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The Judy's - Grass is Greener - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Nov. 2nd, 2009

08:13 pm - The Judy's - Grass is Greener

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There was this band local to Pearland, TX, called The Judy's. I might have mentioned them here before; they were one of my favorite bands back in college, and when I learned recently that their albums were available on CD, I ordered my own copies. The songs are still every bit as much fun as I remembered...

But there's this one song, "Grass is Greener", that touches on transgender issues, and hearing it again now, though it's still as fun and catchy as ever, the attitudes behind the lyrics are now rather badly out of date. It goes as follows:


Johnny is a boy
He wants to be a girl
More than anything
In the whole wide world

When he's up and able
Right off the operating table
Where they tuck it in...
He'll be a girl.

It's an old cliché
Heard it all his life:
"Grass is greener on the other side."

Jonna is a girl
She wants to be a boy
Just the thought of it
Fills her with such joy

When she's up and able
Right off the operating table
Where they sew it on...
She'll be a boy.

It's an old cliché
Heard it all her life:
"Grass is greener on the other side."

They'll never be happy
They'll never feel satisfied
'Cause grass is greener on the other side.

Whoa ah oh


The undue focus solely on genital surgery, the failure to adjust pronouns, and of course the false assumption that TG individuals can "never be happy"... it's all wrong! (Not to mention the name "Jonna"; meh, I don't like it!) But still... it's such a catchy tune. Rather than pretend this song doesn't exist and sweep it under the rug, I decided it needed updating, so I've taken the liberty of modifying the words. My version goes thus:


Johnny is a boy
He wants to be a girl
More than anything
In the whole wide world.

When he fills the forms out
And takes them to the district courthouse
Where they change his name...
She'll be a girl.

It's an old cliché
Heard it all her life:
"Grass is greener on the other side."

Jenny is a girl
She wants to be a boy
Just the thought of it
Fills her with such joy.

With hormones injected
Until a beard can be detected,
And a change in voice...
He'll be a boy.

It's an old cliché
Heard it all his life:
"Grass is greener on the other side."

And now they are happy
And now they feel satisfied
Their grass was greener on the other side.

Whoa ah oh



Much better, don't you think? I like to sing my version over theirs when I play the CD in my car.


Song can be temporarily found here: http://kinkyturtle.masemware.com/sound/music/TheJudys/The Judy's - Grass Is Greener.mp3

Current Music: The Judy's - Grass Is Greener (KT's version)

Comments:

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From:loriana
Date:November 3rd, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
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Yeah... i like the new lyrics better.

I am sure I could write some other lyrics that introduce the notion of how society and family held him/her back from undergoing the change earlier in life... and the resulting problems that that caused...

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From:tracerj
Date:November 3rd, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
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I approve. Of course, I ignore the grass on either side and prefer that on the knoll....
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
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The knoll is a nice place to relax, get some fresh air, some sun... only problem is, there's no place to hide.

Unless of course you're like two or three feet tall, you can levitate, you wear a badge, and you have the ability to look like a dappled pattern of tree leaves even while firing a gun.
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From:timmowarner
Date:November 3rd, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
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I would have kept the pronouns the same because it's a hypothetical situation that hasn't happened yet so the person you're talking about is still their original sex.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
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Except that TG people tend to prefer to be referred to by pronouns that reflect their mental gender rather than their physical birth gender.
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From:timmowarner
Date:November 3rd, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
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But then shouldn't it be

"When she fills the forms out
And takes them to the district courthouse
Where they change her name...
She'll be a girl."

If you only change the second instance then you're acknowleging that it was the act at the courthouse that makes the difference and not their preference, and that's not much better than the wording on the surgery.

Edited at 2009-11-03 06:08 am (UTC)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
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I wrote it that way for dramatic suspense.

Though I'd love to hear from interested parties if your wording would in fact be better.
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From:wynnefox
Date:November 3rd, 2009 07:38 am (UTC)
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As for being TG I found the original song kinda sad, KT's version is very acceptable. Tim's is very polite.
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From:wynnefox
Date:November 3rd, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
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I should add, as personal opinion, I prefer KT's version.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 11:12 am (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 11:12 am (UTC)
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Besides, there is a certain sense of pride in being able to say, "It's official now!"
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
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It also occurs to me now that your version would break up the flow of the song rather badly.

"Johnny is a boy, he wants to be a girl..." OK, fine... "When she fills the forms out..." Whoa, the audience thinks; *she*?! What did we miss in between the stanzas? And while they're puzzling over that, blather about courthouses and changing names goes by half-ignored.

Holding the pronoun change until the climactic line "She'll be a girl" works best.
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From:timmowarner
Date:November 3rd, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
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No, that's not my version at all!

That's my illustration that to be consistant your version would have to change to that, but you said you did it that way for the poetic tension, which is fine.

In order to work at all, and to have the tension AND to meet what you thought was wrong with my original version, you would have to change the line "He will be a girl." completely because you didn't think it works as "he" and it makes no sense as "She will be a girl."

If you're saying "she" then she's obviously already a girl.

I never did a version I liked beyond the original statement I made.
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From:timmowarner
Date:November 3rd, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Actually, "She'll be a girl" works all right. After all, it's a song, not a documentary. But it works poetically, as you said.
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From:wildbilltx
Date:November 3rd, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
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What album was that from, and where can I get those CD's?

I lucked out years ago when I found copies at a Longview TX thrift store of "The Wonderful World of Appliances EP" with the xeroxed liner notes and also "Washarama"! Great band.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
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It's from the "Moo" album, which I highly recommend. I got my CD copies from http://www.wastedtalentrecords.com/ .
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From:nefaria
Date:November 3rd, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
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Eeeek, you could turn me into a girl by going to the courthouse and changing my name!
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From:deckardcanine
Date:November 3rd, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't say it's "outdated," just not very accurate. You can find plenty of people with the same misconceptions today.

At first I thought it was a problem that your version referred to an axiom that the grass is always greener on the other side. But the last stanza (not counting "Whoa ah oh" as its own stanza) implies a subversion. Sometimes the grass really is greener on just one side.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:November 3rd, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
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That's right!
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From:kohath
Date:November 5th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
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Read the original with a 'singular they' and make Johnny and Jonna the same person to make it less about transgenderedness and more about gender confusion, and it might work.

Or not.
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