Hidden in the lyrics
"Tutti frutti, oh rutti, wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!"
You unknowingly mumble the lyrics of a song you love while driving to work. You know it from childhood and will sing it to your children one day. But what if you have no idea that your favorite song celebrates sex instead of unrequited love, friendship, and death?
Birkin and Gainsbourg have depicted sex through the song in the most obvious way. Although most people probably only remembered "Oh oui, je t'aime" from the lyrics, they couldn't help hearing the moaning in the background, which made everyone blush. I suppose the same happens to some people when Marvin Gaye's Sexual healing or Faithless' If lovin' you is wrong comes on the radio. But, on the other hand, we have no problem singing songs in the car with sex buried deep in the lyrics. Why would we, if at first glance we wouldn't even think that maybe it's not about fruit?
The innocent quote above is already like that. The lyrics are made up of easy-to-remember words that mean absolutely nothing. Perhaps you will stop singing them out loud to improve your Italian if I tell you what is behind them? The song is about anal sex. The original lyrics, which were later changed, go like this: "Tutti Frutti, good booty. If it don't fit, don't force it. You can grease it, make it easy."
Cutting Crew released (I Just) Died in your arms tonight in the 1980s, a song still playing on MTV decades later and still popular on radio stations today. The song that made women faint at concerts is not about love but about orgasm. The band member says that he came up with the lyrics below during sex, and it refers to the French La petit mort, or orgasm:
"Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight. It must have been something you said. I just died in your arms tonight. Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight. It must have been some kind of kiss. I should have walked away."
"She's got a ticket to ride. She's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care," we sang at all the parties. The girl is moving away, and the boy cries inconsolably. This is clear; just listen to John Lennon's voice! But in his head, when he wrote the song, he was thinking of no other girl than the German prostitutes who carried a medical card on them proving they were healthy.
Decades later, the Spice Girls' euphoria erupted around the world. We girls were arguing about who would be who, deciding which one would sing, and choosing songs. I remember we were rehearsing at home for our final school performance. Finally, we decided on the song Wannabe, a song about a friendship we didn't know wouldn't last as long as we thought. The only controversial part in the lyrics of this song is the part that, until today, I thought was just listing the names of the girls:
"So, here’s a story from A to Z. You wanna get with me, you gotta listen carefully. We got Em in the place, who likes it in your face. You got G like MC, who likes it on a Easy…V doesn’t come for free, she’s a real lady. And as for me, ha, you’ll see."
Sex on the beach or Cake by the ocean? If the first is a cocktail, the second is the title of a DNCE song, but the meaning is the same. It's not about a kids' party on the beach; it's about a naked adult party.
Leonard Cohen was also a bit of a perverted cat. Although today it is sung, wrapped in sadness, by the singers of America's Got Talent as a profoundly spiritual song, Hallelujah reveals lust that can be caught up in biblical stories, such as the relationship between King David and Bathsheba and Samson and Delilah:
"Your faith was strong, but you needed proof. You saw her bathing on the roof. Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you."
"She tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne, she cut your hair."
Some speculate that Cohen is referring to personal experience, and the evidence for this is that there is no mention of a kitchen chair in the Bible.
The last song I found worth mentioning is now sung by teenage girls and young mothers to their children worldwide and is used as teaching material in schools - Watermelon sugar. It is a song that goes quickly into the ear: sugar, watermelon, strawberries, summer evenings. At first sight, it brings summer to mind, but Harry Styles was thinking about something else. People speculated for a long time, and journalists asked about the meaning of the lyrics. They were so annoying that at the end, he just gave in and admitted the song was about oral sex.
"Tastes like strawberries on a summer evenin’ and it sounds just like a song. I want more berries and that summer feelin’, it’s so wonderful and warm."
You may be mumbling those songs more often from now on, or you may rush to change the radio station, but it's undeniable that there can be a whole range of dirty meanings behind the innocent lyrics.
Watermelon Sugar High!