Have I told you about this? My one woman show where I sing country songs and put my standup in some order that builds to some kind of conclusion about love/sex/happiness? I've been 'developing' this show since August, and that's really too long to go without making some decisions.
I'd like the songs to be:
1) about love or sex
2) songs people don't get to hear very often
3) not very challenging to sing
I'd also like to get other people singing. I was thinking karaoke before and after the show.
I like country songs from the fifties and sixties because there isn't any holding back in them. There aren't any defense mechanisms. When you're in love you're ecstatic and it's because of that person, when they leave you are almost dead in your misery and it's also that person's fault.
It's a Lovely, Lovely World- Carl Smith (That's not Carl Smith playing in the laundry room, but what talent!)
A Heart Full of Love- Eddy Arnold
More and More- Webb Pierce
Am I That Easy to Forget- Jim Reeves
It's the reverence for the emotions that are weaved into sexual relationships that gets me. Pop and country songs seem so business-like to me nowadays. It feels like a consumer model of relationships-get the best person you can get, trade-up, get rid of the deadweight. It is not a model that makes for a good heartbreak song.
But can you square reverence for emotions, and reverence for the uniqueness of each person and relationship, with sexual freedom? Back when these songs were coming out most rape survivors couldn't even call what happened to them rape, going to a ga bar would get you thrown in jail, millions of people were stuck in marriages they didn't want to be in, and unwed teen mothers were sent away to be sequestered for their pregnancy and to have their children snatched away from them forever. The reverence in these songs for the uniqueness of each person and relationship was not reflected in day to day life. Not that we have it all wrapped up nowadays, but I'm happy to be living now and not then.
My favorite songs are still breakup songs. A good heartbreak song can transform misery into not happiness, but something a little bit like it. An ecstatic embrace of misery. What's happiness besides being right here in the moment, and a heartbreak song will get you there.
We can have both. We can have freedom from coercion and violence surrounding our sex lives, and reverence for our emotions. If the old model of sexuality was based on longer term ownership, like land ownership, and our new model of sexuality is based on something shorter, like car ownership, we can opt out of both.