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Issue #36 (August 1984)
Maybe The Old Gray Mare ain't what she used to be, but the old song's title, if followed, might assault your nose with an unpleasant odor but wouldn't lead you to perdition. The same can't be said about many old songs. For instance, take Get Out and Get Under The Moon. Follow that dictum and you'll soon be mugged or murdered or both. When the moon is high, [quoteright]nowadays, it's safer to be battened in behind locked doors. A lot of the old song titles, brought into modern social conditions, translate into just plain bad advice. In an ever more crowded world, Solitude, like a good man, is hard to find, and if found, may be labeled Perfidia by many who suffer the lot of A Bird in a Gilded Cage.
There are now many dangers undreamed of by the old song writers, like radioactivity. Nowadays, anything that shines has to be looked upon with suspicion. Approach that Glowworrn only with lead gloves. Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes or Stardust in your soup, and think twice before exhorting that Harvest Moon shine on. And it doesn't help that the PR men now call the annual slaughter of baby Harp Seals a "harvest."
If you heed the siren call of Come Josephine in my Flying Machine you could be shot down by a Russian fighter plane. Go around singing Daddy's Little Girl and you'll be charged with child abuse, or try whistling You Always Hurt the One You Love and you'll soon be hearing about the "battered wife syndrome."
You could get killed by a drunken teenage driver while on your way home
in your Merry Oldsmobile, Alter the Ball.
Sing Old Rockin' Chair and everybody will start bending your ear about their favorite exercise program.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes will set all the rabid cancer mavens to screaming at you.
Sleepy Time Gal and Dream a Little Dream of Me are only for drug pushers.
Singing in the (acid) Rain will immediately involve you in transnational verbal warfare.
And if anyone asks you What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life tell 'em it will probably be too short to matter.