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How can we bring back the verb "to ball" as to have sex?
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Suits Offline

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RE: How can we bring back the verb "to ball" as to have sex?
(05-08-2016 06:37 PM)Days of Broken Arrows Wrote:  "To ball" was actually an expression popularized first in the 1950s by rock'n'roll great Little Richard and his songwriting team of John Marascalco and "Bumps" Blackwell.

The most notable example of this is in Little Richard's 1958 hit "Good Golly, Miss Molly." It got to #4 and had that expression in the first line.

However, Richard had used the word before in a smaller hit, "Rip It Up," which got to #17 in 1956. That song was covered by Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry and became a rock standard, so the word "ball" got a lot of, um, play (pardon the pun).

Tellingly, this expression doesn't come up in any lyrics by white '50s rockers like Dion, Eddie Cochran, or Gene Vincent -- unless they were covering Little Richard.

So it was mostly an expression used by urban kids...until the one and only Frank Sinatra caught onto what it meant and decided to use it in a hilariously inappropriate place.

That came in 1959, when Sinatra remade his 1944 ballad "Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)." The song was written as a World War II lament for girls whose boyfriends went off to war.

But when Sinatra re-did it, he ditched the original weepy arrangement and gave it a hard-edged swing feel. He also altered the crucial line "I don't mind Sunday night at all, 'cause that's the night friends come to call" to "That's the night friends come to ball."

This, of course, changes the meaning of that line -- and perhaps the whole song. It goes from sounding like harmless fun to coming off like he's hosting orgies. I'm sure he and his Rat Pack buddies (who often egged him on in the studio) were snorting out their vodka and tonics from laughter when he came up with that.

Moving ahead a decade, the reason people think "ball" is a '70s expression is that Creedence Clearwater Revival re-popularized it when they covered "Good Golly, Miss Molly" on their 1969 LP Bayou Country. By the next year, you had Led Zeppelin using it in "Hey, Hey What Can I Do" and the Doors on "Build Me a Woman" from their live album.

By the 1980s, the rockabilly revival band the Stray Cats used "ball" for both a song and album title with "Gonna Ball." By that time, it was a harmless retro expression people associated with the "Happy Days" era.

So...blame Little Richard. And to answer the original question, we can bring the term back by having a rapper or dance artist sample his music. If Fergie can sample "The Girl Can't Help It" for "Clumsy," someone can probably find a way to sample that line "Rip It Up" or "Miss Molly."

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05-08-2016 08:57 PM
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RE: How can we bring back the verb "to ball" as to have sex? - Suits - 05-08-2016 08:57 PM

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