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"Worse Things" segues directly to its companion piece, Sandy's parallel self-evaluation, the reprise of "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee," in which Sandy finally sees and accepts the truth in Rizzo’s metaphor, finally recognizing that she must reject artificial values imposed by othersand find her own way. But Sandy only comes to this realization because "Worse Things" opened her up to the idea of authenticity as a fundamental value; now she can act on that newfound wisdom in her reprise (just like in all the ancient hero myths).

Darphne Merkin wrote in in 2005 at the time of Sandra Dee’s death:

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Rizzo’s pretty great at choosing metaphors…

Also like , is about , the watchword of that first rock and roll generation. Teen sexuality has been an issue in America since the invention of the rumble seat, always moving forward like a freight train, forever going faster and farther; and is a snapshot of America right before teen sexuality exploded, examining the early cracks in the armor of middle-class "respectability" and repression, the fantasy American Dream that never was but that came beaming into Americans’ homes over the television airwaves. Movie star Sandra Dee becomes ‘s overarching metaphor for the artificiality of adult American life, a symbol that needed piercing. Sandra Dee was a big star at this point, and just in the two years that spans, she released (1958), (1958), (1959), (1959), (1959), (1959), and (1959), jumping back and forth between empty-headed teen comedies and stark melodrama. Today, it may be hard to understand what Sandra Dee represented, but she was the poster girl for the big studios’ attempts to make teen movies, a genre which was up until that point the exclusive territory of small, low-budget producers like the ubiquitous Roger Corman (, and others). But the studios’ teen flicks were inevitably artificial in the extreme, creating a freakish – and clueless – adult imitation of the teen world, a kind of cultural Frankenstein, that teens could see right through. To savvy teenagers, Sandra Dee was a teen sellout, and in a world where authenticity was the goal, there was nothing worse. She was a fake – in her life, in her acting style, and in her onscreen emotions. Teen audiences didn’t want that; they wanted and . But adults loved Sandra Dee; she reassured them that teen was a "good girl."

Sock Hop Baby, Roll Up Your Crazy Jeans!

And many American girls took Sandra Dee as a role model – but not the Sandra Dee, the cheery Sandra Dee, confusing her onscreen persona with her real life. Millions of Americans in postwar America were trying to live an American Dream that was pure fiction, particularly for the working class; and that fiction is symbolized by Sandra Dee, a fiction at the heart of Sandy’s arc in . But on another level, the metaphor gets even deeper – and this demonstrates the craftsmanship of this script – because Sandy’s relationship with Danny mirrors Sandra Dee’s difficult real life relationship with Bobby Darin. As Rizzo taunts Sandy with "Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee," she doesn’t really know how dark that dark underbelly really is…

An experience largely forgotten by most productions of the show today.
The night that I first feel in love

A melody that’s never the same,

The third song in the show "Those Magic Changes" comments on rock’s most important characteristic – – the treatment of teenage love and emotion as serious and legitimate. The lyric starts off as a classic 50s teen lament, but it quickly becomes self-referential, a 50s song. It’s a song about falling in love but also about about the comfort and familiarity of those four simple chords that undergirded the majority of early rock and roll. And those four chords open "Magic Changes"—C, A minor, F, and G7 ,or I, vi, IV, V7. The singer here is a boy lamenting lost love but finding safety and happy memories in those same four chords that he hears in every song:

Feingold wrote in his introduction:

Cry an’ give myself the red eye…

But the fifties were only a brief window of respite before the dark, dangerous times would return, with Vietnam, race riots, the anti-war movement, Watergate, and recession. Today, some conservatives idealize the 1950s as a time of moral clarity, patriotism, family stability, and traditional values, a time to which America should return. But 1950s never actually existed. What looks to them like moral clarity was actually well-masked racism, sexism, and economic oppression. The only people who were safe and comfortable were middle class and upper class white men (the only demographics that still idealize that time). What they see as patriotism was more like nationalistic terrorism, demagoguery, witch hunts. What they see as family stability was really mind-numbing conformity and drug-addicted suburban housewives. What they label "traditional values" were nothing short of race, class, and gender warfare. And it all boiled down to two central bogeymen, inextricably linked in the minds of the mainstream: sex and rock and roll. The Twin Gods of .

Can’t they see the tears in my smile?

Have we really come all that far since 1959?

And again, we can see Jacobs and Casey’s lyric writing craft here, as they effortlessly spin out multiple internal rhymes without ever disrupting a line or thought: