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  1. #1

    Itís My House, Too

    Fierce thinkpiece about the Ross anthem and its new resonance in our post-COVID-19 era:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/202...s-my-house/amp
    Last edited by sansradio; 10-17-2020 at 06:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Great article. This song is a classic.

  3. #3
    Enjoyed this article. I assumed it would be years or decades (four!) old, but it's barely 24 hours old. I've loved It's My House from first listen. I loved that the writer talked with Valerie Simpson, as she is indeed the song's co-creator. "Songs are like your children...you know?" Diana's thoughts would have been icing on the cake. (I think Diana's vocal is seductive rather than "simpering").
    Anyway, the article crystallizes my feelings about the song, especially in this pandemic. I'm thankful I love my house and home even more now. "There's my chair. I put it there!"

  4. #4
    Glad you folks enjoyed it; I thoroughly did. It ticked off all the boxes for me. Iíd love to read the writerís other work.

  5. #5
    i always wanted to like IMH (the original) but IMO it just rambles on aimlessly. there's a wonderful peak after the bridge where the song really pops and Diana jumps back in singing "there's a welcome mat..." but then after that it just stalls

  6. #6
    I Love The Way He Loves Me, the Martha Reeves & The Vandellas' song on A Cellarful Of Motown, Volume 5, is worse than It's My House, but both songs, along with I'm Living In Shame, rate among the laziest, lowest lyric output from the label.

    To those of you who've not heard the recently released Cellarful song, in Martha's opening line, she declares "My baby hung my kitchen curtains wrong..." and you wonder at first if the lyricist was desperate to slap any old words together, to get the job done. Or maybe not, you say; the lyricist may have been thinking of certain images dripping with sexual innuendo in the great Alberta Hunter's tune Handy Man, in which, among other things, we learn that he trims her lawn. But when Martha sings about her man's shortcomings, her words seem increasingly silly and unconvincing, while when Alberta sings of how her man treats her, there is a warmth and sophistication in her voice that helps the clever lines unfold amusingly and come across. So you just say, "Yeah, right, Martha..." and roll your eyes and move along when she talks trash.

    And who among us believed for a moment that Diana's poor mother, in her slapped-together outfit, slipped on the messy floor, causing her to drown in the jam she was whipping up on the stove? The lyrics seemed contrived and too quickly trite.

    On the other hand, Cole Porter put together excellent "list songs," with great wit and artistry, many, many times, as in, for instance, You're The Top.

    Unfortunately, It's My House sounds like it could have been written by Martha's wordsmith, not Cole Porter. It's a precursor of the truly awful Mirror, Mirror. Each of these also-rans is, to some extent, unlistenable (or maybe inaudible, lost in the sounds of your loud snorts of laughter). It is a messy inventory of items or events assembled at random, without any purpose other than to have the right number of syllables or a simplistic rhyme to kind of fit with whatever other random thing will follow.

    Or, to be blunt about it, I do not like It's My House, My Old Piano and other songs in this sort of subgenre, the garbage-can genre, where a bunch of smelly discards foul the air and fill space that could have been home to something worthwhile or left empty.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by benross View Post
    I Love The Way He Loves Me, the Martha Reeves & The Vandellas' song on A Cellarful Of Motown, Volume 5, is worse than It's My House, but both songs, along with I'm Living In Shame, rate among the laziest, lowest lyric output from the label.

    To those of you who've not heard the recently released Cellarful song, in Martha's opening line, she declares "My baby hung my kitchen curtains wrong..." and you wonder at first if the lyricist was desperate to slap any old words together, to get the job done. Or maybe not, you say; the lyricist may have been thinking of certain images dripping with sexual innuendo in the great Alberta Hunter's tune Handy Man, in which, among other things, we learn that he trims her lawn. But when Martha sings about her man's shortcomings, her words seem increasingly silly and unconvincing, while when Alberta sings of how her man treats her, there is a warmth and sophistication in her voice that helps the clever lines unfold amusingly and come across. So you just say, "Yeah, right, Martha..." and roll your eyes and move along when she talks trash.

    And who among us believed for a moment that Diana's poor mother, in her slapped-together outfit, slipped on the messy floor, causing her to drown in the jam she was whipping up on the stove? The lyrics seemed contrived and too quickly trite.

    On the other hand, Cole Porter put together excellent "list songs," with great wit and artistry, many, many times, as in, for instance, You're The Top.

    Unfortunately, It's My House sounds like it could have been written by Martha's wordsmith, not Cole Porter. It's a precursor of the truly awful Mirror, Mirror. Each of these also-rans is, to some extent, unlistenable (or maybe inaudible, lost in the sounds of your loud snorts of laughter). It is a messy inventory of items or events assembled at random, without any purpose other than to have the right number of syllables or a simplistic rhyme to kind of fit with whatever other random thing will follow.

    Or, to be blunt about it, I do not like It's My House, My Old Piano and other songs in this sort of subgenre, the garbage-can genre, where a bunch of smelly discards foul the air and fill space that could have been home to something worthwhile or left empty.
    Hope you feel better after that rant Ben!

  8. #8
    "It's My House" has held up quite well and still sounds modern. John Mayer's version is delightful. He and Diana Ross could sing a great duet of "These Things" will keep me loving you dear...

  9. #9
    "Came the telegram, momma passed away while making homemade jam" ... that's a bad lyric and makes "It's My House" poetic in comparison.

    "It's My House" is one of the best songs about sex without being explicitly about sex. Here is a woman seducing her man into loving here, but only on her terms. Brilliant songwriting and brilliant performance.

  10. #10
    “It’s My House” was always my favourite song from The Boss. It’s a fun, bright and breezy little number that has stood the test of time. It reached 32 in the UK, but i think it would have done much better had it not had to compete with an inferior cover version.
    A little tv promotion wouldn’t have done any harm either. I regard it as a Diana classic.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i always wanted to like IMH (the original) but IMO it just rambles on aimlessly. there's a wonderful peak after the bridge where the song really pops and Diana jumps back in singing "there's a welcome mat..." but then after that it just stalls
    It was always my least favorite cut on the album. I do like it, but i don't love it. It does indeed ramble on aimlessly for too long. It's many people's key track on the album, and i think Diana herself is quite fond of it.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Hope you feel better after that rant Ben!
    Hilarious, Blue!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    It was always my least favorite cut on the album. I do like it, but i don't love it. It does indeed ramble on aimlessly for too long. It's many people's key track on the album, and i think Diana herself is quite fond of it.
    the sound, style, beat and groove is excellent. it provides a great change of pace for the album - it's not mega disco like the other dance songs yet House is still a dance song. just a slower groove. funkier

    i just think from a songwriting perspective they didn't finish it

  14. #14
    I think it is a nice recording but I would have never thought of it as a single, at least not the second single. I would have gone with NO ONE GETS THE PRIZE.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Hope you feel better after that rant Ben!
    Lol. I'm pretty sure he does.

    The article's writer captured all my feelings about It's My House and its relevance to my pandemic experience. I'm glad it was included on The Boss, just as I'm glad My Old Piano was included on diana.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by lucky2012 View Post
    Lol. I'm pretty sure he does.

    The article's writer captured all my feelings about It's My House and its relevance to my pandemic experience. I'm glad it was included on The Boss, just as I'm glad My Old Piano was included on diana.
    Thanks for steering the ship back to the actual article, lucky. I think it's a masterful piece.

  17. #17
    I'd be surprised to learn this ditty took over five minute to compose . Kind of a disjointed throwaway imo .

    Still, on the value side :

    Home ownership. The pride and the joy that accompanies it. Putting your chair: here. Diana and Valerie get it.
    Interesting that it's sung from an angle of first person singularity: It's MY house and I live here....not: It's our house and we live here....

    Poignant that its written in this manner considering that Diana Ross is a mother with two children at the time . One might think the song would be more about her house and its nesting properties.
    Instead its' narrative is a little selfish, and that's OK, independence is a lot about that.
    It becomes a song expressing empowerment for the women of the seventies entering the eighties .....take on the world , get your stuff, your house, and make it your place--- your place to LIVE !!!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I'd be surprised to learn this ditty took over five minute to compose . Kind of a disjointed throwaway imo .

    Still, on the value side :

    Home ownership. The pride and the joy that accompanies it. Putting your chair: here. Diana and Valerie get it.
    Interesting that it's sung from an angle of first person singularity: It's MY house and I live here....not: It's our house and we live here....

    Poignant that its written in this manner considering that Diana Ross is a mother with two children at the time . One might think the song would be more about her house and its nesting properties.
    Instead its' narrative is a little selfish, and that's OK, independence is a lot about that.
    It becomes a song expressing empowerment for the women of the seventies entering the eighties .....take on the world , get your stuff, your house, and make it your place--- your place to LIVE !!!

    "It's MY house and I live here..."

    The bold capitals, I believe, are yours. She had three (not two) daughters at this time but this album and this stage in her life was indeed about a woman's independence and empowerment. The song and album addresses personal relationships, not children and families. She is luxuriating and taking pride in the space she created for herself. (And inviting someone to share it with her!) I'm glad you think its OK to be selfish at times.

    Only Valerie Simpson & Nicholas Ashford know how much time they spent creating this "disjointed throwaway...ditty". It's a fun song and track that helps complete The Boss, imo.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I think it is a nice recording but I would have never thought of it as a single, at least not the second single. I would have gone with NO ONE GETS THE PRIZE.
    That should have been the second single - Prize

    It's My House has grown on me over the years - part of it is the earworm explanation - It's my house and I live here.................again and again. But it never has been one of my favorites from that album.

    Once In The Morning and Sparkle - especially the later were favorites.

  20. #20
    I've retracted my post , because I'm rethinking it. For one thing I misheard some lyrics which misdirected my summation of the song.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-23-2020 at 12:35 AM.

  21. #21
    oh absolutely it's about sex. but i don't think it's a 1 night stand. i've interpreted IMH as Diana and her man advancing their relationship and about to go do the dead. But she's putting some rules out there ahead of time. I'm more than happy to share my life, home and bed with you but...

    she's a modern, successful woman and she's happy with her life. see this chair, i put it there. warm, lovely light is shining through the windows. I even put a welcome mat at the door. but....


    it's actually a precursor to Destiny Child's Bills Bills Bills.

  22. #22
    This song has kind of caught my fancy. I didn't pay much attention to it back when this LP came out. I thought it was OK, one of the better cuts , but not a "wow". I didn't dissect the lyrics, just thought it basically said, "it's my house and I live here"...over and over..
    Paying attention to it now, I was thinking it was a bit tawdry with suggestive overtones , but now I've drifted from that. It's really as cute and playful as the arrangement implies, nothing nefarious here .
    Sup_fan I think you're saying it correctly: She is being courted and she is making it clear to this person that this is HER house , set up the way she likes it. You wanna drop buy , OK, but you gotta follow the rules! (I never understood what that line was saying until listening closer now).
    I would even say she's a little overly guarded (suspicious?) and yes selfish. IOW she's not saying "My chair goes here.....but don't worry there's plenty of room for your chair too!" lol!
    She's addressing the situation nicely ....but firmly. She's not looking for chaos from an intruding relationship.... this house is built for love, if that's what you've got to offer , welcome !


    My question would be , I know on the Chic album they tried to tailor some of the lyrics to Diana specifically.
    With ITS MY HOUSE , I wonder if she just singing a song as written, or is there a connection to her real life here? Is this about Diana's house? Her attitude about it, what she is experiencing as a single person (with a house) at this point in her life?
    Did A&S write it with Diana in mind?
    It kind of seems odd that Nick and Valerie would come up with this concept from their own life perspective ( unless maybe they had some kind of argument about who runs what ! lol!)

    Who then has their name written on the ceiling ?? Diana Ross? Totally fictional? Very odd element to mention if just pulling it out of a hat....seems to be a truth ....for someone ...??
    (And what are books of feeling?)

    Also, I wish this had an instrumental version, there's deceptively quite a bit going on there. I think this song has a bit of a Chic like quality to it.

    I'm definitely liking the song more having given it a closer look, a better listen !!
    I'm even warming up to the repetitiveness: Its her house, she lives there, to make the point , she can't say it enough!

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-23-2020 at 01:25 PM.

  23. #23
    It's funny that the author talks about earworms & Diana's live performance of this on the HBO Special.

    As I was reading this thread, before looking at the article, I had an earworm of 'It's My House' segue-ing into 'No-one gets the Prize' from that concert.

    I always wondered if the lyrics had been 'dumbed-down' (for want of a better description) because of so many disco hits at the time with very simple lyrics (eg 'Ring My Bell').

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