Five surprisingly inappropriate songs

SOMETIMES a song's meaning will sneak up on you. You'll be listening to it idly, perhaps for the first time in ages, and suddenly the lyrics will reveal themselves in a new light.This is when you realise that big hit you've been hearing for all those years is not quite the innocent pop/rock number you thought it was.With this in mind, Musicology has compiled a list of five hit songs that you didn't realise were wrong and/or inappropriate. But be warned - this article is not for the faint of heart. Read on at your own peril.Sweat - Inner Circle (1992)IT'S amazing to think this song didn't attract any controversy when released by long-running Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle. Instead of brickbats from angry mothers, Sweat went top 20 in about a dozen countries, giving the band one of the two hits in their four-decade-long career (the other being Bad Boys AKA the theme from Cops). So why is this song so inappropriate? It's the chorus: "Girl I'm gonna make you sweat/sweat til you can't sweat no more/and if you cry out/I'm gonna push it, push it some more''. Is it just us, or does this sound like sexual assault?Crank That - Soulja Boy (2007)ASIDE from being one of the most inane, tuneless and stupid hits of reason times, Crank That also features an apparent crude prank befitting the teenage immaturity of then 16-year-old Soulja Boy. "Do the Superman'' might seem like an innocent dance but in the stylings of American college humour "The Superman'' is something other than innocent. Musicology would rather not explain what this sexual prank involves but if you want to find out, visit Songfacts.com and look up the song to find out what Soulja Boy was trying to "tell 'em''.Don't Stand So Close To Me/Every Breath You Take - The Police (1980/1983)THE Police's biggest hits come from less-than-savoury subject matter that would have the "moral majority'' up in arms - the first breakthrough was with Roxanne, a song about a man begging his girlfriend to stop being a hooker. Then there are these two songs - one about a teacher-student romance and the other about a stalker. In the former, Sting details a schoolgirl's crush on a teacher, detailing her telling her friends, his colleagues accusing him in the staffroom and his car being "warm and dry''. Inadvertently and bizarrely, Don't Stand So Close To Me gave the band their big American break, which goes to show you can sing about anything if you do it with a catchy melody. But the strangely uplifting Every Breath You Take is the most misunderstood, given that it is now a popular wedding song for happy couples who are obviously oblivious to the sinister undertones and situational irony of the line "every vow you break/I'll be watching you''.Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band (1976)THERE'S a charming show on community radio station 3WAY FM that plays easy listening music. It's all very inoffensive, which makes it all the more surprising when you realise the show is named after this little piece of smutty pop. A number one smash in the US, Afternoon Delight was so flowery and tightly harmonised it seemed like a simple ode to love that could have been sung by a church band. Dig deeper and it's about shagging in the afternoon - "why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?'', Starland Vocal Band asks subtly. It gets a whole lot less subtle when they sing: "the thought of rubbin' you is getting so exciting''. How did so many people miss that this dirty little ditty was about a daytime quickie? The song's less-than-G-rated meaning was used to hilarious effect in a great episode of Arrested Development.Summer Of '69 - Bryan Adams (1984)"THE song isn't about the summer of '69,'' Bryan Adams once revealed in an interview. "It's about making love, a la 69!'' While Tool used a sex act as a metaphor in their song Stinkfist, Adams took the easy route and did the musical equivalent of Bill and Ted high-fiving each other and saying "69, dude!''. So it turns out the bit about killing time, being young and restless and needing to unwind wasn't about being in a rock 'n' roll band but about ducking off behind the shelter sheds for a quickie. Makes you think about the line "played until my fingers bled'' in a whole new light, doesn't it?

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop