Young Man, Older Woman: Top Ten Cougar Anthems
Congratulations to Houston folksinger Glenna Bell. Her "The Cougar Anthem," from this year's Perfectly Legal: Songs of Sex, Love and Murder, was singled out Tuesday alongside Aaron Neville, Keith Richards, Norah Jones and Paul McCartney & Wings in USA Today's weekly "The Playlist" feature.
In the song, which is streaming on Bell's Web site, she makes no bones about why a certain young man has caught her eye: "He's 19 years old and hot." He's also carless and broke; not a dealbreaker, she explains, because "I've got my own money and I've got my own car." His lack of ex-wives is also a plus.
And so "The Cougar Anthem" joins an artistic tradition examining the allure of young men and older women - and often the problems created by their mutual attraction - that dates back to the days of Sophocles. As you might expect, the subject has come up once or twice in pop music before Bell got her, well, paws on it.
Just in case you're wondering if Rocks Off has ever enjoyed the company of an older woman, all we can say is sorry. We'll never tell.
10. Queen, "Fat Bottom Girls"
Musically, this glam-rock stomper is probably our favorite song on this list. Evidently Freddie Mercury's preference for the "lardy ladies" - hey, he said it, not us - dates back to his youth, when a certain naughty nanny named Big Fat Fanny made a bad boy out of him. Didn't she, though? God, we miss that dude.
9. Ronnie McDowell, "Older Women"
As much as we love honky-tonkers like Merle Haggard, Rocks Off rarely says no to a good slice of country cheese, and McDowell's all-but-lost 1981 gem is one our favorites. We still can't figure out how the Oak Ridge Boys never got ahold of it, though.
8. Weezer, "Across the Sea"
Before Weezer's records got so godawful that their fans started offering them millions of dollars to break up, the geek-rock gods accidentally invented emo on 1996's hyperconfessional Pinkerton. "Across the Sea" is our pick for the album's most TMI track: It's mostly about singer Rivers Cuomo's imaginary relationship with an 18-year-old Japanese fan, up to and including wondering how she pleasures herself. (Ew.) However, he also mentions that he used to shave his head because he thought older women would like it. We can't decide which is creepier.
7. 2 Live Crew, "Cougar"
Wondering whatever happened to those South Florida boys who were once as nasty as they wanted to be? According to "Cougar," released this past summer, they're into reggaeton, texting and not cussing anymore. Kind of sad, really.
6. Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom"
Poor Stacy. Hot as she may be, all she is in this 2003 tune - which made a lot of people mistake the New Jersey power-pop veterans for one-hit wonders - is a stalking horse for the hormones of her adolescent male classmates. In the video, those hormones are represented by a soda bottle that overflows just when Stacy's mom is getting undressed. What else?