6 Songs That Prove Baby Boomers Needed “Parental Advisory” Labels Themselves

Baby Boomers are notorious amongst millennials for many things, including but not limited to: the collapse of the housing market, skyrocketing tuition prices, the depletion of entitlements for future generations, and citing the music of modern generations as proof of the deterioration of our society. They’re responsible for “Parental Advisory”! “Nice language,” some Baby Boomer at some point has definitely said to you about a song you’re listening to on the radio — a phrase that will never not make me laugh.

Except upon even a casual listen of an oldies station you’re going to find lyrics that are as just as harmful/explicit/drug-fueled as the one’s they demonize in modern music, and often they’re buried in songs of the light rock or bubble-gum variety. It only took six songs to run the gamut.


Rod Stewart – Tonight’s The Night

“C’mon angel my hearts on fire
Don’t deny your man’s desire
You’d be a fool to stop this tide
Spread your wings and let me come inside”

And then:

“Don’t say a word my virgin child
Just let your inhibitions run wild”

This is a song about predatory coercion and unprotected sex.


America – Ventura Highway

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjgCqbPGq2A

“Cause the free wind is blowin’ through your hair
And the days surround your daylight there
Seasons crying no despair
Alligator lizards in the air, in the air”

This is a song about taking hallucinogens.


The Crystals – He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)

“He couldn’t stand to hear me say
That I’d been with someone new,
And when I told him I had been untrue
He hit me / And it felt like a kiss.
He hit me / And I knew he loved me.”

This song is straight up about domestic violence and Stockholm Syndrome.


Four Seasons – Making My Way Back To You

http://https://youtu.be/KmNG0BZlFyg

“I used to love to make you cry (Make you cry)
It made me feel like a man inside (Baby, baby)”

This is a song about toxic masculinity, sadism, and emotional warfare against women.


The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand + The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46_yYR6tGOI

“Yeah you, got that something
I think you’ll understand
When I feel that something
I wanna hold your hand”

“I’m picking up good vibrations
She’s giving me excitations”

These songs are essentially our generation’s “feel a little poke coming through” in “Too Close” by Next.

Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 205 articles for us.

50 Comments

  1. The Beatles also made “Run For Your Life.” The lyrics to that song are very, very creepy.

    I can see my mom’s reaction to all this: she’d insist that the oldies are bad (and that she never liked any of them) and today’s are worse. My dad, on the other hand, seemed to like both oldies and new music.

  2. I don’t disagree, but this is kind of a lazy and generic complaint? Reminds me of clickbait from Cracked or something like that. Autostraddle content is normally better than this.

    • But must every single article be serious and heavy hitting? I think Autostraddle is putting out some of the best content on the web on what I assume is a very small budget. They don’t hit us over the head with ads, let alone make us click through lists to increase the ad views. This story is just like a snarky exchange that you might pass back and forth with a friend via IM during a boring work day, and honestly it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

      Frankly if they want to have some occasional clickbait to get some $$$ to keep all the amazing writers occupied, sign me up for that. Better Autostraddle than Bustle.

      • I’m 100% not criticizing the subject matter. Bring on the vapid fluff! There are lots of other articles of yours I liked (Math of Gay Soulmates, the Carol stuff). This article didn’t seem as well written or researched. Maybe you’re having a bad week, I don’t know!

        I’m a subscriber, and I feel justified pushing back when content is less excellent than usual.

  3. What a moronic article. First things first. Funny, my Millennial kids know me and their mother (Boomers) as the folks who loved, raised, clothed, fed, and sent them to the best private colleges. (And how on Earth are we responsible for soaring tuition? If anything, we’re the victims of it. You know… the ones who pay the bills?) If you’re finding something hyper-sexual about “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Good Vibrations,” you might consider the social mores of the time and your own blindness. As to “He Hit Me And It Felt Like A Kiss,” it came out in 1962. The OLDEST Boomer was about 15 or 16. Personally, I would be turning 12 that year. Tail-end Boomers weren’t even born, idiot. You can blame the previous generation for the song. None of the song’s creators are even close to being Boomers, born between 1939 and 1942. (Although you should know that the song was documenting rather than glorifying domestic violence, a fact lost on you.) Agreed that Rod Stewart’s song is one of the creepiest ever. Ugh. As to “Working My Way Back To You, Babe,” (which you incorrectly display in your subhead), are you serious about toxic masculinity? As if subsequent or previous generations were never cruel in love. And as if there is no sadistic side to women in love affairs… silly crap. Hahahaha… do you realize how foolish you appear? Finally, chew on this from Wikipedia: Dewey Bunnell, the song’s vocalist and writer, has said that the lyric “alligator lizards in the air” in the song is a reference to the shapes of clouds in the sky he saw in 1963 [when he was 11] while his family was driving down the coast from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California where they had a flat tire. While his father changed the tire, he and his brother stood by the side of the road and watched the clouds and saw a road sign for “Ventura.” Maybe you were trying to be funny? You get an F, either way.

  4. ERIN and comments! I’m going on 55+ mins waiting to get called in for my dentist appointment and this is the best best gift you could have given me during this boring and difficult time. THANK YOU ???

  5. Couldn’t most Doors song fit this list? Like, half the songs are either about drugs, alcohol, and/or sex. But, I will submit, their cover the blues classic Back Door Man originally by Howlin’ Wolf. One being man having an affair with a married woman, using the back door as an exit before the husband comes home. It classic blues song. One could also argue it could also be a euphemism for back door sex.

  6. I’d Like to nominated Bobbie Gentry’s Fancy.
    A mother advising her daughter to turn to sex work because a lack of opportunity. Much scandal, very societal deterioration.

    Oh and Loretta Lynn’s The Pill.
    It was too naughty for the radio in 1975 and complete reproductive autonomy for a uterus haver is still sooo naughty. Why it’s another sign of societal deterioration that tax payers might have to pay for whore pills, isn’t it?

    *intense sarcasm that not even the Death Star could obliterate because those fuckers don’t understand the concept of preventive care or actual reproductive health*

  7. Zappa’s Dynamo Hum is much more explicit than any of the above.
    Ian Dury – Hit me with your rhythm stick. This hardly scratches the surface. I think you may be reducing a whole group of people to caricatures. And assuming the omnipotence of your parents. I was just on discussion online where someone was similarly berating elders for ruining pensions and living off their fat pensions while doing so.

    It was pointed out that 10% of boomers have pensions. Two decades before 50% did.

  8. John Denver & Frank Zappa testify on the parental advisory legislation. That did not pass – but that corps implemented on their own. Many, many statewide bills also didn’t pass.

  9. I always felt growing up that I wasn’t cool enough for the late Beatles (I’m a nineties kid but some things are just generically ‘cool’ ya know?). Now I feel really glad I dodged a bullet w the whole cultural appropriation thing.
    The whole era seems to have a lot of racist/cultural appropriative music. Apeman by the Kinks anyone? I’m whitey white but I can see the racism in it all so it must be really annoying for POCs.
    Also, yes I know ppl listened to ‘the hit parade’ slightly later in life in those days, more 15-25 than 12-15. But this is their music. Not made by them but for them. Otherwise my era is now and it just isn’t, i followed the charts in late nineties/early naughties. Couldn’t even tell you whose in iTunes charts these days.

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