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Did you guess at what problem I would choose? There’s a lot to choose from. The #1 problem I’m talking about though isn’t a political, social, or even an economical one. Although, at the end of this post you might disagree with me. The problem I’m talking about is this:

billboard top 100

The number one pop song in America right now according to Billboard music charts is Maroon 5’s “One More Night.” I don’t like Maroon 5, I usually don’t like most of the top 100, and I usually don’t even try to listen to the radio. I guess a whole lot of people disagree with me though because enough listeners in America made DJ’s all across the country play this song enough for it to hit #1. Have you heard the song? Have you listened to the lyrics?

“You and I get so…dysfunctional we stopped keeping score
You and I get sick, yah I know that we can’t do this no more

But baby there you again, there you again making me love you
Yeah I stopped using my head, using my head let it all go
Got you stuck on my body, on my body like a tattoo
And now i’m feeling stupid, feeling stupid crawling back to you
So I cross my heart, and I hope to die, that I’ll only stay with you one more night
And I know I said it a million times
But i’ll only stay with you one more night”

The song is, I guess, about love. A pretty crazy sort of love. A love that says even though this relationship is so NOT working, if I can get one more night then that’s good enough. And, apparently, the girl is ok with it. And, apparently, enough people identify with this relationship-catastrophe that they love to listen to it–over, and over, and over again.

Because I was curious, I looked up what the #1 hit was in America in 1940. The song was “Only Forever” by Bing Crosby. If the lyrics are any clue, I’d take it that love in the 1940’s was a little bit different:

“Do I want to be with you
As the years come and go?
Only forever
If you care to know.
Would I grant all your wishes
And be proud of the task
Only forever
If someone should ask.
How long would it take me
To be near if you beckon?
Off hand I would figure
Less than a second.
Do you think I’ll remember
How you looked when you smile?
Only forever
That’s puttin’ it mild”

So, if a fella’ sang one of those songs to you, which would you press repeat for? “I’ll only stay with you one more night,” or “Do I want to be with you/As the years come and go?/Only forever/If you care to know.” I think I’ve made my decision.

Bing Crosby

If pop culture is any reflection of the culture at large, and, by its definition, it is, then America has a serious problem. For some reason, we like to listen to men who overtly declare they will only be sticking around for one more night. We love lyrics about bad love, and we idolize guys who tell us they are “feeling stupid crawling back to you” instead of boasting of taking “less than a second…to be near if you beckon.”

You may consider the 1940’s archaic; sweet perhaps, but not the raw realism of today’s culture. Whatever it is though, I’d much rather listen to and be loved “Only Forever.”

 – ❤ A.