Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Music: PC and Teacher Songs


A point made in previous posts is that things that were acceptable in the past may today be unacceptable because of changes in society, outlooks and political correctness. There are many such issues: women’s roles, racial and ethnic differences, religion.

These days there is a very strong position against teachers having relationships with students and vice versa.

There is a difference, however, in reporting in the print media when a young male student has a relationship with an older female teacher, especially if the teacher is physically attractive. The attitude of some newspapers, being a reflection of a common attitude in society in general, is that the young student “got lucky” and there is no harm done. In reality students in such situations can end up as psychologically and emotionally disturbed as young female students who are in relationships with older male teachers, with their sexual development and ability to form meaningful relationships often stunted and adversely impacted upon. It is the female student/male teacher relationships which are more widely condemned.

Songs in the past did not exhibit a condemnation of the teacher/student relationship and were much more relaxed about the issue.

Some examples:
Hound Dog by The Everly Brothers (1958)

Johnny kissed the teacher [he's a bird]
He tiptoed up to reach her [he's a bird
Well he's the teacher's pet now [he's a dog]
What he wants he's been gettin' now [what a dog]
He even made the teacher let him sit next to my baby [he's a bird dog]

When I Kissed the Teacher by ABBA (1976)

Everybody screamed when I kissed the teacher
And they must have thought they dreamed when I kissed the teacher
All my friends at school
They had never seen the teacher blush, he looked like a fool
Nearly petrified ‘cos he was taken by surprise
When I kissed the teacher
Couldn’t quite believe his eyes, when I kissed the teacher
My whole class went wild
As I held my breath, the world stood still, but then he just smiled
I was in the seventh heaven when I kissed the teacher

One of these days
Gonna tell him I dream of him every night
One of these days
Gonna show him I care, gonna teach him a lesson alright

Teacher I Need You by Elton John (1973)

Oh teacher I need you like a little child
You got something in you to
drive a schoolboy wild
You give me education in the lovesick blues
Help me get straight come out and say
Teacher I, teacher I, teacher
I, Teacher I need you
Teacher I need you

Hot For Teacher by Van Halen (1983)

I think of all the education that I missed.
But then my homework was never quite like this.
Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,
I’m hot for teacher.
I got it bad, so bad,
I’m hot for teacher.

And a real blast from the past to show how attitudes and circumstances change, Doris Day sings Teacher’s Pet, a song from the 1958 film of the same name starring Clarke Gable and Doris Day.

Unlike the lyrics of the song, the movie has Clark Gable as a newspaper writer enrolling in Doris Day’s journalism class but keeping his identity secret.

The lyrics of the song are quite different and would be controversial  today…

Teacher's pet
I wanna be teacher's pet
I wanna be huddled and cuddled as close to you as I can get
Mm, teacher's pride
I wanna be teacher's pride
I wanna be dated, paraded, the one most likely at your side
I wanna learn all your lips can teach me
I'm sure with a little homework
I'll graduate to your heart
Teacher's pet
I wanna be teacher's pet
I wanna take home a diploma and show Ma that ya love me, too
So I can be teacher's pet long after school is through
I wanna learn all your lips can teach me
One kiss will do at the start
I'm sure with a little homework
I'll graduate to your heart
Listen to it at:

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