Now, don't get me wrong, I love all these songs – always have done, always will – but as each year passes, each time I hear them my mind goes rounder and rounder as I wonder how on earth the songwriters came up with those lyrics to that tune, in that way in that time.
Number 2: Love Child - The Supremes (1968)
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me)
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
Ah, the sixties. Free love. The sexual revolution. This makes sense to me. My dad describes his pre 1960 courtship of my mother as going to the Streatham Locarno every Friday night until someone agreed to dance and of then marrying them so he could get his leg over. The old charmer. But by the time he'd dumped us in a Clapham slum, and left us for a more glamorous sexy life around the world, the sixties were in full swing.
Venus was in furs. Shiny, shiny shiny, boots of leather. Where was I? Ah, yes, parties full of easy girls in mini-skirts mashing the potato to Booker T and the Green Onions, or something. Everyone was getting some, even Lynn Redgrave in Georgy Girl (if she'd only shed her dowdy feathers anyway).
But not in Motown. Not on Diana's watch. Or Berry Gordy's watch. Or,um, whatever - look whoever said artists had to be consistent between their own lives and their art? Not me. But sex outside marriage gets a right good kicking here – in the summer of love.
I guess in its own way, Beyonce's 'you should have put a ring on it' is close in sentiment, but I can't think of any other song, saying this. Not then, not now, not ever. Love Child is of course a much nicer term than the one they really mean and presumably couldn't actually say at that time. Plus it's mighty hard to rhyme much with bastard.
This love we're contemplating
is worth the pain of waiting
We'll only end up hating the child we may be creating.
Don't think I don't need you
Don't think I don't want to please you
No child of mine will be bearing
the name of shame I've been wearing.