To Dion’s (a la Runaround Sue) “Dream Lover”
I bet Dion’s mommy made him all those sweaters.
Every night I hope and pray a dream mother will come and stay
A mom to do my all my chores so I can lay back and snore
Because I want, a mom, to take care of me
I want a dream mother, so I don’t have to be an adult
Dream mother, where are you?
This life is more than I can chew
I want your hand to hold
Like when I was a ten-year-old
Because I want, a mom, to pay my bills
I want a dream mother, so I don’t have to go to work
Some day, I don’t know when
I’m gonna be a kid again
So what about Thing One and Two?
Well, she can be their mom too
Because I want, a mom, to do my laundry
I want a dream mother, so I don’t have to wash undies
Dream mother, you aren’t real
How am I supposed to feel?
I can’t take care of me
Maybe I can get a nanny?
Because I want, a mom, to live my life
I want a dream mother, so I can finally take a nap
When I wrote Chipper Cheatin’ Songs, I knew there were plenty I was leaving out. Thankfully, I have readers who help jog my gerbil memory. Another of these cheating lover songs with a strangely happy beat is “Christie Lee” by Billy Joel. Really, this one tops both Dion and Rick, possibly because Joel is singing this as if it was someone else who got messed around by Christie Lee. Thanks to James for bringing this one up.
In case you don’t know the story, Billy Joel was once married to Christie Brinkley, the model pushing 60 who still looks like she’s in her 30s possibly due to a contract with Satan. Anyway, while Billy is clearly a musical genius, if you’ve ever had a gander at him, he looks a lot like Kermit the Frog. So their romance was rather fairy tale like, even inspiring the song “Uptown Girl” where Billy actually picks up Christie at a mechanic’s shop all while singing doo-wop and dancing around in his coveralls. He never gets in trouble for screwing off at work, probably because the boss was also getting his motor revved by Christie. But that’s a happy song, and we’re looking at the Romance Gone Bad ones.
Now it starts out okay, as Billy tells us about a story about a saxophone playing man whose name he doesn’t remember (so he calls him “Joe”) and this girl named Christie Lee. As he says, Christie is a “nice piece of music with a rhythm all her own” and “she really dug his saxophone.” Now I might be wrong here, but I’m thinking maybe he’s not just talking about music. Anyway, things start going downhill pretty quickly, though the beat stays relentlessly jazzy.
Billy says “she didn’t need another lover / all she wanted was the sax.” Oh, hey, I think I get what you’re saying here, Billy. Or – um, maybe? He goes on to say “Yes the man had the power to perform / But Christie Lee was more than he knew how to handle / She didn’t need him as a man / all she wanted was the horn.” I’m not sure what to make of this. So, let’s just say, for giggles, he’s referring to the horn as his own personal, um, package. Are we saying Christie only wants his horn? As in for the “sax” or as a personal momento? Let’s hope it’s the sax.
Whatever it is, Christie Lee dumps poor Joe but he ends up okay, no worries. He takes up a new career and everything.
“They say that Joe became a wino / They say he always drinks alone / They say he stumbles like a blind man / They say he sold his saxophone.”
Okay, so I feel a little better now. He just sold the sax, she didn’t steal it. Wait. I’m getting my innuendos all mixed up here. Anyway, there’s a moral to this story. “The only time you hit the high notes / Is when you play the Christie Lee.” Uh hmm. Yes. I’ll just bet you hit a lot of high notes there, Billy, er, I mean, Joe. Of course, Joe.
Ironically, he came up with this song long before he and Christie divorced. I have to think he made the song up for Christie, since, well, that’s her name, and it’s even spelled the same. But what an odd song to write for your wife, there. Hey, honey, here’s a song about some chick that sleeps with guys for their, er, instruments. I wrote it for you! No wonder they divorced.
Anyway, so there’s one more Chipper Cheatin’ song down. No video for that one, but you can check out the song on youtube if you don’t mind staring at a Billy Joel album cover for three minutes.
Oh, but in case you were wondering about poor Dion, another reader, wordsurfer, let me know that he moved on. Boy did he move on. Like with every single girl in town. As he says, “Oh well, there’s Flo on my left and there’s Mary on my right / And Janie is the girl that I’ll be with tonight / And when she asks me, which one I love the best? / I tear open my shirt I got Rosie on my chest.” I’m guessing he has a tattoo of Rosie’s name on his chest, not Rosie herself clinging to his chest, though the song doesn’t make that totally clear. It doesn’t seem like the best idea to tattoo a girl’s name on you if you’re going to be going out with lots of girls, but oh well. Interestingly, they call him the “Wanderer” rather than the “Slut” because he’s a guy, see, and guys are cool when they sleep around, do ya dig?
Once again we’ve got Dion with his backup singers clappin’ and a snappin’ in the background, playing for an audience that looks like they were given a hefty dose of Valium in their drinks. Enjoy!
I was listening to the radio the other day, and one of my favorite songs came on – “Runaround Sue” by Dion. And it occurred to me, as deep thoughts often do, that it’s rather odd that a song about something rather depressing – i.e. a cheating lover – is sung to such an upbeat tempo. The song is incredibly catchy. Here are the opening lyrics in case you’ve managed not to hear it in the 50-something years since it was first released. It starts out slowly, like this:
“Here’s my story, it’s sad but true / About a girl that I once knew
She took my love then ran around / With every single guy in town.”
And then comes the doo-wop! “Hey, hey, hum-de-hedy-hedy, hey, hey!” My girl is user friendly and probably has 27 venereal diseases! Better get tested! Sing with me, boys! Get down! Woot!”
I’m not sure why this guy is so happy. Maybe it’s the VD drugs. Or he has to keep dancing and clapping to avoid the, um, burning, itchy feeling. So do his backup singers, who probably also dated Sue. Actually, come to think of it, he says that Sue ran around with every single guy in town. So who exactly is he warning here?
At first I considered that maybe Sue was innocent after all. Maybe she was running in a marathon with all these guys. But then Dion says that she broke his heart (let’s hope that’s the only thing that broke), so he must be talking about the love business. My brother informs me that people didn’t actually have sex until the late sixties, and this song was released in 1961. But still I think Dion wouldn’t be quite so upset with Sue if all she was doing was sharing the popcorn, if you get my drift.
So who do we blame here? Sue, of course. It’s all her fault. Nevermind all the guys who succumbed to her charms. They couldn’t help themselves. I mean, she was there, and from what I can tell, for a teenage boy that’s pretty much the extent of the requirements for romantic interludes. So shame on you, Sue, you made Dion cry. And then dance and doo-wop with his pals. But at least we got a good song out of the whole deal.
Here’s the video. Check out the audience at around 0.53. They are really groovin’.
Skip a few decades to 1991 and you have “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. Here’s another upbeat tune, this time about a guy who wants to bang his best friend’s girlfriend. Not since Sir Lancelot have we met such an upstanding and noble young man. Rick says:
“Jessie is a friend / Yeah he’s always been a good friend of mine
But lately something’s changed / It ain’t hard to define
Jessie’s got himself a girl / And I want to make her mine”
Yeah, uh, no offense Jessie, but Rick wants your girlfriend. Guys share, right? Remember Sue? That was awesome, huh? He totally knows she’s watching you with those . . . those eyes, and loving you with that body. He just knows it. And you’re holding her in your arms late at night. Yeah, he can imagine all of that. Wait, Rick, are you interested in the girl, or Jessie, or are you just a creeper? I’m going to go with creeper.
But there’s more. Rick says “I’ve been funny; I’ve been cool with the lines. Ain’t that the way love’s supposed to be?” Yeah. I mean what girl would not want Rick? He’s funny, and he looks good, and he knows one-liners. He just can’t figure it out. Well, here’s a quick hint, Rick. SHE ALREADY HAS A BOYFRIEND. You remember, your buddy. Yeah, that guy. Go back to Sue, you two deserve each other. And Jessie, learn to pick better friends.
Here’s the video. You know, I think I know some other reasons why you can’t “find a woman like that” Rick. One: You smash bathroom mirrors with your guitar. Two: You wear a suit and play guitar in the alley. Three: Chinos with a notable crease. On a rock and roll stage. In 1991. Really? Also, not that Jessie’s girl is shown much, but she doesn’t look terribly impressed with either Rick or Jessie or well, life. See for yourself.
So there you have it. Two upbeat songs about cheating lovers. Just kinda makes you wanna dance, doesn’t it? Hum-de-hedy-hedy-heh!