Media Literacy Forum

Lola by The Kinks

The song was written by Ray Davies, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the Kinks. He had gotten the idea for the song from the band’s manager going to a nightclub and having an encounter with a transgender. The song had a bit of a controversy, one being Ray Davies not willing to tell the story of the song, and the other was the use of the word “Coca-Cola” in the song. Because of the use of the word “Coca-Cola”, Ray was forced to change it to “Cherry Cola”.

I have near to no taste in music as the widest variety of music I have heard has been from the radio and from you guys. I had known that sooner or later I would’ve been chosen to do Song of the Day. To be a little prepared for it, I asked a friend of mine from North Carolina, who listens to a lot of Classic and trending music, what he would pick. He said, “Lola, by the Kinks.”

I immediately asked him what it was about, and he told me that I had to listen to it first. After listening to it, I had tried to play it innocent and thought that it was about someone going to a club and meeting a strong woman. However, just from hearing “But I know what I am and I’m glad that I’m a man. And so is Lola” I knew that it had to be something weird, and at the time I thought. He told me the song was about a guy going to a bar and meets a transgender woman. I laughed a bit, after he said that.

This song might’ve been about a real world experience, but it had an obvious ad in it, 1st verse, it used to be “Coca-Cola”. It is rather obvious though, as the Kinks had to rewrite two words in their song. From “Coca-Cola” to “Cherry-Cola”. The Kinks’ song had gotten banned in Australia and England as it was either controversial subject matter or blatantly having “Coca-Cola” in the song. I don’t think it went over well, as I have yet to find the song with Coca Cola used instead of Cherry Cola (I didn't look on YouTube).


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  • I haven't heard this song in years. My dad would listen to it, and upon hearing it, so many memories were brought back. I never really looked at the lyrics or went in to a deeper meaning behind them, but after today I realize the meaning behind them. This song brings awareness to accepting others and your own sexuality, without being judged. "I pushed her away I walked to the door. I fell to the floor. I got down on my knees. I looked at her and she at me." I think this part is about how the guy is scared and unsure if this is what he really wants, but when he's leaving, he realizes he doesn't care what people say, if Lola makes him happy, they're going to be together. It talks about relationship roles, and how they're okay if they're reversed, you dont have to be normal to be happy.
  • I've known about this song for quite some time and I had a pretty good sense of what it was about. As talked about in our class discussion, the whole "transgender" idea was greatly frowned upon in the 70's and 80's, and with many musicians such as Lou Reed, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, the movement to make this an accepted role in our society has been pretty controversial. With songs like these, it shows how much impact just a song can have on the general public. Overall, great song and a great band.
  • This is honestly one of the weirdest songs that I've ever listened to. I started figuring out that Lola was a guy pretty early because of all of the little hints that were in the lyrics. The strongest lyric that told me that Lola was a guy was, "Well I'm not the world's most masculine man, but I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man, and so is Lola." This was a very interesting song choice and it was a good song to annotate.
  • I think you had a good choice of song because nobody else had a topic like this for a song. This also got a lot of to think like "what the heck is this song saying" and I think that's really cool. It was good to change the style in music and what the meaning was behind the words.. The song was different, but it was a good choice for these reasons
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