Friday, December 02, 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.

8. “She Can’t Give It Away” – Barbara Fairchild
A minor hit in 1978 for Barbara Fairchild and later covered by Roy Clark, “She Can’t Give it Away” is a quintessential life-hits-rock-bottom country and western ballad. The song’s subject, a one-time “Southern beauty,” exploited her looks to live the easy, luxury life of a high-end call girl. One can imagine a woman with low self-esteem reveling in the superficial attention lavished upon her by suitors, never thinking that time might not be on her side. Now, decades later, the money’s gone and she’s just “an old and fading sunset/that once lit up the whole Savannah sky” with no home, no trade and no hope. The kicker comes in the next verse, where a man whose honest (but un-moneyed) affections she spurned decades before is now wealthy and prosperous, yet trapped in a loveless marriage. There are no winners here, in true country tradition. Alas, there's no official video, but the song speaks for itself.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... The Police.

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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