There's nothing wrong with being obvious in a song. Marvin Gaye sang "Let's Get It On", and the ladies melted. Al Green claimed "You Ought to Be with Me", and babies were made.

But sometimes, sexiness takes a back seat to "poetry", and you get these: the most absurd sexual metaphors and euphemisms in pop music.

09. Katy Perry - “Milk Milk Lemonade” (2010)

Lyrics: “Milk, milk, lemonade / around the back’s where chocolate’s made”

In this baffling cut excised from the final release of Perry’s Teenage Dream, a scatological schoolyard chant is turned into a sweaty come-on. Uh, OK? Perry’s double-entendres are usually obvious; fruit, a phallic popsicle, we get that. But lemonade? Chocolate? Milk? She assures her suitors that if they’re thirsty, they “Can come and have a drink.” Hello, dehydration.

Perry, we’re not sure which male demographic you’re satisfying with that one, but you might want to sign their CDs with latex gloves.

08. Dinah Washington - “Long John’s Blues” (1948)

Lyrics: “I went to Long John’s office, and told him the pain was killin’ / he told me not to worry, that my cavity just needed fillin’”

In this sultry blues classic, torch singer Dinah Washington sets up a completely relatable scenario: her tooth is aching, and only the best/largest dentist in town can fix it. Not sure why he has to be seven feet tall, but you rarely hear a pop song about the importance of oral hygiene, so just go with it.

Then you realize, yeah, it’s actually about needing action so bad it hurts, a metaphor that starts to elicit eye-rolls when John pulls out his “trusty drill” and “feels (her) whole inside.” Not a bad song, but oh baby, is dentistry just the least sexy thing on Earth or what?

07. Billy Idol - “Dancing With Myself” (1980)

Lyrics: “Well I wait so long, for my love vibration / and I’m dancing with myself”

“Dancing With Myself” is something of a right of passage for ‘80s kids, one of those songs that takes on a completely different meaning the older you get.

Idol’s ode to solo “performance”, if you will, is pretty funny, but the fact that he’s apparently standing up, looking at himself in the mirror, and flinging his whole body around like Kevin Bacon in Footloose just makes listeners picture the awful mess that somebody is going to have to clean up.

06. The Beatles - "Penny Lane" (1967)

Lyrics: "He likes to keep his fire engine clean, it's a clean machine / Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, a four of fish and finger pies"

"Penny Lane" is an ode to childhood and the slow process of maturity, peppered with some totally awkward references to diddling. Sure, that is a part of growing up, but coming from Paul McCartney and his " 'Ello Guv-ner!" delivery, it's creepier than fucking Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

05. Led Zeppelin - “The Immigrant Song” (1970)

Lyrics: “To fight the horde, singing and crying / Valhalla, I am coming!”

This one is debatable. Is Robert Plant, champion of groan-inducing sex lyrics, singing about the mythical viking armies sweeping across Olde Europe? Or is this another ode to his groupie-boning prowess, as if they were lands to be conquered? 

We’re going to go with answer “B”, for the win.

04. TV On the Radio - “Wolf Like Me” (2006)

Lyrics: “When the moon is round and full / gonna bust that box / gotta gut that fish”

Not surprisingly, there aren’t many pleasant lyrics to be taken from the old “horniness makes me an animal” metaphor. It usually comes off as uncomfortably creepy, especially on this otherwise fine tune by Brooklyn rockers TV On the Radio.

For one thing, it’s hard to picture a werewolf being patient enough to try and pick up chicks. Would he dress well? Apply some cologne? Shave? At least vampires have a sense of style.

03. Bryan Adams - “Summer of 69” (1985)

Lyrics: “Those were the best days of my life / back in the summer of 69”

Before the invention of Wikipedia, not many people picked up on the fact that one of Bryan Adams’ biggest hits describes a seemingly autobiographical summer of sexual freedom and rock rebellion when he was all of nine years old.

Even creepier: the “69” of the title is the worst double-entendre in the history of music, something Adams finally admitted on The Early Show in 2008. Just like every one of his albums, we wish he’d kept that to himself.

02. Bull Moose Jackson - “Big Ten Inch Record” (1952)

Lyrics: “I really get her going / when I take out my big ten inch... / ...record of the band that plays the blues”

Get it? Not the most subtle entry on this list, but Bull Moose Jackson’s infamous tune raises some interesting questions. Namely, does he have any idea what a penis looks like?

If anything, the penis should be the arm/needle, and the vagina should be the record. Even then, the metaphor still doesn’t make sense, since the arm doesn’t go over the centre hole of the LP. But trying to make sense of the geometrically impossible goings-on in Jackson’s bedroom is beyond us.

01. Fleetwood Mac - “Tusk” (1979)

Lyrics: “Don’t say that you love me / just tell me that you want me / tusk...”

Fleetwood Mac’s songs are full of gender conflict and sexual tension, none more so than “Tusk.” There seem to be no shortage of phallic metaphors in rock and roll, but all we can say about this one is: Ouch.


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