Over a beer recently, a friend told us the story of, um, getting busy with a new acquaintance. Apparently, all was going well until the lady in question got up to put a song on the stereo. Her choice? Pink Floyd’s “Mother.” Unsurprisingly, our friend’s mind quickly switched from getting jiggy to getting out of there as quickly as possible, and the whole incident got us thinking about amusingly inappropriate music to soundtrack having sex. So to celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s 10 of our choices – awkward, hilarious, or just plain wrong.
Pink Floyd – “Mother”
The Wall as a whole is an extended exploration of alienation, but Roger Waters (er, sorry, “fictional” character Pink) reserves particular opprobrium for his mother, depicting her as on overbearing, smothering nightmare. “Mother’s going to check out all your girlfriends for you/ Mother won’t let anyone dirty get through…” Quite what putting this on during sex says is open for debate, but one thing’s for sure: if you think this is a romantic soundtrack, you’ve got serious issues.
Antony & the Johnsons – “Fistful of Love”
Antony Hegarty’s lovelorn falsetto has soundtracked many a bohemian bedsit tryst, but hopefully not with this particular tune. It starts with the voice of Lou Reed, in one of his rare tender moments, providing a voiceover (“I just have to let you know how I feel…”) before gentle piano introducs Antony’s similarly lovestruck lyrics: “I love you/And I always will.” Aw, bless. Except, hang on, wait… “I feel your fists/ And I know it’s out of love/ And I feel the whip/ And I know it’s out of love”? Perhaps not one for a first date, then.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – “Break of Day”
Another romantic-sounding song with deceptive lyrical depths. At first listen, “Break of Day” comes across as a Romeo and Juliet-style lament for the end of a long and steamy night: “I know the sun’s about to come up/ I close my eyes anyway.” But as ever with Will Oldham, there’s something less than wholesome about what’s to follow. It turns out that as he’s lying awaiting the dawn, he’s also planning to dump whoever it is he’s lying next to. And he’s relishing the prospect: “Dawn is mine but I will share it/ With whatever bird will wear it/ On her body bare and pink/ Now what do you think of break of day?” Classy.
Akon feat. Snoop Dogg – “I Wanna Fuck You”
At the opposite end of the scale, this song features absolutely no lyrical ambiguity at all. It also features precisely nothing in the way of, y’know, romance, subtlety, etc. All of this would be fine if it were a glorious bump ’n’ grinder like, say, Ginuwine’s “Pony,” but instead “I Wanna Fuck You” is as pretty much as resolutely unsexy as you can get (unless an Auto-Tuned Akon singing a strangely blank, bored-sounding hook and a baked Snoop Dogg trying to mumble himself into an erection is your idea of a good time). Putting this on the stereo screams “sexually clueless frat boy” – it’s the musical equivalent of slapping a girl on the ass and yelling out, “Yeah! You love it!”
Black Eyed Peas – “My Humps”
But wait, this one’s even worse! Has there ever been a less appealing description of breasts than “lady lumps”? The Black Eyed Peas are an ongoing one-band Worst Song Ever competition these days, but not even “Boom Boom Pow” stinks up the room quite as much as this song does.
Norah Jones – “Don’t Know Why”
Yes, yes, we know that this song isn’t about sex, but even so, there’s something mood-killing about a forlorn piano ballad that features the refrain “Don’t know why I didn’t come.”
AC/DC – “The Jack”
There’s nothing wrong with some dirty rock ’n’ roll for getting it on, and AC/DC’s early records are full of the right stuff. Still, you need to be careful which song you choose. This particular tune would be great – seamy 12/8 blues progression, leg-humping guitar riff – were it not for the late Bon Scott’s lyrics. “The Jack” features an extended card-dealing metaphor (“Her deuce was wild/ But my ace was high”) that comes to a conclusion in the chorus, where Scott proclaims in anguish, “She’s got the jack!” Or, more prosaically, she has gonorrhea. Uh oh.
Kings of Leon – “Sex On Fire”
Frankly, if the thought of one of the Followills getting a blowjob while driving his F350 doesn’t fill you with crushing existential horror, you’re probably not the sort of person we want to be shagging anyway.
Death Cab for Cutie – “I Will Possess Your Heart”
The first five minutes or so of this are fine – vaguely portentous piano figures, driving bassline, insistent drumming. But when Ben Gibbard starts singing, things take a turn for the worse. “There are days when outside your window/ I see my reflection as I slowly pass.” Obsession isn’t particularly sexy, nor is hanging around outside someone’s house. Nor, for that matter, is use of the word “possess” in any discussion about love, sex, or personal relationships in general.
The Lonely Island – “Jizz in My Pants”