I want to talk about sex, drugs and rock and roll, really more about sex and rock and roll. I’m already really high right now, so got the drugs part under control.
So, in the 50s, as we all know, people were freaking out about rock and roll, thinking it would lead the innocent poodle skirt virgins to spread em like Seka in Swedish Erotica. (What is really weird is they actually thought that in the ‘50s, when Seka was born in ’54 and was like two, and she didn’t do her first porn until 1977, but somehow they knew that little toe-headed toddler was bad news enough to make that analogy. Weird). I mean look at what a bimbo Marty McFly’s mom was at the Under the Sea Dance, trying to give Michael J. Fox a tug in the parking lot. Thanks Marvin Berry and his cousin’s rock and roll. But I digress.
In any event, they were freaking about rock and roll leading to sex. They banned Elvis, censoring his gyrations, which we all now know he learned from a young Forrest Gump. “Hey man, show me that crazy leg thing again.”
But in the 50s, the songs were like “Tootie Frootie,” which no one knew was Little Richard’s gay-ode to sodomy. But lyrics like “A wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom” could only mean one thing, right? And that’s exactly what they meant but they were all clandestine and double entendree and shit.
Then came the ‘60s, free love, drugs, counter-culture and a big FU to the Leave it to Beaver 50s. If the 50s were like Leave it to Beaver, the 60s were like Leave it IN THE Beavers – ALL of them. But it still was the 60s – we were 30 years from 2 Live Crew. Ed Sullivan wouldn’t let Jim Morrison say “Girl we couldn’t get much higher,” because of the sex and drugs reference.
So, the rock and roll songs still used the double entendre for sex but it just got more graphic.
What got me to thinking about all this was Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song,” released in ’69 as the third song on Led Zeppelin 2, which more famously sported “Whole Lotta Love” and “Heartbreaker, Livin’ Lovin’ Maid.” The Lemon Song came on my Pandora today, a live version.
Now, the Lemon Song might just be the king of the Double Entendre sex rock songs of the ‘60s and it logically came out in ’69, at the very end of the decade. Think about the 60s. We went from the Beatles “I wanna hold your hand” and Herman’s Hermits’ “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” in ’64 and ’65, with the British Invasion, to the “Lemon Song” five short years later in ’69.
If “I wanna hold your hand” and “Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a lovely daughter” came out in ’69, they would have been called, with a wink and a smile, “I wanna hold your pussy,” (Trump would have loved it) with veiled references to your girlfriend’s cat, and “Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a naughty daughter.”
So, back to the Lemon Song. Now, I must confess, while I knew all the lyrics and the sophomoric double entendres, I had no idea it was actually called “The Lemon Song.” You know the lyrics, “Squeeze me baby, til the juice runs down my leg, the way you squeeze my lemon, I’m gonna fall right out of bed.”
Now, in my 48 years on earth, I have heard eleventy-scrillion different terms for the purple cyclops, but never – not even once, not even in my Billy Bush-esque “locker room banter” – have I ever heard or called it a “Lemon.” (A few disappointed gals after dates with me undoubtedly thought they got a lemon, rolling off the genetic assembly line of Minis with factory defects, but no one ever actually called it that, at least to my face).
But Zeppelin did, and even named the damn song after it.
I listened to the live version of the Lemon Song on Pandora. Robert Plant screams, “Squeeze my lemon, til the juice runs down my leg.” Now, I get that the 60s were a confusing time. I get that with the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK (bad decade for people with last names starting with “K”), people were questioning lots of things. I get they did a LOT of drugs. I get all that.
But what I will never get is what Robert asked the crowd next, right after telling some cheating woman to “squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg.” What does he ask?
He inquires of the audience, “Do you know what I’m talking about?”
Really, Robert? You had to ask?
I suppose there could have been some Mennonite at his first rock concert, truly wondering why the skinny guy with hair like his sister before putting on her bonnet in the morning, and with a tin-foil wrapped cucumber stuck in his Levi’s, is asking a woman to squeeze his lemon. After all, Ezekiel may have thought, he didn’t like lemon, but when his brother Jedediah wanted lemon juice in his sweet tea, he’d always squeeze his lemon himself.
And Jedediah’s lemon juice always ran into his cup when he squeezed his lemon. Why would he want this woman to squeeze his lemon, not over a cup like Jedediah always did, but until the lemon juice ran down his leg? None would even get in the tea?
I suppose Robert Plant could have been asking Ezekiel if he knew what he was talking about when he told the woman, with whom he was originally displeased when the song began, to “squeeze his lemon until the juice ran down his leg.”
Short of that, everyone then, and everyone now, knows what you’re talking about, Robert.
Sadly, Zeppelin was dethroned as the king of double entendres of sex rock when AC/DC, appropriately enough from the Land Down Under, took the crown in a 1970’s coup. “Big Balls,” “Giving the Dog a Bone,” and “Let Me Put My Love into You,” (who could forget this gem of a lyric, “Let me cut your cake with my knife”), made the “Lemon Song” look like “Great Balls of Fire” in the Guinness Book of Rock Sex Double Entendres.
That said, I still don’t get the “lemon” analogy.