Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Music and Lyrics

During graduate school, some classmates and I were hanging out in the psychology graduate student lounge (a happening place, as you can imagine), and the subject of music came up--specifically, were we "lyrics" or "music" people? In other words, when you like a song, do you like it primarily because of its words or its beat? All of my classmates, given my attraction to the written word, figured I'd be a "lyrics" girl. Not so. So much of what attracts me to music is the beat, and often, I'm not even sure what the actual message is. Which bring me to the point of this post. . .

Recently, I was introduced to songster Mickey Avalon, and I've taken a liking to his work. (Right now you're probably think that I'm a 16-year-old boy--I assure you I am not). A couple of downloads later, I finally listened to the lyrics of one of the songs, "So Rich, So Pretty" (yes, I should have known) and was shocked to hear (and then look up) the lyrics below.

I liked the song. Now, I'm kinda mixed. Erase it from the play list?

Mickey Avalon - So Rich, So Pretty
I like a girl with caked up makeup.
In the sunshine, smoking cigarettes to pass the time.
Who wakes up to a bottle of wine
On the nightstand, bites and scratches the blinds.

But i ain't found one quite right yet.
So I step with pep to the park or supermarket it.
Her apartment best be messy.
And Lisa don't mind when i call her Leslie.

She's gotta dress with class.
In Jean Paul Gautier and an Hermes bag.
And 4 inch tips made of ostrich.
Sharp enough to slit your wrists, her lips spread gossip.
Won't say sorry when she offends.
She comes over to my place in her old man's Benz.
In gold and silver and jewels of all colors.
And she doesn't take them off when we're tearing up the covers.

Come on get it 'fore I change my mind.
Come on kid don't waste my time.
So rich, so pretty
The best piece of ass in this whole damn city.
So rich, so pretty.

I like a girl who eats and brings it up.
A sassy little frassy with bulimia.
Her best friend's a plastic surgeon.
and when her Beemers in the shop she rolls the Benz.
Manis and Pedis on Sundays and Wednesdays
Money from mommy, lovely in Versace.
Costly sprees it's on at Barneys.
And i love to watch her go thru 50 G's calmly.

She gets naughty with her pilate's body.
And thinks it's really funny when her nose goes bloody.
Cuz the blows so yummy and it keeps her tummy empty
And makes her act more friendly.
Dance the night away.
And she won't say nothing when she makes a man stray.

Come on get it 'fore I change my mind.
Come on kid don't waste my time.
So rich, so pretty
The best piece of ass in this whole damn city.

I've had you come before Mickey.
Go get my purse Mickey
Lock the door Mickey
You're just a midnight snack
Don't talk back.
You're just a boy Mickey.
You're just a toy Mickey.
You're just a boy Mickey.

Come on get it 'fore I change my mind.
Come on kid don't waste my time.
So rich, so pretty
The best piece of ass in this whole damn city.
So rich, so pretty.
So rich, so pretty.
The best piece of ass in this whole damn city.


Anonymous said...

Keep it! Aren't most great songs about miserable assholes? :-)

Lindsay said...

Gah. This is why i ended up listening primarily to music in other languages.

ps22 said...

I would probably keep it because when it comes to music, I try not to take myself too seriously. But I can't help but this song meant to be a joke? A new age, punky-rap guy poking fun at the ridiculousness of the current hip-hop culture and slew of sub-par rap music being put out these days? Not that I think he is some sort of genius, but I'm sure he thinks he thinks he is some sort of "indie" artist seperate from the "mainstream" or some crap like that.

Meowser said...

I think whether or not you delete this depends upon your appetite for sarcasm.

I don't think this guy is endorsing eating disorders at all; he's writing about a girl who is "out of his league" and has likely rejected him, and noting how psychologically screwed up she really is, probably to reassure himself that he's probably not missing anything by not getting to be her boyfriend.

It's not my favorite song ever, but YMMV.

littlem said...

You all are so tolerant and flexible and have a lot of faith in the critical thinking capacities of the target demographic listening audience.

Me? When it comes to certain topics? Not so much.

Delete. Since you can't get your money back.

There's a post about MTV's gradual slide downhill with its programming, as far as girls/women and body image goes, called "Normal is the New Fat". It's here:

Of course I believe in the First Amendment. (I'm an artist myself, among other things, w/an ASCAP Award.) But there's a big difference between "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" and "Tip Drill." And we only got "Tip Drill" 'cause 80 million listeners or so let "Fake" slide.

Vote with your feet/wallet/iPod dump.

PalmTreeChick said...

Great lyrics. That's why I listen to country!

BTW, I'm definitely a lyrics girl. I like the deep, meaniful, story-telling ones.

Deja Pseu said...

To me, the lyrics don't work without the right music, so I can't say I'm one or the other.

Regarding these lyrics, hmm... I don't know the artist well enough to know if there's a satire component or not. If there were, I'd say keep it, but if it's straight up, dump it.

Emily Jolie said...

Wow, those lyrics are actually quite disturbing. It's hard to appreciate a song as much once you know what the words mean.

It's funny, because, growing up in Germany, I was always listening to English songs, and I didn't know half of what the lyrics meant! For instance, when I was in 8th grade, I loved the song Bobby Brown by Frank Zappa. Now that I know he sings about getting a cheerleader to do your homework and then rape her... not as much anymore!

You know, I still have instances when I listen to a song I haven't listened to in ages that a little lightbulb will go off for me, and I'll exclaim THAT's what they were saying!!

I'm with PTC. I'm definitely a lyrics girl. And actually getting into country quite a bit, too. Do you know Christine Kane's music? And, should you, by some odd chance, not have come across her blog yet, she has a wonderful blog! It's at Should you really not know about her yet (I can't imagine...), she's a recovered bulimic, so her blog and lyrics of her songs are very a propos to this community.

She's coming to a nearby town on tour in September, and I hope to go see her.

much love to you,


Karin said...

@Emily Jolie: My mom, who is German, says the same thing! :-) Now she understands the lyrics and doesn't like many songs that she adored as a teenager.

I always listen to the lyrics and want to know what is being said. If a song that I liked turns out to have stupid/disgusting lyrics then I usually don't listen to it anymore (it would have to have a killer beat to make me forget the text).

As for this song: It depends if you can ignore the lyrics. I'm with Meowser - this guy isn't endorsing EDs, it's more of an ego thing. And how serious can you take this guy if he has a song called "My Dick"?

wading through recovery said...


ironic or not, i'd delete it.

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Dump it. It makes my skin crawl.

Jen said...

I'm in favor of the dumping. Even in the name of sarcasm, I wouldn't want to be seen with such trash on my iPod. I makes my skin crawl.

Anonymous said...

It's disgusting. But if it has a great beat and you can't understand the words, why not dance to it.

Anonymous said...

Mickey should come to my town! There are tons of rich stuck up, most likely Bulemic women here. Meh.

Laura said...

at first i felt disturbed, but after about halfway through i'm going to assume he's joking. i mean... that has to be a joke, right?

Jeanne said...

Personally, I hope the lyricist was being fecetious.

Mia said...

I listened to the song on his Myspace and I think that it's impossible to not understand those words, so I'd delete it. Then again you shouldn't take his lyrics all too seriously IMO, he just borrows the cliche.

anonymous said...

i literally gasped when i read the bit about bulimia. how inconsiderate and ignorant can you be?! i had an EXTREMLY hard time with bulimia, still having a hard time. i was really shocked that people let him make fun of that. i mean, the other bits of the song is also not very respectful but it's more about clothes and makeup, stuff like that, the sex stuff isn't very shocking because most songs have that, but to mock somebody who is suffering from a mental disease is awful. i also listened to the song on youtube. i don't like it. i think you can keep it but don't take the song too seriously.

Anonymous said...

That is disgusting. delete it. It glorifies eating disorders AND talks about women in a disrespectful way.

Anonymous said...

haha my friends love this song

sure the lyrics are morally shocking
but I personally really like how the song sounds (acoustically)

and besides, who really cares about the lyrics these days?

Anonymous said...

its mickey avalon, its a joke, he has a song called "my dick" its a joke, but he still says he wants a girl like that so idk