Lesser known curiosities of popular songs
Idly I happened to do a Wikipedia search on the song, and I discovered this shocking revelation (shocking if true, that is):
Taking the song at face value, its lyrics extol the virtues of the Young Men’s Christian Association. In the gay culture from which the group sprang, the song was understood as celebrating the YMCA’s reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger gay men to whom it was addressed.
WTF? It originated as a way to welcome gay men into the association? And to think I actually thought it was a catchy pop song. Following this I did a search on the Village People’s Wikipedia page and found this:
The band’s name references New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, at the time known for having a substantial gay population
The stereotypical masculine characters, particularly the leather-clad biker character with handlebar moustaches, have also become a widespread pop culture icons associated with male gay culture and YMCA has become something of an anthem of the LGBT community.
I wonder how many others would exhibit the same reaction if they knew of this. Maybe they wouldn’t care.
Here’s something about another pop song, Mickey (that famous cheerleading song) which I uncovered sometime back on its Wikipedia page. This is the song.
Here’s what I saw on the song’s Wikipedia page:
The song’s lyrics have been alleged contain a subversive tale of a woman’s attempts to “turn” a gay man by offering him anal sex.
This source was cited in support of that:
It’s a dead ringer for Toni Basil’s effervescent 1982 novelty hit Mickey, borrowing its guitar riff if not, alas, its sense of gleeful subversion. Beneath Mickey’s wholesome cheerleader-themed video lurked a song apparently about a woman trying to “turn” a gay man by offering him anal sex, subject matter that makes That’s Not My Name’s tale of music industry indifference to White’s previous outfit, pop trio Dear Eskiimo, seem strangely decorous, however snarling her vocal.
Well of course that doesn’t mean the song is really about that, but it may help to examine the lyrics to see if they support this assertion.
Now when you take me by the who’s
Ever gonna know
And ev’ry time you move
I let a little more show.
There’s something you can use
So don’t say no Mickey.
So come on and give it to me
Anyway you can
Anyway you want to do it
I’ll take it like a man.
But please baby please
Don’t leave me in this jam Mickey.
Oh Mickey, you’re so fine
You’re so fine you blow my mind
Note the emphasis added in bold. Of course some people will accuse me of pareidolia, but I think it’s best if we left the conclusion up to each and every individual to draw his own.