An Analysis of Arbitrary Censorship of 70's-Era 50's Homages

Last night I was brain-dead. Blogged out. A blogging conference can do that to a girl, along with subsequent emails, post reading, comments, more emails and debates all about blogs and blogs and blogs and blogs.

So I turned on my favorite go-to network for shows for the gray matter-challenged, hoping to catch some of Chachi is a Middle-Aged Male Prostitute or my other new trainwreck fave, Skanky Heavy Metal Groupies Lacking in both Self-Esteem and Access to a Good Colorist.

But no. Instead, I was privileged to watch Grease, only the best (BEST!) not-so-much-the-best movie of my preadolescent years. With Valley Girl a close second, of course.

I know this movie backwards and forwards, and have ever since fifth grade when I bought the photo book of the film that took you through the entire script, cartoon-style. It was the first film I saw five times in a theater. It was the first album (double album!) I ever owned thanks to my brother, although it sucked when I cracked sides 3 and 4 and couldn't listen to half of the dance-off tunes. I do however confess to skipping Hopelessly Devoted to You every time because it was boring. I was more of a Summer Lovin' gal.

I know every line of that film, every blooper, and as of last year, I even know where the Thunder Road scenes were filmed.

So of course I sprang to attention last night when I caught that Grease Lightning had been edited.

Somewhat arbitrarily.
You are supreme
The chicks will cream
For Greased Lightning
That was fine.
With new pistons plugs and shocks
You can get off your rocks

You know that I ain't braggin'
She's a real pussy wagon
That was fine.

Also, the accompanying jerk-off gesture - fine. In case you're wondering.
With a four-speed on the floor they'll be waitin' at the door.
You know that ain't no shit, we'll be gettin' lots of tit

Greased Lightning.
That's not fine.

Shit/Tit? Not fine at all.

So instead of simply bleeping the offensive syllable, someone did a sneaky little edit job, grabbing other lyrics that might blend in tonally, maybe even escape the scrutiny of dorks like me.

The result:
With a four-speed on the floor they'll be waitin' at the door.
You know that ain't no floor, we'll be gettin' lots of door.

Greased Lightning.
Does this make any sense?

We'll be gettin' lots of door?

What does that even mean? I can only imagine some sort of weird automotive fetishist moaning, More door! More door!

Or something.

So what did I learn from all this?

Excrement + breasts = bad
Masturbation + precoital lubrication + female genital euphemism = good
Me + blogging conference = punchy

The pervy googlers from Thailand are going to loooove this one, aren't they.


Anonymous RookieMom Heather said...

Amen sister. As a child at the time, I knew and sang all the words and had no idea what I was saying. But DOOR? What's that about?

8/2/07, 11:29 AM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

Oh, Liz. I knew I loved you.

As a Grease junkie of the highest order, I will say only this:


That was so much fun to sing, one hand on my heart, the other ready to dab at the tears I kept trying to squeeze out of my stubbornly, persistently dry eyes.

8/2/07, 11:43 AM  
Blogger ❉ pixie ❉ said...

Love Grease! I even played a Pink Lady in my high school musical. I can't hear Greased Lightning without doing the arm motions. My favorite song however was always "There are worse things I could do".

8/2/07, 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Melizzard said...

Geez I'm such a dork I had no idea those were the actual words to the song. I must have inserted others that made more sense to my 10 year old grade mind. I was even dorkier then.

8/2/07, 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Melizzard said...

.. and I can't type now.. that would be 10-year-old or 5th grade but not purposefully a combination of both...

8/2/07, 11:53 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

Those are the actual words?

8/2/07, 11:56 AM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

Blasphemy! Why mess with perfection?

8/2/07, 11:57 AM  
Anonymous radical mama said...

Oh my god. I mean, I know I am often naive but there are dirty lyrics in Grease? I think I was about 20 before I realized that Roz (that's her name right?) was nearly knocked up. *so ashamed* Well, screw it. My kids are still allowed to watch it.

8/2/07, 12:00 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Granny: Indeed, the entire script is filthy filthy trash. So much to love.

And radical mama: that's RIZZO! Oh, my aching heart.

If it makes you feel any better, Stockard Channing was actually 34 when she filmed the movie so it's not like a teen pregnancy or anything.

8/2/07, 12:04 PM  
Blogger kgirl said...

I also owned the double(!) album - and the 8-track so we could listen in the basement - and it wasn't until I watched the movie on uncensored Canadian tv about a month ago that I realized what the hey I'd been singing into my pretend microphone all those years ago.

8/2/07, 12:59 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Oh, Liz. I'm hopelessly devoted to you now. *lol*

As a kid, I have NO IDEA what words I used to sing, but when I grew up enough to understand what it was really saying, I was shocked! OMG! Grease Lightning is dirty! Hahaha.

Tonight, I'm going to say "Hey baby, want some door??" and see how it goes over. Heh.

8/2/07, 12:59 PM  
Blogger Merrily Rolling said...

Gah! I had that photo book too! In fact, I'm sure I never got rid of it. (Must find photo book. Must find photo book.)

8/2/07, 1:27 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

They defiled Grease. Those ANIMALS! Damn them all to hell.

I have to admit I liked Hopelessly Devoted because I could walk around my bedroom singing it into my hairbrush microphone and looking tragic.

8/2/07, 1:29 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

I saw it approximately 48,000 times before 1980. Then I watched it a few weeks ago and was all, 'what? Rizzo was maybe pregnant?' Huh. Didn't at all catch on to that plot line at age 8.

8/2/07, 1:40 PM  
Anonymous dana said...

First of all, I just about pissed myself when you mentioned the double album. I have TWO copies. Yes, it's true. My mother had one and my aunt Judy gave me hers when she said she no longer liked Grease. Imagine the stunned look I gave her.


And the censorship? They've been doing that new little verse for years on TBS when they air it. It always cracks my ass up because it doesn't make sense at all. Hah.

8/2/07, 1:40 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Best New Year's Eve celebration ever?

Well, it involved a group of drunken journalists who, when Grease came on, muted the television so that they could do the singing.

Not pretty. Not pleasant to the ears. But lots of fun.

8/2/07, 2:06 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

What. The. Fuck.

That is horribly WRONG. All children should learn the right words to Greased Lightning, just as with any other classic.

8/2/07, 2:26 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

More door! I am seriously laughing.

"Man, I gotta take a huge door."

This is why I love HBO. No door.

8/2/07, 2:43 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

That's just wrong. And it amkes no sense at all. Idiots. But maybe you should buy it on DVD.

I love Grease. Also, Footloose and Dirty Dancing, which was my favorite movie at 5. Yes, my mom rocked.

8/2/07, 2:50 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

We'll be gettin' lots of door? That is just so wrong.

I remember being at sleepaway camp singing the Grease soundtrack with my friends as we all showered in adjacent stalls (hello??? Pervy surfers from Thailand??? Helloooo???).

Oh, and I totally skipped Hopelessly Devoted To You. Bleck.

8/2/07, 2:57 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Oh, and I forgot to add that I've wondered for years how much of my attraction to the burnout crowd in later years was a direct result of Grease. Sweet little Sandy didn't do very well as a goodie-two-shoes, did she...

8/2/07, 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Mommy Babble said...

Knowing now as an adult that thos eare the lyurics I always wonder how it escaped my grandmother enough that she bought me the soundtrack. LOL I love it!

8/2/07, 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Someday I aspire to get a lot of door.

8/2/07, 3:55 PM  
Blogger nap warden said...

Have you ever seen what editors do to Animal House?...It's sad. BTW, just found your blog...LOVE it!

8/2/07, 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to drum for Pervy Googler.

8/2/07, 4:15 PM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

My best friend had 4 older sisters who told us the songs were a bit bad, but they wouldn't tell us why. I can totally picture us singing "Summer Loving" (taking turns who got to sing Sandy and Danny) the summer after 5th grade. I loved singing "Sandra Dee", too, but you *know* I didn't know what "lousy w/virginity" meant at age 11!

And "Valley Girl"? I know that one backwards and forwards -- so loved Nic Cage, but it's hard to love him now. He was so hairy back then, what happened!!! ;-)

8/2/07, 4:26 PM  
Anonymous crazedparent/charlene said...

What, you don't know what getting more door means? ;)

I learned how to play every single Grease song on the piano because I was so obsessed with the movie. How sad and corny is that?!

And blog conference brain? Me too. Can't seem to write a post.

8/2/07, 4:58 PM  
Anonymous pervy googler from thailand said...


8/2/07, 5:11 PM  
Blogger David said...

actually, I thought "pervy googlers from thailand" was a new-wave group from 1982.

8/2/07, 5:30 PM  
Anonymous LOD said...

I think many women might agree that the problem with giving up the door is that too many men can't find the knob.

8/2/07, 5:34 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Grease...((SIGH))...How do I love thee...let me count the ways.

I too, know every word.

As a kid, I sang those words. I had do idea what "cream" or "pussy" meant.

But by all means, let's draw attention to them with nonsensical substitutes.

Puh. Censorship is a very arbitrary concept.

8/2/07, 5:40 PM  

How funny and random, I just heard "Your'e the one I really want" at the gym today and I thought about how I saw that movie (edited for TV) about 25 times when I was a kid.
By the way, I thought the song was "Youthewallywallywan" which at the time made perfect sense.

8/2/07, 6:15 PM  
Blogger elle said...

Oh, Yeah! Chachi, skanky hos and Grease? I share your taste in TV big time. Time to dig out my Grease album and have a little sing along. (Marjorie - Valley Girl is near and dear to my heart too! Ahhh, early HBO memories.)

8/2/07, 6:34 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Valley Girl rules. Saw it in the theaters back in the early, early 80's. I decided then and there that someday, I, too, would "go cruise Van Nuys Boulevard."

And I did.

And it wasn't what it was cracked up to be...

Censorship blows. I'll always say that if I write something you don't like... don't read it, watch it, or listen to it and we'll both be happy.

8/2/07, 7:01 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...


(Overly excited. But it's an icon of my childhood, that book.)

My mother wouldn't let me see the movie, but I went out shopping with my dad and he let me buy the photo-novel, which I used to memorize every single line of dialogue. None of which I understood until much later, though I had elaborately inventive explanations for every bit I didn't understand. When Rizzo skipped a period I thought that must create a really uncomfortable stomach-ache. When Sandra Dee "won't go to bed til I'm legally wed" I thought that meant she was so obsessed with marriage that she was losing sleep over it. I was in my teens when I saw the movie again, my jaw hanging open the whole time.

8/2/07, 8:06 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Bub YES! That was my favorite song too. I also thought that about the bed line. And I believe I thought that in "Elvis, Elvis let me be - keep that pelvis far from me" pelvis was a made up word they used because it rhymed with Elvis.

8/2/07, 8:47 PM  
Anonymous laurie said...

fotonovel people. it's FOTONOVEL! i still have mine! look!

8/2/07, 8:57 PM  
Blogger FENICLE said...

I'm in love. With you. With the blog. With it all!!!!!!!!!!!

8/2/07, 10:29 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I was watching that, too, and had much the same thought.

(As a side note, my high school would never let us perform Grease for our high school musical, because there was too much sexual innuendo in it, and the whole teen pregnancy thing. Yeah, small town.)

8/2/07, 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Just Powers said...

Holy crap the FOTONOVEL. I had it/loved it too. And I spent many a summer wishing I could find a boy to make out with under the dock. Whatever that meant.

8/2/07, 11:41 PM  
Blogger moosh in indy. said...

Yeah, I'm still getting over the trauma of saying I ORGASMED ON THE TREADMILL IN FRONT OF 800 people.
Maybe next blogher we could do karaoke and you could sing the true lyrics, I'd be your number one fan.

8/2/07, 11:51 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Oh... *guffaw, snort*

me love you door long time!

Somehow I picked up (with the first pre-teen viewing) that Rizzo was almost knocked up, but I NEVER knew the lyrics were this dirty! What's wrong with me?

8/3/07, 1:24 AM  
Blogger Staci Schoff said...

That was the best they could do? Too funny. I was obsessed with the music too, but I don't think I saw the movie until I was much older.

But Valley Girl? Ohmigod I so totally love that movie! When Nicholas Cage was hot -- before he weirded me out by marrying Lisa Marie...

8/3/07, 1:32 AM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Ah, censorship. Makes for good fodder, doesn't it?

8/3/07, 8:45 AM  
Blogger Binky said...

One woman's Chachi is another woman's Charles in Charge. But despite my youthful naivete, I appreciate all your Grease references. Some things are just timeless.

8/3/07, 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Cynthia Samuels said...

How could we possibly talk this long and forget Beauty School Dropout? I mean really!!!

8/3/07, 9:32 AM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

We'll be getting lots of door? Hmmm. You mean like the way a Jehovah's Witness gets "door" when they keep showing up on the porch and bugging you to join their church? That kind of door? 'Cause that's about the only sense I can make of it.

8/3/07, 12:11 PM  
Blogger ❉ pixie ❉ said...

Not getting that Rizzo thought she was pregnant? I can't believe that! "I feel like a defective typewriter."
"I skipped (or was it missed?) a period."

Seems clear to me.

8/3/07, 1:15 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Pixie - were you like that girl in fifth grade who taught us all the bad words and how to weave your fingers together then pull them apart so that it looked like a vagina?

I bet you were.

I would have liked you.

8/3/07, 1:20 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

You didn't know that boobs are also referred to as doors? It makes total sense if you're referring to a woman as a car or vice versa, right? Or is that headlights?

8/3/07, 1:23 PM  
Blogger ❉ pixie ❉ said...

I'm still that girl. You would still like me.

8/3/07, 1:37 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

Yes, but do you love Grease so much that you watched the reality show "You're the One that I Want" where they auditioned for the current Broadway production??

Finally, a person who will know what I'm saying when I (constantly) use the quote: "Isn't that the most? To say the least??"

8/3/07, 2:45 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

ok. what was it before "Door"?
whore? More?

God. I thought I knew that film too. But clearly NOT.

8/3/07, 3:48 PM  
Blogger elle said...

nomotherearth - Yes, I will admit I watched (and enjoyed) the Grease TV show too. And I just read that the new version on Broadway will incorporate songs from the movie that were not originally in the stage musical, like "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Sandy," "You're the One That I Want" and "Grease is the Word". I always thought the Stage musical was lame when compared to the movie, but this should perk it up a bit.

8/3/07, 4:23 PM  
Blogger Reff said...

Speaking of getting lots of tit...

slutty strippers + alcohol = television genius

Rock of Love" RULEZ!!!

Also love:
* "Talk Soup", even with the Burger King commercial guy.
* "Mad Men" on A&E. Not a great story line but I enjoy the show's style
* "Age of Love" My money is on the hockey cheerleader (in other news, hockey has cheerleaders?)

8/3/07, 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the blog and this post is great. So glad I'm not the only one watching Rock of Love. OMG the women are a trip. And your description of Scott Baio is classic :)

Those summer nights!

8/3/07, 8:44 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

At comment number 57, I usually wouldn't bother...but I have to say that I disagree with your fundamental premise.

Valley Girl RULES.

8/4/07, 2:15 AM  
Blogger NG said...

Gotta love a sound editor who's too lazy to go back more than two seconds in the script and find a more appropriate dub for that. He/she probably found it just as ironic as we do.

8/5/07, 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

I had that little Grease photonovel book with the cartoon captions, too!

Would you believe I only "got" the defective typewriter remark by Rizzo about five years ago? Durrrr!

And Valley Girl. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!!!

8/7/07, 3:07 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

More door, more door!

Lyrics that make no sense are my specialty.

8/9/07, 1:50 PM  
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