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As per the title, is this song

ironic?

It seems way too extreme to be anything but ironic, and perhaps at the time it was clear because of how it was performed or who the singer was, that it was in fact exposing double standards and sexism?

I think there is also a version "Ten commandments of woman)" perhaps from the same person under a gender swapped pseudonym?

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2 Answers 2

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It was both sexist AND ironic.

Humorous enactments of the battle of the sexes was a popular theme in mid-century Caribbean music--Belefonte's "Man Smart, Woman Smarter" is another good example--and in this case the singer is describing his wish-fulfilment fantasy of a relationship with a woman, where he, as the man, takes on a godlike role, issuing divine commandments and receiving veneration.

It is sexism being played for laughs.

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Is this song ironic?

No. Winking and ridiculously charming ("...wait intelligently until I come home / Then we can both have it out decently..."), but straight up.

It seems way too extreme to be anything but ironic...

Welcome to the last all-of-human-history-up-to-the-last-few-decades. Get more used to it, since it will also serve as wish fulfilment and a common kink until Judgment Day.

I think there is also a version "Ten commandments of woman)" perhaps from the same person under a gender swapped pseudonym?

Yup. "Ten Commandments of Woman to Man" by Princess Buster and Her Jamaicans. It's on the same album that you linked so, yes, they're in conversation with each other but it's fairly earnest about what they both wish they could get away with, even though they both seem too good humored and witty to actually cause trouble if they only get 10% of their wishlists.

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  • Put another way: Yes, the performer presumably has his tongue in his cheek but the character within the song isn't evil but is a product of his and most other eras.
    – lly
    Jun 25, 2023 at 11:36
  • Well, to me if the intention of the author is to be tongue in cheek then the song is ironic, poking fun at a stereotyped, sexist character which is the product of its era. It sounds like a social critique, ahead of its time where the lines spoken would be perfectly acceptable. I guess the question is, does the author side with the character to which you answer no, if i understand you correctly
    – Three Diag
    Jun 25, 2023 at 17:58
  • @ThreeDiag He plays him straight and then produced the female response (although of course he didn't just do it himself in a gender swap in early 1960s lower-class racially-segregated Jamaican pop culture) so people can argue about it and buy more records. He's above the fray and laughing all the way to the bank. The song is still straight sexism, even if you need to pretend it's completely ironic in a modern sense to allow yourself to enjoy it as much as you instinctively do.
    – lly
    Jun 26, 2023 at 3:31
  • @ThreeDiag If you really need to understand the depth of the actual sexism, listen to the female rebuttal that treats violent male abuse as a completely legitimate possibility that should just be avoided to show the proper respect and care of your Princess. But yeah the singer was just making money at both ends and playing it for laughs.
    – lly
    Jun 26, 2023 at 3:33
  • Welcome to upvote at any time. I can't add a ska tag to your post because no one on this stack upvotes anything: they just argue and leave. xD
    – lly
    Jun 26, 2023 at 3:36

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