Old Songs and Being a Kid

When you were a kid, do you remember, along with the goofy kids’ songs you heard, you listened to your parents’ records? I know I did, some of them obsessively. I don’t even know why, I guess because mom and dad liked them. But I would even ask to listen to them! And now that I’m older, and hear some of the stuff I listened to, and recited more than likely, I’m surprised mom and dad never put a stop to it.

Here’s an example. Does anyone else remember the song “Ruby” by Kenny Rogers? I remember when I first heard it, I had no idea what it was about. How could I, I was only 3 or 4. Anyway, my parents live out in the country, and mom used to always get annoyed that dad always wanted to go to town to go shopping and “run the roads”as she called it, and never help out around the house. So, I just thought the guy was mad that his wife was going to town all the time. Not quite! How about he’s a Vietnam vet who’s pretty much on death’s door and his wife’s always off screwing other guys.

And the worst part was I probably memorized it and sang it along with the record, and who knows where else. It’s really weird. I remember every word of that song, even though I didn’t really realize their meaning. I hadn’t heard that song since being a little kid, and I heard it the other day on an oldies station. And every line came back to me only in the form of a string of meaningless syllables. That’s a weird experience. Has anyone else had that happen? And then you realize what the song means, and you can’t help but laugh at yourself and wonder how many people you freaked out for knowing that song and singing it.

I remember making my grandma mad for singing that Ghetto song by Elvis. I had never seen her mad before, but holy crap I was forbidden to sing those words in her house. And I still remember something that every time I think about, I cringe. I remember vividly singing “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton-John to a bunch of people. Ug! I had no idea what I was singing. I remember the line about hearing your body talk. I had so many talking things that I was like, “hmmm a talking body? Neat!” God I was such a stupid kid. Did anyone else do this? Or have I just exposed that I was the stupidest kid on the planet?

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