Androgynous

Album: Let It Be (1984)
  • Written by lead singer Paul Westerberg, this tidy ballad tells the story of an androgynous couple, Dick and Jane, who don't adhere to traditional gender norms (Dick "might be a father, but he sure ain't a dad").

    Rockers like Lou Reed and David Bowie released songs questioning gender roles in the '70s, but by the '80s, it's wasn't a hot topic in rock, owing partly to the rise of disco and New Wave, where it was natively accepted. This song stood out with its message that what now seemed aberrant would eventually be normal:

    Kewpie dolls and urine stalls
    Will be laughed at the way you're laughed at now
  • This was included on The Replacements fourth album, Let It Be, which is now hailed as a classic. According to Westerberg, this song wasn't hard to write, but getting the band to accept it was a challenge, since there was no place for Bob Stinson to blast a guitar solo. The album was very successful, but it opened up a schism in the band.
  • Crash Test Dummies included this song on their 1991 debut album The Ghosts That Haunt Me. Their version was released as a single, where it was a minor hit in Canada. Joan Jett covered the song in 2006 on her album Sinner. Videos were made for both of these versions.
  • This song was revived in 2015 after transgenderism became a hot topic, thanks to the transition of Caitlyn Jenner and a proliferation of movies and TV series with transgender characters (The Danish Girl, Transparent). A leading voice in the movement for transgender rights was Laura Jane Grace, who performed this song with Miley Cyrus and Joan Jett at a benefit for The Happy Hippie Foundation, which encourages young people to accept others without judgment.

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