My whole life, I’ve had the Beatles’ song, “Michelle,” sung to me. When I was little, I thought it was cute. When I was a teen, I thought it was embarrassing. By the time I was in my twenties, I thought it was old. I think I dated my husband because he didn’t sing that song. When I worked, after college and before “retiring” to be a stay-at-home mom, I spent a lot of time on the phone with
slimeballs salesmen. At least half of them would sing that to me…and think it clever and original.
Since naming our daughter Mary, I’ve had the line, “Mary, Mary, why you buggin’?” running through my head. This past weekend, Bill and I found Run DMC’s video. It’s pretty funny. But I think you had to be a teen/young adult in the 80’s to truly appreciate it.
Here are the lyrics:
Mary Mary Mary you cold thumb suckin
Lookin for you, but you keep duckin
I wanna find you, I gotta tell you somethin
So just be quiet and don’t say NUTTIN
Mary Mary Mary why you out there stuntin?
Supposed to be with me, but now you’re FRONTIN
We started out new, you used to be true
Now you’re buggin, what’s wrong with you?
“Mary, Mary..” WHY YA BUGGIN?
“Mary, Mary..” I NEED YA HUGGIN
Now that I’ve heard the line in context, I’m trying to get it out of my head. “Michelle, my beautiful” might be annoying, but it’s nice. “Mary, why are you prostituting yourself?” is not a question I’d like to sing to my little girl! (Although the line after that isn’t bad.) I asked my neighbor, named Mary, if she knew of any songs about a girl named Mary. She didn’t.
I spent the first year after Jenny was born singing “867-5309.” I still haven’t found a good song with her name in it.
Katie, though, is much luckier. My parents started singing this one right away, and I sang it often when she was a baby.