Guilty Pleasure No. 56: Once You Understand By Think


Things get a little easier

Once you understand

That is the message of TSL’s latest guilty pleasure, a little song from 1971 called Once You Understand.  In case you missed that message the first time, don’t worry.  It will be repeated.  In fact, it’s the only lyric in the entire song.  The song starts with one voice singing, “Things get a little easier/once you understand” but soon, several other voice join in until there’s a heavenly choir of sorts.  It’s really enthusiastic choir, too.  In fact, it’s so enthusiastic that it’s a little bit creepy.  No one’s that happy about understanding.

While the voices are singing to us that things get a little easier once you understand, we also get to listen to a few scenes from the late 60s/early 70s generation gap.  The scenes are acted out by a bunch of uncredited actors who give it the old community theater try.  We listen to teenagers argue with their parents and parents talk down to their children and what we immediately notice is that no one is trying to understand and therefore, things will never get a little easier.

One mother accuses her daughter of doing more than babysitting and demands that she stay out of a certain neighborhood.  A father demands that his son get a haircut and reminds him that he had to work hard when he was young.  Another kid is super excited to have gotten a guitar and he’s planning on starting a band.  His father replies that there’s more to life than music.

Things get a little easier

Once you understand

Things get a little easier

Once you understand

Things get a little

Suddenly, the music stops.  We listen as one of the fathers gets a tragic phone call about his son, the one that he didn’t understand.  The father sobs uncontrollably as the song ends and I guess it could, in theory, have been a powerful moment if not for the fact that father is so obviously reading a script.  The other problem is that 99% of the song consists of parents acting like jerks but then, in the final few moments, it turns out that at least one of the parents was right about his son throwing his life away.  So maybe, it was the son who needed to understand.  Who knows?

Anyway, Once You Understand is one of those songs that’s often included in lists of the worst songs of all time.  However, much like The Dawn of Correction, I like Once You Understand because it is so totally a product of its time.  It’s a cultural artifact and listening to it is a bit like stepping into a time machine.  That said, I kind of doubt this song inspired anyone to understand.  If anything, everyone comes across as being kind of whiny.

Previous Guilty Pleasures

  1. Half-Baked
  2. Save The Last Dance
  3. Every Rose Has Its Thorns
  4. The Jeremy Kyle Show
  5. Invasion USA
  6. The Golden Child
  7. Final Destination 2
  8. Paparazzi
  9. The Principal
  10. The Substitute
  11. Terror In The Family
  12. Pandorum
  13. Lambada
  14. Fear
  15. Cocktail
  16. Keep Off The Grass
  17. Girls, Girls, Girls
  18. Class
  19. Tart
  20. King Kong vs. Godzilla
  21. Hawk the Slayer
  22. Battle Beyond the Stars
  23. Meridian
  24. Walk of Shame
  25. From Justin To Kelly
  26. Project Greenlight
  27. Sex Decoy: Love Stings
  28. Swimfan
  29. On the Line
  30. Wolfen
  31. Hail Caesar!
  32. It’s So Cold In The D
  33. In the Mix
  34. Healed By Grace
  35. Valley of the Dolls
  36. The Legend of Billie Jean
  37. Death Wish
  38. Shipping Wars
  39. Ghost Whisperer
  40. Parking Wars
  41. The Dead Are After Me
  42. Harper’s Island
  43. The Resurrection of Gavin Stone
  44. Paranormal State
  45. Utopia
  46. Bar Rescue
  47. The Powers of Matthew Star
  48. Spiker
  49. Heavenly Bodies
  50. Maid in Manhattan
  51. Rage and Honor
  52. Saved By The Bell 3. 21 “No Hope With Dope”
  53. Happy Gilmore
  54. Solarbabies
  55. The Dawn of Correction

2 responses to “Guilty Pleasure No. 56: Once You Understand By Think

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 6/6/22 — 6/12/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: Guilty Pleasure No. 57: The Voyeurs (dir by Michael Mohan) | Through the Shattered Lens

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