I was listening to my cable providers music on demand station, the oldies station, and a song named “Patches” came on. There’s apparently TWO songs from the era named Patches, but they aren’t about the same Patches because one’s a boy and one’s a girl. This particular Patches was about the girl one. Dickey Lee sings of, “Patches my darling of old Shantytown,” with whom he was planning a summer wedding. Did this wedding happen? NO! His parents forbade it for no reason, sings Dickey. WHY!!?????
Well, it turns out, as poor Dickey overhears:
“I hear a neighbor telling my father
He says, a girl name of Patches was found floating face down
In that dirty old river that flows by the coal yards”
Uh, ok then. Dickey then sings of joining her that evening blah blah blah. Anyway, I looked at the album they had listed for it and it was: Last Kiss: Songs of Teen Tragedy. All the great teen deaths are there, from Leader of the Pack to Teen Angel! So many dead teens!
There are fourteen songs on this CD. Each more tragic than the next. But, they forgot a few:
1. “Braces,” about a boy (Johnny) and a girl (Judy) who made out and got their braces stuck together and starved to death.
2. “Sunburned Cutie,” sample lyrics:
She thought it’d be ok
just a few hours of sun and fun
but she was out there the whole day
When her momma came looking for her
all she found was a towel and sunglasses
she was just a sunburned cutie, a sun tanning amateur
3. “Lil’ Escalator Girl,” he never learned her name, he was at the mall and saw her from afar, then her shoelaces got caught in the escalator and all her skin came off.
4. “Prehistoric Rebel,” lyrics, the spoken climax:
But, Johnny didn’t want to sweep the cave floor
He ran away.
His sabretooth pelt got caught in a branch.
I saw him struggling, but there was nothing I could do.
A t-rex got him and ripped him in half.
Now I have to go to the dance….alone.
5. “Goodbye My Bicycling Baby,” about a responsible teen who thought motorcycles were too dangerous but ironically dies in a bicycling accident.
6. “Scattering Susie’s Ashes.” That’s pretty self explanatory.
7. “My Little Teen Funeral Girl,” this is about a girl who’s at another teen’s funeral (parachute didn’t open) who dies in a freak folding chair accident at the cemetery.
8. “Mama, Since You’re Dying Anyway, Can You Get a Message to Johnny?” lyrics:
Mama, I’ve got a message for Johnny
I’ve written down every word
If you end up croakin’
can you pass it on to him?
The bible says you can’t bring
personal possessions to heaven
but maybe, just maybe,
you can bring
other peoples’ notes
9. “I’ll Never Forget You (Because the Death of A Boyfriend is Just Generally Something You Don’t Forget)”
10. “Soda Shop Angel,” this would have been the saddest of all the teen tragedy songs if there weren’t three verses about the singer continuing to send his food back for various reasons.
11. “Angel Angel,” about the ghost of a dead teenager (running with scissors mishap) being exorcised from the house he was haunting, thus “dying” again and becoming a double angel, very rare.
12. “Why Couldn’t the Fire Ants Have Swarmed Me, Instead?” a young man’s lament at a romantic picnic gone wrong.