Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

No subject has ever made such a popular subject for song as love. As long as humans have been making music, love’s far and away the top choice of lyricists to write about. Writing and discussing Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch, however, got me to thinking. Amid all that blissful romance, the darker flipside beckoned, and prostitution served as the inspiration for more than a few memorable songs. The Greeks and Romans sang about prostitutes, and minstrels in the middle-ages were more than a little bawdy. Cowboys of the American West favored songs so scandalous they could strip the needles from a cactus. It’s no wonder, then, that popular music of the modern era has produced countless songs about prostitution as well.

What follows in the coming weeks is a countdown of the top 10 songs (as compiled by yours truly) about prostitution of the modern era that were not inspired by the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel of La Grange, Texas. Between The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas soundtrack and ZZ Top’s “La Grange” (not to mention works by Willis Alan Ramsey, Billy Joe Shaver, the Austin Lounge Lizards and numerous others), the Chicken Ranch would simply have an unfair advantage.

10. “House of the Rising Sun” – The Animals
This ranks low on the list because, frankly, it’s such an obvious choice. The song itself has murky origins as a British folk ballad dating back as far as the 16th century, but was fairly well established in the U.S. by the first decade of the 20th century. The Animals made “House of the Rising Sun” their major contribution to the British Invasion in 1964, and the ominous guitar chords of their version immediately distinguished it from all those that came before. This version of the song forwards the misogynistic notion that women are the downfall of men--an element not often present in earlier interpretations of the song. The titular New Orleans brothel callously feeds on the lost virtue of men led astray, and all who enter are doomed to become lost souls.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Ariana Savalas.

Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse is now available from both and It's also available as an ebook in the following formats: Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.

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