When was the last time you really listened to song lyrics from “oldies” songs? No really…truly listened to them? My sister recently had a post on Facebook, referencing the song “Hot Stuff” from Donna Summer, and commented that if our parents had truly listened to those words, well, the high school pep band would NEVER have been allowed to play it. That got me to thinking, what other songs might have lyrics that we never really thought about (maybe because we misheard them, and didn’t have Google at our fingertips to look them up?) So I went in search of lyrics of some of the songs I’ve listened to. Keep in mind I’m a child of the 70’s, I LOVE that music. Oh boy, did I find some online gold!
Jefferson Starship’s “Miracles” always was so innocuous, until I heard a station play the album cut of the song, which was not the general radio play version. I about drove off the road when I heard “I had a taste of the real world, when I went down on you girl”. No wonder stations didn’t play the album cut! Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” isn’t much better either.
“Moonight Feels Right” by Starbuck always sounded like he was singing about having sex, although apparently he wrote the song about a woman he wanted to date. He fell for her photo and registered at the college she attended to meet her. After asking her out for the third time, she accepted and that’s when “the wind blew some luck in my direction” Bruce Blackman, the songwriter says. The little novelty song took off in 1976. Yet, when I hear the end of the second verse, it sounds anything but innocent. Next time you hear it, see what you think. I guess he was successful as he married her. But “Afternoon Delight”? Yeah, no way was that innocent.
On the other hand, the guys in Supertramp sang about not getting anything in “Breakfast in America”, with “Take a look at my girlfriend, She’s the only one I got, Not much of a girlfriend, Never seem to get a lot”. Poor guys. I really feel for you.
Back in high school, we drove 8 miles to be able to go roller skating in the next town over. (I realize there are probably a few of you reading this thinking “roller skates? What’s that?” Well, think Roller Blades, but in a rectangular shape instead of in-line.) I can still remember one of our favorite skating songs was Foghat’s “Slow Ride”. Um yeah, about that? The chorus goes like this: “Slow down, go down”. Heck, it was so popular that years later it made it into the soundtrack of “Dazed and Confused”, which is a hoot of a movie about the last day of school in 1975. Not only is it’s soundtrack incredible, but it has up and coming young stars Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey, but I digress. If our parents knew we were skating to that song, we’d probably never have been let out of the house.
“NIght Moves” by Bob Seger is exactly what it sounds like, but I didn’t always quite catch all of that first verse so I looked it up. For those of you who weren’t exactly sure what he was singing about, here ya go:
I was a little too tall
Could’ve used a few pounds
Tight pants point hardly renowned
She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points all her own sitting way up high
Way up firm and high
Journey and Steve Perry (yep, I’m cheating, they’re the 80’s. ) “Anyway You Want It”. Nuff said. But I still love listening to Perry, no matter what.
I know, if you go looking for trouble you surely will find it, right? Kind of like “Lookin’ for Love in all the Wrong Places”.
How about The Partridge Family? I have to admit I had a crush on David Cassidy as a teen, and maybe even a little still as an adult too in spite of his problems as an adult. But completely clean, innocent lyrics that were family friendly? Here’s “Summer Days”:
I feel the sunlight on my face
When I just close my eyes and I trace
The footpath to your daddy’s summer place
Where we spent our early summer days
The hill we climbed that went on forever
We reached the top of the world together
Yeah, you gave your love to me and I remember perfectly
High above all time and space and I remember summer days
Um, yeah. Innocent. Or maybe it’s me. No matter, I’ll still sing this and other Patridge Family songs, or any of the ones I mentioned above out at the top of my lungs, and have fun doing it.
What are your favorite old guilty pleasure songs? Share some of them with me, I’d love to hear some other examples!
2 thoughts on “Say What????”
Not going to give you any examples, but these “hidden meanings” did not start in the 70’s, or even the 60’s. Sneaking sexual tidbits into recorded goes back into the 30s, and 20s. But unrecorded music goes back into the 19th century, at least. And probably 1000 years before that. It was the Puritans who tried to clean it up, but they never succeeded. Thank god!
Oh I don’t kid myself that they started in the 70’s, only that it’s when I first became aware of them. I’m sure each generation did, in fact, have it’s scandalous music, poetry, and books. Lady Chatterly’s Lover comes to mind…