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Old 11-09-2013, 05:48 PM
 
637 posts, read 644,410 times
Reputation: 959

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Do you really write that this is "not anti-Semetic" and that you don't "mean to offend?"

Read the lyrics:
Who cares if you're Jewish,
And your breath smells of garlic,
And your nose is a shiny red light.
To me you are gorgeous,
And everything's right,
When I turn off the living room light.

Your clothes are old-fashioned,
Your knuckles are bony,
Your hair looks a terrible sight.
But I don't have to see you,
The way that you are,
When I turn off the living room light.
When I turn off the living room light.
I don't have to see you,
The way that you are,
When I turn off the living room light.

Well it's not that you are ugly,
And I'm not being cruel,
It helps me to relax, dear,
It helps to keep me cool.
Now I am not intending,
To make you feel ashamed,
What's wrong in me pretending?
'Cause you can't help being plain.

Your nose may be bulbous,
Your face may be spotty,
Your skin may be wrinkled and tight.
But I don't want to see you,
The way that you are,
So I turn off the living room light.

We don't feel so ugly,
We don't feel so draggy,
We don't feel so twisted up tight.
And we don't feel as ugly as we really are,
When we turn off the living room light.
When we turn off the living room light.
We don't feel as ugly as we really are,
When we turn off the living room light.
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:55 PM
 
9,761 posts, read 6,723,628 times
Reputation: 2484
I was shocked when I first this song, but I don't think it is. I think it is a statement against discrimination. I am a Ray Davies fan and I believe his message is not what you think.
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:55 PM
 
637 posts, read 644,410 times
Reputation: 959
This is a good commentary on the song.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:44 PM
 
9,761 posts, read 6,723,628 times
Reputation: 2484
Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattangirl View Post
This is a good commentary on the song.
I don't post on this site, but stopped by the other day and when I read the thread this song came to mind. In the last verse Davies includes himself among the not so-good-looking people.

In any event I am feeling guilty now for posting the song, but I thought it matched the mood of the thread.


Here is an excerpt of an interview with the author Ray Davies:

Quote:
LLL: Hey Ray. Welcome to the Swamp.

RD (floating on a large lily pad): Thank you. Interesting ‘pad’ you’ve got here.

LLL: Thank you. Let me start by asking you about one of your old songs, When I Turn Out the Living Room Light. It has long been considered controversial for its opening line about Jews…

RD: Well, let me set that straight. Do you know the movie or stage play of Cabaret?

LLL: Uh, the movie, yes.

RD: There’s a song on it called If You Could See Her Through My Eyes which ends with the line ‘she wouldn’t look Jewish at all’, and I was, in a way, trying to do my own version of that song. Which is why there’s the line about the lady being Jewish in When I Turn Out the Living Room Lights. It wasn’t meant as an anti-Semitic thing, obviously. One of my minor songs anyway…
Swamp'd: Ray Davies Interview

Another thing to note -- Ray didn't write this for release on a Kinks album, it was just dug up with a bunch of other tracks and released without his permission -- and he sued to have the LP withdrawn. It may even have been written for a TV show (he was doing a lot of that then) or for a specific character. In no way was it ever meant to be a personal statement by Ray of his own beliefs.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:06 PM
 
637 posts, read 644,410 times
Reputation: 959
I know that people will say, "it was just a joke" or "I included myself" et cetera. I am just not a fan of those types of lyrics. Just my two cents....
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:19 AM
 
9,761 posts, read 6,723,628 times
Reputation: 2484
Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattangirl View Post
I know that people will say, "it was just a joke" or "I included myself" et cetera. I am just not a fan of those types of lyrics. Just my two cents....
After getting over the initial impulse of posting the song I think you are correct. And the fact that he did not want the song published makes me think he realized he had an "oops" moment.

The song appears in a collection called the Kinks Lost Album which was a publication of songs that never saw the light at the time they were recorded.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:19 AM
 
2,414 posts, read 2,423,344 times
Reputation: 2850
Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattangirl View Post
Do you really write that this is "not anti-Semetic" and that you don't "mean to offend?"

Read the lyrics:
Who cares if you're Jewish,
And your breath smells of garlic,
And your nose is a shiny red light.
To me you are gorgeous,
And everything's right,
When I turn off the living room light.

Your clothes are old-fashioned,
Your knuckles are bony,
Your hair looks a terrible sight.
But I don't have to see you,
The way that you are,
When I turn off the living room light.
When I turn off the living room light.
I don't have to see you,
The way that you are,
When I turn off the living room light.

Well it's not that you are ugly,
And I'm not being cruel,
It helps me to relax, dear,
It helps to keep me cool.
Now I am not intending,
To make you feel ashamed,
What's wrong in me pretending?
'Cause you can't help being plain.

Your nose may be bulbous,
Your face may be spotty,
Your skin may be wrinkled and tight.
But I don't want to see you,
The way that you are,
So I turn off the living room light.

We don't feel so ugly,
We don't feel so draggy,
We don't feel so twisted up tight.
And we don't feel as ugly as we really are,
When we turn off the living room light.
When we turn off the living room light.
We don't feel as ugly as we really are,
When we turn off the living room light.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
I was shocked when I first this song, but I don't think it is. I think it is a statement against discrimination. I am a Ray Davies fan and I believe his message is not what you think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattangirl View Post
This is a good commentary on the song.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattangirl View Post
I know that people will say, "it was just a joke" or "I included myself" et cetera. I am just not a fan of those types of lyrics. Just my two cents....

I think that group really needs to work out all the "kinks" in their song! (get it? "kinks" "Kinks")
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:24 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,708,360 times
Reputation: 9029
Spend some time in Tel Aviv
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,112,597 times
Reputation: 1399
Do you think this song is anti-Semitic?


You Don't Have To Be Jewish - The Ballad of Irving - YouTube

Last edited by hiker45; 01-03-2014 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
1,687 posts, read 2,056,590 times
Reputation: 2132
To the OP, I went to all the similar type functions you went to and wasn't thrilled either. Ultimately, I found a gorgeous woman who later became my wife. Without going into details, she was the sister-in-law of a friend of mine that I met during a visit to his home.

Be patient. You'll find a woman in the least expecting situations.
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