Song of the Day: “Ooh La La”

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Today, I was inspired to choose a song that I had never heard before a few hours ago. This is not something that I usually do, as I often prefer to discuss music that I already know and like. But life is about change, new experiences, and all that. And if I weren’t open to change, I’d likely just keep spitting out articles about old songs that I used to listen to in high school. Excuse me for saying it, but I think there’s just too much damn boring nostalgia in the world already for me to indulge in my own memories.

So what sparked this change? Nothing else but being exposed to something new. A movie that I’d never seen. That’s all. This was the song that played in the last scene and over the end credits of Wes Anderson’s 1998 film, “Rushmore”, which I watched earlier today. For a more in-depth look at its soundtrack, you can read the article I just finished here. But I think that’s more than enough context. Let’s get on with it, then.

“Ooh La La”

“Ooh La La” is a 1973 song by the English rock band Faces, released on their last album of the same name. While Rod Stewart sang lead vocals for most of their songs, Ronnie Wood took his place for this one.

The song describes a conversation between a young man and his grandfather, who gives him advice about women. “Poor old granddad / I laughed at all his words / I thought he was a bitter man / He spoke of woman’s ways”.

Unfortunately, the lyrics reveal just how dated this song is. Apparently, the grandfather’s advice is mostly to not trust women because they lead you on and ultimately disappoint you. Take this stanza, for instance.

“They’ll trap you, then they use you / Before you even know / For love is blind and you’re far too kind / Don’t ever let it show”.

Yeah, great advice from a bitter old grandpa. But there’s still at least one useful nugget to be found in this song. While most of the content doesn’t necessarily inspire me, the chorus stands alone, presenting a few thoughtful words of wisdom.

“I wish that I knew what I know now / When I was younger / I wish that I knew what I know now / When I was stronger”.

Within the context of this song, I’ll admit that the message isn’t great. It’s more than likely that my perception of it was strongly influenced by its use in “Rushmore”. Though I don’t agree with 75 percent of this song’s message, I’m at least glad that I can extract something useful from it. I hope you manage to do the same.

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