blatantly bad 70s songs: escape (the pina colada song) (rupert holmes)
if you don’t want to hear this, go get drunk and escape.
escape (the pina colada song) is the last hit of the 1970s and the first hit of the 1980s. (if i had realized this at the dawn of that decade, i would have crawled into a cave and waited for the 1990s to come.) it didn’t start out as a monster hit; most people didn’t get it when it was simply called escape. but hell — they knew the pina colada part, so some smart record company stiff added (the pina colada song) and the song went like gangbusters.
i couldn’t drink (legally) at age 14 when this song came out. i didn’t like wussy songs that talked about getting caught in the rain or some froo-froo coconut concoction. i liked the cars; i liked blondie; i liked the police; i liked tom petty and the heartbreakers. in short, i liked things that either rocked or gave me new wave chills. this song did none of the above; it merely seemed like a monotonous radio death march, accessible for married people over 40.
now that i am a married person over 40, i come to this song with a new appreciation. well, maybe appreciation is not quite the word i’m after. annoyance, i suppose. i mean, think about it: if i was dissatisfied with my beloved spouse (AKA BS) and i put a classified out there in the world looking for Mr-Right-Take-Two (in the manner that the singer, a passive-aggressive bastard who can’t actually talk to his girlfriend about their relationship, did); and if i went to that smoky bar and found out that the ad had been answered by BS, would i be laughing with BS about the fact that we have so very much in common? would i be thrilled that the classified had brought us together?
hell, no. i’d be calling up a lawyer.
gee whiz, if i were writing a classified ad to this song, i think it would go something like this:
if you like drinking mojitos,
watching my name is earl,
if you obsess over music
know divine‘s not a girl.
if you think sushi’s overrated
and you love a mixtape,
i’m the lady you’ve looked for,
come with me and escape.
then they’d be playin’ my song.