

  10. Here’s my obverse in the hot unbalanced marriage …

    Hey! Little boy
    Find your pride, do your pushups
    Soon you will walk out the door.
    Don’t think because there’s a ring on your finger
    You can become a big bore.

    Husbands should always be lovers too
    Hold your heart wide whenever she gives hers to you

    I’m warning you …

    Day after day
    There are guys at the grocers
    And femme will always be femme
    Don’t leave the house with her fire in embers
    You may not see her again

    Husbands should always be lovers too
    Hold your heart wide whenever she gives hers to you

    Hey! Little boy
    Don’t be Walter Mitty
    Better be strong when you leave for the city
    Slay every dragon, save the world, bring her flowers,
    Show her you’re ready for love
    Always be ready …
    She will be ready for love.

  11. [“I’ve Never Been to Me”] is addressed to a desperate wife and mother who would like to trade her prosaic existence for the jet setting lifestyle the song’s narrator has led.

    For a song in which the protagonist appears to have no regrets over giving up the life for a prosaic existence, see Everclear’s “Volvo Driving Soccer Mom”:

  12. I’ve always put “Wishin’ and Hopin'” in this category, but I did not realize until today that it is ALSO a Hal David / Burt Bacharach song. Basically a song about all of the stuff a girl needs to do to attract a guy and make him happy, and then if you are really lucky…

    “Yeah, just do it and after you do, you will be his
    You will be his, you will be his.”

    “Wishin’ and Hopin'” was made famous by Dusty Springfield who also sang, in her lovely voice, one of the torch-iest ballads ever (although maybe Adele has topped it in recent years): “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.”

    “Don’t you know that now you’re gone and I’m left here on my own
    That I have to follow you and beg you to come home.”

    1. Just what I was thinking. There was a parody response from the teenager’s point of view that contained the line, “I wish I’d a-only blown ya.”

  13. I just watched the movie musical Flower Drum Song, with music and lyrics by Rogers and Hammerstein. It’s a fun song, but “I Enjoy Being a Girl” is a bit cringeworthy:

    I adore being dressed in something frilly
    When my date comes to get me at my place
    Out I go with my Joe or John or Billy
    Like a filly who is ready for the race…

    When I hear a complementary whistle
    That greets my bikini by the sea
    I turn and I glower and I gristle
    But I’m happy to know the whistles meant for me

    I’m strictly a female female
    And my future I hope will be
    In the home of a brave and free male
    Who’ll enjoy being a guy, having a girl like me.

  14. A little gem of a song by Gainsbourg, Marilou sous la neige, describes the killing of a teenage girl by a possessive man from the latter’s perspective. Then there is La poupée qui fait, also a really pretty little song, leaving you in doubt whether the pedophile talking is sexually (ab)using his infant daughter or just a substitute doll. I find these playful songs neither sexist nor offensive, but I hear other people do.

  15. ‘Cinderella’ by Firefall, from my hometown.

    It tells the story of a man who falls in love with a young woman and gets her pregnant. Upon hearing that news….

    “I said, ‘Goddamn girl, can’t you see
    “That I’m breakin’ my back
    “Just tryin’ to keep my head above water
    “And it’s turnin’ me wild.

    “Cinderella can’t you see
    “Don’t want your company
    “You better leave this mornin’, leave today
    “Take your love and your child away.”

    The last verse tells of the guy who pretended he had *zero* responsibility for the pregnancy wondering about the kid he spawned:

    “Did he have all the toys and the joys
    “That a young man should have
    “Before he gets too old?”

    But literally not a peep about how “Cinderella” is doing…

    I like the song, but yeesh.

  16. Woman by the Anti Nowhere League…

    “Your tits are big but your brains are small
    Sometimes I wonder you got any brains at all
    Ah stuff yourself”

    1. There’s a lot of punk rock and heavy metal songs (like this one, “Attitude” by The Misfits, “The Mouth Don’t Stop” by F.E.A.R., and “Used To Lover Her” by Guns ‘N’ Roses) from the late 70s and 80s with extremely nasty lyrics about women, that at the time was meant to be shocking and reject polite middle-class attitudes about how “decent men don’t talk to or about women that way!” That sort of basic decency is no longer common, though, so some of these songs nowadays come off as cartoonishly misogynistic.

  17. The Ray Charles classic “I Got a Woman” has these lines:

    She’s there to love me
    Both day and night
    Never grumbles or fusses
    Always treats me right
    Never running in the streets
    Leaving me alone
    She knows a woman’s place
    Is right there, now, in the home

  18. I was recently listening to Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” in the car (my partner had switched the radio away from the classical station I prefer to listen to while driving) and it struck me that it’s basically about a man harassing a woman on the street.

  19. My vote goes to Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man”. But maybe I am still prejudiced by my experience of driving a g.i. (a friend’s son) all the way from southeastern Ohio to Fort Knox, KY in rainy darkness so he wouldn’t be awol. Not my car, radio broken, but there was an 8-track player. And one tape – Ms Wynette’s Greatest Hits. I’m a country fan, but most of her stuff was cringeworthy. So, I have cause.
    But perhaps it doesn’t deserve my opprobrium. It does contain the line, “cause after all, HE’S JUST A MAN”.

  20. “Bitch School”, by Spinal Tap

    You been bad
    Don’t do what I say
    You don’t listen
    And you never obey
    Try to teach you
    But you just won’t be good
    You won’t behave the way
    A big girl should
    It’s time to give the whip a crack
    I’m gonna have to send you back to
    Bitch School
    Bitch School

    You’re a beauty
    You’re the best of your breed
    You’re a handful
    And I know what you need
    You need training
    Gonna bring you to heel
    I’m gonna break you with my will of steel
    Discipline’s my middle name
    And no one comes back the same from
    Bitch School
    Bitch School

    No more sniffing strangers, or running free at night
    You think my bark’s bad, honey
    Wait till you feel my bite
    Wait till you feel my bite

    You got problems
    You whine and you beg
    When I’m busy
    You wanna dance with my leg
    I’m gonna chain you
    Make you sleep out of doors
    You’re so fetching when you’re down on all fours
    And when you hear your master
    You will come a little faster, thanks to
    Bitch School

  21. I started from the bottom of the comments, going up the list to make sure that the ear worm in my head was already there. To my surprise, it was not. Waylon Jennings’ song, “Put Another Log On The Fire” certainly deserves to be a contender for ‘Most Sexist Song’. However, it probably also deserves to be on top of the ‘Songs That Prove Men Are Dumber Than Sh*t’ list, as well.

    Put Another Log On The Fire

    Put another log on the fire.
    Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
    And go out to the car and change the tyre.
    Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.
    Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
    And then go fetch my slippers.
    And boil me up another pot of tea.
    Then put another log on the fire, babe,
    And come and tell me why you’re leaving me.

    Now don’t I let you wash the car on Sunday?
    Don’t I warn you when you’re gettin fat?
    Ain’t I a-gonna take you fishin’ with me someday?
    Well, a man can’t love a woman more than that.
    Ain’t I always nice to your kid sister?
    Don’t I take her driving every night?
    So, sit here at my feet ’cause I like you when you’re sweet,
    And you know it ain’t feminine to fight.

    So, put another log on the fire.
    Cook me up some bacon and some beans.
    Go out to the car and lift it up and change the tire.
    Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans.
    Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe,
    And then go fetch my slippers.
    And boil me up another pot of tea.
    Then put another log on the fire, babe,
    And come and tell me why you’re leaving me.

    1. Written by the great, sly humorist Shel Silverstein, the song is often called the “male chauvinist national anthem.” In fact, it is an intentionally ironic portrait of a dumb-ass clod of an entitled husband.

  22. Nearly all the commenters are male. Virtue-signalling, guys? Hoping for a use-not-mention indulgence? Most of the citations are either ironic or just out of step with current thought fashion but catchy enough to sell at the time. That’s what songwriters do to earn a living.
    Back to “Never Been to Me”. I think of Jacinda Ardern. OK, totally over-wrought and ham-fistedly cringeworthy lyrics. “Isle of Greece”, yeah, I’m hearing “Cleanup in Aisle 12!” (Oh God, not aisle 12. Aisle 12 is so gross.)

    What I don’t get is why seducing a king—why else would you undress for one?—is necessarily degrading to a woman if she used it to blackmail him for power or to save her life, like Scheherazade surely really did. The singer is imagined to be listing it as an accomplishment. Maybe it was, she got him to reveal the invasion plans and earned her nation’s gratitude. “Charlie” in LeCarre’s The Little Drummer Girl comes to mind.

    And why is the (male) songwriter assumed to be putting down a woman who, he imagines, regrets having had no time to have children while out conquering the world? After all no man on his deathbed wishes he had spent more time at the office. If a woman isn’t still sure at 39 she made the right decision to go into neurosurgery or the corporate fast track, she can’t change her mind. Unless you know there are no 40-year-old CEO women who look wistfully or ambivalently at a mum holding a baby, it’s not fair to label those lyrics as sexist. We all have regrets. It’s OK to imagine women having them too.

    1. Reflecting on songs with sexist lyric does not equate to personally being offended by them, or even offended on behalf of women.
      Beyond that, If each of us are responsible only for our own comments, we have no control over what percentage of other comments are made by men.

      Myself, whether a song is perceived as sexist or any other “ist”, is pretty much irrelevant to whether I enjoy it.

      I agree with your main point, of course.

      1. When it comes to this site, the regular woman commenters commented on this post afaik. This site has always skewed male. So what?

        And Leslie, I can assure you there was no “virtue-signaling” going on by us males. WTF? And your spellchecker must be broken.

  23. You all take these lyrics a bit too seriously. Honestly, the first time I heard “Wives & Lovers”, (I think it was in a Mad Men episode) I laughed my ass off.

    Listen, if a dude wants to have an affair with a babe in the office, he’ll come up with any excuse & his wife could be greeting him at home dressed to the nines & having a world-class dinner ready for him & it wouldn’t matter … I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT HERE. Some men are wired that way & so are some women. It’s the way of the world.

    & it was ONLY a song that was out when I was a child & some of you weren’t even born yet.

    I’m a feminist but I’m also a realist & I realized a LONG time ago that some things are not going to change & we have to work within the confines of the real world, not the world we want, because that world isn’t going to happen. That’s the realm of fantasy novels & that’s a beautiful place but not the real world.

    (Richard Thompson)

    You thought that you were smart, little tart
    When you threw me over for Shorty McKay
    You thought that I would take it like a white man
    And squeeze your hand as we said goodbye

    Now the Police are out there dragging the river
    Looking for a body, five foot two
    There’ve been complaints about the drinking water
    So they’re dragging the river for you

    I spent a fortune keeping you quiet
    And you found a nice way of paying me back
    Now how does the future look without me
    From the inside of a sack?

    Now the Police are out there dragging the river
    Looking for a bone in an Irish stew
    God help the worms and God help the fishies
    They’re dragging the river for you

    All my life I’ve been a coward
    You know I never had the nerve to fend for myself
    Killing you was the best thing I ever did
    You worked wonders for my mental health

    Now the Police are out there dragging the river
    Looking for a body, five foot two
    Now the divers are down and the beaters are out
    They’re dragging the river for you

    performed by Richard Thompson live in Durham 1972, but never officially

  25. I know I’m a little late to this party but I think Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” deserves an honorable mention. It’s a M/F duet. All he wants is sex without responsibility. All she wants is marriage (and resources). After a long negotiation, he relents and marries her in exchange for sex. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Meatloaf wrote the song while in college studying mate choice strategies in an introductory course in evolutionary psychology. The final line still makes me laugh though: Him: “I’m praying for the end of time, so that I can end my time with you.”

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