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Ed Bruce - See The Big Man Cry. Uploaded by dvdman49

Songs about Male violence continued

This song starts out sentimentally enough with a man following (stalking?) a young woman and her son. The chorus relates how the young boy notices the narrator crying and says to his mother ‘see the big man cry’ In the second verse, we find out that the woman is a single mother as the young boy says to his mother ‘If I had a daddy, he’d buy that puppy for me’

Then the unsurprising reveal. The narrator relates ‘I wanted to tell him I was his daddy, he sure had a pretty Mom’, but that as a result of his abusive behaviour he is forbidden to have contact with them - ‘But the judge said I could never see them again for the things I said and done’

In the final verse the narrator urges his son not to repeat his behaviour and to be a loving and caring partner so he will not end up in the same situation

This song was later covered by Charles Louvin. I actually know this song through one of my favourite soul compilations ‘New York Soul Serenade’ as it was issued by the Wand label of New York. Country has soul and Soul has country


Filed under Soul Country music Ed Bruce Male Violence Wand Records

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Willie Tee - Thank You John. Uploaded by Francosoul

Another song about male violence/Prostitution. I have wanted to write about this song (a ‘Beach Music classic) and the complex situation it describes for some time

In the first verse the narrator asks his partner who has returned one morning ‘who did you fool tonight?, was it my friend John?’ but that he knew she would return home as ‘she was just teasin’ you’

Then the song gets a lot darker. The narrator asks how ‘John’ reacted when she tried to leave and notices ‘John’ was violent towards her. The narrator says he had previously warned John about his behaviour and that ‘If he tries this again, he’s gotta shed some blood’

But the next verse explains further what is going on. The narrator explains that he does not blame his partner of ‘wanting to swell his head’ as ‘he’s givin’ us his bread’. So it would appear that there is a arrangement whereby ‘John’ financially supports the couple in return for sex with the narrators partner, an arrangement the narrator seems more than keen to keep up (when he spreads that bread, make sure he spreads it right’ (and lets not forget what ‘John’ is slag for)

The song concludes in the final two verses with narrator voicing his contempt for ‘John’ and flaunting the fact that ‘John’ is financially supporting him and his partner

The narrator does seem to express some genuine concern for his partner in verse 2, but shows no sign of wanting to remove her from a situation where she is being abused. He also seems to have no qualms about living off money she has had to earn by selling herself. It is suggested that the arrangement with ‘John ’ is not the first (who did you fool tonight?) He also seems more concerned with the fact that he has put one over on ‘John’ calling him a ‘sucker’, and that in the end his partner returns to him.


Filed under Prostitution Male violence Willie Tee Soul Beach Music

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City high- what would you do (lyrics). Uploaded by dreamlost99

Songs about male violence continued

This was big hit in the UK. It tells of a man who goes to a ‘real wild party’ and discovers that one of the put upon strippers is an old school mate called Lonnie. He asks her how she ended up in this situation. She explains she has a child to support and that they only way she can make any money is by prostitution and that her child’s father cannot be counted on as he is a drug addict who is in out of prison. she says that for the narrator ‘this may be a good time’ but for her ‘this is what I call life(this chorus is repeated several times)

The narrator remonstrates with Lonnie, saying she is not the only single mother, but she tells him ‘Every day I wake up hoping to die’ she and her sister had to leave home as young teenagers as they were being sexually abused by their father and she has know pain he cannot begin to relate to

In the middle section the narrator continues to remonstrate with Lonnie, saying surely she can find a better way to support her son and herself, ending up saying ‘that if my mother can do it, baby you can do it

The song ends with a repeat of the chorus with the narrator joining in

This song is far from perfect and may end up criticising Lonnie but at least there is some attempt to understand the circumstances that have lead her to her predicament and at least with the chorus asks the listener to put themselves in her situation. It also at least tries to humanise women who have ended up in the ‘sex industry’

Please not this song contains language that some may find offensive


Filed under Male violence prostitution City High Rap

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Joe Tex- I Gotcha (Soul Train). Uploaded by youcandoit113

Songs about male violence continued. Now I like Joe Tex and this song was used highly effectively in Reservoir Dogs’ but this song is basically about a man forcing himself on a woman because he says she owes it to him. See also Chairman of the Board’s awful ‘Pay to the piper’ (sorry General Johnson you should have known better)


Filed under Joe Tex Soul male violence

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Steely Dan — Haitian Divorce (with lyrics). Uploaded by Michalis Limassol

Songs about male violence continued. In a 1976 interview Donald Fagen said that ‘Haitian Divorce’ is actually a song about a rape. While seeking a ‘quickie’ divorce in 1970’s Haiti, ‘Babs’ is drugged by ‘The Charlie with the kinky hair’ who then rapes her while she is unconscious, impregnating her. She fails to realise this as nine moth later she gives birth to a half Haitian baby (some baby growing up peculiar way) which she assumed was her husbands’ Clean Willie’s(thus precipitating the actual divorce at the end of the song). I came across a commentary on this song which also pointed out that the relationship between Babs and Clean Willie had turned violent (He shouts, she bites, they wraggle through the night)

Here is a link to the 1976 interview with Donald Fagen


Filed under Donald Fagen Steely Dan Male violence Rape

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Godley and Creme - Under your Thumb. Uploaded by cosycorp

Setting myself a project to upload songs about male violence to women. I remember being haunted by this song as a child. It concerns a man encountering the ghost of a woman who has killed herself rather than go on living with her abusive/controlling partner.


Filed under male violence Godley and Creme

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20 Albums my MP3player chose at random

This is just following up on the earlier post where I recorded the first 20 tracks my MP3 player chose at random. In truth I don’t like using the ‘shuffle’ function for individual tracks. But I will frequently pick an album at random. So here are the 20 albums my MP3 player chose.

1. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (I happen to listen to this every weekday!

2. Beach Boys - Smile Sessions (This was quite freaky as Smile was supposed to be follow up to Pet Sounds)

3. Brian Wilson- That lucky old sun

4. Spinners- iBest of the Spinners (UK followers may wish to know that this is band called the Detroit Spinners in the UK!)

5. Ramones- Anthology Disc 2

6. George Harrison- Cloud 9

7.Doris Troy- Doris Troy (This was Doris’ album for Apple produced by George)

8. Isaac Hayes- The Isaac Hayes Movement (This includes his version of ‘Something’

9.Various-Northern Soul’s Classiest rarities Vol. 4

10.Merry Clayton- Best of Merry Clayton

11.The Impressions- This is my country/The Young Mod’s forgotten story

12.Beatles- Anthology Vol.3, disc 29>

13. Various- Cellarful of Motown, Vol.2, Disc 2

14. The Shirelles- Foolish little girl (This was an mp3 I downloaded not a full album)

15. Bettye Lavette- Interpretations (features fine versions of ‘Maybe I’m amazed’, ‘Isn’t it a pity’ and ‘It don’t come easy)

16. Northern Soul’s Classiest rarities Vol. 3 

17. Soul Riot (Mojo Magazine compilation

18. Roy Wood- Through the years (Comp. featuring tracks from Roy’s time with The Move, ELO, Wizzard and as solo artist

19. Beatles- Abbey Road

20. Various- Change is gonna come - the voice of Black America 1963-1973

This shows I clearly do really have too many Kent Records Soul compilations. I also clearly love Brian Wilson. I think I also need not be ashamed as a George/Beatles fan

Filed under Northern Soul Brian Wilson Beach Boys The Beatles George Harrison Doris Troy Merry Clayton Bettye Lavette Soul Isaac Hayes

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You can tell a lot about a person by the type of music they listen to. I was tagged by stairwaytobedin to hit shuffle on my ITunes list and list the first 20 songs that came up. No skipping! :)

1. Twist and Shout-The Beatles

2. All Those Years Ago-George Harrison

3. Royals-Lorde

4. Rock…

Hi! Thanks for this!

I pressed ‘random play all’ on my mp3 player and here are the 20 tracks that came up!

1. Staple Singers- For what it’s worth

2. Richard Berry & the Pharaohs- Have love, will travel

3. Beatles- While my guitar gently weeps

4. Beatles - And your bird can sing

5. Stevie Wonder- Never had a dream come true

6. Eddie and Ernie - Doggone it

7. Tammi Terrell- Two can have a party

8. The Impressions - (Man Oh Man) I want to go back

9. Herbert Hunter - Isn’t it wonderful to dream

10. Caetano Veloso- Sampa

11. Randolph Walker- You’ll lose your love

12. Marvin Gaye- I heard it through the grapevine

13. Chuck Wright- The palm of your hand

14. Stevie Wonder- You are the sunshine of my life

15. The Quotations- I don’t have to worry

16. Barbara Lewis- Thankful for what I’ve got

17. Johnny Maestro and the Crests- I’m stepping out of the picture

18. The Temptations- Forever in my heart

19. Of Montreal- The couples first kiss

20. Al Green- Call me (come back home)

What does this say about me? That I probably have far too many Kent soul compilations and am rather into Motown!

Filed under soul The Beatles Motown