Daily Archives: February 27, 2014

Radio XXXII, side A, track 4: “Family Man” by Hall & Oates

Hall and Oates - Family ManOh, Hall & Oates, I remember when I recorded this song how much I liked the chorus and how catchy it was.  And I remember thinking in the months and years that followed that I never heard this song again after I recorded it.  What I didn’t remember, or more likely, what I didn’t pay too much attention to, were the lyrics.  At the time it was really just the aforementioned chorus that I remembered, and based on that, I thought the song was something about a guy who was really protective of his family and was telling his neighbor to back off or something because he wanted to be left alone.  Which, as a hermit-in-training, I could totally get behind.

Now, having revisited this one after all this time, I get a decidedly different take on it.  Still love the chorus, and in fact I love the whole song even more, Hall & Oates.  I’m actually really fascinated about this one now that I’ve listened to it a couple of times.  Is our protagonist a hero?  Is he morally inferior?  What are you trying to tell us with this one, Hall & Oates?

As I was initially listening to it, I was like “Ohhhhh, this is about some guy telling a prostitute he’s not into her.”  But then I was like “Ohhhh, this is about some guy who’s telling a prostitute that he’s not into her, but he’s actually kind of into her.”  And then I was like “Ohhhh, this is about a guy who’s totally into this prostitute.”  And then I was like “Ohhh. . .ummmm. . .wha. . .?”  After repeat listenings, my conclusion is that this song is about a guy with a family and an attractive lady of the night who’s so into him that she’s willing to waive her fee.  But the guy keeps telling her no, that he’s an honorable family man.  But when she finally takes the hint and leaves, that’s when he decides that maybe he’s not as honorable as he was letting on.

I really love this, Hall & Oates.  Growing up immersed in church, one thing that was made abundantly clear was that having bad thoughts was just as sinful as performing bad deeds.  Just by having hate or lust or jealousy in your heart, it was just as bad as acting on those impulses.  If you kill someone in your head, you may just as well have killed them with your hands.  As you can imagine, it’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid when you can’t even trust your own thoughts.  And trying not to have lustful thoughts when you’re a teenager?  You see what I’m saying, Hall & Oates?

So I love this song, Hall & Oates, not just because it’s a great tune, but because it’s what I like to call a thinker.  And I think the fact that I use the word “thinker” probably puts me out of the running for MENSA membership, but I don’t know that that’s too big a shock.  It’s an interesting question, though, Hall & Oates.  Is our family man morally clean because he technically didn’t do anything with the hot lady?  Or is the fact that he was ready to do something even though he didn’t because he waited too long, does that mean he’s morally clean based on a technicality?  Or was he NEVER morally clean because he had lust in his heart, regardless of if he acted on it or not?  Well, Hall & Oates?  You guys wrote the damn thing.  What’s the answer?

“Family Man”

Sheee haaad sulky smile, she took her standard pose as she presented herself

Sheee haaad sultry eyes, she made it perfectly plain that she was his for a price

But he said leave me alone
I’m a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite

He said leave me alone
I’m a family man
If you push me too far I just might

<awesome Hall & Oates jam>

Sheee wooore hurt surprise as she rechecked her makeup to protect herself

Drooopped heeer price and pride, she made it totally clear that she was his for a night

But he said (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite

He said (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
And you push me too far I just might

Sheee gaaave him her look, it would have worked on any other man around

Heee looked her up and down, she knew he couldn’t decide if he should hold his ground

But he said (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite

Just (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
But you push me too far I just might

<awesome Hall & Oates jam>

Sheee turned, tossed her head, unlike her opening move, her final exit line

He waaaaited much too long, but by the time he got his courage up, sheee was gone

Then he screamed (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite

He said (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
If you push me too far, I just might

He said (leave me alone)
I’m a (family man)
And I don’t think I won tonight

He said (leave me alone)
I’m a family man
And you push me too far I just might

He said (leave me alone)

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