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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he radio waves earlier this year were filled by rapper Pitbull’s megahit “Timber,” featuring the sweet-and-naughty sounds of pop tartlet Kesha (who has since dropped the dolla from her moniker after a stint in rehab, which can be costly).
Like countless Jay Z or Katy Perry lyrics and Usher’s recent hit “Good Kisser,” Pitbull’s high-energy countrified pop-rap hit is a classic case of employing double entendre: songs that suggest something innocent but harbor naughtier intentions. It’s a practice in writing that stretches back to ancient literature, but seems to have been perfected by songwriting — let’s just say that things are going down in Pitbull’s contemporary celebration of sexual excess, and they’re not trees.
“Timber” got us thinking about the raunchiest, most suggestive and most clever songs of the rock and roll era. Here’s our list. Yours might look different, depending on what you’re into between the sheets and over the internet. Let us know what other songs belong in the comments section.
15. “Girls on Film” by Duran Duran
The pretty-boy Brit quintet ruled the 1980s with steamy videos of sexy synth-pop filmed in far-off locales. None were sexier than their 1981 breakthrough hit. A raunchy R-rated underground version of the song’s video only fueled its fire. The introductory sounds of clicking cameras lead listeners to believe the “Girls on Film” are magazine models. The lyrics betray a different story: those “Girls on Film” are porn stars.
The incriminating lyrics: “The diving man’s coming up for air; cause the crowd all love pulling Dolly by the hair, by the hair.”
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14. “The Lemon Song” by Led Zeppelin
The mighty Zeppelin rose to fame reinterpreting blues standards in hard-rocking fashion. Few efforts were better than “The Lemon Song” from their monumental heavy-blues second album in 1969. It’s a mishmash of various lyrics and riffs: “Killing Floor” by Howlin’ Wolf, “Traveling Riverside Blues” by Robert Johnson, and “She Squeezed My Lemon” by Art McKay.
The lemon in question, of course, is no lemon at all — and the passion incited by the touch of said citrus entraps Robert Plant, in classic blues fashion, in an otherwise miserable relationship.
The incriminating lyrics: “Squeeze me baby; Until the juice runs down my leg; The way you squeeze my lemon I’m gonna fall right out of bed.”
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13. “Squeeze Box” by The Who
Poor Papa Daltrey can’t get no sleep because Mama Daltrey has certain needs. The racket caused by her squeeze box (“in and out and in and out”) can be heard all around the neighborhood. The noise of the alleged accordion even keeps the kiddies up at night, prompting little Roger’s buddy Pete to pen a suggestive song about it back in 1975.
The incriminating lyrics: “Come on and tease me like you do; I’m so in love with you; Mama’s got a squeeze box; Daddy never sleeps at night.”
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12. “Fish” by Craig Campbell
Country music can always be counted on to provide a clever lyrical storyline that’s comically self-conscious. “Fish,” a 2011 hit by then Nashville newcomer Campbell, is one of those tunes. It’s about a young man who has found the perfect woman: she’s a sexy young country cutie who loves his truck and loves to, um, fish.
The incriminating lyrics: “Man, I can’t even believe my luck; I found a girl who loves to fish; She wants to do it all the time.”
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11. “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones
Transatlantic musical magic unfolded in the 1960s when pair of English schoolboys, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, channeled the darkest spirits of the Antebellum America South. That spirit gave us rock classics such as “Honky Tonk Women,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and, of course, the bouncy, hook-filled yet sadistic 1971 masterpiece “Brown Sugar.” The “Brown Sugar” in question has been rumored to be many things, including heroin. In reality, the “Brown Sugar” that “tastes so good” is the paramour in a steamy yet non-consensual love affair with her slave master.
The incriminating lyrics: “Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing alright; hear him whip the women just around midnight.”
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10. “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross
Diana Ross was still a sexy 36-year-old in 1980 when she screamed over and over on international airwaves, “I’m… coming!” On the surface it’s the story of a liberated woman breaking free of unnamed relationship shackles. Dig a little deeper, and it’s the story of an orgasmic woman in the throes of a middle-aged sexual reawakening.
The incriminating lyrics: “I think this time around; I am gonna do it; Like you never do it; Like you never knew it.”
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9. “Shakin’” by Eddie Money
Before she rose to fame in Prince flick “Purple Rain” Apollonia was the object of Money’s lust as red-hot Rosanna in the video for his thunder-beat 1982 hit “Shakin’.” She plays a classic rock archetype: the blossoming young chickita who gets a sexual charge from fast cars and who will make the dangerous ride worth your while. Apollonia may be shakin’, but she ain’t nervous and she ain’t dancin’. “Shakin’” is too overtly suggestive to be double-entendre. Call it single entendre. But raunchy just the same.
The incriminating lyrics: “It takes a lonely night with nowhere to go; Just call Rosanna; It’s a hell of a show.”
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8. “Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard
If you want to know why people thought rock and roll marked the downfall of American decency, go back and listen to this rowdy early-rock classic from 1958. Hard to believe it was even on the air in the era of “Leave it to Beaver” (speaking of double entendre). The phrase “rock and roll” was originally a euphemism for sex and “Good Golly Miss Molly” doesn’t mince words. It’s a salacious piano-fueled rocker about a libidinous young woman sleeping with every guy in town, much to the chagrin of her mother.
The intention of the song changes if you say “Good Golly Miss Molly” with mom’s exasperated disbelief; or with the rocket-charged excitement of one of her lovers, as sung by the raucous Richard.
The incriminating lyrics: “Good golly Miss Molly. Sure like to ball; When you’re rocking and a rolling; Can’t hear your momma call.”