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 have never heard this song but I'm glad I did because there were so many meanings that this song could have had. All the confusion in the wording and how we put everything to make it seem like it was about a girl at first and he realizes that being different is okay. He proababy didn't want to dance with them at first but he grew up and decided to because they probably didn't have anyone else to dance with.
  • Lola by the Kinks,is one of those songs that in the 70's, it was a big deal, like in class discussion, having anything to deal with the same sex issue was more hidden than it is now where people are more open about it. The cola reference is a weird thing to me, because is it supposed to be a blatant advertisement, or is it supposed to be a hidden one that people don't pickup until they hear it a bunch of times.I've never really heard this song before, except in the car a few times maybe on the radio,and that's pretty much where it was heard,
    • I think it's supposed to be blatant as it goes, "Cocaaaa Colaaa." I think that it adds the effect of rememberance from all the "la's" in the song.
  • Yeah me too, I thought it was a little weird when I heard it because it talks about Lola being a man and all. I didn't really know what to think of it, but I figured it was about a transvestite. I like the folk sound in the beginning of the song, and it then becomes a sped up tempo after the second stanza. The song kinda confused me, but once I heard your explanation, it makes sense. I know you don't enjoy music, but I'm glad you brought this song to share with us. I heave never heard it till now. I think it is an interesting, yet weird song. I think it's mainly trying to spread awareness about trans people because back then, people didn't really think it was right. People think that you are either born a girl or a boy and it should stay that way. But this song kinda changes that and says it's okay. Overall, I'm glad you shared this song and it was catchy!
  • I have never heard of this song or band before today. At first I thought the song was about him meeting an older and stronger lady, because my paper didn't have a back side to it so I didn't see where he said "i'm glad that i'm a man and so is Lola" But now that I know that it says that, it makes a lot more sense.
  • I think this was a very good choice for song of the day because not a lot of us had heard this song and also it has so many different meanings that we had a wide variety of thoughts. It kind of jumped around a little so I got confused listening to it, but after having you give us some background knowledge of the song some of the lyrics made sense. When it says,"why she looked like a women and talk like a man ," I could infer that maybe she is a transgender and now after hearing you I know that, that is what it was about. I feel like back then this song wasn't very excepted and now we are more open and aren't against it as much.
  • I basically thought this song when he got to the part about her dark brown voice that Lola was a man and not really a women. Then when it kept going there were a lot of hints. She squeezed me tight nearly broke my spine, why she walk like a woman and talk like a man, sat me on her knee, ect. A little after the spine thing I started to wonder when this song came out and think about how I was sure it was an older song and a man dressing as a woman was kind of frowned upon by most people and how he wanted to write this song to make it maybe a little bit more acceptable. Or like Polking said he being against it and then getting comfortable to the idea that it's what he likes maybe.... This song was pretty confusing...
    • I was confused a lot when I first listened to this song, but after learning the meaning of the song, it just seems a lot more obvious.
  • I got that it was about a transgender person, but I also thought it was about them getting into an relationship at the end. I got this from the lines " asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said, "Lola", "Why she walk like a woman and talk like a man", "Well I left home just a week before, And I've never ever kissed a woman before, But Lola smiled and took me by the hand, And said, "Little boy, gonna make you a man", and "But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man, And so is Lola."
  • I feel like hearing this song today wasn't a bad thing as if we heard it back when it first came out. We are more prone to it then when it first came out. The first thing I heard when the song started I thought it was going to be about some one night stand hook up from a night club in some city. I got the feeling that he thought of himself as not being the best looking guy out there but this girl chose me. Then I felt like he was starting to realize that this female wasn't just a random female that came up to him and asked him to dance there was something else going on. At the end of the first page I felt like he thought he needed to leave and him having troubles leaving showed him that this isn't a bad thing stay. At the end of the song it showed that they were both happy.
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