Once upon a time in a magical place called "America" there lived a people that were never, ever sad. Everyone had jobs. Everyone went to church. There were no drugs. You waited to have sex until after you were married. Parents never did inappropriate things with their children. Everyone loved everyone else...unless they were commies.
Then they took prayer out of school and the country went to hell.
That's pretty much the conservative line - things USED to be better so let's do what we did back then.
Here's a good reason not to - domestic violence was such a non-issue they wrote novelty songs about it that charted in the top 10.
One year, I wanted to do a Halloween show that featured not "scary" songs, but songs that actually frightened me. This song was the top of the list. The subject matter (and, yes, I realized the 1948 version of what's acceptable differs from the 2009 version) is bad enough. The song extols the virtue of beating the living hell out of your daughter when she disobeys you. Family values, I guess. What pushes it over the edge into unmitigated nightmarish sadism is the glee and jauntiness the beating engenders. Right off the bat, Arthur Godfrey chuckles disturbingly as the scene is painted with a girl lying on the floor trying to fend of blows. That and the HILARIOUS slapstick suggesting that Arthur Godfrey is not screwing around here. There will be welts and bruises.
It gets worse, though. The instrumental break with it's jokey, circus calliope conjures up the scene in A Clockwork Orange where Alex and his droogs beat and rape their victim while jauntily bellowing Singing In The Rain. Godfrey and his band of droogs square dance around their's as he happily calls out "dosey-doe".
The whole horrible thing winds up in almost Grand Guignol fashion with the participants executing loud, sloppy close harmony while Godfrey (fake) laughs so hard that he can't even sing. I'd be curious to know if there was a version where the girl they beat actually screamed and calmer heads prevailed.
It's almost the perfect song for a man who fired Julius LaRosa without notice on live TV.
I posted this song on my blog a couple of years back and got this comment from a woman in Montana
We had a short email correspondance about the song. "It was that song," she wrote, "that convinced me to get the hell out of Montana. Nobody there had a problem with it."