Radio 54, side A, track 6: “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna, #38 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

Madonna - Papa Don't PreachOh, Madonna, I was actually very familiar with this song already because I’d bought the “True Blue” cassette, mostly because you looked really attractive on the cover of it.  So it was a nice surprise when the music on it ended up being awesome as well.  So by the time I recorded this one on New Year’s Eve, I’d probably heard this one about a million times.  But still excited to have recorded it.  I always felt just a teensy bit cooler if the radio played a song that I already knew about.

I don’t think I put a lot of thought into it back in the day, but this song represented one of my worst nightmares.  Outside of demonic possession and the Rapture happening before I got to open Christmas presents, that is.  And that was pregnancy.  Not like I was scared of pregnant women or anything like that, Madonna, which would have been hilarious and creepy if I ran screaming from any pregnant woman I saw.  No, Madonna, I was scared to death of getting someone pregnant.  It was a big reason why my virginity stayed largely intact until well into college.  Well, that and the fact that I had a mullet and wore a lot of denim shirts.

But yeah, Madonna, I was absolutely terrified of being the guy your daddy was warning you all about.  Part of it was being saddled with a kid when I was just a kid myself, but an even bigger part was the shame.  I don’t know if it was my parents or if it was self-imposed, but I was petrified of having to tell my parents that I’d gotten someone pregnant.  So forget spending all this money on birth control, Madonna.  The shame of facing my parents was the best birth control there was to be had during high school.  That ebbed a little bit during college, but not much.  I became a bit obsessed with my girlfriends’ menstrual cycles.  Any time they were a day late for a period was a heart-wrenching 24 hours in this humble writer’s life.  And it’s really hard to casually slip in “So have you had your period yet?” over dinner and a movie.  Although I did.

Obviously, for someone as neurotic as I was about conception, maybe I shouldn’t have been trying to do it so much.  But luckily (spoiler alert), no kids then or now.  Now, if I found out I was going to be a dad, I’m sure I’d still panic, and I’d lament that my impending child just got stuck with a neurotic, anxiety-ridden man-child for a father, but I’d deal.  Or let’s be honest, I’d let my wife do most of the dealing.  But hey, if you, who was not known for being the domestic type when this song first came out, are okay with keeping your baby, maybe I can be, too.

“Papa Don’t Preach”

<awesome Madonna jam>

Papa, I know you’re going to be upset

‘Cause I was always your little girl

But you should know by now
I’m not a baby

You always taught me right from wrong

I need your help, Daddy, please be strong

May be young at heart, but I know what I’m sayin’

The one you warned me all about
The one you said I could do without
We’re in an awful mess
And I don’t mean maybe

Please, Papa, don’t preach
I’m in trouble deep
Papa, don’t preach
I been losin’ sleep
But I made up my mind
I’m keepin’ my baby

Ooo, I’m gonna keep my baby, mmmmmmm

He says that he’s going to marry me

We can raise a little family

Maybe we’ll be all right
It’s a sacrifice

But my friends keep tellin’ me to give it up
Sayin’ I’m too young, I oughta live it up

What I need right now
Is some good advice
Please, Papa, don’t preach
I’m in trouble deep
Papa, don’t preach
I been losin’ sleep
But I made up my mind
I’m keepin’ my baby

Ooo, I’m gonna keep my baby
Ooo, ohhh

<awesome Madonna jam>

Daddy Daddy, if you could only see

Just how good he’s been treatin’ me

You’d give us your blessing right now
‘Cause we are in loooove
We are in loooove (in love)
So please (so)
Papa, don’t preach
I’m in trouble deep
Papa, don’t preach
I been losin’ sleep
But I made up my mind
I’m keepin’ my baby

Ooo, I’m gonna keep my baby
Ooo, ohhh

Papa, don’t preach
I’m in trouble deep
Papa, don’t preach
I been losin’ sleep
Papa, don’t preach
I’m in trouble deep
Papa, don’t preach
I been losin’ sleeeeep
(Papa, don’t preach)
Ohhhhh
I’m gonna keep my baby
(Papa, don’t preach) Ooooo
(Papa, don’t preach) Donchoo stop lovin’ me, Daddy
(Papa, don’t preach) I know I’m
Keepin’ my baby

<awesome Madonna jam>

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2 thoughts on “Radio 54, side A, track 6: “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna, #38 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

  1. […] that were also included on “Polka Party”, including “Rock Me Amadeus” and “Papa Don’t Preach”, PLUS there were a ton of other songs that I’d forgotten were highlighted in that song, like […]

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  2. […] to hold up in the test of time.  And sometimes it’s easy when you’ve got a song by Madonna or Michael Jackson, but then sometimes you’ve got a song by Roxette or Club Nouveau, also […]

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