One day, many years ago, a magician came to my preschool. Just before he was about to pull a rabbit out of his hat, or whatever, he asked all us kids to help him by shouting “The Magic Word.” We all shouted “Pleeeeeeeease!!” much to the delight of our parents. The magician told us that please was a very good magic word, but he had another one in mind. He was, of course, referring to “abracadabra,” but I think we were right.
At the risk of sounding old, it feels to me as if we could stand to be more courteous to each other. My personal philosophy is that each and every day, my actions can either make being here on Earth a little more pleasant, or a little more shitty. I choose the former. I smile at strangers, hold open doors for people, and when I see a shopping cart blocking a parking space I take it to the front of the store with me. I’m not going to win the Nobel Peace Prize with these small gestures, but I think it makes navigating the world a bit nicer for all of us.
Now, off my soapbox and onto the music. Please enjoy!
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want, The Smiths (1984)
My husband likes to replace all Smiths’ lyrics with the word “whine.” I hate to admit it, because I love the Smith’s, but it is pretty funny. That being said, this is a gorgeous song. “Please, Please, Please…” is full of beautiful desperation tinted with a hesitant hopefulness. My only complaint about this song is that it is too short. I’m left hanging every time I hear it and consequently end up hitting the repeat button. Maybe that’s the point though, we are left to wonder if Morrissey ever got what he wanted in the end.
Please, Selah Sue (feat. Cee-Lo Green) (2010)
Wow! Where did this little Belgian bite of soul come from? Apparently she’s been around for a couple years now, and I regret that I didn’t find her sooner. “Please” is as smooth and funky as Speculoos, aka Biscoff Spread, another Belgian delight that I am in love with. I have obviously been underestimating the awesomeness of Belgium.
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, Bob Dylan (1965)
There is a lot of discussion about what this song means, if it has any particular meaning at all, but then Dylan has always been good at building puzzles. Some say it’s about tempting a woman into an affair, and I guess if you are asking a woman for that kind of favor you should say please. The talented musicians backing Bob were known as The Hawks, that is before they became The Band and recorded a few hits of their own.
Please Don’t Go Girl, New Kids on the Block (1988)
I know, I know, but I had to. NKOTB was my very first concert. This is little Joey McEntyre’s big moment, though it’s always disturbing to hear a child whose voice hasn’t changed yet singing about the complexity of love. You also have to give props to Jordan Knight for his mad falsetto, really. This song is chock-full of all sorts of manipulative stunts to induce swoons among pre-teen girls. An impassioned narrative, oh-so-sensitive lyrics and the occasional whisper. It’s a good thing I saw them at an outdoor amphitheater. If we had been indoors, the collective gasps of all us little girls might have depleted the oxygen to disastrously low levels.