PSB titles and lyrics that are (or may be) sly innuendos

1. "Love Comes Quickly"

Just before it was released as a single, Chris reportedly said that he was too embarrassed to announce its title because of its unintentional innuendo.

2. The final words of "Later Tonight"

If, as I suspect, the underpinning of this song is a masturbatory fantasy—to be sure, a sorrowful, sincere one of almost painful longing—then the final words, "tonight always comes," might be considered a double entendre.

3. The opening lines of "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"

"You always wanted a lover. I only wanted a job." Think about it.

4. "So Hard"

It has long been asserted (and the Boys have confirmed) that this track contains a brief sample from a porno film in which the title words are spoken—by a young woman, according to Neil, but it sure as heck sounds like a young man. It may actually have been sampled from the 1987 track "Deeper N Deeper" by the underground dance-club band Modern Rocketry, although it's quite possible that Modern Rocketry had themselves sampled it from such a film. Whatever the case, add to this the fact that pairs of boxer shorts emblazoned "So Hard" across the front were issued as promo items (which may or may not have been the Boys' idea, but there you have it) and you can't deny that innuendo must have been on somebody's mind. Of special note, however, is the ”9" edit” of the song released on a U.S. CD maxi-single. Since "So Hard" wasn't released on a "9-inch" vinyl format—an extremely rare size for a vinyl recording anyway, made under only very special circumstances—the description of a mix as a 9-inch edit is almost certainly another sneaky sexual innuendo that can hardly be anything but intentional. (Incidentally, one of my site visitors noted that this 9-inch edit is roughly three-quarters the length of the song's two extended dance mixes, one of which is specifically titled the "12-inch mix," and 9 is three-quarters of 12. I suspect that's simply a coincidence, but who knows?)

5. "It Must Be Obvious"

Not so much a sexual as a sexuality innuendo. Neil has acknowledged the pun of the title.

6. "Bet She's Not Your Girlfriend"

Inspired by a newspaper photo of George Michael with a woman.

7. Bilingual

Another punning innuendo, although since Neil had already "come out" by the time of this album, it's probably not about him in particular. But if, as the Boys have averred, it's a pun on "bisexual," then to whom does it refer? Perhaps the narrator of the song "Single"? Let's leave it at that.

8. The opening line of "One of the Crowd"

When Chris intones about going fishing with his "rod," somehow I don't think he has salmon or trout in mind. Actually, this metaphor struck me as so blatant that I didn't even think it qualified as "innuendo." But then I learned that it does indeed slip past some listeners, so I guess it belongs in this list after all.

9. "Who will give whom the bigger surprise?" in "Young Offender"

No comment—as if any were needed.

10. "Did You See Me Coming?"

Even though that's not what it's about, the Boys have on more than one occasion acknowledged the title's lewd connotations. Neil even went so far as to turn it into a joke on The Graham Norton Show. (It was only par for the course considering that, on the average, every third utterance on that show is at least a little naughty.) But then there's also a line that an album reviewer for The Word described a bit cryptically as "plausibly deniable filth": "You don't have to be a high-flyer to catch your slot." OK, I can imagine what he's referring to, but I would prefer not elaborate on it in mixed company. I like to think that my mama raised a gentleman. Looking at it from a somewhat less salacious perspective, one of my site visitors has suggested that you can even read the fabled phenomenon of "gaydar" into the title and lyrics: "… Was I that obvious?"

11. The opening line of "Pandemonium"

"Is this a riot or are you just pleased to see me?" is clearly a takeoff on the classic Mae West quip, "Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" (very frequently misquoted "Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" or some other variant with "banana"). As the Boys have restated it, the line strongly suggests that the person to whom the lyric is addressed gets a sexual charge from his misbehavior.

12. "Jack the Lad"

The innuendo of the title is surely unintentional. Then again, Chris did once say of it, "What a sexy song title," but that was probably only with the benefit of hindsight. Yes, there's an ocean of difference between British and American slang. I'm no prude, but delving into it any further would push the boundaries of taste.

13. "I studied history, while you did biology / To you the human body didn’t hold any mystery" in "The Pop Kids"

A little obvious, but a fun, mildly erotic instance of double entendre nonetheless.

14. "Get It Online"

Taken together, (1) the similarity of the title to the well-known euphemism "get it on" for sexual activity, (2) the long-standing usage of the word "it" as a euphemism for sex itself, and (3) the song's own lines about how you can "find a sexual partner" and "you'll never be alone" suggest that, yes, some innuendo—well, more than just innuendo—may be going on here.

15. "I like the cut of your jib, if you know what I mean" in "A Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi'"

One of the annotations to my main entry for this song discusses the meaning and history of the idiomatic expression "I like the cut of your jib." As I note there, the use immediately afterward of another idiom, "If you know what I mean," almost invariably signals innuendo, often of a sexual nature. And that's certainly the case here. In fact, one might take the innuendo a bold step further and consider one highly suggestive alternate meaning of the word "cut," which can be applied to a certain, shall we say, frequently altered characteristic of male sexual anatomy. Most of you surely know what I mean without my having to go into detail. If you don't, well, I'm going to make a very circumspect decision and say nothing more about it.

16. "Ring Road"

It's tempting to describe this song as one long sexual innuendo from beginning to end, only it generally seems too blatant to truly qualify as "innuendo." But it includes several lines that could easily be regarded as "innuendos within the innuendo," so to speak. The couplet "Taking me for a ride / Taking it in your stride" is one, as is "I'd be so happy bumping the cars." Don't ask me to explain—just trust me on this.

17. "I don't care what you've shared 'cause I've seen it" in "Do I Have To?"

Admittedly, it may be a bit of a stretch. But in the proper frame of mind, it can certainly sound suggestive. Or maybe that would be an improper frame of mind.

18. "A Powerful Friend"

This one contains several lines with thoroughly salacious connotations, the most notable of which states that "pizza boys deliver what he needs on demand." Indeed.

19. "Dancing in the moonlight" in "The Truck-Driver and His Mate"

If this truck-driver is, as the song states, "acting out of compulsion," then how likely is it that he and his "mate" are indeed dancing in the moonlight as opposed to engaging in some other nocturnal activity? Sounds like a euphemism to me, especially given the stereotypical behavior at lay-bys of long-distance truck-drivers—a common trope of gay porn fantasy in particular. The Boys may, of course, be toying with that very trope, consciously inverting it by asserting that their truck-driver is engaged in far more "innocent" activity, as it were. But even such an inversion must, to be effective as an inversion, invoke the innuendo.

20. "Do you still hang around that old arcade to see what luck will bring?" and "You were always such a free spirit who came and went so much" in "Will-o-the-wisp"

A couple of likely double entendres. Pinball and other games found in arcades invariably involve varying degrees of luck. And one can also hope to, as they say, "get lucky" with one (or more) of the other players there. Meanwhile, one needn't elaborate on the lewd implications of "come and go" in the context of the song, even when expressed in the past tense.

21. "Monkey Business" (and several of its lines in particular)

One might regard the song "Monkey Business" as one big mega-innuendo, starting with its title, the sexual implications of which are so obvious, especially in context, that it hardly even qualifies as "innuendo." But a few of its lines are more eyebrow-raising. "What I do for afters" is, at the very least, a double entendre in English, and it may even qualify as a triple-entendre when you consider that the album was recorded in Berlin and that After is a German word for "anus." Even bolder than that is the line "Entered by the back door." The "back door" has a long and (dis)honorable history in slang, dating back to blues songs of the early 1900s, and maybe even farther back than that, as a euphemism for anal sex.

22. Several lines in "I'm with Stupid"

It was once suggested to me that the entire song "I'm with Stupid" belongs in this list since, after all, it's one big double entendre that refers to the Bush-Blair/U.S.-U.K. "special relationship." But since that's pretty much the entire point of the song, I felt it didn't really qualify as "innuendo," sly though it might be. On the other hand, certain lines do go a step further into the true territory of innuendo:

Love comes
Love grows
Everytime you rise to greet me

Although this is immediately followed by "Take my hand to greet me" to emphasize that, at a non-erotic level, these lines refer simply to the act of standing up before shaking someone's hand in greeting, there's no getting around the underlying sexual implications of the verbs "grow" and "rise" in such close proximity to "love."

23. A couple of lines in "Together"

The recurring line "Together we'll go all the way" might be considered a double entendre—albeit quite a tame one by contemporary standards—in that "going all the way" has been common slang terminology for engaging in sexual intercourse at least since the 1950s. Neil has confirmed this innuendo, saying that one of the things he was imagining in writing it was "two people about to have sex for the first time." Stretching further in more ways than one, another line, "Together I'll die with you," might also be viewed in this light since "to die" is well known to have been sixteenth-century slang for having an orgasm. Hence, Shakespeare as well as other writers of the period sometimes used it as a double entendre of their own.

24. "Together we'll go all the way" in "One-Way Street"

Again. See #23 just above.

25. "Will I go all the way?" in "New London Boy"

Neil himself has pointed out that this line is a double-entendre. “It’s about learning your sexuality and I wanted to become a pop star…."

26. "Love Is the Law"

This song, the last on Nonetheless, is full of sexual innuendos, some more unmistakable than others, and some of which are apparent only in the context of a song about love, sex, and (at least in part) prostitution: