Music Monday – You Don’t Know How Glad I Am That You Came Dancing

It’s compare and contrast time.  Three popular hits…two with some great lyrics, the other just another catchy ‘come on’ song; two from the current music scene, one from an enduring rock band; two ‘Boy Bands‘, one band made of men who write their own songs.  What am I comparing and contrasting?  Not so much the fact that The Kinks were a band that wrote their music, played the instruments, and sang their songs and have lasted multiple decades (about four or five of them) vs. The Wanted and One Direction, boy bands, may be involved in writing some/most of their songs, but don’t generally play instruments (because it’s difficult to perform choreographed dance routines with them) and usually peter out as they get older and don’t have that youthful, teen look anymore.  What I’m going more for tonight is the lyrics and message.

 

“Glad You Came” by The Wanted

(released 2011; peaked: #3 US Hot 100, #1 UK Singles)

Now, I realize that this is only one song per group and that I may get a lot of crap for not loving one of the hot boy bands, but I’m not impressed with The Wanted.  I’ve watched a few of their videos as I decided whether or not my daughter needed to listen to/own any of their songs.  Based on song/video content, I assume their target audience is a few years older than One Direction’s, which makes their lyrics more appropriate, the focus being on drinking and partying.

Turn the lights out now
Now I’ll take you by the hand
Hand you another drink
Drink it if you can
Can you spend a little time,
Time is slipping away,
Away from us so stay,
Stay with me I can make,
Make you glad you came

Fairly simple lyrics about drinking and “getting the girl.”  Not crazy about it, so why post it?  I do like the flow of these lines.  I like using the last word of the previous line as the first word of the next.  That’s well done.  The words themselves, forgettable.

And I decided you look well on me

This is a line that is going to be a discussion point with my daughter as we get closer to her dating.  I’m doing what I can to raise my daughters to be strong, independent girls/women and this line goes completely against it.  It doesn’t say “I like you” or “I enjoy your company.”  Instead, it says “I’m an arrogant jerk who thinks you’re hot enough to make me look even better than I do now.”  It’s an incredibly poor, yet all too common way that famous guys and gals treat people.

 

“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

(released 2011; peaked: #4 US Hot 100, #1 UK Singles)

You’re insecure,
Don’t know what for,
You’re turning heads when you walk through the door,
Don’t need make-up,
To cover up,
Being the way that you are is enough

I particularly like the lines here about not needing make-up.  The cosmetics industry is out of control and would have all girls believing they need to “cover up” with makeup.  Few girls/women really need make-up.  Being strong and confident and natural is far more attractive than a “made up face.”

But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell

I like this line because it’s little details like this that mean the difference between a good song and a great song.  With this line, they manage to capture perfectly the shy, reserved girl who has difficulty meeting a guy’s eyes because she doesn’t think she’s “pretty enough.”

 

“Come Dancing” by The Kinks

(released 1982; peaked #6 US Hot 100, #12 UK Singles)

I really only threw The Kinks in here because they are from the UK, as well, though a number of years older and don’t have a chance of being mistaken for a “boy band.”  I would also choose to go see The Kinks over One Direction or The Wanted any day.

Come dancing,
That’s how they did it when I was just a kid,
And when they said come dancing,
My sister always did.

While “Come Dancing” has a slightly different sound (for the most part) than a lot of their more famous tunes, they still manage to throw a bit of heavy guitar into the mix.

In the hallway, in anticipation,
He didn’t know the night would end up in frustration.
He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week
All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek.

Call me old-fashioned, but picking a girl up wasn’t always about drinking and making out.  This was courting…and this “frustrated” guy would be back the next week, if he was lucky.

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