Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Just the Girl? Not for My Boy!

The purchase of a family iPod seems to have accelerated the sweet Chattering boys’ interest in popular music. One song they particularly adore is a hit called “Just the Girl” by The Click Five. Here are the lyrics:

She’s cold and she’s cruel, but she knows what she’s doing.
She pushed me in the pool at our last school reunion.
She laughs at my dreams, but I dream about her laughter,
Strange as it seems, she’s the one I’m after.


‘Cause she’s bittersweet,
She knocks me off of my feet.
And I can’t help myself.
I don’t want anyone else.
She’s a mystery.
She’s too much for me.
But I keep coming back for more.
She’s just the girl I’m looking for!

She can’t keep a secret for more than an hour.
She runs on one-hundred-proof attitude power,

She’s cold and she’s cruel but she knows what she’s doing.
Knows just what to say, so my whole day is ruined!

And the more she ignores me, the more I adore her.
What can I do? I’d do anything for her!

I was slow to hook into this dittie’s view of longing and desire, since musically, it’s a catchy number.But yesterday, I turned down the volume when alone with my twelve-year-old and said, “You realize that the man singing this song is in love with someone who treats him terribly. She laughs at his dreams? She ruins his day? She’s…well, she’s…hardly compassionate!” I wanted to call her a “jerk.”


“Yes, Mom, I know that,” my son said dryly.

“Well, it’s alarming he’s so crazy about her when she treats him so badly. The idea is to like people who are nice to you, right?”

“Right, Mom. I get that. You don’t have to worry.”

“Well, I didn’t have time to worry yet.”

“It’s just a song. I like the music.”

“It’s a powerful song, I think, because this girl seems so alluring…You get lulled into thinking she’s very glamorous.”

“Don’t worry, Mommy. Some people like people just because they’re pretty.”

“Well, I know. That’s not lost on me.”

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posted July 26, 2006 at 5:30 pm

Usually we hear men complain about how girls only like “bad boys” and how decent men can’t get anywhere in the dating world. With the reported rise in female aggression, and more girls bullying at school, I wonder how long it will be before decent girls/women start complaining en masse about how boys only like “bad girls.” I also wonder if women were always this aggressive and it’s just now getting coverage. A friend was telling me the other day how Celtic women were the fiercest warriors, and men were loathe to see them sent into battle.>

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posted July 26, 2006 at 9:54 pm

I raised this topic in the locker room today and the majority opinion was that most adolescents don’t hear the lyrics the way adults do; they process it differently. Your son’s comment, “It’s just a song. I like the music.” resonated with us all. But still, I wonder. One of the women (a social researcher) said this song is pretty tame compared to others she’s using in a pop culture study. She’s revisiting the connection between values and media messages that are repeated over and over in seductive, semi-unconscious ways. She said if a song like “Amazing Grace” can help one heal, what happens on a steady diet of consumerism, mysogany, homophobia and violence? I wonder. On the lighter side… Every one of us had a story about our own collision with parental authority over “bad” music. The Rolling Stones led the list. I remembered my oldest sister being grounded –grounded?!– for bringing Let’s Spend the Night Together into our conservative home. This doesn’t happen to me ev’ryday (oh my) Let’s spend the night together No excuses offered anyway (oh my) Let’s spend the night together I’ll satisfy your every need (every need) And I now know you will satisfy me Oh my, my, my, my, my Let’s spend the night together Now I need you more than ever Let’s spend the night together now My poor folks; they never guessed we thought this was about a sleepover. Oh my my my for sure.>

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