Radio 60, side A, track 6: “Love Child” by Sweet Sensation

Sweet Sensation - Love ChildOh, Sweet Sensation, is this even a thing anymore?  Let’s back up.  LOVE IT!  Obviously The Supremes version is the more well-known, but this was the first version I ever heard, and as much as I love the Supremes’ version, in my head there’s always going to be a little bit of Latin flair to this one thanks to your faithful version.

So, yeah, anyway, would anybody even know what a love child even is these days?  In this day and age where the definition of family has become about as flexible as you can imagine, the idea of a kid being ashamed about being born out of wedlock seems kinda quaint.  Of course, having been a kid myself, I recognize that kids can be dicks, so I’m sure there’s some little ten-year-old jerk making fun of somebody for just that reason.  Now, not having money, that I can see.  Even growing up where I did, where the rich were rich only by perspective, kids who wore hand-me-downs or throw-me-outs got picked on.

And I have to believe that someone in Minnesota came up with the term “love child” in the first place.  What a gloriously passive-aggressive moniker.  Seriously, two of the sweetest, most innocent words in the English language smashed together to make a judgmental label so judgmental that you almost have to follow saying it with a condescending “tsk tsk”.

Don’t get me wrong, Sweet Sensation, back in the day, there was always a little bit of judgmental glee surrounding an unplanned pregnancy that didn’t involve me.  And even now, as I’m working on my family tree and plugging in names and dates, I have a compulsion to see how many months after a marriage the first child was born.  Now, though, when I realize that there may have been more than a few shotguns involved in my family’s various nuptials, I’m not feeling smug superiority but instead more of a sense of relief.

For one of my college classes, we had to interview someone who grew up during the Great Depression, so I interviewed my great-aunt, who had been born in Holland and came to the States when she was five. We had a great time chatting, and she gave me a lot of dirt, but the most shocking discovery was that she herself was a love child, conceived during one of my great-grandpa’s free weekends when he wasn’t guarding the border from Germany.  At the time, I was gleeful just because I couldn’t fathom that my great-grandparents got up to such shenanigans.  Now, thinking about it, it’s just a relief to know that nothing’s new under the sun.

I sometimes worry that when previous generations complain that things were so much better when they were younger and that we really have fallen into ruin, that maybe they’re right.  So I always feel better when I can get confirmation that there’s no real such thing as “the good old days”.  Because if that were true, then that means we’re missing stuff like slavery and women not voting and kids being treated like pariahs for having the misfortune of being born with a question mark on their birth certificates.

So thanks, Sweet Sensation, not only for remaking a great song, but for reminding me that even though we live in a world where the Kardashian family exists and have become gazillionaires because one of their kids made a sex tape, we also live in a world where this song has become a quaint anachronism.

“Love Child”

<awesome Sweet Sensation jam>

Oooooooooo
Oooooooooo

You think that I don’t feel love
But what I feel for you is real love
In other’s eyes I see reflected, a hurt, scorn
Rejected love child

Never meant ta be

Love child

Born in poverty

Love child

Never meant ta be

Love child

Take a look at me

Started my life
In an old, cold, rundown tenement slum

My father left, he never even married Mom
Or shared the gift my Momma knew
So afraid that others knew I had no naaaaame

This love we’re contemplating
Is it worth the pain of waiting
We’ll only end up hating the child
We may be creating, love child

Never meant ta be

Love child

Society

Love child

Always second best

Love child

Different from the reeeest

Ah ah
Uh wah ooo
Ooooo

Ah ah
Uh wah ooo
Ooooo yeah

Started school
In a worn, torn dress that somebody threw out

I knew the way it felt to always live in doubt
To be without the simple things
So afraid my friends could see the guilt in meeeee

Don’t think that I don’t needja
Don’t think I don’t want ta please ya
But no child of mine will be bearin’
The name of shame I been wearin’, love child

Never meant ta be

Love child

Born in poverty

Love child

Never meant ta be

Love child

Take a look at meeeee, yeeeeeeah

<awesome Sweet Sensation jam>

Love child

Love child

Oooooooooooooooooooh

Love child

Never meant ta be

Love child

Society

Love child

Always second best

Love child

Different from the rest

Love child

Never quite as good

Afraid
Ashamed
Misunderstood

I’ll always loooove yoooou

I’ll always love
You-hoo-hooooooo

You-hoo-hoooo yeeeah, yeeeeah

You-hoo-hooooooooo

You-hoo-hoooooooooooo

Love child

Never quite as good

Afraid
Ashamed
Misunderstood

But I’ll always love you

I’ll always love
You-ooo-ooooo

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