With today’s most popular love songs consisting of a strikingly diverse mixture of polite compliments and actions potentially capable of being mistaken for date rape moves, it’s interesting to examine how much traditions have changed over the years. The collective coalition behind cdza have blessed us with “History of Wooing Women,” a musical retrospective providing listeners with the various strategies of getting women to bed, as heard through popular music from 1955 to 2010. Before we proceed, double check what mom and dad’s wedding song was, if only to really get to know your family better, and become scarred for life.
The 1950′s and ’60s brought us innocent, PG declarations of like, with men making simple requests to hold your hand only after making sure to compliment the way you look tonight. Interspersed with attempts at asserting ownership over any approaching suitors, the majority of cdza’s video is filled with the sweet appreciation odes to certain body parts. Ladies didn’t have much to worry about in terms of catering to a man’s preferences, as they were constantly reminded not to go changing, and rewarded for their inner and outer beauty with generous offerings from their male counterparts.
Yet in 1994 things seemed to change entirely, somewhere around the time when a recently consumed Big Mac took a turn for the potential life-threatening inside one of Bill Clinton’s arteries. With one misogynistic, hard-to-repeat ode of lust after another, it’s clear that music of the ’90s and ’00s adopted and continues to run on an entirely different approach to mating rituals. (On a somewhat serious note, the use of an exaggerated “beep” drives home just how profane these modern love songs are, and how much “bitch” and “fuck” have become common hat in our speech and musical inventory.)
But before we allow ourselves get down about how chivalry in modern pop is dead, let’s celebrate that this time period also birthed female empowerment anthems like “Single Ladies,” and remind ourselves that women have previously, and publicly, praised men using songs like this. Perhaps those harmless offers from newly legal pop stars should no longer be taken lightly? Fondue night might be cheesy, but at least it comes with a side of respect.