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Answers to Pop Songs’ Rhetorical Questions

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KfHpm4s4w&w=615&h=461]

For some unexplainable reason, pop songs like to ask questions and then never answer them. I have no idea why they do this, but they do it. If you pose a question and then never answer them, what’s the point? Are they ALL rhetorical? Some of them seem pretty direct. I think all of these singers and songwriters are waiting for somebody, anybody, to answer their queries and I think I’m just the silly sod to do it. So, without further ado (or adieu for that matter), here are my answers as honestly as possible.

Are You Going to Scarborough Fair? – Not at the moment.

Have You Ever Seen the Rain? – Lots of times. I hear in Spain it falls mainly on the plane.

Do You Believe In Life After Love? – Yes, provided “Love” doesn’t have the first name Courtney.

Do You Know the Way to San Jose? – You take the 5 northwest for five-and-a-half hours.

Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Well, yes, but I don’t want to cuddle, Elvis.

Would? – Okay, Alice in Chains, you’re going to need at least a predicate and a subject for me to realistically answer this. Can? Sure. Would? I don’t know.

Do You Wanna Dance? – Not particularly.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice? – You guys can waste your whole day wistfully thinking about stuff that isn’t happening, but I’m a realist. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to read comic books.

Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? – Geez, how many reasons do I need? It’s dangerous, it’s exposed, it can’t be comfortable. Even if no one is watching us, as you claim, I think I’d feel weird about it. I’m flattered by the offer, though.

Who Is He (And What Is He To You?) – That’s none of your business. I don’t even know you. Maybe you need to keep yourself to yourself, n’a'mean, Bill?

What Do I Get? – Umm, I have a cookie you can have if you’d like. Or three Ritz Crackers.

Ain’t That a Shame? – Nah, it’s okay. It could happen to anybody, don’t feel bad.

Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow? – What? No. Why is my mom standing in the shadow? She’s not creepy. How dare you talk about my mom that way, Jagger?! And I’m not your baby. This aging hipster act isn’t working anymore, okay? Only assholes call people who aren’t their child or their lover “baby.” I know everybody’s a baby compared to you, but I don’t appreciate it.

What’s Love Got To Do With It? – A surprising amount, actually.

Who’ll Stop the Rain? – Creedence, you’ve got a weird preoccupation with rain. I don’t get it, but I think you’ve got some kind of water fixation. But, to answer your question, no one can stop the rain, especially Al Roker.

Are We Not Men? – You’re Devo… oh, you answered that one yourselves.

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, & Understanding? – Nothing inherently, but it’s the way you say it.

Do You Feel Like I Do? – All right, Frampton, enough of the pot, okay? I understand you’re very proud of coming alive, but it’s just weird. I don’t want to look at your hand, either.

Where Is My Mind? – Probably the same place Frampton left his.

I’m done answering questions now, but I think I did a pretty good job of giving these the proper amount of attention. Next time you hear any of these songs, you’ll know how to respond.

Wanna Dance

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10 comments

  • Surprised you skipped Steely Dan’s “Are You Gonna Tell me Everything You Did, Baby?”, and the king of them all, (lots of singers, but most famously) Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” That one can go to philosophy, television, dismissal of sexual prowess/endowments, or just dinner.

  • I have this same compulsion when I hear Ironic by Alanis Morisette. “Isn’t it ironic?” – actually no, it’s not – it’s tragic/awful/sad/fraudulent depending on the circumstances.

  • First, thanks for that soundtrack link. Brings back memories of slow dancing to Ramones and slam dancing to Sinatra. Long story….

    As for the standard answer to song questions, after a few shots:
    “Fuck, I don’t know” or FIDK for the acronymphiles.

    Is acronymphiles a word? FIDK.

    • That is Exactly what I am doing.
      You’re not the only one who riffs on someone else’s work.

      Thanks for not being over sensitive.

      Seriously it’ was a joke.
      But also serious- the word lover is creep city.

  • In response to your comment for:
    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?
    Only assholes call people who aren’t their child or their lover “baby.”

    You know what else- only assholes use the word- “lover”
    Do you also refer to your gf as your “special lady friend”?

  • Love this article!!! Growing up and listening to these oldies but goodies we always did have a come back line for the questions!!! All this time I though we were the only ones who did it. I guess great minds do think alike!!!