19 Best Double-Entendre Songs That Are Really About Sex
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Today, as Lil Wayne knows, you can just talk about sex by talking about sex, and millions will listen (albeit sometimes with the more explicit words just barely bleeped out for radio play). Once upon a time, though, you had to be slightly more surreptitious if you wanted your music released. The tracks that follow all worm their metaphorical way into your fruit basket, as it were. (And I’ve stuck pretty much to songs that are double entendre all the way through, thus the absence of Led Zeppelin’s “Lemon Song” and other numbers that whip out the double entendre for a line or two, but lack the full staying power.)
Bo Carter, “Please Warm My Wiener”
Early blues performer Bo Carter often performed with influential string band the Mississippi Sheiks. On his own, he recorded so many double entendres it’s a wonder he could keep his bananas separate from his biscuits. “Please Warm My Wiener” is one of the juiciest entries in the large genre of double entendre meat songs. They don’t feel right cold.
Swallows, “It Ain’t the Meat”
Another meat song, this delivered by Irving Turner’s baritone fronting the classic vocal group the Swallows. The entendre gets an extra little push of double when it’s couched in the innocent motion of doo-wop.
Bessie Smith, “I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl”
As popular as meat may be, the sugary stuff is even more so. Bessie Smith starts out like she’s singing one of her great mournful blues numbers, but she soon gets into the growling, moaning spirit of double entendre. “I need a little mmm-hmmm” speaks for itself. And of course, “come on hard papa” thrusts right over that line into not needing an entendre at all. (And speaking of avoiding entendre, I would be remiss to not point you to Lucille Bogan’s not at all coy, filthy, filthy blues, “ Shave ‘Em Dry.”)
Even though you can just sing about sex without getting cute, Kelis demonstrates that there’s still a virtue to subtlety — if “subtlety” is the right word, exactly. The video doesn’t stint on the visual entendres either, from the doubled cherries in the glass to Kelis oscillating her upper bits suggestively as she intones “milkshake” at the 1 minute mark.
Van Halen, “I’m Your Ice-Cream Man”
David Lee Roth is so oleaginous here that John Brim’s old blues slides out of Chicago all the way to Las Vegas. I think he actually switches the line from “flavors” to “favors” at the end there, when he’s reiterating what he’s got that will satisfy.
Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson, “Toothache Blues”
This is where you end up after all those Kelis milkshakes and Van Halen ice creams, I suppose. Blues singer Spivey and jazz guitarist Johnson fill various cavities, provoking moans, groans, and sighs long before Donna Summer. Part 2 goes on in the same vein — ”when I start to drilling, momma don’t scream and shout,”…”Oh, doctor!” If you just can’t get enough of the dentist, you can check out the similarly themed “ Long John Blues” by Dinah Washington.
Wynonie Harris, “Keep On Churnin’ (Till the Butter Comes)”
Jump blues shouter Wynonie Harris recorded a number of double entendres, but I think this is the most joyfully shocking in the specificity of its lubrication metaphor. It also manages to be a kind of double double entendre, touching (if that’s the right word) on both food and animals, the most popular topics for outrageous innuendo.