Wednesday, September 13, 2006

it's so nice to be insane

Months ago, I came across this post at Fitted Sweats (now apparently called "The Fsweats") that brought back sharp memories from my childhood, revolving around the songs of Helen Reddy: "Pretty much every song depicts some kind of struggle that as a 5 year-old, I didn't know quite what to do with. All I know is it made me sad." The post goes on to outline the reactions to various songs by the young "hottvinegar" and what our narrator came to expect from adulthood. It seems he and I shared a relationship with "You and Me Against the World" that hinted at possibly inappropriate mothering. It's just not right to bond with your young tot around the lines: "And when one of us is gone/And one of us is left to carry on/Then remembering will have to do/Our memories alone will get us through..." Sweet sentiment perhaps; fear of parental abandonment most definitely. I read through the post with eager anticipation, hoping to finally have someone else's take on the song Reddy referred to as the textbook for her course on songwriting, "Angie Baby." It appears Fsweats was spared the scarring of this intensely f*cked up song written by Alan O'Day. Imagine being a small child - I would guess I was six or seven - trying to make sense of these lyrics:

You live your life in the songs you hear
on the rock and roll radio.
And when a young girl doesn't have any friends
that's a really nice place to go.
Folks hoping you'd turn out cool
but they had to take you outta school.
You're a little touched you know, Angie Baby.

Lovers appear in your room each night
and they whirl you across the floor.
But they always seem to fade away
when your daddy taps on your door.
Angie girl, are you all right?
Tell the radio good-night.
All alone once more, Angie Baby.
Angie Baby, you're a special lady.
Living in a world of make-believe.
Well, maybe.

Stopping at her house is a neighbor boy
with evil on his mind.
'Cause he's been peeking in Angie's room
at night through the window blind.
I see your folks have gone away.
Would you dance with me today?
I'll show you how to have a good time, Angie Baby.

When he walks in the room, he feels confused
like he's walked into a play.
And the music's so loud it spins him around
'til his soul has lost its way.
And as she turns the volume down
he's getting smaller with the sound.
It seems to pull him off the ground.
Toward the radio he's bound never to be found.

The headlines read that a boy disappeared
and everyone thinks he died.
'Cept a crazy girl with a secret lover who
keeps her satisfied.
It's so nice to be insane.
No one asks you to explain.
Radio by your side, Angie Baby.
Angie Baby, you're a special lady
living in a world of make-believe.
Well, maybe. Well, maybe.

No maybe about it. I was terrified, confused, and uncomfortably titillated. I couldn't find a complete mp3, but you can get a taste at Amazon. I'm opening the comments up on this one because perhaps it's not too late for the healing to begin.

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