Okay, if you’ll remember, we’re doing this 25 songs, 25 days challenge – cause no way can any of us make an entire month here – in which we discuss songs. Songs that are meaningful based on some random list of criteria, like songs that remind you of ex-boyfriends (anything by Taylor Swift will do, won’t it?) or your parents (I’m bettin’ on Twindaddy’s being “A Boy Named Sue”), etc.
First prompt asks for a song from your childhood AND an explanation of why you picked it. In other words essay, not fill in the blank, students. To that I say – what childhood? I was raised by wolves until I was four. Then I was captured by Disney and forced to slave 18 hours a day in a sweat shop making Mickey Mouse ears. Until I escaped and ran away to Vegas where I made a living as a gambler and doled out advice to Kenny Rogers. Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em.
Okay, fine, my childhood was not that interesting. I was born in 1976, back before The Internet. Yea, truly, it wast the dark ages. Back then we didn’t need artists like Lady Gaga to be bizarre. We had Madonna and Cyndi Lauper and we were HAPPY, darn it.
At first I thought I would talk about Cyndi, cause I remember how much I loved her song “She Bop”. I sang that song like I was the most awesome nine-year-old on the planet. This was before I realized what the song was about. Thanks a lot, Cracked.
Speaking of disillusionment, in kindergarten we all sang a song called “La cucaracha”, a charming little Spanish song about . . . wait, what? Okay, here are the lyrics as I remember singing them as a child.
La cucaracha, La cucaracha
Blah blah blady blady blah
Yo do mo pretty
Oh yeah me quatro
La la la la la la la
Or something like that. In other words, I had no idea what I was singing. And likely neither did the teacher, unless she had some sort of twisted sense of humor. Here are the Spanish lyrics I learned in Spanish class in high school (this was the coolest day of Spanish class ever).
La cucaracha, La cucaracha
Yo no puede caminar
Porque no tiene, porque le falta
Cigarillos de fumar
Translation? According to my Spanish teacher, this was a song about a prostitute who could not walk because she did not have her weed. Cockroach was not a bug, it was another word for marijuana as in “Pass me that roach, man.” Yet for some reason they use cigarettes in the last line.
Anyway, just wow. I mean, how on earth is this song even remotely appropriate for little kids? I mean, sure we didn’t know what we were singing (we were a bunch of little whitey kids mostly) but seriously? Then I started looking up tthe song on the Internet just now and guess what I found? That wasn’t true EITHER. I’m starting to feel like I did when I realized that Jeremiah the Bullfrog shared his mighty fine wine, not that we had a mighty fine time. (Nice one, music teacher.)
I suppose technically it is hard to tell what is true, since there are so many versions. Most of them use marijuana instead of cigarillos, so I didn’t even have the right Spanish lines. Others (the cleaned up ones) just talk about a cockroach that loses its leg and can’t walk. Another version is about a cockroach who has had too much weed and can’t walk. I wonder if the cockroach smoked a bowl while Jeremiah drank? If so, I bet they had a mighty fine time.
So what is the lesson I learned as a child from this “children’s song”? You cannot trust adults, they will only lie to you. And they won’t share their wine either. Adults stink. La la la!