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12 Provocative Song Lyrics

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Music has stimulated our creativity, enhanced our ability to learn, inspired us to do great things, and in some cases given our bodies something to move and groove to. Song lyrics have given artists an opportunity to push the boundaries of sexuality. This phenomenon has been occurring since at least the early 1930′s (And no, thank you very much, I don’t remember that far back!).

Through my crack-research-team – do not confuse this with my team researching crack use, however – we have compiled a list of twelve songs with lyrics that were, and may still be, considered titillating.

Now I fully expect some double entendre comments, you know who you are – in particular Mikalee (Me 2.0) and Leanne (ironicmom) – and welcome your interpretation, memories, and additions to our “research.”

The Song List

Song name is listed first, then artist, year of the song, and how many weeks on the US Billboard Charts:

12. Why Don’t We Get Drunk, Jimmy Buffett, 1973, never on the charts

Before Jimmy got all “Margarittaville” on us, he came out with this novelty song that got a lot of jukebox airplay, but never hit the charts. Can still be heard in bars and clubs.

11. Squeezebox – The Who, 1975, peaked at #16

The song was really about an accordion, right?? Plus, how could you resist the hot 70′s outfits?

The Who, Daltry, Townsend

10. My Ding-a-Ling, Chuck Berry, 1972, #1 for one week

I’m not sure what that title means. Ringing phone? Calling Mr. Ling? Whatever it means, he loved to play with it … according to the song.

9. Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band, 1976, #1 for two weeks

How could a band not be hugely popular with decapitated “head-shots” on their album cover? And I thought Afternoon Delight meant taking a nap!

Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band, 70's

8. Let’s Get It On, Marvin Gaye, 1973, #1 for two weeks

So very smooth! Marvin put the soul into romantic, groove music. Still one of the best ever! Reminds me a LOT of me … except he can sing and he was cool. :)

Marvin Gaye, let's get it on, Motown

7. Lollipop, Lil Wayne, 2008, #1 for four weeks

Who says you can’t have a mouth full of chrome teeth and still get your sexy on? Could it be Weezy’s version of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

6. Honky Tonk Women, The Rolling Stones, 1969, #1 for four weeks

Fantastic song with a lead singer who dances like a chicken. That has to be sexy! The incomparable Mick Jagger and his band that brought us “Satisfaction.”

The Top 5 Songs (IMO)

5. Like a Virgin – Madonna, 1984, #1 for six weeks

Groundbreaking edginess for it’s time. This is a picture from my wallet that Madonna sent me when she loved me back in the 80′s. Really … it seriously could have happened! I asked her to tone down the underwear look and she ditched me. Her loss, MLB’s gain!

Madonna, like a virgin, boytoy

4. Tonight’s The Night – Rod Stewart, 1976, #1 for eight weeks

Great song! And I’ve been looking for that same, sweet-looking Speedo for years! Britt Ekland was either mad for the hair or the skimpy swim threads! Tonight must have been their night when that pic was taken. Be glad I didn’t put this in the post at full size! Eww … sorry, I just feel a little dirty now.

Rod Stewart, sexy, speedo, Britt Ekland

3. Candy Shop, 2005, 50 Cent feat. Olivia, 2005, #1 for nine weeks

Dapper rapper, 50 Cent, with Olivia, spins this song that is decidedly NOT about buying Hershey’s or Willy Wonka candy. Sorry ladies, no shirt-off Fifty in this post!

50 Cent, Olivia, rapper, Candy Shop

2. Physical – Olivia Newton John, 1981, #1 for ten weeks

How steamy is a unitard with a diaper at the crotch, and leg warmers? Pretty darn spicy … if it’s the 80′s! Twist a little matching white cotton for a headband, and voila – you’re talking UBER-SEXY!! What woman didn’t want to be Olivia back then? And how many guys had posters of her? Maybe I did …

Olivia Newton John, Physical, 80's

1. I’ll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men, 1994, #1 for 14 weeks

Boyz II Men, I'll Make Love to You

According to Billboard Magazine, this trio – who creatively used not one, but two Roman numerals in their name – is the most successful group of the 90′s. The song title says it all; can’t add anything to that. I guess they thought, “Let’s just cut to the chase.” It worked for 14 weeks atop the Billboard Charts – not bad for three guys from Philly!

Okay, you’re saying, “Hey what about fill in the blank with song name??

Lay it on me – figuratively, please! Share what songs you think should have been in my list, or how you feel about the songs above. 

Comments

  1. Any version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah… it’s not so overt, but it’s so…something.

  2. Obscure. ‘Nasty Habits’ by Oingo Boingo.

  3. What about ol’ hip action, Elvis… singing “Surrender”? Pretty tame by today’s standards, but was he ever hot back then!

  4. That picture of Rod Stewart makes baby Jesus cry.

  5. Good choice there… there’s something about Rod Stewart & The dancing Chicken that gets women going… not sure why. Love the RS song, not so the posted pic, eww. And i heard something somewhere that Olivia’s Physical was very Gay, the men were more intersted in each other than her… hot as she was. Great song from a great Aussie chic!

    • Both Stewart and Jagger have stood the test of time. They were and still are fabulous. I remember the ONJ video. It was pretty bad. But I love her! She was so wholesome and innocent. Grease will always be one of my favorite musicals.

  6. Great post. Funny stuff! Rod Stewart… ugh, *dry heave*

    • Poor Rod. I love his music and the raspy voice, but that picture should NEVER have been released. It quite possibly would have hurt my eyes less if he would have been fully unclothed.

  7. Hahaha… one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while, mj! The best line was re: Marvin Gaye: “Reminds me a LOT of me … except he can sing and he was cool.” That’s totally a comparison that I would make, too. :)

    Martha Wainwright has a song called “Ball & Chain” that’s more about male anatomy than it is about being an old-fashioned prisoner or being stuck in monogamy. I blushed a little when I realized what she was *actually* singing about…

    • Thanks Dana! Yeah, I wish I was as smooth as Marvin Gaye!

      Hmmm, Ball & Chain, not familiar with that. I feel so objectified that there’s a song written about that. :)

  8. How ironic that you’re writing this. A blog I’m working on is about music and I’ve discovered that some of the songs are just too inappropriate to admit I grooved to: Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” for one. After Etta James died, I learned one of her earlier songs didin’t get much airplay because it was considered too sexy, “Rolling.” (Had a different connotation.) Just some food – or music – for thought. Enjoyed your blog.

    • Oh, don’t tell me Little Red Corvette had bad connotations? Seriously, I never new that.

      Looking forward to your post. Etta James was hot! Didn’t know she had a sexed-up song, though.

      • Re: Etta James. I don’t recall the lyrics as being risque. I was more caught up in the danceability of a song. Sorry to be a buzzkill about Prince. Despite this, I went to his concert at the Syracuse Carrier Dome. What a showman!

  9. That photo of Rod Stewart is going to give me nightmares.

    Where do I send my analysts bill mj? ;-)

    A worthy list, to which you could ou could add almost anything by AD/DC…..and then there’s the Grace Jones classic which for the longest time I thought it was about a chaffeur…

    • It’s pretty disturbing, really! Just poke your eyes out, you should be fine. :)

      Forgot about AC/DC. I don’t remember the Grace Jones song, but probably would if I heard it again.

  10. Music can be deceiving. The melody and beat can hide terrible disgusting lyrics. Sometimes it’s better to be blissfully ignorant! I have one song in mind at the moment but it’s too gross to name!
    Sort of on the same level as the photo of Rod’s rod….

    • Good thing, for our kids, that the beat does cover up a lot of the lyrics – Gaga, in particular. :)
      There are so many explicit songs today, I purposely didn’t pick anything really current. Hmmm, Rod’s rod ….

  11. hahah I like this post!

    Another one is Sheena Easton’s “my sugar walls”. The song was quite controversial when it was released.

    don’t even get me started on new age songs…
    have you heard Ke$ha’s Blah Blah Blah? The lyrics go something like, “don’t be a little b*tch with your chit chat/ just show me where your d***’s at!”

    Nowadays people don’t even bothering covering up the lyrics. Another example is the song, I just had sex and it felt so good.

    • Oh, you have a good point with Sheena. She used to be one of my faves.

      Wow on the Kesha song! Didn’t know those were the lyrics. Can’t give her the respect of adding the $ sign to her name.

      And you’re so right, there is NO discretion with the lyrics. C’mon, man, leave SOMETHING to the imagination, right??

      • Sheena’s voice is really nice. I love her “morning train” song. It is really nice but that too has some sexual references in it.

        Yes! two days ago I saw a couple of kids dancing to “I just had sex” and I didn’t know what to say! :/

  12. I always remember that one from the 80′s ‘Sexual healing’. As a kid I was like, eww!

    Then of course, the classic George Michael hit- I Want Your Sex. How more obvious can you be?

  13. I used to think that maybe the chicks all fell for Rod’s hot body since his face has always been so unattractive (at least IMO). Now I know that can’t be true…I will never be able to get that horrible image out of my brain. It’s bad enough to know that he wore that outfit, but to have actual, photographic evidence is heartbreakingly sad. The mental scarring continues into the future….

    • Come on, Speedos are hot! Yeah, I saw that photo and HAD to use it. Just too classic for that time period. Not sure what he was thinking, but he obviously like it. And he had, and still has quite the lady-killer image. So he’s doing something right. But yes, you may have to scratch your eyes out now.

  14. Great post. Funny stuff just what I needed after a rough Monday at the office.

  15. I remember one of my friend’s mothers was very appalled by Like a Virgin and tried to start some sort of protest about the fact that a lot of the girls in our class were suddenly wearing those rubbery bracelets and lace gloves.

    • It was very controversial at the time. It was really the first time someone got a large segment of the population wearing under-wear as outer-wear, and this shocked a LOT of mothers.

  16. MJ, you’re forgetting about the ever-raunchy Lady Gaga:

    ‘Lets have some fun, this beat is sick
    I wanna take a ride on your disco-stick…’

    And there’s probably loads more where that came from. ;)

    • Yeah, I almost lost it the first time I heard those lyrics. I said to MLB, “Did she just say what I thought she said???”

      Gaga just comes right out and says it. Whatever happened to suggestive, but somewhat subtle lyrics?

  17. And of course my 7 year old daughter sitting in the back of my car singing, “It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk and I need you now…”

  18. Am I the only one who’s hot for Rod Stewart right now? Sheesh, cut the guy a break!

  19. I have to make a couple of comments, as music is near and dear to my heart. First, thanks for including a Jimmy Buffett song on this list. I love Jimmy and always have. He makes up at least 15% of my entire iTunes library. Also, how did “Let’s Get It On” only spend 1 week at #1!?!? That is an outrage. And yes, I can see the resemblance between you and Mar…oh wait, you meant Marvin Gaye? Uh…no.

    Also, I would like to add that Boys II Men were a quartet in their heyday. Remember the dude with the cane? That guy had soul, brother.

    • Jimmy is one of my faves, as well. “Let’s Get It On” – I was shocked that it only had one week at #1 as well. Maybe a lot of competition that year? I was thought of as Marvin’s “light-skinned brother” back in the day. :)

      You’re right, they started out as a quartet, but one member dropped out to go solo (woops) right before they hit the big-time.

  20. I’m a country music fan, So Craig Campbell’s “Fish” is my favorite provocative song:

    • Oh my gosh, Terri – I’m blushing, I’m pretty sure!!! That is a good song!

      My “crack research team” was trying for a country song to put on the list and they disappointingly couldn’t find one. This one would have been perfect. Thanks for the addition, Terri! It fits the bill, for sure. I’m gonna have to fish some more – did I say that out loud?? :)

  21. Love this post…..so funny!
    When I was younger singing the songs I had no idea that they were provocative. Today I hear my son singing songs on the radio, but thank god we never really listen to the words. He has no idea it is a “nasty” song. I have found if I change the channel or tell him not to sing a song then he really listens to try to figure out what it is about. Funny how that happens!

    • Thanks Kari. It’s amazing what songs we would sing along to. I felt the same way when my kids were younger – they didn’t now what they were singing, and half the time they didn’t even get the words right anyway!

  22. Wow. That pic of Rod Stewart is just something you can’t unsee!

    I’m thinking Kelis’ ‘Milkshake’ should’ve been on the list. ‘Cause you, she brings all the boys to the yard, she could teach you, but she’d have to charge.

    • Wow, is the only way to describe it, right? And no, you can NOT unsee that one, for sure!

      That would have been a good song for the list for sure. I just can’t believe the lyrics have ZERO subtlety at all anymore.

  23. So I’m reading along, and loving the shout-out, and appreciating your beautiful prose and hearing the songs in my head, and then

    OH MY GOD MY EYES! ALL IS SEE IS ORANGE AND GREEN AND ORANGE AND GREEN AND ROD AND HIS…ACID!!!! WHERE’S THE ACID??? FOR MY EYES!!!!

    And then I realized: There’s not enough acid in the world to erase that image.

    So now to the topic at hand. Wait…what topic? Must scroll back up and try to remember and

    OH MY GOD THAT PICTURE! ORANGE AND GREEN AND ORANGE AND GREEN AND…

    You’ve ruined me for life.

    But I will add one song to your list: “Because I Got High” by Afroman. Provocative lyrics? Yeah, maybe just a bit…

    • Oh yeah! I thought you would LOVE that picture. That is my man, Rod Stewart, in all his, umm, glory?? No?

      You’re right, there’s not enough acid. It is a scarring picture. When it popped up – so to speak – on google images – I immediately thought, “M-Woww is gonna LOVE this!” Boy, was I right, huh?

      And then you had to go and stump me on the Afroman song. Will have to check it out.

  24. I think the song title almost has to be provocative anymore so folks will give it a listen and at least see if it’s as disgusting as the title. Fortunately, we don’t have the graphics of each song, thus saving us from Rod Stewart’s underwear and much worse. Clever post.

  25. That picture of Rod Stewart is HOT!
    I remember the first time I listened to Afternoon Delight as an adult. I couldn’t believe that my mom allowed me to listen to it as a kid! We had NO idea what we were singing!
    Marvin Gaye’s voice… oh yeah…..
    That candy shop song makes me ill…..

  26. I hope this posts…I first heard this as a shy 16 year old in a small heavily-Baptist Texas town…wow. I had no idea…then I heard it and actually listened to the lyrics a few years after that. Oh my goodness.

    • It posted just fine, Megan. I never knew the words. The melody always sounded good and I didn’t pay attention to the words. Very provocative! Especially non-Baptist.

  27. VERY cool post! And some scary pics…

  28. Stuff may be provocative but at least not as filthy as the foul language that dominates rap. I can’t understand why people like it. It glorifies the most corrupt and dirty in society. Other non rap in today’s category would include “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” .

    • There are some pretty explicit, subversive messages in some segments of rap, for sure. Rap has actually sprung up in contemporary christian music now to counter some of the seedier messages in mainstream rap.

  29. Oooo, candy shop! Love it. Hey, what about that song that goes like “I need your b**bs. I gotta see your b**bs. And the hearts all over the world tonight…”

    Nah, just kidding. It’s ‘boo’. But that’s what I thought I heard when I first listened to the song (With You by Chris Brown). I’ve never gotten over it since.

  30. I had this conversation with a co-worker a few years ago. She was lamenting how obviously sexual song lyrics were, compared to (some fantasy, cleaner living period) yesteryear. I smiled and said, “Yeah, like ‘I’m going to New Orleans to get my ham bone boiled’ sort of song?” That is standard blues song. Half of Cole Porter’s songs are about sex or drugs… “gives me a kick like cocaine”, right? How about “I work the waterfront”, a little jazzy prostitution? We could take this back to Ireland “Don’t marry on old may, he’s got no forlorum”, or France or Italy, but I can’t translate those lyrics! Music, sacred and profane. A long tradition.
    Oscar

    • You bring up a good point, Oscar. This has been going on for quite some time. Most people aren’t aware of the history of music. Especially jazz and blues. There’s a lot of emotion in those two categories. And they were earlier influences of rock and roll, and even rap/hip hop. Thanks for the comment and the specific examples, my friend.

  31. You started off with the names of the songs and I just kept thinks, “Where’s De Do Do Do Do, De Da Da Da Da by the police? Seriously!

  32. When I was scrolling through the top half of the list looking through the songs I was expecting to see “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da Da” by the Police. I mean, come on, what is up with that title?

  33. I officially have Afternoon Delight stuck in my head. Not that this is a bad thing mind you. What is bad though, is that picture of Rod and Brit. I think I may have hysterical blindness now. Yes, the words are becoming blurry …

    Ugh.

  34. Marvin Gaye’s lyrics and smooth velvet voice is still the epitome of sensuality to me. Also love Luther Vandross. Your post has taken me back to the good ole days.

  35. Er, after the Rod, how do you expect anyone to think clearly MJ? Answer please?!

    Yuk to #10 and insert modern song: I Got the Moves Like Jagger (expletive version)–Maroon 5 plus, Adam Levine is way easier on the eye than Chuck B.
    Love this! :)

  36. Fun post, MJ!

  37. UM, I don’t know what category this would be in, so I think I will just leave it up to you to decide. You may want to watch the video with the lyrics and without. Hope you enjoy!

    Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo by the Bloodhound Gang


  38. GABRIEL AND BOUNTY KILLER “LOLLIPOP”

  39. If I recall correctly, Boyz II Men had a couple “spicy” songs out there. “50 Candles” is one that immediately comes to mind.

    I REALLY miss songs of the late 80′s and the entire 90′s. I remember growing up I hated 80′s music but now I absolutely love it. And of course growing up in the 90′s…best decade of music…ever!

    • The 80′s was great – nice techno-pop! The 90′s was better in my opinion, as well. Had a more organic flow and feel. Not sure if best ever, because I’m old and there were some pretty good time periods prior. The 40′s was pretty decent – no, I wasn’t alive then!! Nice try, Joe.

  40. Hilarious!!! Can’t wait for Madonna’s half-time show. Um, not. The Rod Stewart photo is … I don’t know … why? Why, why, why, Rod? Funny what a few years will do – his “Fly Me to the Moon” album is one of my favorites on my Nano. Wouldn’t have seen that coming from his earlier years!

    • Thank you, my new friend. I think her half-time show will be okay. And yeah … can you even believe that photo of Rod?? I too, love the Fly Me to the Moon album.

  41. mj…thanks for a great trip down memory lane. Except for a scary Rod and Ding a Ling, it was a great ride!

  42. definitely suggestive and provocative

  43. But I still wonder about the interpretation of lollipop back then and now! I wud want to know it still means a candy. But certainly not in jamaica where I am from. Lol

  44. http://youtu.be/8LpuRzgEgAQ. Well the song lolliop which was covered by bounty killer and gabriel was very provocative and controversial. But the seem to take thing to a twist when the female wrote a counteraction to the song but this time attacking dating rumours. But still use the sarcastic tone in describing lollipop

  45. I just want you to know I subscribed “again”. Nice site, Mj!

  46. Absolute fab post. Even the comments very entertaining! Well done.

  47. Thanks for the link, my friend!

  48. Yes this is very much in that field

  49. Thank you so much for the “One Lovely Blog Award” Amira!

  50. Thanks for the link.

  51. Thank you for linking.

  52. Tenesha, what is your blog site? I can’t find a link to it. Thanks.

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