Dave Barry once defined classic rock as middle aged nostalgia music. I laughed at Dave at the time. Now it’s no where near as funny since Def Leppard started showing up on 103.5 – “The best of yesterday for those of you who still live in the delusional world that your kids think you are cool when you listen to this stuff.” How can a song as timeless as Pour Some Sugar on Me be anything but hip and happening?
As I was looking back at the classics I couldn’t help but consider the amazing depth of the lyrics of some of those great 80s and 90s songs. My parents found my choice in music to be somewhat questionable until I decided to offer a critique of Pat Boone and Elvis. Both of them sang Long Tall Sally. Both my parents were shocked by that revelation. Then we looked at the words.
“Saw Uncle John with Long Tall Sally
“They saw Aunt Mary comin’
“So they ducked back in the alley”
– This means John is a lying cheater.
Ah the morals of the 50s.
But let’s look at the better and more significant lyrics of Joe Elliot in Pour Some Sugar on Me
“Step inside, walk this way You and me babe, Hey, hey!”
– This translates as “We are made for each other!”
“Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on
“Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone”
– This means “Love will … ummmm … blow you into tiny pieces and you will need a phone with advanced GPS to find them all.”
“Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp
“Demolition woman, can I be your man?”
– Now this one means “You look like cross between Charlie Chaplin and a vampire on late night TV but since your love made me explode I want to be your steady guy.”
“Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light
“Television lover, baby, go all night”
– You are one shiny, flashy babe who likes to fall asleep on the couch with the TV on.
“Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
“Little miss ah innocent sugar me, yeah”
– Will you please pick up sugar on the way home? I know you like to be sweet like that!
“Hey! C’mon, take a bottle, shake it up
“Break the bubble, break it up”
– Are you the one who made my Dr. Pepper shoot me in the face?
“Pour some sugar on me
“Ooh, in the name of love”
– I know you love me but I really hate it when my soda explodes in my face.
“Pour some sugar on me
“C’mon, fire me up”
– I really, really hate it cause it makes me mad!
“Pour your sugar on me
“Oh, I can’t get enough”
– I’m taking your Dr. Pepper now!”
“I’m hot, sticky sweet
“From my head to my feet, yeah”
– See!? I’m drenched in Dr. Pepper and my feet are sticking to the floor like they do after a long movie at a cheap theater!
I could go on and on but you get the idea. The 50s were all about cheating where the music of Generation-X dealt with the real life issues that arise when one partner thinks it is funny to shake up the other partner’s carbonated beverages. Next time we will look at Love Bites and how it relates to margaritas.