Jackie Shane – Any Other Way

U.S. born Jackie Shane lived in Canada and some like to think he is a relative of Little Richard. This song, a cover, became popular in Canada in 1962.

What’s political is Shane is seen to be using the word ‘gay’ in the lyrics for its sexual orientation connotation, and not simply as a synonym of ‘happy.’ This double meaning was not mainstream back then.

“Tell her that I’m happy/tell her that I’m gay”

The singer was a gay performer who often dressed in drag, and to many today, is seen as an early LGBT artist. Rumours are he is no longer alive, in hiding, or incognito, living her life today, as a transgender woman.


The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men

One of the writers of this song, Paul Shaffer, the Canadian and long time band leader for David Letterman, is a straight, happily married man. So it can’t be that it’s raining men, for him!

And in political debate, we often hear that one can’t understand an issue because they aren’t in those shoes. This is fallacious, of course. We don’t need to be a soldier to figure it’s no fun to be shot at. Apply this further to calls for equal representation of gender in legislative assemblies, because women bring their feminine/feminist side to the business of governance. Maybe, but not necessarily. After all, Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister, is commonly known for her masculine toughness as the “Iron Lady.”

Still, the co-writer of this 1979 song, Paul Jabara, was a noted gay activist who died of AIDS in the 1990s. In this regard, it is impressive that “It’s Raining Men” is seen as both an anthem for homosexuals and women. (The chorus of Hallelujahs adds an incongruous religious shade to a song about sexuality, curiously).

It has been covered in 2001 by Geri Halliwell and spiced up the movie, “Bridget Jones Diary,” but the 1982 version by the Weather Girls is the original.

The Weather Girls were two African American women, Marsha Walsh and Izora Armstead. Armstead died in 2004, but her daughters continue on as The Weather Girls.