Tag Archives: hall and oates

it’s a bitch, girl: finding the true, beating heart of a hall and oates classic

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Something always bothered me about Hall and Oates’ “Rich Girl.” I could never place it, but something was . . . wrong with that song. (I’ll pause here for you to make the requisite, “What isn’t wrong with ‘Rich Girl?’” crack.) But I never knew what until this morning, when, whilst pacing the halls at work, I heard it oozing from the overhead speakers. And it hit me!

Sing with me, if you will, the chorus:

 

You’re a rich girl and you’ve gone too far

‘Cause you know it don’t matter anyway.

You can rely on the old man’s money.

You can rely on the old man’s money!

 

That’s it!—why repeat the third line?

Granted, Hall does add a nice bit of exclamatory emphasis there; you imagine him gripping said rich girl by the arms and trying to shake some sense into her. But that’s wasted song real estate, man! The chorus is the only part anyone will remember—why not get your, ahem, money’s worth? How about . . .

 

You can rely on the old man’s money.

You can consume all the milk and honey!

 

If you want to be conservative with it, basically restating the essential theme of line three in, as Black Francis once said, a poetic kind of way. Or, to dig even deeper into the imagery . . .

 

You can rely on the old man’s money.

You can pretend that it’s always sunny!

 

Because, hey, you’re a rich girl, and it never rains on the rich and beautiful. (I’m assuming you’re beautiful if Darryl Hall is so concerned and he’s not, you know, talking about his daughter.) Or . . .

 

You can rely on the old man’s money.

You can devour a cute lil’ bunny!

 

Raw! In a pet store! Right in front of a pack of little kids! Because you’re rich, and there are no consequences for the rich! Now that’s hammering it home. Darryl Hall, America’s first 99-percenter!

And it would have made for a hell of a music video.

. . . Or something along those lines. All’s I’m saying . . . don’t waste the real estate, Darryl. That’s not how people get rich in the first place.

hall and oates and beauty and truth

What is beauty?

Hold up—before you say something stupid and trite and faux-poetic (fauxetic, new word, huzzah) about “a flower growing in a landfill” or “a sunset over a pile of industrial slag” or “robots making love even though their copulatory programming will lead to nothing but the masturbatory fulfillment of their twisted creators” . . . nuts, where was—? That’s right: what is beauty?

Beauty—as defined by the Evil—is an occurrence that, er, occurs when a moment of true, unfettered desperation worms its way into an otherwise banal and/or ludicrous situation. Look, we’re working with the OED people, we’ll gussy up that definition later. But for now, that’s beauty, folks.

Example? Well, the above “heartbreak of robosis” scenario’s not bad. But Evil has something else in mind:

The last 15 seconds of “Private Eyes.” That’s right . . . the Hall and Oates song.

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