Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kiss this

I am, and will always be, in favor of girls kissing. But like everything else it’s all about the context. Are these two drunk girls surrounded by cheering frat boys? Yeah, no thanks. Or are these two women who are genuinely interested in each other. Thank you, ma’am may I have another. With that I give you two songs about girls kissing. And not just two songs about girls kissing, but two songs about girls kissing called “I Kissed a Girl.” Seriously, are there no other ways to title songs about this subject?

The first you will recognize as Jill Sobule’s 1995 hit:


The second you might recognize as Katy Perry’s new single:



Now, I find it interesting that while both songs are called “I Kissed a Girl” there is no actual kissing of girls in either video. I can understand why Jill excluded the smoochage. It was 13 years ago, after all, and still two years before Ellen’s “Yep” heard around the world. Also Jill has since embraced her lesbian fanbase and, having met her in real life, is simply adorable.

But the Katy exclusion. That’s just…weird. I mean isn’t the drunken straight girl hook-up (with optional hot tub clause) now standard operating procedure on MTV these days? As undeniably infectious as her song is (seriously, I’ve been humming the damn thing all weekend), it’s stuff like this that helped make that idiotic Girls Gone Wild dude a bajillionaire. (For a thorough examination of exactly what’s wrong with this song, check out Malinda’s treatise on B.L.W.E.)

If only she had stopped at the chorus. I kissed a girl, and I liked it. Yeah, now that’s a song worth singing.

13 comments:

Natazzz said...

My favourite version of I kissed a girl used to be a cover of the Jill Sobule song by I think it was the Juliana Hatfield Three.

I played that song over and over, back when I was much younger and innocent than I am today...

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

I almost never watch music anymore, but as not having the remote handy would have it, I've seen this new 'I Kissed a Girl' video. The song itself isn't insipid, or entirely insipid, but the video just looks 'needy', ya know? Needy and then revenge kissing to cover up the neediness. Or maybe it's pedestrian desperation. I don't know, and as my mom will be here any minute, I don't have the luxury to delve further into outside neediness when it will be on my porch in seconds.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Jill is lovely...she was one of the entertainers at Denver Pridefest Seeeeeeeeveral years ago. I can't remember exactly which year, but it was before she got big...again...sorta. She wore her favorite very faded Bronco's t-shirt and was very humble as well as entertaining! Unfortunately, most of the gay boys hadn't stuck around for her show...why drag queens get the biggest crowds is just a mystery to me...

Sarah in Chicago said...

Yeah, about the Katy Perry piece ...

Well, actually both, but more the more contemporary one ... something does kinda bother me.

Maybe I am being a tad too sensitive, but there just feels like there is some kind of dismissal going on here. Like all a straight girl needs to do to know what it is like to be gay is to snog a chick at some straight party while her boyfriend isn't looking. Or rather, because her boyfriend is looking.

What about the chick she kissed? What about her feelings? I'm just sick of straight girls with all their heterosexual privilege vacationing in and taking over gay spaces to start off with, and now there's a song celebrating their fly-by of being a queer chick?

I know she's not claiming this, but there does seem to be an unacknowledged validation of queerness as something you can just dip one's toe into, experience, and then get back to heterosexual reality. Hence ignoring all the shit that is involved in not being able to go back to that 'reality'.

I'm all for fun songs and yeah, mainstreaming expressions of queer love is something I'm totally behind, but both these songs just kinda make me feel, well, used, sort of. A cigar is never just a cigar, and these feel like they're doing their utmost to ignore the wider context of these things.

CupidsReviews Heidi said...

I much prefer to hear queer artists sing about universal issues that CAN relate to anybody. Admittedly I'm a closet Melissa Etheridge fan, and I do enhoy a bit of Ani and Ferrick as well. For the most part their songs are not gender specific and thats just fine as even the breeders feel the love and hurt! I mean you don't hear Sheryl Crow singin bout how she kissed a dude......haha!

Vikki said...

The part that gets me is the line..."It's not what good girls do". That bugs me. In fact, in my experience, kissing girls is exactly what some of the best girls do!

Anonymous said...

I think we tend to be a bit sensitive on this topic, however I think Katy Perry's song is totally fun. I am sure we have all kissed our fair share of curious straight girls, hell I still be fumbling around in the closet without them!! As for the the "not want good girls do" line...think she is referring to the cheating part not kissing the girl part. I say lighten up and enjoy the beat!!

Anonymous said...

Damn, girl, I just heard this song, Katy Perry's, for the first time today. Driving through central Pennsylvania no less. At first I thought it was a weird cover of Jill's song. Anyway the new song reminds me of the girls from the local womens college who used to come to our bars or clubs to 'try us on.' They were easy to spot and 'gay' for about a semester or two. So the more things change, the more they stay the same. Yoy, I'm getting old.

showmeyourwits said...

Ooh, here here, Dorothy!

While I see the song as fun like you, anonymous, I also blogged a few days about how when my (straight) friends heard me playing the song, suddenly it lost its oh-so hot and sexy vibe, becuase, y'know, if you aren't kissing girls for your boyfriend a la Ms. Perry, it's all dykey and such-- which certainly says something, if not about Katy (but I think with the constant name-dropping of MY BOYFRIEND, we can) but about Society At Large.

(Which, like you, doesn't change the fact that the damn guitar riff is stuck. in. my. head. Of course, given the new--YEAH! I KISSED A GIRL AND I REALLLLY LIKED IT!--frame now applied to the song, perhaps this over-playing is some sort of grand 'fuck you'? No? Ha.)

p.s. Jill IS adorable.

Anonymous said...

Im looking for rough gay sex

centralfloridamobilemovers@hotmail.com

Jielle said...

If you want to see two girls kissing, try the beautiful "Vent d'hiver" video by the french singer Raphaël. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlkFGpdfaBEël

jackie said...

I agree with Sarah in Chicago, it is very dismissive. Sadly, the lyrics do seem rather true to the confused straight girl state of mind. Going by the video, I assume it's supposed to be hot but I find it depressing and a little desperate.

duanemoody.com said...

After some thought, I was ready to forgive Katy for her kissing song, but then she had to go and release "Ur so Gay", which is downright offensive.

When will straight people stop the obsession with our sexuality, and then at the same time, the incessant need to demean us for it?