Let’s Play House

Our culture has an unequal distribution of power and privilege for men and women.  We encourage men to be dominant, assertive, and in control.  Violence against women, and intimate partner violence in particular, is a tremendous social problem.  The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey estimates 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence.

The song “Let’s Play House” by Buddy Holly is at best dated.  It juxtaposes the innocent, wholesome idea of “playing house” with murdering your significant other out of jealousy.  Presumably the line “I’d rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man” is supposed to appeal to the listener, both male and female, as a sign of devotion.  The song unintentionally speaks to the contradictory relationship many women may have with the ‘home.’  It is also notable that Buddy Holly does not fit the stereotypes of a hyper-masculine man who might abuse his partner.

Lyrics:

Baby baby baby baby baby
Come back baby I want to play house with you
You may go to college
You may go to school

You may have a pink cadillac
But don’t you be nobody?s fool
Now come baby come
Come back baby come
Come back baby

I want to play house with you
Now this is one thing baby
I want you to know
Well-a, come on back to me little girl

We can make like we did before (chorus)
Well now this is one thing baby
That I’m talkin? about
Well, come on back to me little girl

So we can play some house (chorus)
Well, listen to me baby
Try to understand
Well, I’d rather see you dead little girl

Than to be with another man (chorus)

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