April 12, 2012

"Politicians love mellencamp. Jack and diane."

I wrote that in my iPhone notes on April 1, when I was waiting in the overflow room at the Romney rally. I looked that up this morning after writing about Mellencamp supposedly being "not amused" that they're playing his song "Small Town" at Scott Walker rallies. That post also notes that Mellencamp once performed "Small Town" at an Obama rally. Neither Walker nor Obama were born in a small town or stayed put in a small town with "little opportunity" — as the song goes — but the song somehow still sounds right.

But "Jack and Diane" — is that a good song for a politician, if you start listening to the words?
Suckin' on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freez
Diane's sittin' on Jackie's lap, he's got his hand between her knees
Jackie say "Hey, Diane let's run off behind a shady tree"
Dribble off those Bobbie Brooks slacks, let me do what I please
I'm sitting there in the overflow room, thinking about how Mitt wooed Ann back in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in the 1960s. Bobbie Brooks was a brand of clothes that teenage girls were proud to wear — not cheap, but if you babysat a little, you could buy them. In 1968, you were hoping to look like this:

Colleen Corby bobbie brooks

Maybe that helps you picture young Ann and Mitt at the Tastee Freez.

26 comments:

MayBee said...

Doesn't he say "dribble off those Bobbie Brooks slacks/and do what I please"

Chip Ahoy said...

I just downloaded somewhere around 100 mp3 music files, following the signals of various charts they offer American, Britain, Europe, they all have the same things anyway, listening to samples, longer samples on iTunes, then buy them elsewhere, many are free when you look, and I am so well chuffed with my choices I play them all the time over an Dover an Dover an Dover an die love dem sew.

Any of them would be better than this dumb ass obnoxiously overly self-regarding song.

Chip Ahoy said...

Shuffl'n shuffl'n, everyday I'm shuffl'n. That one would be better right off.

David said...

"In 1968, you were hoping to look like this."

But we guys were hoping you would not.

edutcher said...

I can't see the Romster and Ann, who's showing her own fire BTW, acting like Mellencamp's Jack and Diane (Jack sounds more like Levi Johnston who, it seems, is back procreating again (as Mr T would say, "Ah pity the po' girl")), although they certainly showed they could rock and roll once hitched.

Carol said...

God I hated that song..the lyrics are totally nihilistic. Yes, I listen to lyrics.

john said...

Seymour Indiana would be a small town.

It's also called the crossroads of America.

Harsh Pencil said...

It is unseemly for a president or presidential candidate to have anything to do with popular music. I cringed a few years ago when all the democratic candidates were asked at a debate who their favorite musician was. I think they all said Bruce Springsteen except Howard Dean who said Wyclef Jean.

I don't know which is worse: 1) they were telling the truth or 2) they were lying.

I would have kissed the TV if any of them had said Mozart.

Bob Ellison said...

Few people know that John Cougar Fruitcamp stole the lyrics and melody from another crappy song:

I was born in a big town
And I live in a big town
Probably die in a pig town
Oh, those pig communities


Obama wrote that song about Chicago.

Bob said...

In '68 I was 7 years old, in second grade or so in Florida. That was the year that 1.75" belts became popular, and wild Paisley prints were popular for men. My mom bought three garish Paisley shirts for me, which I dearly loved. It was the only year I ever thought myself fashionable, and I was sad when I grew out of them and my mom didn't buy replacements. I had to make do with Hang Ten t-shirts after that, and it wasn't the same.

rehajm said...

Bobby Brooks- Ah, yes another personal lyrics mystery solved! Never liked Mellencamp enough to take the time to research that one. 'Beau Brummell Baby' from Billy Joel's It's Still Rock and Roll to Me always bothered me, too. One day Regis Philbin solved that one for me...

Ann Althouse said...

"Doesn't he say "dribble off those Bobbie Brooks slacks/and do what I please""

That's what I remember hearing and what would make more sense, but in the version I listened to, the word is missing.

I'm going to add "slacks."

Don't want Diane without her slacks on.

Isn't "slacks" a funny name for pants?

Rusty said...

I am so well chuffed with my choices


Your London is showing.

Robert Cook said...

"God I hated that song..the lyrics are totally nihilistic."

What was nihilistic about the lyrics? It's simly a song about the reality that can manifest after youthful romance has given way to adult responsibilities, worries, and, yes, disillusion.

It's actually a very good song. I've never bought any records by either, but I prefer Mellencamp to Bruce Springsteen.

Rusty said...

rehajm said...
Bobby Brooks- Ah, yes another personal lyrics mystery solved! Never liked Mellencamp enough to take the time to research that one. 'Beau Brummell Baby' from Billy Joel's It's Still Rock and Roll to Me always bothered me, too. One day Regis Philbin solved that one for me...


Crap. I'm old.
And extremely well read.

Rusty said...

but I prefer Mellencamp to Bruce Springsteen.


Bob Seger to either of them. At least he actually worked in an assembly plant. Those other two are just poseurs.

gadfly said...

. . . and here's little diddy about Mellancamp's take on a Louisiana town:

An all white jury hides the executioner's face
See how we are, me and you?
Everyone here needs to know their place
Let's keep this blackbird hidden in the flue

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

So what becomes of boys that cannot think straight
Particularly those with paper bag skin
Yes sir, no sir we'll wipe that smile right off your face
We've got our rules here and you must fit in

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Some day some way sanity will prevail
But who knows when that day might come
A shot in the dark, well it just might find its way
To the hearts of those that hold the keys to kingdom come

Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Oh oh oh Jena
Take those nooses down

Oh oh hey Jena
Oh oh Jena
Oh oh Jena
Take your nooses down

Take those nooses all down and free the Jena Six!

http://tinyurl.com/863sdgg

Robert Cook said...

"...and here's little diddy...."

I think you meant a little ditty."

halojones-fan said...

Ha. Almost as bad as "Born in the USA".

*****

I dunno, that girl in the skirt and tights would fit right in at any trendy gathering these days, although probably she'd trade the hat for a pair of thick-framed glasses.

Smilin' Jack said...

In 1968, you were hoping to look like this:

You must be thinking of 1958. In 1968, girls hoped to look like Michelle Phillips or Grace Slick. And if they did, it didn't matter what they wore.

Rusty said...

Smilin' Jack said...
In 1968, you were hoping to look like this:

You must be thinking of 1958. In 1968, girls hoped to look like Michelle Phillips or Grace Slick. And if they did, it didn't matter what they wore.


Nahah. Twiggy.

Oh. Crap. I'm old.

deborah said...

This one's better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4H4lJOoSs8

sydney said...

Was he John Cougar when he recorded that or John Mellencamp?

Blue@9 said...

My thought when looking at that photo: everything old is new again. You can walk around the Mission in SF and see girls dressed like that (but with piercings and tats).

Pettifogger said...

I was at the University of Texas in 1968, and I don't recall girls looking like that.

purplepenquin said...

I've always liked Cougar/Mellencamp/Little Bastard/whatever-name-he-is-going-by. "American Fool" was one of the first records I bought for myself, and listening to "Scarecrow" helped get me through Basic Training.

"Justice and Independence '85" is one of the most underrated songs out there...I make it a point to listen to it every 4th of July.