I heard the lyrics as I prepared steaks on the grill one warm Saturday evening. They were coming from the Adult Alternative music channel that I'm forced to pay for each month as part of my cable package. For the record, I'm also paying for Metal, Contemporary Christian, and Toddler Tunes. All three are excellent choices when I'm tired and want guests to leave.
The band's name was Ween. While the singer sounded British, Ween is actually an experimental American rock band, according to Wikipedia. The song was entitled "Your Party."
The wife and I thank you very much
Had the late Dick Clark ever featured this song on "American Bandstand," I would have panned it for obvious reasons: It didn't have a good beat and I couldn't dance to it. What did intrigue me was the singer mentioning his wife. It's not a word often heard in song lyrics. Kenny Rogers sang about his "Lady," John Lennon crooned over his "Woman" and artists from Michael Jackson to 'N Sync have immortalized their "Girlfriend" in song. But rare is the tune that contains the common word for female partner in a marital relationship. Rarer still is use of the word in a positive or even neutral context.
Want proof? Google "lyrics containing wife." The results are slim. When I searched the phrase, the first hit came from The Who's "My Wife." Here's a sample:
My life's in jeopardy
Murdered in cold blood is what I'm gonna be
I ain't been home since Friday night
And now my wife is coming after me
Not exactly the most glowing tribute to a spouse.
Next on the list was a ditty penned by singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman called "When I Say Wife."
When I say 'wife'
It's cause I can't find another word for the way we be
But 'wife' sounds like you're mortgaged
"Wife" sounds like laundry
I wonder how Richman explained to his wife that he equated her with a pile of dirty underwear.
Rapper Ne-Yo chose to use "wife" as a verb and what I think is an adverb in his song, "Wife Her."
Even when you get locked up, you can call her up
Greg Schwem: The Wife: A true musical oddity
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