As a young scamp, I grew up on a healthy diet of 1960s rock, from the Beatles to Derek and the Dominoes and, of course, The Kinks. Unfortunately, I only get a taste of the Kinks Triumvirate: “You Really Got Me,” “All Day, And All of the Night,” and “Lola.” They were wonderful uptempo, catchy rockers, and exclusively the only three songs of the band they’d play on radio. The first two are deceivingly simple, hard driving, just straight up rockin’ songs. Everyone knows that opening riff to “You Really Got Me.” It’s damn near the epitome of rock and roll!
And then “Lola” which is just so catchy. You’re five or six, and saying “lo-lo-lo-lola” is just so darn fun. And you’re singing about this girl named Lola and things are great, and a memory is implanted in your brain about that fun catchy song about that girl. Throughout your life, you’ll hear it in the background on the radio, and whimsically think back to those innocent times as a child, singing about “c-o-l-a cola” and not having a worry in the world. Oh those halcyon days of youth.
Let’s say, twenty years pass. You grow up, get The Kinks’ “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Pt. 1” put some headphones on and sit back to enjoy this incredible album. “Oh,” you realize, “Lola’s on here! I haven’t heard that song in forever!” After waiting for the track to almost magically pop up, the guitar intro begins, and all is right with the world. It just feels like…home. In your happiness, you even mouth the “cola” part, smiling. You continue to listen past the opening and all of a sudden the song you always thought you knew is changed forever.
Because you realize about a full verse in that this song is ABSOLUTELY about a trannie.
Not in some opaque, “brooo you have to LISTEN to the song to really understand the feeeeeeling” way. Blatantly, pointedly about a man dressed as a woman. There is honestly no mistaking it. Plain as day, song about a dude dressed as a woman. The mind spins. “How could I have missed this?” “At what point was I not intelligent enough to simply listen to this song and put two and two together?” Much like re-watching a movie you loved as a child as an adult and realizing you didn’t get half the jokes, it’s just a total mind blowing experience (my example: Major League – the manager PISSES ON DORN’S CONTRACT! That wasn’t on USA Network!).
So please, enjoy Lola above, and if you didn’t realize before, realize it now: The Davies boys are singing about a dude, the entire song, which really makes the song’s massive popularity 3000X times better and the ditty itself a whole lot more fun and ridiculous.