Pop music – it’s all sweet and innocent right? Well, listen to the lyrics and you’ll open up a big ol’ can of worms – raunchy worms with come-to-bed eyes. Pop music is littered with the whole innuendo spectrum that makes you look back at your old school discos in a completely different light. Yeah, I bet you’ve sang along to these (I know I have) and probably attempted to drunkenly gyrate to them too (guilty again) and that’s perfectly fine. Embrace the lyrical sin and the melodic muck, I say! With Nelly Furtado and Flo-Rida soon to release their new singles Big Hoops (Bigger the Better) and Whistle (including the completely innocent line ‘Can you blow my whistle baby?‘) respectively, here’s a roundup of the five most common Pop-uendo themes ranging from the childish to the just plain filthy.
Yes, pop music sometimes likes to think in terms of taste when it should be thinking more about sound. Sensory overload or not, sweet treats are often the first port-of-call for the aspiring Pop-uendo writer. Most frequently picked substance: candy. It’s an americanism and used in every way, shape and flavour. Christina Aguilera‘s Candyman, she proclaims, ‘makes my panties drop‘ as well as her ‘cherry pop‘ (oo-er Mrs, you should get that checked out) not to mention having ‘lips like sugar cane‘ and that he’s ‘got me working up an appetite‘ which probably isn’t Christina referring to the fish course. Aggro Santos‘ own Candy has led him to take the position of the UK candy salesman – ‘Ooo come and getcha some, come and getcha some Candy‘ – which means he’s probably working for 50 Cent at the Candy Shop, who it’s safe to say sounds like a very accomodating boss – ‘I’ll take you to the candy shop, i’ll let you lick the lollipop‘ – which would suck (no sniggers please) if you wanted flying saucers or fizzy cola bottles instead. Also, Flo-Rida‘s Sugar (yes, him again) has some strange side effects – ‘This candy got you sprung‘ (some Willy Wonka shiz going on there) – and he reveals he just likes playing with his food – ‘Squeeze the sugar cane on your mouth, must beat, Ain’t your mama slirp, stickin’, using my tree‘ (I think I’m gonna throw up now…).
Finally, the mother of all sweet-thing Pop-uendos is also up their with the meaning of life in terms of the greatest unanswered questions – Kelis, what is this Milkshake of which you speaketh? Why do all the boys come to the yard for it? And who is this person you’re willing to teach because their own milkshake was annihilated by yours? Could even I, a humble peasant, learn to make this milkshake of the Gods? I guess we’ll never know what Kelis truly meant but, judging by the video, there’s more going on here than the shaking of humble milky puddings…
Technologic? Tech-no-logic. It’s the 21st century – science can create whirring metal machines louder than a hoarde of excited One Direction fans but it’s also a massive new laboratory for Pop-uendo experiments. The list of items referred to is endless and completely bizarre: Rihanna wants you to Shut Up and Drive despite car troubles – ‘My engine’s ready to explode-ode-ode‘ which is never a great sign. Luckily her man can ‘handle what’s under my hood‘ but she could have always asked R Kelly who has a failproof plan for these kind of things – ‘I’m bout to take my key and stick it in the Ignition‘. Sorted. Talking about putting things in holes, plug sockets are quite a common euphemism that aren’t fooling anyone. Basement Jaxx made it oh-so obvious with Plug It In (‘Plug it in, plug it in baby‘) and Pixie Lott suprised us all by spouting pure electronics dirt in Kiss The Stars: ‘Put the plug in the socket give me all your power, when you turn it on I can go for hours‘ (oh using duracell long life are you? That’s nice).
Alternatively, if you’re struggling for ideas, just pick the first man-made thing you can see and hope for the best. For example, Pitbull, that lyrical genius, states as part of his Hotel Room Service ‘I’ll be the plumber tonight, i’ll check your pipes‘ (which makes me want to batter my own face in with rusty piping whenever I hear it), Fergie is wondering ‘How come everytime you come around, my London London Bridge wanna go down?‘ (if the Queen doesn’t sing this at some point during her Jubilee celebrations then I will be disappointed) or just make like Will. I. Am and the Pussycat Dolls and imitate the sounds of your microwave: ‘Imma do my thang whilst you’re playing with your… BEEP‘. Oi, Nicole! The Uncle Bens express rice is done!
Whilst not as common today as some of the others themes, the late 90′s wouldn’t have had any songs released if it wasn’t for their innovative decision to go to Toys-R-Us for their Pop-uendo muses. Who could forget Aqua - Barbie Girl which, even though some people state is a clever message on the plastic-ness of society, will always be remembered as the kids disco song telling young girls plastic surgery is cool, they could and should strip at whim and encouraged jumping into strangers cars if they asked ‘Do you wanna go for a ride?’ and muttered ‘HANKY PANKY‘. So, Barbie what can you do? ‘I can beg on my knees‘. What do you want me to do? ‘Undress me everywhereeee!‘ Calm down dear, its only our first date. Following on from Aqua, you also get such 90′s classics such as B*Witched – C’est La Vie (‘I’m the wolf today hey hey hey, i’ll huff’ i’ll puff… i’ll blow you away‘ only adding fairy-tale wrongness to the immortal line ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours‘), Aguilera’s debut Genie In a Bottle (‘You gotta rub me the right way‘, naturally) and Spice Girls – Wannabe, because no one knew what this ‘Zig-a-zig-aaaaah!‘ the girls kept banging on about was but it sounded naughty. Tee-Hee.
Playtime isn’t just a thing of the past, the 21st century has its fair share of game-themed Pop-uendo too. How about Domino by Jessie J, ‘Take me down like I’m a domino‘ suggesting either a bit of fumbling action or being viciously rugby tackled to the floor (always a turn-on that), or the mind-in-the-gutter hit Sweat by Snoop Dogg & David Guetta featuring the delightful lyrics ‘Can you get me up like i’m late for my first class, so i can give it to you rough like a first draft, You know I got paper babe, them dollar bills, girl I’ll make it rain‘ which is about as nun-like as this song gets.
A simple one this – say something that has two meanings: one for the innocent schoolchildren to sing along to, one for the dirty minded individuals of the world (a.k.a everyone else) to giggle knowingly at . The mere double entendre is constantly being pushed by Pop’s best, brightest and most sexually-frustrated. Britney Spears launched a comeback with Hold It Against Me asking ‘If i said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?’ Yes I would, I mean no I wouldn’t if you meant… oh i don’t know Britters, just leave it out. Rihanna jested ‘Come on Rude Boy boy, can you get it up?‘ to which the world wondered if she meant a set of shelves, flat pack furniture or something else entirely, The Wanted threatened (or promised depending on which way you look at it) ‘I’ll make you Glad You Came‘ (steady on boys) and Will. I. Am flew a spaceship towards the crotches of J-Lo and Mick Jagger in the video for T.H.E., all of them shouting ‘You can go hard or you can go home‘ about twenty-billion times so we got the implications (It’s a menage-a-trois to give you nightmares…).
Let’s face it, boys can be extremely immature and some of the double entendres spouted by male artists are made for the classroom. Taio Cruz, the lyrical wonder who composed that masterpiece ‘I’m wearing all my favourite brands brands brands brands‘, must have had a field day writing Troublemaker with golden moments like ‘Pretend that I’m a dinner, she gon’ me my salt shaker‘ and ‘Cuz we gon’ do some things, hope your daddy ain’t a preacher‘. What are you going to do, miss Sunday School at the local Methodist chapel? On the other hand, Kanye West isn’t one to brag but ‘I’ve got a big ego… stroke my big ego‘ he demands in Beyonce‘s Ego but, my dear, you’re definately not helping matters here by saying ‘It’s too big, its too wide, it’s too strong, it won’t fit‘. I’m not sure when you’ve ever had to fit a person’s ego in anywhere but maybe Sigmund Freud would know, he’d no doubt have something to say about all this regardless…
Finally, it’s time for the animal kingdom to take a turn in the spotlight as the mother of all extended metaphors despite being used only sparingly. Take one animal, compare everything about it to insatiable singer X and you’re on to a roaring chart success. Duran Duran tried it back in their hey-day (Hungry Like The Wolf anyone?) but we now have a few modern equivalents. Enter Shakira – She Wolf – rammed full of bonkers lyrical imagery, it’s a tour-de-force of Pop-uendo in action. How about ‘ ‘There’s a she wolf in the closet, open up and set her free‘ – what, can a ferocious werewolf not break out of a closet? You seem to be panting heavily Miss, that wardrobe door must be shut tight – or ‘I’m starting to feel a little abused like a coffee machine in an office‘ which only gives me strange images of The Apprentice contestants whipping a kenco vending machine. Attempting to go one better is Katy Perry who is enamoured with this Peacock she’s yet to see; a song which is literally one long stream of cock (of the bird variety naturally) with the lovely fowl rhyme ‘need some goose to get loose‘ just in case the message wasn’t clear.
All the pop starlets are at it but Ke$ha takes a different approach – ‘D-I N-O S-A you are a Dinosaur!‘ she proclaims and we’re in prehistoric territory with this one. It’s a essentially a song preaching the dangers of underage grooming furred in cheerleader chants and ‘HA!‘s as if molestation was like totally LOLZ to Ke$ha – ‘You want my meat I know it‘ being the Pop-uendo of choice. Last but not least is a sing-along classic by the Bloodhound Gang which is all about animal love: ‘You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it how they do on the Discovery Channel‘. Maybe they mean a spot of gentle grazing or hunting deers in packs or something; David Attenborough could narrate and we could sell the rights to the BBC! Hurrah! Bad Touch (as is it’s name) is a bit of a blast from the past so let us celebrate the animal magic with one final Pop-uendo: ‘Put your hands down my pants and I’ll bet you’ll feel nuts‘. No thanks Bloodhound Gang, I think i’ll pass….