Rock and Roll Shock

jackIf you’ve been listening to classic Rock and Roll for more than a week,

I’m sure you probably have noticed the propensity of songwriters to have taken certain liberties in their lyrics……

You know….
like when Marty Balin snuck this little gem into the Jefferson Starship’s “Miracles”:

” I had a taste of the real world
(Didn’t waste a drop of it)
When I went down on you, girl. “

This lyric, had it been noticed by the record company ahead of it’s release, would have surely been modified–

aI remember those days of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s-

( of course, I was a mere child,
….. and a wonderfully handsome and well behaved one at that )

Most people today think it was a wide open society at the height of a sexual revolution,

But the truth is, this was still a very tight-assed era —

Ed Sullivan almost wet himself when Jim Morrison used the original lyric from “Light My Fire” — “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” on his TV show……

bSupposedly, the lyric had to do with getting high, and not about the heights that love could take you — and the show’s producers told the band they’d have to change it.

The band agreed to change it for the program, to:
Girl, we couldn’t get much better” — ( I know, insipid, right?)

but Jim being Jim, well….

…….when he was told he’d never, ever, ever get to be on the Ed Sullivan show again, Jim replied that “Hey man, we just DID the Ed Sullivan Show“.

It did cause quite a stir, and most of the mainstream media wasn’t amused.

cThat same show forced the Rolling Stones to change their lyric
( which was also the TITLE of the song ) from:
Let’s Spend The Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together“.

— yeah, not really the same thing there, is it?

Mick sang it the way they wanted it, although he was rolling his eyes the entire time…

dI’ve never been able to decide whether he gets any brownie points for that, but you can’t blame the guy, I guess, for protecting himself from the moral-mob.

Maybe that explains why the guy is still around, I dunno.

After numerous complaints, the FBI spent a good deal of money and special agent man-hours in the 1960’s investigating whether the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” contained any illegal, immoral, or perfidious messages in the otherwise unintelligible lyrics of that song.

eIn the end, they couldn’t make heads or tails of it, any more than you or I can.

And Chuck Berry’s “My Ding A Ling” was banned by over 90% of U.S. rock and roll radio stations of the day, not because Berry was black, but because the song seemed to be about masturbation… ( which of course, it was).

So most people would have reacted negatively to an obvious cunnilingus reference in a popular song, even some of those who thought of themselves as hip.

fNot me …. although I will admit that it’s tacky- that part about ‘didn’t waste a drop’.

It is buried deep — you really got to listen for it, but once you hear it, you always will.

And I figure, no harm, no foul — if it did any good opening people’s minds up to something as groovy and erotic as oral, well, I’m in, man.

( It always surprises me how many people STILL are shocked by it.

So I got no problem with putting stuff into a song —- or hiding it somewhere the censors won’t notice it.

gAnd it’s a good thing, too– cause the truth is, it’s done all the time.

Take the song “Pearl Necklace” by ZZ Top:

….. the part about her being a “kinky girl” wanting the “… kinda jewelry she’s talkin’ bout really don’t cost that much”

Now, I’m not gonna hit this too hard,
………… but Billy Gibbons isn’t talking about giving his girlfriend jewelry.

aMore of a temporary decoration.

Peractio Sumptuosus.

Not being into this particular kink myself,
…… and because I’m way too classy a guy to explain this concept,
(without losing half my readers …),
will leave it to the Urban Dictionary

Just click the link above, and you’ll be transported to a world of revelation and wonder.

Or somethin’.

I had no idea there were so varieties, lemme just say that.


I mighta shocked you already, so I’ll back off a bit here with this next one.

Remember Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Back My Bullets“?

It ain’t about loading shot guns.

Sorry, Bubba.

Actually, it was an attempt on the part of Gary Rossington to complain about the nature of the music business — a ‘bullet’ was an element of the Billboard Top 100 hits, which indicated that a song was rising in the charts — and was likely to continue.c

If they took your bullet, it meant that the song was no longer ‘rising’ in popularity, and it’s time as a ‘hit song’ was now very limited.


You can also do the double entendre thing in reverse.

The Who’s “Squeeze Box” for instance….

” Mama’s got a squeeze box , she wears on her chest,
when Daddy comes home, he never gets no rest

Sounds dirty, right?

dPeter Townsend says they wrote it to shock people, but all it really talks about is a woman who liked to play her accordion.


Hey, man — it can be dirty if I want it to be.


Here’s a couple of double-triple-quadruple entendre song with lyrics that are hard to ignore when talking about this subject.e

The Door’s cover of Howlin Wolf’s “Back Door Man” —

Hey all you people tryin’ to sleep
I’m out to make it with my midnight dream
Because I’m a back door man
The men don’t know
But the little girls understand

and Eric Burdon and the Animals’ “Spill The Wine” :

f” I stood high upon a mountain top,
naked to the world

In front of every kind of girl
There was long ones, tall ones, short ones
Brown ones, black ones, round ones, big ones, crazy ones
Out of the middle, came a lady
She whispered in my ear something crazy, she said

Spill the wine and take that pearl

Cum on…. do I really have to explain these ?



35 thoughts on “Rock and Roll Shock

  1. Jen says:

    I totally believe these signs, man …. totally! You would never believe what makes it into church flyers 😉

    There’s a line in Cream’s “White Room” that sounds obnoxious … not necessarily obscene. Instead of “platform ticket” it sounds like he’s saying “that dumb **ckhead”. 😉

  2. Love this post!
    When my oldest was 12 (he’s MUCH older now!), he and I had a talk about current rock songs and their sexual meanings. And in the convo, I said, “Of course none of the songs I listened to in the 70’s and 80’s had sexual meanings.” Then he started quoting song lyrics from my fav rock bands, and I went, “Oh darn!” HA!!! 😉 😀 Darn kid knew too much about the music I listened to and loved! 🙂
    Having many older siblings, I heard a lot of songs I was probably too young to hear. For example, I remember being 11…12 and listening to Gary Puckett songs like “Young Girl”.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  3. Annie B says:

    Perfect post!

  4. Bastet says:

    Did the F.B.I. really investigate “Louey Louey”??? Anyway what an interesting post … and loved those church signs … some of them are way weird … and that cartoon … uhm …

  5. sourgirlohio says:

    So many of us just enjoy playing the accordion……;)

  6. (Hit send too soon.) “She comes to my room” Van would not change it so the “Shadows of Knight” covered it and says “calls out my name”. ?? ? and it made the top ten. Van re-released it in ’72 with original lyrics and it didn’t make the charts. I liked the B side better anyway , “Baby Please don’t go.

  7. That is why we never heard Van Morrison sing “Gloria” on the radio. In the mid west anyway because WLS objected to

  8. I love this post… I remember a conversation with my mom when I was younger about an everly brothers song and did it mean what it suggested – of course it did!
    (And the church signs are great!!)

  9. Those church posts, are they seriously for real? Anyway, the second church quote says it all, to the vulgar…….

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