There are a number of topics I keep meaning to write about yet never manage to get around to actually doing so.
One of these is an annotated playlist of the “naughty” pop songs that inspired countless giggle fits during my formative years. I’m talking about tracks where the “double” part of double entendre was the the flimsiest of pretexts — a transparent dodge meant to preserve the chances of getting played on the radio and avoid sales-killing sanction.
It was a tricky line to walk. If pulled it off correctly, though, it could spin the vicarious transgression into solid gold.
(This category of songs should not be confused with the separate-but-related class of tracks whose lyrics could be easily adapted for maximum scatological hilarity. I have the fondest of memories about busting a gut to my pal Artie’s rendition of “Don’t Go Making Me Fart” — with appropriate flatuential sound effects — but it was no “The Stroke.”)
Maybe it’s just a case of temporal bias, but my childhood years seemed like a boom time for suggestively smutty pop songs. Eventually I’ll get around to compiling a proper list, but today I’m going to single out one with particular resonance for the spooky season.
Recommended listening: Fred Schneider – Monster (from Fred Schneider and the Shake Society, 1984)
Besides the fact he’s not-so-subtly singing about his hyperactive Wonka Bar (to use some North Woburn slang from my kiddie days), the song is especially remarkable for how perfectly Schneider mimics the cadences of playground chants.
There’s a monster in my pants
And it does a nasty dance
When it moves in and out
Everybody starts to shout
…could’ve been composed on the fly by some recess Rimbaud at any elementary school in Reagan’s America. It’s the distilled essence of the form, the notion of (no pun intended) pulling a performative fast one for some easy chuckles.
If had an earlier release date, “Monster” would’ve displaced AC/DC’s “Big Balls” in my transgressive thrills pantheon. By the time 1984 rolled around, though, I’d already graduated to a wider world of manic pop sleaze.