Category: sex

Inventory: 8 Songs About Sexual Mishaps

1. Ike Turner, “She Made My Blood Run Cold”
These days, Ike Turner is mainly remembered as the violent, abusive ex-husband of Tina Turner, but in the 1950s, he was on top of the R&B world with tracks like “Rocket 88,” often cited as the first true rock ‘n’ roll song. He recorded the chilly classic “She Made My Blood Run Cold” in 1957, lyrically riffing on Little Willie John’s earlier sexiness-as-sickness R&B hit “Fever.” Turner’s tune turns down the temperature with the tale of a woman whose kisses literally cause a drop in his body heat. Turner complains to his doctor of symptoms including a frozen heart and “icicles hanging from my eyes”—especially unusual since STDs typically cause a burning sensation instead. Perhaps reflective of Turner’s view of women, the frosty femme fatale doesn’t appear to have any remorse for her icy touch, even after she kills Ike’s doctor merely by flirting with him. Now that’s cold.

5. Bob Dylan, “Ballad Of A Thin Man”
In the ’60s, “Thin Man”‘s stinging refrain—”you know something is happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”—became a widely embraced reference for a square who couldn’t see the revolution right in front of his eyes. But there’s another meaning hidden not-so-deeply in the song’s hazy identity issues, suggesting a far more personal confusion: Mr. Jones is a deeply closeted, self-loathing gay man slowly forced to confront his true sexual identity. Dylan fills the song with blatant phallic imagery and metaphors for male-on-male oral sex wrapped in the description of a hopelessly bewildered man lost in a circus sideshow, strangely compelled by visions of naked men and sword-swallowers in high heels. And then there’s the “one-eyed midget” who demands that Jones give him “milk.” Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but not here.

Originally published on Feb. 2, 2007 as part of a group-written Inventory feature; I wrote the sections on Ike Turner and Bob Dylan. Read the complete article.

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