First, we've got "Epistle to Dippy":
You can just imagine all the Donovan singles I must have bought if I have "Epistle to Dippy." Come on... who has "Epistle to Dippy"? That's some serious Donovan idolatry. Let's look at the look at the lyrics:
Look on yonder misty mountainI'm never really sure what Donovan is talking about. Is this teacher suspicious about insanity? No, no, you have to hear it in music. Or wearing crystal spectacles or something. It makes perfect sense. Or, if it doesn't, try changing to another level.
See the young monk meditating rhododendron forest
Over dusty years, I ask you
What's it been like being you ?
Through all levels you've been changing
Getting a little bit better no doubt,
The doctor bit was so far out.
Looking through crystal spectacles,
I can see I had your fun.
Doing us paperback reader
Made the teacher suspicious about insanity,
Fingers always touching girl.
Second, we've got "Lil' Red Riding Hood" -- and don't chide me about the placement of apostrophe. Check it out:
This song played all the time on the radio the summer I took all the hundreds of tiny pictures off my bedroom walls and painted the room dark blue. You know, not only were the walls covered in pictures of rock stars clipped from 16 Magazine, but I and my friends had also written all over the walls in pencilled graffiti. Can you believe my parents never criticized me about this? They would actually say -- in 60s lingo -- "Whatever turns you on." They also let me paint my own room and paint it dark blue. Remember when it was suddenly the thing to paint rooms very dark colors? Nearly everyone's parents painted all the rooms in the house white, and then all the 60s hippies discovered liberation and painted everything dark blue and red and green. Wouldn't that freak out the old man? But chez Althouse, not so much. My parents themselves loathed the all-white look that prevailed in those days. I remember the time my father painted the recreation room dark gray and took some delight in saying he really wanted to paint it black. Which would be a good idea for an unplayable 45 song title.
Anyway, back to "Lil' Red Riding Hood." Could this be a mainstream song today? I know they say all kinds of crude things in popular music these days, but look at these lyrics, which, like many songs of the era, show a much older man going after a too-young girl:
OwooooooooI think people are too alert about pedophilia to accept this today. Well, maybe you couldn't even get away with "Fingers always touching girl" today, especially if you were also "mad about fourteen."
Who's that I see walkin' in these woods
Why, it's Little Red Riding Hood
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're everything a big bad wolf could want
Listen to me
Little Red Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone
Last time I did unplayable 45s, people wanted to know what was on the B-side. In today's world, I guess the B-side question seems exotic. The B-side of the Sam the Sham single is almost too boring to mention, "Love Me Like Before." But the B-side of "Epistle to Dippy" is the terrific, very jazzy song "Preachin' Love":
I'm preachin' loveSeems like something Prince would come up with, doesn't it? But there are probably enough religion-is-sex songs to do a "Theme Time Radio Hour" show on the subject.
Straight from above
I know what to do, yes I do.
Well, I'm breathing love
Straight from above
I mean about what I said.
Well, I understand my congregation
Is made about the finer sex.
Well, I don't know about any segregation -
Anyone may read the text.