Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Before going to the neighbors’ to invite them for a walk after dinner tonight, the 2-year-old and I played some duets on the piano. I plunked through a few numbers from a book that advertises itself as “The Greatest Songs Ever” and the 2-year-old played soft trebly tone clusters to accompany. We did “Love Me Tender.” The kid instructed me not to sing so loud -- he wanted a delicate texture. Then he requested Hoagy Carmichael’s (and Ray Charles’s) “Georgia.” And so we played it. I hope he’ll agree to record sometime.


According to Freud’s theory of Transference, it’s no surprise when the patient “transfers” his or her affections from some past experience to the doctor. The patient believes that this transfer of fantasy-affection means that he or she has “fallen in love.” The theory is best illustrated in Robert Palmer’s old hit song, “Bad Case of Loving You.”

Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I’ve got a bad case of loving you
No pill’s gonna cure my ill
I’ve got a bad case of loving you

Palmer’s lyric explores the traditional dominant role of the doctor in our society, and the patient’s relative passivity in relationship.

I know you like it, you like it on top
Tell me, momma, are you gonna stop?

You had me down, 21 to zip
Smile of Judas on your lip
Shake my fist, knock on wood
I've got it bad, and I've got it good

Palmer’s lyrics betray some resentment about his powerlessness vis a vis the lover-doctor, but his beat and his tune say Yes Yes Yes. The struggle of liberation, resenting the female love-object’s greater social power, but wonderfully excited by that nonetheless.

A friend of mine from college married his therapist.

(P.S. Oh yeah, forgot to add: I married my boss. Slept my way out of a job -- one of us had to quit.)

UPDATE 2: In comments, Corndog identifies the songwriter of the Robert Palmer hit song as Moon Martin. Thanks, Corndog!
Two things. Actually a guy named Moon Martin wrote that song. I actually own two of his albums so I'm always looking to give him props. Secondly, I married a student of mine, so I'm on the other side of the fence. Of course, now she's making more than me, so I'm just biding my time 'til I can become a stay at home Dad and free-lance songwriter.

Thanks for the proper songwriter credit. I can be cavalier about those things, which isn't nice, since I'm a songwriter too.

Good luck with the career plan! 2 playwright friends of mine are stay-at-home dads.
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