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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
All-Top Time 5: Sexual Euphemisms in Pop Music Lyrics (In No Particular Order)
1. "Baby you can drive my car"/"I wonder how your engine feels" (The Beatles, "Drive My Car"/Simon & Garfunkel, "Baby Driver")
"Drive My Car":
"Baby Driver" by Simon & Garfunkel is by far and away the most smashingly successful instance of sexual euphemization in a pop song I've encountered, but I already wrote about it, so I will instead discuss my second-favourite "song about driving that is actually a song about sex," "Drive My Car" by the Beatles.
For some inexplicable reason, I always think that "Drive My Car" is a George Harrison song (I think because it's Track One on Rubber Soul, and Track One on Revolver is "Taxman," a George song, and Rubber Soul and Revolver are similar albums, so I get confuddled); it kind of bugs me that it's not, because the idea of 1965 George Harrison sexual-euphemizing about cars is a lot cuter than the same idea transposed onto 1965 John and Paul- 1965 John and Paul seem too world-weary and wise to require euphemization; in real life, they'd probably just say the thing.
"Drive My Car" is cool because the chick in the song totally euphemizes back, so, in a way, this song could be described as a "proto-second-wave-feminist classic." Says she, "Working for peanuts is all very fine/But I can show you a better time." Paul McCartney is a Hyundai; this babe is an Alfa-Romeo. She knows it; anti-Pauliciously, so does he.
I just wonder what all this "Yes, I'm gonna be a star" business really means. If I ever write a "heavy on the sexual euphemisms" song, it's going to be about stars for real, ie. exploding novas, or maybe geometry sets. Protractors? Compasses? SLIDE RULES?? The possibilities are endless!
2. "Roll up the windows, Baby/ Talk in code" (The Fiery Furnaces, "Chris Michaels")
Oh, Friedberger! Is that how you talk dirty to a girl? That's funny. Actually, the lyrical content of the entire Fiery Furnaces' oeuvre is surprisingly rife with sexual innuendo, considering what a non-sexual band they are (id est: they are brother and sister; one of the band members is Matthew Friedberger). For instance-
1. The song title "A Candymaker's Knife in my Handbag" in itself.
2. (From "Black-Hearted Boy") "Go dangle your fish-hook out in the gutter again." (EW!!!!)
3. (From "Bow Wow") "I have to tell him his commands all in Dutch/ He likes to treat/ But he don't like to touch much"
4. (From "Oh Sweet Woods") "They drove me to an Albertson's outside of Boise/ And took me into a back room. And they said they wanted to balance my checkbook/ And they said the wanted to organize my receipts/ And itemize my expenses."
5. (From "Spaniolated") "An old man with a burlap bag said "How you doin', my daughter?"/He put me in the hole of his old rusty crawler/ And fed me three pills a day to keep me from getting taller."
6. (From "Wolf Notes") "I double stop on any open string/ Screw my G on up to B-flat." (That's really hot to me, actually. Not so innocent after all, are we, Friedberger?)
3. "I kissed you with my rabbit's foot/I made your orange peel" (Luna, "Orange Peel")
Because Dean Wareham is one of the straight-up comeliest dudes I ever done did lay the ol' peepers on (FYI: I just typoed "peepers" as "peppers," which sounds like sexual innuendo in itself, especially when you think about Edward Weston's creepy sexual peppers photographs). Therefore, any lyric Dean Wareham sings that is even the slightest bit erotic takes on near-Biblical (well, if the Bible talked about sex, I mean) sexiness proportions in my books. Dean Wareham for Laura Jane Faulds is sort of like Jenna Jameson (or Jessica Biel, or Jennifer Love Hewitt) to a frat boy. I never bothered reading Black Postcards, Dean Wareham's shitty-looking "rock and roll memoir," but apparently he talks about infidelity in it, which would probably function as erotica for me. Anyway, I don't know if you've picked up on this yet, but my point is: I want to have sex with Dean Wareham, and when he sings "I made your orange peel," it makes me feel like my skin is literally peeling off my body because I am so desperate to get it on with Dean Wareham. In conclusion, "making one's orange peel," is a fabulous sexual euphemism, especially when it relates specifically to having sex with Dean Wareham. Great job, Dean Wareham!
PS: CALL ME.
4. "Got no making left but making you do" (The Bee Gees, "The Earnest of Being George")
The only thing that could make every last note of this song sexier would be if Dean Wareham was singing it, but that's barely even true, because Dean Wareham would whiny it up, and I like the decisiveness of the vocal. This track is chock-full of euphemisms for everything: my favourite "Earnest of Being George" lyric is "You bought my love and I paid," but that's a life-euphemism, not a sex-euphemism, so who cares? "Makin' you do," is about as literal as a sexual euphemism can be, but its "Got no makin' left" accompaniment takes it into euphemism territory. What I think that sentence really means is, "I hate you, and you bore me, but you're kind of hot, so I'm not going to slack in the slack this time around," which is a sexy sentiment, especially when you imagine Barry "Sexier than Matthew Friedberger" Gibb singing it. But with my luck, it's not Barry singing those words, it's one of his baby bros, who I call The Weenie Twins, because they are twins, and weenies.
PS: RIP, Maurice Gibb.
5. "I'm thinkin' about my doorbell/When you gonna ring it?" (The White Stripes, "My Doorbell")
All this talking about sex is making me think about Brody Jenner. I am thinking about Brody Jenner because a) I wonder if he knows what a sexual euphemism is (probably not), b) I wonder if he ever uses sexual euphemisms (probably not, unless they relate to baseball, or maybe energy drinks), and c) I wonder what Brody Jenner actually says to a girl when he wants to get in her pants (probably something so disgusting that my demure wee self could not even fathom it). My point is, I like how all my sexual euphemisms of choice are kinda cute; as in, they are all spoketh by dudes who are too pure of heart and mind to say the actual nasty truths of what they actually mean (except for those nasty filthbags John Lennon & Paul McCartney). I love sweetie-pie dude-babies! They are so sweet, and hot, and cute, and I want every last one of them to drive my car, feel my engine, roll up my windows, balance my checkbook, peel my orange, make me do, and ring my doorbell.
Knowing Jack White and his taste for old-fashioned, Scarlett O'Hara-brand decorum, I think bro might actually be talking about doorbells on this one. Which is adorable! As much as the hotter, heavier aspect of dude-relationships is hot, heavy and awesome, I have to say that, in the end, I agree with Jack White. All I ever want them to do is ring my doorbell, sit in my bedroom, listen to "Arthur" by the Kinks with me, and share their "Arthur"-opinions.
And then, maybe, if they're lucky, later on we could "talk in a little code."
Tags: Arthur, Brody Jenner, Dean Wareham, dude-babies, dudes, dudes are hot, frat boys, Friedberger, Jack White, Jenna Jameson, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Pauliciousness, Scarlett O'Hara, sex, sexual euphemisms, The Brothers Gibb
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