A Piece of Filth

It’s kind of late in the game to be writing about a song that was released in 2014, but it’s being played on the so-called “family-friendly” station constantly for some reason, and every time I turn on the radio, I bump into it. Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s” is a bit of pseudo-musical grime about a so-called “liberated woman” who is haunted by her past lovers.

The lyrics of the bridge are beautifully arrogant:

One, two, three, they gonna run back to me
‘Cause I’m the best baby that they never gotta keep
One, two, three, they gonna run back to me
They always wanna come, but they never wanna leave

Nice double entendre about coming and leaving, then the assumption that all these guys will want to run straight back to her because she’s apparently “the best” but nobody can keep her because she’s just so hard to get. Too bad she didn’t listen to any other similar-sounding pop stars. Then she’d realize she’s a dime a dozen.

Yes, this isn’t the dirtiest song on the radio, but the fact that it’s dirty and slutty (ooh, I slut-shamed… how dare me?!?) doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that it represents sheer arrogance or that the radio station that plays the song used to play decent music when I first started listening to them, and now they’re playing more and more popular songs and less of the “good stuff” from the 80s and 90s. Children listen to this station all the time, so I guess their parents will just have to convince them that Elle King’s song is about tic-tac-toe. Or if all else fails, they could listen to the Kidz Bop version, which replaces the words “lover” and “baby” with “friend” and “come” with “hang.” (Actually, no. Don’t listen to that.)

Moral of the story: If you have children, don’t turn on mainstream radio unless you happen to have a commercial-free classical music station being broadcast near you.