Monday, September 1, 2008

Parental Guidance Suggested.

Happy Labor Day, Y'all! We Littons are all enjoying a day at home together, so I decided to reach back into the blog archives and dredge up my offering from March 2, 2008. It's still a Mad Musical Monday post, in essence, but rather than highlighting a specific style or type of music or artist, I'm sinking to new levels. Suggestive song lyrics, y'all. Don't you love 'em? Read on...
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One night last week I was doing dishes after supper while listening to one of my playlists on Fine Tune. (And y'all need to check out Fine Tune--it's the coolest, especially if you're a music fanatic like me.) The song "Sugar Walls" by Sheena Easton came on (and you don't have to be a genius to guess what particular playlist that song is on!), so I'm standing at the sink, washing away, singing out loud, "Come spend the night inside my sugar walls...lemme take ya somewhere you've never been..." Mid-sentence it hit me...WHAT THE CRAP??? I totally listened to this song all the time as a child. A child, people...like, at the age of 9 or so. These lyrics are seriously dirty, but to my young, unaffected ears, I probably just figured Sugar Walls to be a dessert place of some sort. Or, ooooooh--remember the lickable wallpaper scene in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory?" Yeah, those were sugar walls, right? But the song...well...listen for yourself. And do I have to remind anyone that Prince (Mr. Sex-You-Up Himself) actually wrote & produced this little ditty?

This realization hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. What were my parents thinking? I mean, Eric and I used to watch "Grease 2" (everybody sing with me now, "RE-PRO-DUC-TION, reproduction, put your pollen tubes to work...") and "The Pirate Movie" ("Keep pumpin', blowin'...") 24/7...we had these movies memorized. And not embarrassingly enough, we still can still quote them verbatim. It's a gift...we probably inherited it from the Roth side. Anyway, the sex stuff was way over our head. Still...where was our parental advisory board? Mama? Dad? Your kids were being poisoned by sexual innuendo of a musical nature! Call Tipper Gore!

While still standing at the sink, I started thinking about other songs of questionable nature that I used to sing cluelessly. Immediately "Like A Virgin" by Madonna (she of chaste goodness, of course!) popped into my head. Russell Elementary, 4th grade, recess time, on the monkey bars...my friends and I (come on Tori, chime in here!) would sing this song at the top of our lungs. Where were Mrs. Couey, Mrs. Rountree, and Mrs...what was the other one's name? Was our P.E. teacher, Mrs. Sutton, too busy with the daily game of kickball to notice a bunch of 10 year old girls harmonizing about making it "through the wilderness" and being "touched for the very first time?" Y'all better believe if I heard the term "like a virgin" come out of Libbey's mouth that this Mama would go beyond berserk. B-E-R-S-E-R-K! I'm for real.

Then I thought of "She-Bop," by Cyndi Lauper. If y'all don't know what this song is really about, look it up on the 'net. Wikipedia has a good take on it. But I ain't gonna school you...I was embarrassed enough as an adult to realize what I'd been singing along to in 1984, as a 10 year old. Here I thought the She-Bop was a dance. Weeeeeeeellll...I guess to some it may be. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Pretty soon my brain was flooded with memories of songs I now realize were rather risque. At that time, though, my preteen mid-80's self was more concerned with having jelly shoes & bracelets in every color possible, getting my bangs cut into "wings," and trying to make certain that Jerry Livingston noticed the new Hawaiian-print Jamms I was sportin'. (Ah, Jerry...the "Kirk Cameron" of Russell Elementary...whatever happened to him? I haven't seen him since the day we graduated high school--wonder if he's still dreamy? I digress...) Still...I think of tunes such as "Obsession" by Animotion, "Leather and Lace" by Don Henley & Stevie Nicks, "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran, "Hurts So Good" by John "Cougar" Mellencamp and "Hot Blooded," by Foreigner. And don't even get me started on the entire Prince canon. Or "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes. (See "She-Bop" reference above.)

I hope y'all are now picturing me as an innocent 10 year old, ignorantly humming along to Sheena Easton as she pleads, "Your body's on fire--admit it--come inside!" And I also hope this has sparked your (dirty) minds...let me know what tunes you performed in front of the mirror, hairbrush in hand, never realizing the seediness lurking beneath seemingly innocent lyrics. Come on! Let's make a list. Call it the "Dude, I sang about fornication as an 8 year old and didn't even know it!" list. Or come up with a better name...whatever...just feel free to share. I know we'll have some head smacking moments of reflection...as in, "Oh yeah--I totally get what Elton John meant when he sang "rollin' like thunder under the covers!'" And this was before he was out! Seriously!

30 comments:

Amy said...

This is really funny. I hear people complain about the lyrics of todays songs all the time. I forgot that we had the same thing. You're right though, my mom and dad never said a word. I don't think they even noticed to be honest. "I Kissed A Girl," doesn't have anything on what we used to listen to. I'm going to try and think of some good ones for you, but it's early and I just got some coffee. Have a great Labor Day!

ugagirl30 said...

You know what's sad??? Until I read this post, I did not realize that any of those songs were suggestive. Not the Coug!! Where were our parents??? I'd love to hold this over my mom's head!!!!

Caroline said...

Oh yeah girl. I didn't look up She-Bop, but I can pretty much narrow it down....eeewww. Anyway, my parents were pretty tight on what we could listen to. When I was in like 5th or 6th grade, we listened to George Michael's Faith album. My next door neighbor dubbed a tape for me and my mom made her take off "I Want Your Sex". Some of the popular "rap" songs when I was in 6th grade were "Funky Cold Medina", and "Wild Thing" and now when I listen to the lyrics I think "ugh, yuck!" Another 80's song that is totally risque is Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax". Yep, there' a lot of smut out there and we must protect the ears of our little chickens from hearing all of it. At least they could sing along to my "Songs of Wal-Mart" album. Its going to be rated G.

heathersister said...

I remember Rhonda (the other sister) and I singing Rod Stewart's Tonights the Night (Gonna Be Alright) and asking "what's a virgin?" The response to that was (after the laughting stopped) "something you better be." It was years later before I figured that one out. Look up the lyrics to a song by Akon, I Wanna Love You. OMG, I had heard the clean version on the radio and was horrified when I heard the explicit version that I, me, her mother, purchased for my daughter for Christmas. The CD was marked "EXPLICIT MATERIAL" but I had nooooo idea.

Melissa said...

Soooo many tunes that fit the bill for ooh too sexy. I can't believe my mother let me listen to them. She wouldn't even let me watch General Hospital. I did that on the down low.

Dawn said...

That's too funny AND true! At least back then, they disguised the meaning. Now, I am changing the station when my 14 year old son and I are listening to "lick you like a lollipop" and "i kissed a girl & I liked it." It's crazy!

Robin said...

You're right on the Prince songs. I was a married woman when I realized what a "pocket full of Trojans" meant and "jockeys that had been there before me." I sang as loud as the next one myself!! And no, I don't think the songs today are smart enough to hide the smut. They just try to be blatant for the sake of doing it!

Heather said...

I am cracking up at Michelle's comment (my sweet sister). You will have to ask her how her and Rhonda taught me the "Juicy Fruit" song...I wonder if she remembers the words ('cause I don't).

Madonna, Prince, Cyndi Lauper...ohh, those were the days.

sassy stephanie said...

OMgosh how funny. I loved and still love Grease. Watching now, as an adult and a mom, I realize just how totally and completely insane my mom was for letting me watch it at such a young age.

How about all the KISS songs. Nothing BUT sexual reference.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Oh yeah... I remember first realizing what John Travolta meant when he said "the chick's will cream" oh my.....

BTW - there will be NO suits... Jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts...

Ony requirement? Plaid thongs.

Oh my gosh - I just had a brilliant inspriation!!!! OOOOOOOO

Kat said...

I totally did not get the sexual "innuendo" in song lyrics during my youth. Not at all. And recently I watched "Greas" with Katie - to show her the HSM of my generation. I looked up the lyrics to "Grease ligtning" and oh, my. And now it makes sense as to why they were running around the shop with saran wrap...

And the Blister in the Sun song - the Violent Femmes say it is NOT about that. But it still made me giggle when - was it Wendy's? - used it in an ad campaign.

Pinky Roth said...

I never listened to the lyrics, so I did not know what the songs meant?? If I had, you would have not listened to them...just saying!

Mom

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I agree. I listened to the same stuff. What were our parents thinking?

Def Leppard's "Pour some sugar on me" or remember, "Touch Myself."

And hello, we're getting upset about "I Kissed a Girl." The old stuff we listened to is equally bad and nasty.

Lauren W said...

You know, it's funny, I had this same realization my freshman year of college, singing karaoke to the Spice Girls... Anyway... I totally feel you on this one...

Live.Love.Eat said...

wow, you take me back. I had no idea about she-bop. And I can't take my eyes off of Sheena's heavy enameled earrings in this video. My earlobes are torn apart from those big earrings. And the wings in the back of the hair.....man, mine looked like a duck's arse. Thanks for the music lesson...some of this I did not know.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

Isn't it funny when all of that hits you? I sang it all too, happily and cluelessly. The thing is, I never even remember wondering or CARING what it meant. I just sang it. My parents never seemed to notice and they were strict.
A couple that come to my mind are "Passion" and "Do ya think I'm sexy" both by Rod Stewart, and "Relax" as someone else mentioned up there.
Hilarious to look back on!
I also had no clue about SheBop until just now!

Mama's Losin' It said...

I used to rock out to TLC "ain't 2 proud 2 beg"

"2 inches or a yard, hard rock or if it's saggin"

That's right...every 8th grader in America should know their ain't no harm in beggin' for a piece.

And no Maile will not be over to color, she's grounded and I'm NOT wavering on that Lula!!

Now you'll excuse me while I go work on bedroom eyes...thanks for the tips Sheena.

CaraBee said...

Okay, I had NO idea that is what She-Bop was about!! I thought it was dancing, too. How naive was I? I'm right there with you on all of the songs. I had no understanding of the blatant sexuality of the lyrics. Meanwhile, when George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" came out, I was totally scandalized. Kindof funny now.

Vicki @ notsosahm.wordpress.com said...

Did I mention Let's Get Physical the first go around? 'Cuz I should have. The video so tried to convince our little minds that it was all about working out.

Britt said...

Hungry Like the Wolf? Totally sang that one at the top of my lungs on road trips .. and didn't get the innuendo till you mentioned it. My dad hated that I loved Maggie by Rod Stewart. I think I was 14 when I finally understood the line about breaking his bed.

That Sugar Walls song totally made me blush ... lol! And it also made me kinda glad I missed the 80's hehe

Britt said...

Oh and right as I hit the send button, I remembered another one. Space Cowboy by Steve Miller Band and, "Really love your peaches Wanna shake your tree"

My dad was complaining about the lyrics of my music when I was a teenager and my mom used that line to prove music wasn't so innocent when they were younger. I was shocked .. totally thought the girl in the song just grew really great produce...

Insane Mama said...

I love that some songs have the sexual vibes, I love that I sang ALL those songs, and never had a clue. Today's music is most def. worse than the 80's. Oh how I miss the 80's

Brandy said...

Wow. I was sooo innocent then, and I guess still a little now since I had no clue that she bop was self-induced bopping.

It was a completely different age then. Now everything has a rating and we are always worried about what our kids hear, see and more importantly imitate. Me included.

Even with all these bad, bad artists around and no parental advisories, I don't think I turned out too bad...

Tiffany said...

We had to take Grease off the camp "Mock Rock" song list... and don't even get me started on Grease II... "reproduction, reproduction, baby give it to me now."

Gina said...

Today in the car it was "Father Figure" until I realized that my kids were listening. I wonder what was going on in the dirty old man head of George Michael?

Mama Dawg said...

I totally had no IDEA about those songs. Thanks for letting me know!

I love all of them and I listened to all of them as well.

I don't think our parents knew what they were about either.

I'm gonna ask my mom tonight when I get home if she knew and just didn't care or didn't have a clue.

Swirl Girl said...

How hysterical!

If we really think about the lyrics of songs - we'd all stop singing them.

Did you know that Ring Around The Rosie was originally written so little children would not come in contact with other children that had the tell tale ring of 'rosie' which was, in fact, a rash that came from some disease?

Angie's Spot said...

I'm consistently amused by song lyrics that I sang (with complete naivete) as a kid. It makes me think again before I let my girls listen to anything besides their Kindermusik cd's.

Marrdy said...

It's a rude awankening to find out we've all been singing nasty songs and not really knowing it!!

Mrs. S said...

This reminds me of when I first realized how dirty Grease, the movie, is. I mean in Greased Lighting they talk about a "p***y wagon" for real. My parents let me watch this?? I never realized until I was in college.