She was too young to fall in love... I was too young to know'
October 29, 2005 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Creepiest / most double - entendre laden Rock n' Roll era love songs? I've been listening to a lot of XM radio lately, and it's re-ignited my love for 50's and early 60's pop, especially the significant minority of songs that are hauntingly creepy or surprisingly explicit...

...songs that came out of the same mass-produced pop mill as all the rest, but somehow got a little something extra. Like 'Blue Velvet', 'Runaround Sue', 'Seventeen' and 'Baby Talk'. I'm also trying to demonstrate to my wife the kind of David Lynch-esque horror that I see behind the bounciness innocence of some of that music. Ok maybe I'm going too far now... but what songs from that era raise your eyebrows, make you go 'WTF!', or are just jaw-droppingly beautiful?

Bonus point if you can help me find a song from that era or a little earlier (Harlem?) which is all about 'Jailbait' and contains lines like '15, 16, 17... Jailbait'. It ends with the protagonist pleading before a judge and saying that he's going to 'find me a girl about 42'!
posted by crabintheocean to Society & Culture (35 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The song might be Jail Bait by Andre Williams?
posted by iconomy at 1:45 PM on October 29, 2005

"He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)" by the Crystals is always at the top of my "creepy" mix.
posted by neustile at 1:49 PM on October 29, 2005

Young Girl by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap - creepy.

If it is Andre Williams, I have it and can upload it for you. It's a Motown song and it's from the late 50s. Let me know if that's the one.
posted by iconomy at 1:49 PM on October 29, 2005

Second neustile on "He Hit Me."

Speaking of 60's girl groups, I think at least half of all Shangri-La's songs involve teenage death, so they're sort of a goldmine for creepiness.
posted by cloeburner at 2:00 PM on October 29, 2005

I had "Young Girl," which iconomy cites, stuck in my head all day earlier this week. I thought I was going to die. It's disturbing and awful and very head-sticky.
posted by librarina at 2:05 PM on October 29, 2005

"Although you're untrue, I'm attracted to you all the more." --"Build Me Up Buttercup," The Foundations.

"You're 16, you're beautiful, and you're mine." Johnny Burnette. (He was about 26.)
posted by kimota at 2:07 PM on October 29, 2005

I couldn't find the lyrics online, so I quick transcribed them:

Jail Bait - Andre Williams

I'm running
Yes before it's too late
Trying to get away
From that jail bait

It's a rough temptation
But a common invitation
And a good association
But a quck elimination
That will take you out of circulation
Yes I'm talking about that younger generation

So take my advice fellas
For goodness sake
15, 16, 17 that's jail bait

Now they swear that they're in love
That you and her god stars above
And she's lookin mighty good
Just like a young girl should

Well we try to tell ya no
And let that young girl go
But you you know it all
You have yourself a ball

And now it is too late
As you look from cell number 8
I tried to tell yo old mate
17 and 1/2 is still jail bait

So tomorrow's the date
For the trial of jail bait
And this you watch and see
The young girl will go free
And you'll get one to three

So out the door she walks
To another man she talks
Before you can count
From one to eight
Another man in for
Jail bait.

Please mister judge
If you just let me go this time
I won't mess with them young girls no more
I swear I'm not gunna bother them Mister Judge

I ain't gunna bother nothin fifteen
I ain't gunna bother nothin sixteen
I ain't gunna bother nothin seventeen
I ain't gunna mess with none at eighteen

I'm gunna leave the twenty year old ones alone too
Gunna get me a girl about forty-two
If you just believe what I say Mister Judge
Please Mister Judge I ain't gunna bother then young girls no more

Gimme a break Mister Judge

Please Mister Judge
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:07 PM on October 29, 2005

See also Last Kiss: Songs of Teen Tragedy for more morbidity.

I just realized you mentioned early 60s, so I guess the Foundations (as well as the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer") would be ruled out.
posted by kimota at 2:10 PM on October 29, 2005

That's totally the Jailbait song! Thanks everyone who got it!
posted by crabintheocean at 2:16 PM on October 29, 2005

Foundations is good, but Beatles is out - It's the genre more than a specific time range.
posted by crabintheocean at 2:18 PM on October 29, 2005

crabintheocean, here's the link to the song.
posted by iconomy at 2:20 PM on October 29, 2005

Thanks! You rule!
posted by crabintheocean at 2:33 PM on October 29, 2005

That is the most awesomest song evar.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:20 PM on October 29, 2005

"Johnny Get Angry" always bothered me, even as a kid. Also "My Boy Lollipop", made famous by thirteen year old "little" Millie Small. "Last Kiss" was covered by Pearl Jam, but the original is perfect Lynch style music.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:18 PM on October 29, 2005

Ther's also "Cherry Pie" by the Tri-Lads and "Baby Let's Play House" by Elvis Presley.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:55 PM on October 29, 2005

Icky. (Apparently The Crystals weren't too pleased with it, either.)

(Gerry Goffin / Carole King)
The Crystals

He hit me
And it felt like a kiss.
He hit me
But it didn't hurt me.

He couldn't stand to hear me say
That I'd been with someone new,
And when I told him I had been untrue

He hit me
And it felt like a kiss.
He hit me
And I knew he loved me.

If he didn't care for me
I could have never made him mad
But he hit me,
And I was glad.

(instrumental break)

Yes, he hit me
And it felt like a kiss.
He hit me
And I knew I loved him.
And then he took me in his arms
With all the tenderness there is,
And when he kissed me,
He made me his.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:48 PM on October 29, 2005

earworm alert ... "yummy yummy yummy", "123 red light" and some other rather obnoxious bubble gum songs ... although they're too annoying to be truly creepy

one of the most seriously creepy songs ever was "timothy" by the buoys (but that was early 70s) ... 2 guys and timothy trapped in a mine ... only the 2 guys come out ... was timothy a man or a mule? ... and just what happened to timothy, anyway?

"sally go round the roses" by the jaynettes is creepy, simply because it's so mysterious and dark ... what would happen if sally went downtown?

from a slightly later time, "69 tears" by ? and the mysterians has somewhat strange lyrics ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 PM on October 29, 2005

whoops ... that's "96 tears" ... but, hey we all knew it was really 69, right?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:05 PM on October 29, 2005

"Superman" by The Clique (later covered by some obscure Athens, GA band).
posted by donpardo at 6:26 PM on October 29, 2005

Creepy in a pretty way:
Runaway by Del Shannon
Blue Moon by Elvis Presley
Why Can't he be You? by Patsy Cline
Gone by Buddy Holly
Boogie Chillun by John Lee Hooker
... and just about everything by Roy Orbison

Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
posted by whatnot at 6:30 PM on October 29, 2005

Blue Moon - not by Elvis. I don't find it creepy, either - but apparently the commonly known lyrics aren't the first lyrics written, so maybe whatnot knows something I don't...
posted by louigi at 7:17 PM on October 29, 2005

I was thinking of the plaintive, almost yodel-y version of Blue Moon from Mystery Train.
posted by whatnot at 7:54 PM on October 29, 2005

Shake, Rattle and Roll--when they cleaned the original version up for public consumption, they left in the part about a "one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store."

Hound Dog was originally more explicit, too, as was the original version of Tutti Fruitti (" A wop bop a loo mop a good goddam, Tutti Frutti, good booty, if it don't fit, don't force it, you can grease it, make it easy").
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:19 PM on October 29, 2005

I always thought that "I Only Have Eyes For You" (as used on Buffy) is one of the alternately most creepy and best produced songs ever.
posted by softlord at 8:22 PM on October 29, 2005

sorry...that link should be The Flamingos version
posted by softlord at 8:23 PM on October 29, 2005

Also, though it's more mid-late 60s, Lil' Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs always struck me as creepy and filled with double-entendres.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:25 PM on October 29, 2005

I read the lyrics for Elvis' Baby Let's Play House and I noticed that the Beatles used the most twisted line of that for the opening line of Run For Your Life. Whether or not it meets your criteria, it's creepy for the Beatles.
posted by Idiot Mittens at 8:53 PM on October 29, 2005

Had to jump in on this for two reasons.

1) He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss) is brilliantly answered by Spiritualized's paene (sp?) to shooting smack "She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit).

2) Conway Twitty doing "(I Can Tell) You've Never Been This Far Before" always creeps me out on those late nite Country & Western Infomercials:
I can almost hear the stillness
As it yelds to the sound of your heart beating
And I can almost hear the echo
Of the thoughts that I know you must be thinking
And I can feel your body tremble
As you wonder what this moment holds in store
And as I put my arms around you
I can tell you've never been this far before

I don't know what I'm saying
As my trembling fingers touch forbidden places
I only know I've waited
For so long for the chance that we are taking
I don't know and I don't care
What made you tell him you don't love him anymore
And as I taste your tender kisses
I can tell you've never been this far before
posted by idontlikewords at 9:24 PM on October 29, 2005

"I'm a Girl Watcher" by the Okaysions always creeped me out a bit:

I wonder if you know
That you are putting on a show
Could you please walk a little slower
posted by evilcolonel at 9:34 PM on October 29, 2005

Have to agree with the previous posters about 'Young Girl' by Gary Puckett & Union Gap. I remember hearing it played even as a child and thinking it sounded 'odd'.

With all the charms of a woman
You've kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe
You're old enough
To give me Love
And now it hurts to know the truth
posted by mr_benn at 7:04 AM on October 30, 2005

"More than Words" by Extreme is super date-rapey. It's just gross.

Some of the early Ike & Tina tunes have some really heavy subtext, knowing what we know now. Tina's wails and screeches carry a whole lot of emotions, and with the lyrics, hair-raising.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:54 AM on October 31, 2005

One that is suprisingly explicit is Ding-A-Ling by Chuck Berry..."I want you to play with my ding-a-ling"
posted by poppo at 9:52 AM on October 31, 2005

Late to the party, but this is an awesome question. Not as good as many already posted, but I've always been creeped out by The Angels' My Boyfriend's Back. Such glee:

My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble
You see him comin' better cut out on the double
You been spreading lies that I was untrue
So look out now cause he's comin' after you

Hey, he knows that you been tryin'
And he knows that you been lyin'

He's been gone for such a long time
Now he's back and things'll be fine
You're gonna be sorry you were ever born
Cause he's kinda big and he's awful strong

Hey he knows I wasn't cheatin'!
Now you're gonna get a beatin'!

posted by salvia at 3:26 PM on July 9, 2006

Oops, I meant that my suggestion was not as good as many posted, not the question -- that was confusing!

You might also want to peruse the much broader selection of songs brainstormed here, see if you get reminded of anything.
posted by salvia at 3:34 PM on July 9, 2006

In terms of WTF value I would recommend "Don't Fuck Around With Love" by the Blenders. A great song but not typical 1953 material.
posted by rongorongo at 12:50 AM on July 18, 2006

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