Friday, November 25, 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.

9. “Roxanne” – The Police
Another low-ranking song because of its ubiquity, “Roxanne” stands out as the British New Wave group The Police’s first hit, despite the fact it failed to chart upon initial release. The song tells the deceptively simple story of a man who falls in love with a prostitute, imploring her to give up the life of a streetwalker. Few songs written by Sting are as simple as they appear at first glance, however, and closer listen reveals a demanding, possessive undercurrent in the singer’s pleas. The unspoken “or else” threat lingers ominously long after the song ends.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... The Animals.

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

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