What age do songwriters treat as the beginning of lurv? Seventeen. And what do they almost always associate seventeen with, through the magic of rhyme? A queen. It’s very, very odd.
Boyd Bennet: Seventeen, hot rod queen …
Stevie Wright: You got the body of a woman, the way you move it like a queen / You got the face to raise a riot, and still you’re only seventeen.
ABBA: You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.
Samantha Fox: I’m seventeen, I’m a dancing queen …
Stray Cats: She’s sexy and seventeen, My little rock-roll queen …
Janis Ian: I learned the truth at seventeen / That love was meant for beauty queens.
They are bound to be others. Paul McCartney originally wrote ‘Well, she was just seventeen, never been a beauty queen’, but fortunately John Lennon proposed ‘You know what I mean’. And Queen are to be commended for sticking to gelatine and laser beams, while The Sex Pistols deserve a mention for the fascist regime and ain’t no human bean.
But what are songwriters teaching us?
- There are many more queens (of all kinds) in songs than there are in real life.
- Seventeen year-olds are totally up for it.