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August 31st, 2011 CASEY JARMAN, MATTHEW SINGER | Music Stories
 

Dirty Songbirds

On the eve of Peaches’ visit, we revisit filthy sex songs for the ages.

music_peachesPEACHES
There’s a reason sex comes first in the trio of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” Doin’ it has always been the primary thematic interest of pop music, from Jerry Lee Lewis’ shakin’ to Trent Reznor wanting to fuck you like an animal. But some artists are a bit more risqué in describing the dirty deed than others. So in light of potty-mouthed Peaches’ visit to Portland, here are some classic pervert anthems. Like Shakespeare wrote, “If music be the food of love, let’s just skip straight to dessert.”

George Formby, “With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock” (1937)
“Blackpool Rock” is a rod-shaped hard candy (apparently enjoyed by beach-bound British kids), and George Formby’s tune explains that the singer carries one everywhere he goes. “It may be sticky but I never complain/ It’s nice to have a nibble of it now and again,” Formby sings through a toothy smile. His winking ukulele tunes may seem harmless today, but they made their mark on the British psyche, and on pioneering U.K. acts like the Bonzo Dog Band. (CJ)

Tom Lehrer, “Smut” (1959)
“I do have a cause, though,” legendary musical comedian Tom Lehrer tells his audience in the introduction to this tune. “It is obscenity. I’m for it.” The resulting anthem is perhaps less shocking than a defense of all things offensive. “Stories of tortures/ Used by debauchers/ Lurid, licentious and vile/ Make me smile,” he sings before pointing out that the twisted mind can construe both Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz as total filth. (CJ)

Blowfly, “Hole Man” (1971)
The juvenile, filthy soul satires delivered by illicit Georgian singer Clarence Reid (a.k.a. Blowfly) only work to the extent that his band works, too—and in the ’70s, Blowfly had a blisteringly hot band that could parody doo-wop ballads (“I Only Have Eyes for You” becomes an ode to erectile dysfunction) and Bill Haley rockers (“Suck Around the Clock”) with equal mastery. “Hole Man” finds Blowfly in fine form, tackling the Sam and Dave classic with backdoor gusto and revealing a bit of his origin story (“I was brought up/ In a transit house/ With a titty in my hand/ And a pussy in my mouth”) along the way. (CJ)

Solomon Burke, “Music to Make Love By (Parts 1 and 2)” (1975)
Not content just to write a song about making love, famed soul singer Solomon Burke (who died last year) crafted an entire album that revolved around humping, Music To Make Love By. The opening and closing spoken-word title tracks alone are total gold. On Part 1, Burke’s voice sounds like a thick shag carpet as he addresses the sad, lonely housewife who wanted to listen to this 350-pound man spin his tales of seduction: “Hi, baby, I’m so glad that we can be together again,” he says over swelling strings to open the album. “You know, it’s so hard to make love to a picture, baby. It’s even more harder to make love to a dream.” Then, after a handful of romantic anthems, he comes back with a closing track to seal the record with a kiss. “It was so nice. Oh, God, it was so nice,” he says softly. “Can we do it again? Please? Real soon?” He drops his phone number for good measure. (CJ)

Derek and Clive, “My Mum Song” (1977)
Dudley Moore and Peter Cook’s late ’70s “comedy” LPs are some of the raunchiest, lewdest, most unconscionable excuses for albums ever released. Generally just collections of drunken improvisational rambling (the recording process was literally “get plastered, press record” and the word “cunt” is uttered every 10 seconds or so), the duo occasionally breaks into song. On this occasion, from 1977 debut record Come Again, that song is an a cappella ditty about incest and cancer (OK, “knob cancer”). It’s not as funny as “Jump,” a misty-eyed piano ballad encouraging a suicidal man to dive into a nonexistent safety blanket (when he tumbles to his death, Moore sings “laugh/ we nearly shat/ we had not laughed so much since grandma died”), but it is far dirtier—so dirty, in fact, that reprinting the lyrics would seem in exceedingly poor taste. (CJ)

2 Live Crew, “Do Wah Diddy” (1987)
There’s a reason the members of 2 Live Crew spent so much of their heyday in court. What easier target could censors have than MCs who sample liberally, rap about sex with prostitutes and say little of redeeming social value (aside from the occasional public service reference to “stank” STDs). The popularity of “Do Wah Diddy”—a particularly tasteless and derivative number in which Brother Marquis details punching a crackhead in the face after receiving oral sex from her—was instrumental in transforming the Crew from a rap group that rapped about sex to a rap group that ONLY rapped about sex. (CJ)

Lil’ Kim, “How Many Licks?” (2000)
Proving that objectification wasn’t purely the territory of male MCs like Too Short and Slick Rick, Lil’ Kim turned the rap world upside down with her 2000 record, The Nortorious K.I.M. With Sisqo (of “Thong Song” fame) providing the backing vocals, Kim runs through her black book and details past conquests (“And this black dude I called King Kong/ He had a big-ass dick and a hurricane tongue”) before encouraging prisoners to masturbate to her likeness. While countless dissertations could (and doubtless) have been written on Kim’s brand of feminism, this song is, if nothing else, a refreshing role reversal. (CJ)

Peaches, “Mommy Complex” (2009)
Choosing the filthiest Peaches song is like opening a photo book on venereal diseases and selecting the grossest-looking sore: All of them are pretty damn nasty. Filth—of the sexually liberating, gender-inverting variety—is what the electroclash nympho has built her career on. “Mommy Complex,” from 2009’s I Feel Cream, is relatively subdued, but as she assumes the role of a cougar satisfying a younger man’s Oedipal yearnings, the 44-year-old ex-schoolteacher indulges in a kink that’s, frankly, creepier than all her other fetishes. She references bottle-feeding and C-sections, and tells her suitor that if he’s going to bring her flowers, she prefers “baby’s breath.” Then she declares her desire to “bust a cherry cheese popcorn puff.” Eew! What does that even mean?! (MS) 

SEE IT: Peaches plays the Roseland on Sunday, Sept. 4. 9 pm. All ages, astonishingly. 

 
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