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Great Songs Any Self-Respecting Feminist Should, But Can't, Hate

Updated on April 5, 2015

I was singing along to a great song in the car the other day when I suddenly thought: "Hey, wait a minute! Did they just say what I thought they just said?." It wasn't anything overtly offensive, no nasty words were used, but it got me to thinking about other songs I enjoy and I realized how many songs have lyrics that aren't very respectful to women. Then, with a guilty smirk, I admitted I didn't really care what the song said, I still liked it, and I kept right on singing.

Now before you come to any conclusions about me by the article title and the songs I chose, I want to give you a little of my background. I have never considered myself a true "feminist". Thanks to awesome parents, I was raised to be a confident self-sufficient woman and I was taught that women could do whatever they wanted to do. At this point in my life I'm a stay at home mom, but before I got married I was a single woman with a successful career. I believe in equal rights and equal pay and, while I believe in treating everyone with respect, I am not a political correctness junkie. In fact, at the appropriate times, I can be incredibly politically incorrect. I also appreciate good sarcasm.

I love music, new and old, all genres, but I really love music from the sixties and with the exception of two from the 70s, all of these songs are from that era. There is music out there now that degrades women and men but I can't, and won't, listen to that. The songs on this list are on the "softer" side of being disrectful, if you can say such a thing, and some are almost funny to hear today. They are also great songs to listen to. They get your toes tapping and your hips shaking.

I'm sure there are many songs that I have missed, so if you have any great songs that any self-respecting feminist should, but can't, hate, I'd love it if you let me know.

Enjoy!

That's The Way That Boys Are - Lesley Gore - 1964

Lesley Gore has one of those voices that I just love. Her songs are corny but catchy. This song, written by Mark Barkan and Ben Raleigh, is my number one pick for this list and the opening lines tell you why:

"When I'm with a guy and he watches all the pretty girls go by, Well I feel so hurt deep inside, I wish that I could die, Not a word do I say, I just look the other way, 'Cause that's the way that boys are..."

Come on Lesley! Do what I do and give your boy a sharp elbow in the ribs or better yet, look at all the handsome boys walking by. It may be a politically incorrect song, but it's a catchy tune that I'll sing along to any day.

Stay With Me - The Faces - 1971

Written by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, "Stay With Me" rocks, but it's never going to make the cut for the theme song for the National Organization for Women (NOW). How can it with lyrics like:

"Won't need too much persuading, I don't mean to sound degrading, but with a face like that , you got nothing to laugh about" or "Yeah I'll pay your cab fare home, You can even use my best cologne, Just don't be here in the morning when I wake up."

This awesome song is about a rock singer inviting a woman up to his room and you can guess the rest.

And come on people, admit it, at one point in your life there has been a rock star that you wouldn't have minded staying with for one night, even if he couldn't remember your name the next morning.

Under My Thumb - The Rolling Stones - 1966

The Rolling Stones are my all time favorite rock band, but I'll be the first to admit that some their songs aren't exactly kind to the female persuasion. This song, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, ranks at the top with lyrics like:

"Under my thumb, the squirming dog who's just had her day" or "It's down to me, the difference in the clothes she wears"

It's about a man who finally takes control of a domineering woman and it's a great song even if they compare a woman to a dog.

Wives and Lovers - Julie London - 1964

Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, this song is funny to listen to today. How can't it be with lyrics like:

"Don't send him off with curlers in your hair, You may not see him again".

About wives not taking care of themselves and ending up losing their husbands, this song brings back memories of Doris Day movies. I've been happily married for almost 12 years and don't even own curlers. So much for this song's reasoning.

You decide

Which song is your pick as a great song any self-respecting feminist should, but can't, hate?

See results

Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette - 1968

Written by Tammy Wynette and Bill Sherrill, this is a classic. It has a catchy tune that almost anyone has heard at one time. You can't help but roll your eyes and chuckle when you hear lyrics like:

"You'll have bad times, He'll have good times, Doing things that you don't understand, And if you love him, be proud of him, 'Cause after all he's just a man"

Who can forget the famous interview that Bill and Hilary Clinton gave when he was running for president many years ago. When defending her husband's infidelities Mrs. Clinton said, "I'm not sitting here, some little woman, standing by her man, I'm here because I love him and I respect him". Well, she's still by his side to this day, even after additional indiscretions and public humiliation so I guess she took Tammy's words to heart after all.

Woman to Woman - Tammy Wynette - 1974

Tammy Wynette makes the list two times with Woman to Woman which was released in 1974. Tammy just has a way with words when it comes to giving out advice to women for keeping our men happy, especially in this song warning wives about other women out there.

"She's out there too, And she's a whole lot better looking than me or you, But she can do things to a man, You never dreamed a woman can do."

It makes the list because it's one of those seventies country songs that makes you laugh when you hear it.

California Girls - The Beach Boys - 1965

This is an American classic by Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Listen to this and you think of summer fun, the beach and girls in bikinis. Hey guys don't forget to think about us girls in one pieces too!

"I dig a french bikini on hawaii island, doll by a palm tree in the sand"

This is definitely not the most over the top song is this bunch, but take a look at the video and you'll understand why it made the cut.

Lightnin' Strikes - Lou Christie - 1965

I think I love this song so much because of Lou Christie's great falsetto voice and because my dad always belts it out when it comes on the radio. Listen closely to the lyrics and you'll realize that this hit, written by Lou Christie and Twyla Herbert, is all about a man not being able to be faithful to his significant other.

"Nature's takin' over my one-track mind, Believe it or not you're in my heart all the time, All the girls are sayin' that you'll end up a fool, For the time being, baby, live by my rules..."

Yeah, sure "baby", I'll live by your rules as you step out on me. It can't get much cornier than that, but it's still a fun song to listen to and people must like it because it's on the radio more than you might think.

If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul - 1963

The writers of this song, Joseph Royster, Carmella Guida, and Frank Guida gave men some wise advice when they wrote this hit. Basically...guys, you better get an ugly woman to marry you, not a pretty one or you are in big trouble.

"A pretty woman makes her husband looks small, And very often causes his downfall"...."An ugly woman cooks meals on time, And she'll always give you peace of mind."

If I follow this logic on cooking then I must gorgeous! Hmmm...maybe I should play this song for my husband. The song has such a boppy beat and the lyrics are so absurd that you can't help but like it.

© 2012 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well, Glimmer......ya got me on this one......however, we can like the melody and dislike the lyrics......and when we sing along......we should just create our OWN lyrics!!! Today must be "sexist" day.......I've read 3 hubs in a row involving.... men vs women and women vs men......What's goin on?? Did I miss a memo? LOL!!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Must be something in the water today. Maybe because my daughter is getting ready to go back to school in a few weeks I am starting to feel more liberated! Who knows. Thanks for the comments! Have a good day.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This is an interesting hub. I don't know a lot of these songs but I do know "Stand by Your Man" and "California Girls." I think the thing about "Stand By Your Man" that rouses people is the fact there's no implication of the behavior being reciprocated so the woman is doing most of the emotional heavy lifting without getting her due. "California Girls" is something I would like to call a run of the mill guy checklist song in which guys have no problem saying what kind of girl they like. I think the problem with this is that their aren't many female songs of this ilk therefore women get irritated. But this is definitely a n interesting approach for a hub. Great job!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Alecia! I appreciate the comments. I think you're right about there not being many songs like this about men.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You had me with the title...great job of drawing people in with that title...and I agree....great songs to listen to, as long as you don't take the words seriously.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      billy - Thanks so much for your comments and I'm glad you like the title. I always get a kick out of coming up with titles and it's nice to get a shout out. You're right, just don't take the songs seriously. That's probably a good rule of thumb for other areas of life as well.

    • profile image

      Liz Walmoth 4 years ago

      I didn't know some of these lyrics, so I guess ignorance was bliss LOL!

      Great hub!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Glimmer, I enjoyed this. Kind of took me down memory lane. I remember a song (one of my favorites at the time) that Ricky Nelson did - "Travelin Man." 1961. He had all kinds of girlfriends in that song, but I just loved it anyway! Let's see - China doll down in old Hong Kong waits for my return; pretty Polynesian baby over the seas, I remember the night when we walked through the sands of ... anyway, you get the idea.

      Great hub and voted up.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Liz! Some of them were eye openers to me too. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks for the visit Ann1! I didn't think about that one. Thanks! That definitely could have made this list. Glad you liked the hub.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Glimmer -

      A Great List! However, the most self defeating song of the movement would have to be the one that provided an acceptance of doing everything at home, and only when the husband was done with the boys would he come home. This was Jody Miller's answer to Roger Miller's "King Of The Road", entitled "Queen of the House." This is the way a relationship should truly be.....not!

      Loved it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Just had to go look at the video on youtube! Too funny and loving the dancers' costumes! I may just have to edit this and add that one. Thanks for the tip and the comments rcrumple!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is such a creative hub idea. So many songs are negative to females. One that is catchy but VERY anti-female is 3o'h's Don't Trust Me. It says, "Don't trust a hoe" and"Shut your lips, do the Hellen Keller, and talk with your hips." I find these lyrics very offensive and the song is very popular. Great thinking outside of the box.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      You are my kind of feminist, :-)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for your comments tammyswallow! Thanks for the song tip. I'll have to check it out. There are a lot of negative songs out there.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks mhatter!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I didn't know some of these lyrics - maybe it's best not to listen to the words too carefully!!

      A grreat idea for a hub - voting up thank you.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for your comments Movie Master! I had fun writing and researching it and I hadn't been listening too closely to some of them either! Thanks for the vote.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Excellent list! I went with "That's The Way Boys Are." I would also add any song by Eminem. My daughters refuse to listen to his music because they feel he degrades women. I just feel he's speaking his mind and I appreciate his music.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for the comment Sunshine! I agree with adding Eminem songs. There are lots of other songs that could be added too, but I stayed with the oldies. That's more what I listen to.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      They are bigger women than me, lol. I was listening to the Leslie Gore one a few weeks back and laughing. I bet Loretta Lynn has a few too worth laughing at, other than "the pill". lol Great fun hub! Voting up!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Jackie! I looked at a couple of Loretta Lynn songs too. I had fun writing and researching this and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      Really enjoyed this, of course couldn't vote on The Stones as I think they're great even if the words are off. So went for the Beach Boys as it's really quite harmless. Lol. Up, interesting and funny.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks CyberShelley. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. It was hard to choose a favorite!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      You really did a great job...title, songs, explanation. You attitude sounds a lot like mine.

      I must admit, due to my age I am familiar with all of the songs listed. I agree they aren't exactly woman friendly but I also agree its more the tune that we enjoy. Of course we know all the words an sing them anyway...but ...remember...that's the way boys are!

      Loved this.

      Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for the votes and comments tillsontitan. I'm glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun with this hub!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great idea for a hub! We all sing those songs, and you are right, we don't always listen to the words. Some of the songs are from a different era, but you are right - not ones feminists should be caught singing.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Suzette - I guess the feminists could hum along. It's amazing what I hear when I really listen to the lyrics of a song. Thanks for the comments and I'm glad you liked the hub.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      I love "Stay With Me" and I can think of a few songs to add to the list. Love this...sharing and voted up!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for the share and vote Kaili! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun with this one.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Chuckle, chuckle but so true. I have sung along to these tunes many times never really thinking about the words. I do not consider myself a feminist either but do concern myself with women's issues more now than when I was younger. Thank you for sharing this food for thought with us.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks pstraubie! Seems like I am really thinking about women's issues these past couple of days, but I still sing along to these tunes. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Glimmer,

      I know each and every one of these songs and I love them. The tunes are amazingly unique and the words just flow rhythmically... one sings along without truly analyzing for the most part.

      I voted for Under My Thumb... love those naughty Stones, kinda no matter what they say??

      Really cool, good music is good music. Voted UP and AB. Hugs, Maria

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Maria - Thanks so much! I'm glad you like the songs too. I have to say I love the Stones and you're right...they are kind of naughty! :)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is so true! "If you wanna be happy" has always cracked me up. I sing along to California Girls even though it isn't the most respectful to women. But the one that surprised me was "The Faces" by Rod Stewart! I guess I do enjoy a lot of songs without even considering the lyrics! Great hub. Voted up and shared.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for the share and vote vespawoolf! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. It's always interesting what some songs say if we really listen to the lyrics.

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 4 years ago from Southwest England

      Great list - I kind of don't mind these "cheeky" lyrics, you can have a bit of a laugh about them.

      It's the ones that are serious that bother me, such as Neil Young's "A man needs a maid" which goes like this:

      "I was thinking that maybe I'd get a maid

      Find a place nearby for her to stay.

      Just someone to keep my house clean,

      Fix my meals and go away.

      A maid. a man needs a maid.

      A maid."

      Oh dear! It's a shame, because I do like his other songs and lyrics, but this song just winds me up!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great idea for a hub! I love "Stay with Me," Rod Stewart's version. It's a great song, one you can really rock out to, but when I first realized what the lyrics were saying, I really felt guilty about liking the song. It's pretty degrading, but the way he sings and the music is awesome.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Imogen - I am a huge Neil Young fan and don't remember those lyrics. I'm going to have to look that up. I also have lots of songs that wind me up, but for some reason these don't. Thanks for the comments!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comments Crystal! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. "Stay with Me" is a fantastic song and I feel the same way as you do, but I still listen to it.

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      I love this idea! I wonder if you can extend it to show how films, TV shows, and other media belittle women. You have the platform, so from one feminist to another, keep it going! Love it!

      I teach these types of topics at the University level and it is amazing how many of us consume pop culture without a critical eye or ear in this case! Great job. Voting up and awesome!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      yoginijoy - I bet it could be extended to tv shows. Just look at commercials with their subtle marketing techniques. Hmmm...I might have to think about that. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. It was a lot of fun writing it and listening to the songs too!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I"m with you and the others on this....we don't had to like the lyrics, but we can just enjoy the melody. :-) Love California Girls as a song for its melody and harmonies, though.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks midget38! That song does have a great melody and you're right, we don't always have to like the lyrics. I appreciate the comments.

    • eddy4me profile image

      Eddy Jones 4 years ago from Wales.

      A wonderful hub and thanks for sharing I now look forward to so many more by you.

      Eddy.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much eddy4me! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Awesome job with this hub. I love the charming style. The songs could definitely be considered a little unflattering to the female sex, but as you say, they are still enjoyable. Unlike some of the songs of today, what was being said was honest, but classy. Voting up for being a great read!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Sharkye! I had so much fun writing this and listening to loads of songs.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      GTW, I absolutely adore Lesley Gore's voice. It's heavenly. This a great hub topic to choose, only I hope the others don't take these songs lyrics too seriously. Love Tammy Wynette's husky voice as well.

      Great choice.

      Voted up, beautiful.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks for the comments rajan! It was a fun hub to write. I love Lesley Gore's voice too!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      You are right about this.... as a feminist, I should be offended by many songs. But then again, there are plenty of songs about men being cheaters or idiots, so I hope it evens out. Stand By Your Man is just too awesome... even if I do mostly like it because of the Blues Brothers. Interesting hub and voted up!

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 4 years ago from Cardiff

      Well I haven't heard any of them before, but I know what you mean. I love 60's music and some are just pretty down on women, but their just so darn catchy! I will have to give a few of these a listen! great interesting hub

    • e-five profile image

      e-five 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois, USA

      In 1962, Gerry Goffin and Carole King-- yes, THAT Carole King-- wrote a song called "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)" which was recorded by The Crystals. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f20Oz9Yr_So The producer was Phil Spector, who was convicted of second degree murder in 2003, and is currently serving a 19-year prison sentence. The song was covered by The Motels in 1982. That's my nomination.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Jeannieinabottle! Stand by your man makes me laugh every time I hear it. Of course I sing along to it too. I appreciate your support!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the comments Daisydayz! You are right. 60s music is unbelievably catchy and fun to listen to. Of course, I love almost all kinds of music.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      e-five - That song is a good one. May have to add that to this hub. Good ole Phil Spector and his wall of sound. He produced some great music. Wonder if he'll ever make it out of prison. Thanks for commenting!

    • Distant Mind profile image

      Distant Mind 4 years ago

      Yes, this is fun! Great hub, rated funny, thumbs up!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Distant Mind. It was a fun hub to write.

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      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      It's funny how these days I am realizing more of the words and meanings of some of the older songs. I guess I never paid much attention when I was younger. You have some of my favorites listed here. Great hub, I really enjoyed it! Voted up, interesting and sharing! :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      sgbrown - Many thanks for the share and votes. This one was really fun and interesting to write. It's made me listen to lyrics more than I used to. I appreciate the visit!

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Never listened hard enough to get the lyrics. Very entertaining!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks jenbeach! It's always interesting what we hear when we really listen. I try to tell my daughter that too! Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      I remember hearing Stand by Your Man when I was a kid. Of course I didn't really know what I was singing back then but I sure did like singing along to it! I just had this same thought not long ago while I was singing in the car and for the life of me I can't remember what the song was. I can think of a lot of songs that are really not too great to listen to when you think of the lyrics but one sure can't help himself! Thanks for a great read!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      It is hard not to sing along even when the lyrics are like this. I just heard a couple of these the other day and was still humming along. Thanks so much for commenting.

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      Moesky 4 years ago

      "It's rainin' men HALLELUYAH, it's rainin, men, amen.....!"

      Please ladies - with this song by The Weathergirls you really did get your own back.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Moesky! That is a great example of the other side of these types of songs.! I appreciate the comments.

    • Angelique Newman profile image

      Angelique Newman 4 years ago from Canada

      I just found your hubs and I have to admit they're quite addictive. I had so much fun with this article. I have to say I'm guilty of liking the song If You Wanna Be Happy by Jimmy Soul, it's so catchy.

      Great job! Thanks for sharing. Voted it up

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Wow Angelique - What a lovely comment. Thank you so much. This hub was really fun to write and it really made me think of the songs I listen to.

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