We've all been there. You're singing along to a favorite song, and suddenly it hits you... this song is about something more visceral than you thought. This is music about sex. While you may feel betrayed that your favorite artist has songs you never realized are about sex, it makes sense that artist have to be discreet. In order to get songs about doin' the dirty past squeamish parents and onto the radio, musicians have to rely on innuendo and subtle cues in their lyrics.
Music about physical intimacy are by no means unheard of. In fact, some song lyrics involve the singer straight-up begging to get laid, and other songs are low key about taking care of business on your own. And some, as the following songs demonstrate, are about getting busy with that special someone, even if you didn't know it the first few listens.
As it turns out, "Sledgehammer" is not about the physical tool. The song's lyrics are filled with phallic innuendos. At different points in the song, Gabriel refers to the male member as a "steam train," "aeroplane, "big dipper, "bumper car," and the titular "Sledgehammer." He also encourages the listener to:
"Open up your fruit cage
Where the fruit is as sweet as can be."
In retrospect, it's hard to believe anyone missed the meaning, but a lot of us did.
Artist: Peter Gabriel
'Glad You Came' By The Wanted
With this song, you may have thought "I'm glad you came" simply meant that the singer is happy that his significant other showed up to his show. However, the band has confirmed that the dirtier interpretation of the song is accurate.
In an interview with a radio show, host Elvis Duran bluntly asked the band, "Is this really a song about having an orgasm?" In response, the band stated, "Yes." They then tried to say that it could really be about going to a party, but the real answer is already out there.
There's a French expression, "le petit mort," which translates as "the little death." The phrase is often used as a euphemism for an orgasm. That euphemism is lightly touched on with the title of "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight."
Songwriter Nick Van Eede explained that he and an ex-girlfriend "got back together for one night after a year apart and I guess there were some fireworks but all the time tinged with a feeling of 'should I really be doing this?'" The title plays on both the idea of the "small death," along with the death of a relationship.
Artist: Cutting Crew
It may sound like it's just a song about how much everyone hates Mondays. In fact, if you judged it just based on the title, you might think the song was written by Garfield. But in reality, it was written by Prince, which is a strong indicator the song is about something much more intimate. The clue comes in the song's bridge:
"All of the nights
Why did my lover have to pick last night to get down?"
That's soon followed by:
"He tells me in his bedroom voice,
C'mon honey, let's go make some noise, Time it goes so fast
(When you're having fun)."
No wonder The Bangles preferred Sunday to Monday.
Artist: The Bangles