Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Please wait at the gates of Heaven for me, Terry...

Ever since I was a little girl I've had an obsession. That obsession is for 'Teen Tragedy' tracks. Back in the 60s there was a spate of records released that told stories of star-crossed teen lovers that would ultimately end with one, or both of them dying. They are beautiful and camp and totally gorgeous songs that have stayed with me forever. They conjure images of leather jackets and motorcycles, good girls gone bad and giving the middle finger to their suburban daddies. What more could you possibly want? A song about a sweetheart who gets killed by a shark attack? Coming right up (no, really!).
I think I first heard Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-La's and that is what started me off. You probably know of it. It's a bit of a joke now but I bet you weren't aware that it's actually THE GREATEST SONG EVER? The majority of The Shangri-La's songs are about teen tragedy, they are the 'myrmidons of melodrama', as their greatest hits record is called. How amazing is that? Leader of the Pack has got to be the greatest tragedy song, it's even got screeching tyres worked into it!

Can you even imagine a time when a record would be banned from radio play for being "too morbid"? That's what happened to 'Tell Laura I Love Her', a tale of one man's bid to provide for his girl and ending up in a firey car wreck. What about Twinkle's 'Terry', which got banned a couple of months before The Shangri-La's took the charts by storm. Twinkle was a seventeen year old girl singing about her boyfriend dying, can you imagine anything more fabulous?!
I've made a mix of my favourite teen tragedy songs, a long with some other songs about rebels and such over here on youtube. Why don't you give it a listen and be transported back to a different time? Come back and tell me what your favourites are or if you have any others you want to share!

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