Outstreched arm

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The likelihood of it being in his kiss has been grossly misrepresented

You know what popular song's lyrics I object to? 'It's In His Kiss', written by Rudy Clark and famously performed by Aretha Franklin, and most recently by Cher. It's also known as "The Shoop Shoop song" for its catchy shoop shoops. Cute tune, memetically viral.

Let's look at the lyrics. This question is posed by the supporting vocals:

Does he love me, I wanna know
How can I tell if he loves me so?

Various possibilities are then suggested, and shot down by the lead:

Is it in his eyes? Oh no, you'll be deceived
Is it in his size*? Oh no, you make believe
Is it in his face? Oh no, that's just his charm
In his warm embrace? Oh no, that's just his arm

*"sighs" if you're of a tame mind

Fair enough. A little skepticism and caution would certainly not be unwelcome advice to the girls being sung to here. In the lead's experience, these are all easily-faked appearances, and one is not to mistake them for true love. But then the answer is given:

If you wanna know if he loves you so
It's in his kiss, that's where it is

Even more troubling is this vehement denial:

How 'bout the way he acts - Oh no, that's not the way
And you're not listenin' to all I say

What a shockingly lame rebuttal!

This is a song about the different signs a girl might want to interpret to figure out if her lover really loves her. I feel that they're given in a ridiculously unlikely and unhelpful order. This is how I'd rank them:

6. Size/sighs (least telling)
5. Kiss
4. Warm embrace
3. Eyes
2. Face
1. The way he acts (most telling)

This shouldn't be too controversial - "the way one acts" is almost by definition a measure of the trueness of their love. Faces are very complex media for displays of emotion - they tell a lot. Kisses, on the other hand, aren't very rich vehicles of expression. I'm not trying to belittle smooching, honestly; I'm trying to elevate love. I've been kissed by very inexperienced girls (sometimes clumsy to the point of discomfort) but this never gave me any reason to doubt their love and sincerity.

Girls, it's most likely not in his kiss, ok?

I have to point out, though, that this is not quite as bad as Gerry Goffin and Carole King's 'He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)':

He hit and I knew he loved me
'Cause if he didn't care for me
I could have never made him mad
And he hit me and I was glad

The only thing that helps me stomach this is Spiritualized's 'She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)'.

There are 1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I didn't think it was in his kiss....but now I have confirmation and it's appreciated.

10:18 PM  

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