The hidden meanings in seemingly virtuous tunes
Gaby Whitehill

13:31 24th March 2014

A bit of how's your father, bumping uglies, the beast with two backs, doing the horizontal bop. Nope, we're not speaking in tongues, we're talking about one of the most important things on this earth - sex.

Our research tells us that roughly 80% of pop songs are about doing the deed, and most of them aren't shy about it (see: anything by Robin Thicke, anything by 2 Live Crew, anything off Beyonce's new album).

To avoid obstacles such as prudish ears, young fans, and a squeaky clean image, however, some artists have had to be rather subtle about their sexuality. The result? A load of ridiculous metaphors, basically.

Here are 10 songs that seem innocent on the face of it - but are actually kinda dirty. You'll never listen to these tracks in the same way again

  • TLC, 'Ain't Too Proud To Beg': We remember the R&B trio's debut single as being a fun, lighthearted anthem, but it's actually an ode to safe sex and sexually confident women. They're even cooler than we thought. The best lyric is definitely Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' declaration "I ain't too proud to beg, no/2 inches or a yard rock hard or if it's saggin'" (she's not fussy, penis-wise, basically). Amazing.

  • Bryan Adams, 'Summer of '69': It's haunted us from school discos to student unions, and we thought its title was WAY too obvious to mean what we thought it did, but our dirty-minded assumptions were actually correct. In 2008, Adams admitted the cheesy tune is indeed about doing, um, that thing. "A lot of people think it's about the year,"he revealed. "But actually, it's more about making love in the summertime. It's using '69 as a sexual reference." Images. Terrible, terrible images.

  • Spice Girls, '2 Become 1': OK, so it's obvious now, but at the height of the iconic girl group's fame we didn't even know what sex was - so this suggestive, sensual tune rather flew right over our heads. Reading the lyrics now, however, it's pretty racy. "Come a little bit closer baby, get it on, get it on/ 'Cause tonight is the night when two become one". Our parents must have been tugging at their collars in awkwardness when we were singing along to this one. Hey, at least the track promoted the importance of contraception ("be a little bit wiser baby/put it on, put it on").

  • Fleetwood Mac, 'Tusk': With lyrics such as "Why don't you tell me what's going on?/Why don't you tell me who's on the phone?" this epic Fleetwood Mac tune, on the face of it, seems to be jealousy in a relationship from a male standpoint. But there's actually, reportedly, more to it - diehard Fleetwood fans have noted that the band used to use the word "tusk" as slang for "penis" whilst on tour at the time. So essentially, the track is dedicated to Mick Fleetwood's manhood. Pure speculation perhaps, but it's pretty funny.

  • Grace Jones, 'Pull Up To The Bumper': Back in 1981, you couldn't really just describe how you full on wanted to knock boots with your lover in a tune - everyone was still rather prudish. Therefore, the genius Grace Jones decided to use motor-related metaphors to describe what she wanted to do with her squeeze. "Pull up to my bumper baby/In your long black limousine/Pull up to my bumper baby/Drive it in between/Grease it/Spray it/Let me lubricate it." It was still banned by some US radio stations, although in 2008 Jones told Q magazine the lyrics were not necessarily sexual. Maybe she just really, really likes driving cars.

  • The Beatles, 'Ticket To Ride': Forget the mops of hair and wide eyes, Paul McCartney and co had dirty, dirty little minds. According to "legend", "ticket to ride" was the term John Lennon used for the medical cards German prostitutes kept on their person to prove they didn't have STDs. Therefore, 'Ticket To Ride' is actually about a girlfriend leaving you to become a prostitute. Not quite the romance of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'.

  • Bloc Party, 'Banquet': One of Kele Okereke and co's most recognisable and best tunes, the catchy indie classic 'Banquet' may not sound very sexy, but it is actually about bumping uglies. With lyrics such as "I wanted to bite not destroy/To feel her underneath" and "She's got such a dirty mind and it never ever stops/And you don't taste like her and you never ever will" it's not exactly a joyful ode to sex, however. Ex girlfriend issues, perhaps?

  • The Beautiful South, 'Perfect 10': Well, this is a little bit fucked up. I distinctly remember my parents blaring this out in the car multiple times on the school run and around the house (it was huge in 1998). Take a glance at the lyrics, however, and it's massively obvious it's a song about dick sizes. "If he's extra large well I'm in charge/I can work this thing on top/If he's XXL well what the hell/Every penny don't fit the slot". Blimey. Get it girl.

  • B*Witched, 'C'est La Vie': The discovery that has truly shook us to the core. This legendary violin ANTHEM back in the day seemed nothing more than a cheeky invitation to get a boy up to your treehouse. But no. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"? "I'll huff, I'll puff I'll blow you away"? Who was responsible for this?!

  • Foo Fighters, 'All My Life': Apologies if you've just eaten lunch, but the Foo's massive hit 'All My Life' is actually about Dave Grohl's love of giving oral sex. Bleurgh. He told Q in 2003: "That song is a little dirty. I'm very fond of giving oral sex to women. It's a pleasure-giving experience - giving someone something that they'll remember for the rest of their lives, and if you do it right they will." The lyrics "hey, don't let it go to waste/I love it but I hate the taste" certainly have a whole new meaning now.

  • Happy National Orgasm Day. To celebrate, click ahead to sully your mind and ruin your childhood with 10 seemingly innocent songs that you didn't realise were actually about sex.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.