OMGWTFLOL: Think – “Once You Understand” (1971)

Posted by Anattracted Unterberger on January 16, 2007


OMGWTFLOL is a series extending some of the most bizarre and inexplicable moments in Pop Culture background.

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I’ve recently got a taste for spoken word hits of the 60s and 70s, the excellent majority of which I had never also heard of prior to I started listening to the 60s and 70s stations on my parents’ XM. My 2 favorites are more than likely Victor Lumberg’s “An Open Letter to My Teenage Son” (#10 in 1967) and Byron MacGregor’s “Americans”, (#4 in 1974) yet tright here were a entirety host of these in a ten-year duration between ’65 and also ’74–Johnny Sea’s “Day for Decision,” Sgt. Barry Sadler’s “The Ballad of the Eco-friendly Berets” (the #1 single of 1966, extremely enough) and also even Gordon Sinclair’s original variation of “Americans (A Canadian’s Opinion)”. Even even more significant than the number of these was just exactly how similarly devastating they all were–all preachy, right-wing, pro-Amerideserve to diatribes commfinishing the old guard and also disparaging those damned newfangled youngsters.

Even among such company, however, Think’s “Once You Understand” (a #23 hit in 1971) stands alone. At first, the song shows up to be a plea for parents to be more expertise and much less overbearing to their children–grouchy-sounding parent forms intone such phrases as “I expect you to acquire a hairreduced by friday…you’ll carry out as I say as long as you’re living in my house!” and also “You’d better be residence by TEN–or don’t bvarious other coming residence at all!” while their kids act shocked and also outraged by their parents’ strictness, and also in the background, hippie-sounding voices chant “Things get a tiny easier…once you understand.” But every one of a sudden, the music abruptly cuts out, and also an authoritative-sounding voice tells a “Mr. Kirk” that “you’d better come down to the terminal house–your son is dead.” The parent responds “DEAD?? …WHY?” “He died of an overdose,” the voice increates him (dance aficianados will of course instantly identify this area from its use in 4 Hero’s rave classic, “Mr. Kirk’s Nightmare.”) The father is left sobbing, as the voice comes back in, currently faded and ghostly, “things get a tiny easier…as soon as you understand….”

From this part, it would seem favor the song is actually a warning to kids, and that we were supposed to sympathize via the parents all along, considering that they were just being strict because they loved their children and also cared for their safety. But was tbelow really ever before a time in background once paleas might say points favor “Why don’t you sit dvery own and also read a book? You’re wasting your life on foolish things!” or “If you can’t figure that out for yourself, you’re STUPID!” or “Son, there’s a tiny even more to life than…joining a group, or…playing a guitar!” and also not be meant to sound completely ridiculous? Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was just 13 years amethod at this point, did the people actually shift that seismically in that period of time? Or was the song actually going a level deeper, attemptiing to tell parental fees that if they’re not even more understanding via their youngsters, then they could press them so far ameans that they might obtain associated via drugs and other dangerous pastimes?

Answers to these inquiries are few and far between, at least those that can be found on the internet–the band also has no Wikipedia page, no Allmusic enattempt, seems to have no easily accessible discography and no compilation appearances (most likely why the just variation I might find of it is a shitty vinyl rip). In truth, the only google hits the song comes up through are blog and webboard short articles of people who heard the song on XM and also were simply as puzzled as I was.

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Clearly on this is a mystery we were never supposed to understand also totally. At least Think get the distinction of having actually perhaps the just spoken word hit that isn’t mind-numbing in its single-minded simplicity, also if it is mind-numbing in countless other methods.