Oh, to be an innocent young thing growing up in the 1990s. You got the chance to hear some filthy lyrics without ever really knowing what you were saying. And while you had no idea certain '90s songs were about sex, when you listen to them again as an adult, it could not be clearer. Hate to break it to you, but Sir Mix-A-Lot was not singing about a literal anaconda.
It was a decade of tremendous double entendres. It was a time when a catchy acoustic tune by the Dave Matthews Band was actually kind of filthy. And a song called “Pony” was in no way associated with real horses. Sure, at least a few of your friends were worldly enough to catch on and say “Do you know what this is really about?” But alas, literal children like me didn’t get it until years later.
Not that this stopped any child of the '90s from singing along. I have an exceptionally vivid memory of being around eight and riding around the neighborhood in my friend’s go-cart, both of us singing the lyrics of Salt-N-Pepa’s “None of Your Business” at the tops of our lungs. As an adult, this recollection kind of makes me blush with belated embarrassment. But hey: that’s the '90s for you.
1. "Peaches" by Presidents of the United States Of America
Lyric: "Squished a rotten peach in my fist / And dreamed about you, woman"
The Presidents of the United States of America blessed us with this quintessential mid-'90s tune. But he's not talking about eating real peaches, right? (Conversely, I’m pretty sure their song “Kitty” is about a literal cat.)
2. "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band
Lyric: "Tied to me tight tie me up again"
As a kid I always thought of this as the most romantic song ever, but listening to it now, it's a bit pervy. Is that a reference to bondage, Mister Matthews? And there's also that line about hiking up a skirt.
3. "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls
Lyric: "When I think about you, I touch myself"
Yep, this one flew right over my head back in the day. But it really isn't a subtle song at all. At. All. And the video is a pretty 90s-tastic tribute to self love.
4. "Pony" by Ginuwine
Lyric: "If you're horny, let's do it / Ride it, my pony"
So I don't think even the most innocent of children would think this is about an actual horse. But the real impact of the song's explicit nature does not hit home until you're old enough to understand what kind of riding Ginuwine is really talking about.
5. "When The Lights Go Out" by Five
Lyric: "Babe I swear you will succumb to me / So baby come to me"
*NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys weren't the only game in town. Boy band Five also brought the heat with this vaguely inappropriate song. He wasn't referring to bowling.
6. "Too Close" by Next
Lyric: "I wonder if she could tell I'm hard right now, hmmm"
Next served up this classic jam with so much smooth sass that you didn't even notice the lyrics at first. But it's 100 percent just a boner jam. But there is something admirable about the song's unabashed treatment of its subject matter.
7. "Freak Me" Silk
Lyric: "Let me lick you up and down till you say stop"
Ooooh snap. Silk's "Freak Me" is probably responsible for 80 percent of the children conceived in the '90s. The lyrics are definitely R-rated.
8. "C'est La Vie" by B*Witched
Lyric: "I'll huff I'll puff I'll blow you away"
This super-poppy jam from B*Witched has a surprisingly dirty heart. And the video features four girls hitting on a dude in pleated khakis.
9. "2 Become 1" by Spice Girls
Lyric: "Come a little bit closer baby, get it on, get it on"
Every '90s girl remembers the time she realized what this dreamy Spice Girls song is really about. The lyrics are all still pretty sexy 20 years later.