“Trying to Love Two Women”
The Oak Ridge Boys
Written by Sonny Throckmorton
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
June 13, 1980
#1 (1 week)
June 28, 1980
It’s hard out there for a pimp.
“Trying to Love Two Women” by the Oak Ridge Boys directs its energy toward the difficulties of the man who is trying to manage two relationships at once. It’s not easy, you know, because “One’s got my money, the other’s got my heart.”
Now seems as good a time as any to praise the Oak Ridge Boys for the way they can use their church-borrowed harmonies to get away with some recreational activities that would make the devil smile. It reminds me a bit of how the Golden Girls was able to be the filthiest show on television in the eighties because the lines came out of classy middle aged ladies.
And props to the songwriter here, Sonny Throckmorton, for the best damn metaphor I’ve heard in a long time: “A man can’t stock two shelves.”
I won’t go as far as to say that they are able to make the protagonist likeable here, but I do appreciate the fact that they’re leaning into him being hoisted by his own petard:
Trying to love two women is like a ball and chainSometimes the pleasure ain’t worth the strain It’s a long old grind, and it tires your mind.
Poor, poor pitiful he! He may be miserable, but the record itself is an enjoyable and often uproarious listening experience.
This was the lead single from their 1980 album Together, and the closed out the year with the second release from the album. “Heart of Mine” went top five. They’ll return to the top in 1981 with the final single from this album, followed by the song that they’re most closely associated with today.
“Trying to Love Two Women” gets a B+.
Next: George Jones, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”