The crowning achievement of cool, in my young life, came in the form of attending a Poison concert with my mom and two of my friends. I was 11 or 12 and after I made them pour out the wine they had somehow managed to siphon into two, small Oxy 10 bottles, my friends and I hopped into my mom’s car for the drive into Hartford.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Why Eric, that isn’t cool at all!”
Yes, you are right and that is the point, but stop interrupting me, it gets worse.
Things really hit their apex during one of the band’s popular songs, “Don’t Need Nothin’ But A Good Time.”
The lead singer, Bret Michaels (see photo above), you see, he decided to change some of the lyrics, to make them more bawdy!
Instead of singing, “Saturday night, I’d like to make my girl, but right now I can’t make ends meet,” he sang, “Saturday night, I’d like to fuck my girl, but right now I can’t make ends meet!”
Do you see what he did there??
Yes, I know he ruined whatever cleverness or wordplay was in there, but he also used a swear word! Which, when you’re 11, is pretty fucking cool! The place went nuts!
And I was there!
I mean, I thought I was cool when my older cousins gave me a Def Leppard Pyromania Tour t-shirt for Christmas one year. I told everyone in school that they got it when they actually went to the concert! I was so proud!
Later (and by later, I mean 3 months ago) I spoke to my cousins about it and they admitted that they actually got it at Spencer’s Gifts as a goof on me, because Def Leppard is so lame.
You know what, Stacey and Siobhan? You’re lame!
No, that’s not true. You guys are cool, I didn’t mean that.
Which got me thinking, because of radio censorship, I’d imagine a lot of songs were originally written with the word ‘fuck’ in them, only to have it taken out and replaced with something else.
And then I started thinking some more. There were a lot of songs with the suspicious use of the word ‘rock’ as a verb.
Phonetically, very similar, no?
These I will focus on here. I say ‘suspicious’ because if you accept this premise and then do some translating, sometimes the results are a little surprising.
OK, so if you take the song to mean “Let’s get fucked”, then Def Leppard has got some ‘splainin’ to do!
But maybe that’s what my cousins meant, by saying Def Leppard is ‘lame’? If that’s the case, then they are homophobic.
At one point, he sings, “Let’s get the rock out of here!” which I feel translates much better. This is a clear-cut example of what I’m talking about. “Let’s get the fuck out of here” is a familiar phrase, but one that’s admittedly not radio-safe. Switch it out with a similar-sounding one. I get it.
Everybody knows this one. What you might not have caught was “I’ve seen a million faces and I’ve rocked them all!” meaning “Hey, I’ve gotten a million bj’s on tour, because I’m a rock star. Fuck you and your shitty job, dickweed.”
Bad form to brag like this, Bon Jovi. Bad form, indeed.
I was going to do “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions, but they won’t let me imbed the video. Those guys are German or Swedish or something, so they can be forgiven if they mess up the language a little bit. They way it’s phrased, it sounds more like he’s telling someone off. “Here I am. Fuck you. Like a hurricane.” Foreigners!
Here’s another popular song, but unlike those Scorpions, the band Kiss can’t be forgiven for making so little sense. You’d think people from Detroit would be better educated. “I wanna fuck and roll all night”? What the hell does that even mean?
Well, that’s all I’ve got. What about you? I’d like to see your examples in the comments. So do it.