I is for Illicit

I was notorious for expressing my love for 95% of the songs on Top-40 radio in the 90’s. My dad reminded me regularly that even though I thought the song that was playing right then was the best – every song was my favorite song.  The year was 1996; riding in the front seat of my dad’s car I sang freely and confidently about boys dreams, thinking nothing of it.

Hike up your skirt a little more
and show your world to me
In a boys dream.. In a boys dream

: Dave Matthews Band

I was twelve.

When I was in the 6th grade my friend Jenny and I (the one I stole the car with) tried out for the talent show by doing our very own rendition of Don’t Speak by No Doubt. To this day, when it comes on the radio I imagine what we looked like to the class full of our peers; two awkward pre-teens holding the wooden stick instruments as microphones. No movement, just quiet singing.

We didn’t make the cut, but you know who did? This younger kid who sang and danced to My Pony…

If you’re horny lets do it, ride it, my pony
My saddle’s waiting, come and jump on it


I am not making this up, he did the pony dance.

Maybe we didn’t have quite the showmanship or choreography but at least we were elementary school appropriate. Our other friends were told they would not be allowed to perform, If You Wanna Be My Lover by the Spice Girls… but this 4th grader can fake hump the air?!

Ultimately, our Spice girl friends and us teamed up and complained enough that we were allowed to give a gripping performance of Say You’ll Be There in (kind of) matching denim overalls and one in-sync dance move at the end …and pony boy was cut.

A year later, Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground entered top 40 radio airwaves.

I smell sex and
Candy here
Who’s that lounging
In my chair 

I was thirteen years old, trying to explain to my mom that she’s too old and can’t understand that just because it says sex, doesn’t mean that is what it’s all about…and that she’ll just have to get over it because it’s my favorite song ever.

Baby Got Back was released when I was eight and I had it memorized by the time I was nine. Later, it was one of the biggest deals when played at school dances. All of us teenagers out there shakin’ it, singing every word in perfect harmony.

It was beautiful.

But I gotta be straight when I say I want to… [uuuhhh] 
Til the break of dawn
Baby got it goin’ on 

Now, as a parent myself, I have to imagine there was a time or two that it was a bit uncomfortable to be around me and my love for tunes. I’d like to issue a public apology to the adults – especially my parents – who encountered my illicit taste in ’90’s music.

I’m sorry.

19 thoughts on “I is for Illicit

    1. I find it bizarre how music gets to skate by the generation of everyone being offended. The deal is, if it has a good beat, it’s not about the words or what your nine year old son is singing.


  1. Ha! I almost wrote something similar for D. I was a big fan of Bel Biv Devoe and the song “Do Me!” when I was younger. That song is not subtle but I misinterpreted half the lyrics. There’s a part where he spells out “jimmy” and I thought he was referring to a friend not a condom. Doy.


    1. Back in the day, when we were kids that was possible! It was normal to misinterpret because we were innocent and sheltered. Now? Not much is getting past the youngsters.


  2. It was (and still is) so hard for me to say what was my favorite band or song, because I really did like all the songs in the charts. Also, being German my Knowledge of English (and therefore of the lyrics) did kick in much later than… and made for some surprising discoveries about what I was singing so loudly…


  3. I love the pony song. 😀 It’s strange how sometimes little kids sing along to songs they don’t know the meaning of and sometimes it is err… awkward. Every decade has it’s ambiguous songs and it’s fun listening to them.


    1. When Adele came out with the song, Rumor Has It, my son was in the backseat singing the whole thing and when it was over he goes, “mama…what do you think Umar has?”
      Kids, I tell ya… ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And our parents never said anything about it, either… which for that I guess we can be grateful because I really feel like those tunes shaped my childhood. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know what you’re talking about; my mother was perfectly fine with all my choices in music. I’ll never forget how her eyes would fill with tears of pride every time I danced around the house playing air guitar while belting out Meredith Brooks’ immortal “Bitch”.

    …they WERE tears of pride, weren’t they?


  5. I remember being horrified when my friend’s five-year-old daughter belted out some of the Spice Girls’ raunchier lyrics. Her mother blushed and said, “It’s just a song about love.” Later, my daughter was horrified when I’d blast Tom Jones’ “Sex Bomb” and dance around while washing the dishes. But she got over it, and was soon singing and dancing along with me.
    @RhondaGilmour from
    Late Blooming Rose



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