The Facts of Life in Popular Song
THE LATE Ring Lardner had been hammering away at the suggestiveness of our popular song lyrics for a long time, but too often letting his honest indignation get the better of his sense of humor. Most of our smutty song texts can be more effectively spoofed than viewed with alarm.
But the popular song's handling of the Facts of Life is only one angle of an intensely interesting subject. The musical and literary output of Tin Pan Alley has acquired a national and social significance that makes it worth some fairly serious study, quite apart from the derision which it so patently invites.
The popular song has become a most revealing index to American life in general. It sums up the ethics, the habits, the slang, the intimate character of every generation, and