These Ancient Eyes: “Escape” Revisited

Friday, July 22, 2011

“If you like Pina Coladas,
And getting caught in the rain…”

Who doesn’t know this song? I’m sure I’ve just gotten it stuck in quite a few people’s heads. Certainly over a certain age, pretty much everyone knows this song. It’s “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”, by Rupert Holmes, circa 1979 or so. And oddly enough, it is the topic of my blog today.

Bear with me through possibly one of the most random TAE blogs so far.

I ran out to do some errands this afternoon. One of the things I love about my 1994 Jeep Cherokee is the awesome stereo my parents had installed in it before my dad gave it to me about a year ago. And I love using it. I flip through stations, any time a station goes to commercial, I move on. I have preset buttons to all my favorites, and I jump around until I hear something I want to listen to. Today, on my way home from Walgreens, I  happened to stop on Escape.

Now, I’ve been hearing this song since I was a little girl. I remember hearing it specifically when I was around 7 or 8, and asking my mom what a pina colada was. All I got was “it’s a pineapple and coconut drink.” That sounded tasty to me! I had no idea for many years later that it was alcoholic as well. 😛 Though you can make a virgin one.

Though, of the lyrics and the story of the song, that’s really all I remembered consciously. I obviously remembered the REST of it, as today I was singing along with it without even thinking. And then I started listening to the lyrics.

This song is COMPLETELY unrealistic!

The premise is that there’s a guy, unhappy in his marriage, who starts reading the personals part of the newspaper, looking for someone to… well, there’s no delicate way to put this – he’s looking for someone to cheat on his wife with. He encounters the personal ad that makes up the first chorus of the song.

He then justifies his interest in it by saying that he and his “old lady’s” love life had grown stale. And so he takes out a personal ad in response, requesting a meeting with the Pina Colada person.

Upon going to meet this person (he actually went THROUGH with the meeting! the heel!), he recognizes her the moment she walks in the door… Not because of anything she said, but because it’s no one other than his wife!!

Now, here is where everything gets unrealistic. Not only has he gone through with cheating on her, but she was actually doing it BEFORE him, as her ad was already in the paper for him to find. In the real world, this would be a HUGE fight – both people are in the wrong, but it would ultimately be her (most likely) who is proven to have had the intent to be unfaithful FIRST, since she took out the original ad. This whole misunderstanding would lead to divorce, most likely!

However, in the song? They see each other, laugh, admit that neither knew they were talking to the other… and then have an amicable conversation realizing that neither ever knew the other liked Pina Coladas, etc, ending up with a reignition of their relationship. Very sweet. Very nice.

Incredibly unrealistic.

I will never be able to listen to that song the same way again. And now, thanks to me, neither will you. 😛 Don’t you love blogging and it’s propensity to spread one person’s opinions?  But, then again… that’s another blog topic entirely.