Cover Your Ears! That's Dirty
Remember when a metaphor used to mean something? Remember when a simile was more than an English quiz annoyance? Music used to be a rogue’s gallery of bizarre analogies and fascinating word play, but thanks to rap music, the song lyric has become so blunt. The one-eyed cat is no longer peekin’ into the seafood store; he’s whipping out his dick and thrusting it into willing vaginas. Nobody wears a tie to work anymore. The Brady Bunch no longer dress up for Sunday Sears’ runs. That’s really sad. People used to own multiple top hats. Think about that for a second. Multiple top hats. But the euphemism is out of the bag now. There’s no going back. Making whoopee and powdering your nose were forced out by their more abrasive brothers, fucking and shitting.
Now, I’m not proclaiming lyricism dead. There are some great writers whoring themselves out in the music industry, but, well, you know how finding a Playboy doesn’t mean the same thing after playing with your first set of real boobs? You know how the first time you heard someone say ’fuck’, the word ’frick’ lost all of its weight and importance? Well, that’s what’s going on here. Like it or not, a lot of music is produced for the teenage market, and most teenagers can’t get behind clever descriptors when a more offensive synonym is being used by the more famous, the more glamorous, and the more aged sibling.
But let’s look back. Let’s fire up our oxen and ford the river back to a simpler time, a time when Communism was still a scary word and 50 Cents was a reasonable price to pay for a gallon of gas. So, stop jerking off and start turning Japanese; these are some of my favorite surreptitiously dirty song lyricisms…
“Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones
Offensive Lyric In Question: You make a dead man cum.
Blunt Translation: You make a dead man ejaculate.
Why It Matters: Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You make a dead man cum is pretty blunt, abrasive, direct and all sorts of other adjectives which mean blatantly obvious even to mouth breathers. I get that. But in this case, it’s not the words themselves but rather where Jagger sticks them. With twenty seconds or so left in the song, good old Mick screams You make a grown man cry then follows it with the more offensive slant rhyme as Keith’s guitar is fading. I guarantee your mom likes this song and I guarantee she would be horrified if she knew what the last two lines said.
“Little Red Corvette” by Prince
Offensive Lyric In Question: Little red corvette.
Blunt Translation: Vagina.
Why It Matters: Has there ever been a better comparison to pussy? I doubt it. Plus, Prince is the Michael Phelps of making everything seem dirty. He could walk into a dialysis clinic and somehow turn the whole thing into a Roman orgy.
“She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper
Offensive Lyric In Question: I can’t stop messin’ with the danger zone.
Blunt Translation: I can’t stop touching my own vagina.
Why It Matters: Did people really not get this at the time? It’s like, “George Michael is WHAT?” “She Bop is about WHAT?” Of course it’s about masturbation, but I guess people weren’t ready to deal with that sorta thing in the Reagan era.
“Something To Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt
Offensive Lyric In Question: Let’s give ’em something to talk about.
Blunt Translation: Let’s fornicate so our friends and can whisper about it behind their backs.
Why It Matters: What a terrible reason to sleep with someone. People said they thought we were hooking up; so, let’s fuck and see how it goes. Even if it’s awkward and shameful, our buddies will at least have stuff to discuss when we’re not around. Take note, future generation.
”Blueberry Hill” by Gene Autry
Offensive Lyric In Question: I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill.
Blunt Translation: I lusted after some random woman on Blueberry Hill.
Why It Matters: Do you know how hard it was to slip anything past the censors in 1940? People hadn’t even started moving out to the suburbs yet. Pearl Harbor was still a year away. But Gene Autry was exciting imaginations and prompting people to ask what the hell happened up there. Besides, you’ve seen that smirk Richie Cunningham had on his kisser every time he started singing this gem, Caligula knows what he was picturing.
“Get Low” by Lil Jon
Offensive Lyric In Question: Skeet. Skeet.
Blunt Translation: Orgasm. Orgasm.
Why It Matters: White people are really slow. We really are. It takes us forever to pick up on anything urban, and this was no exception. Throughout the Midwest, people shook their heads and openly discussed what the hell skeeting could possible be. One of my friends told me it was the sound a gun makes, which apparently isn’t bang; another one told me skeeting was the escape after drugs were stolen, which doesn’t even make sense, in retrospect. The whole thing came to a crescendo during a Dave Chappelle sketch in which he basically just mocked white people’s ineptitude for five minutes before we all found out. I still prefer the drug robbery definition. Maybe I’ll just start using it. Where’s Randal from Clerks?
“Fox On The Run” by Sweet
Offensive Lyric In Question: You talk about every band, but the names you drop are second hand.
Blunt Translation: Just because you fucked someone in the band doesn’t mean you matter.
Why It Matters: Written during a time when groupies were even more prevalent (mid 70s), “Fox On The Run” was a blistering honest note of honesty to scores of lovely ladies who thought banging a rock star would vault them into opulent lives of leisure and romance. Being a little too freewheeling’ might have gotten them close to the band, but it also left a stain forever branding them nothing more than floozies.
Got anymore? Shoot me an email or post them in the comment section…