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  #51  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by The_Peyote_Coyote View Post
"Rock and Roll Kootchie Koo" has the line: "Come on, little pussy, gonna do it to you."
pretty sure that is supposed to be to be "come on a little closer"
  #52  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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Did they ever crack the Top 40, though? I've never heard that Steely Dan played on the radio, and I've only heard "We Can Be Together," played a few times, usually on college or independent stations.
The Dan had several top 40 hits- Show Biz Kids peaked at #61.
  #53  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:34 AM
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See post #2. The term being discussed isn't "fish finger pie". It is "a four of fish and finger pie"
Yeah, but it would seem to be a pun or play on words of "fish finger pie". On a superficial reading, it might sound to British ears that the song's narrator is describing the buying of four [quantity or money's worth] of fish finger pie, perhaps at the fish and chips shop on Penny Lane. However, the number used is four, and we have four fingers on a hand, so that implies that the "finger" of "finger pie" could be understood as being the fingers of a hand. "Fishy"-smelling is a common descriptor trope of a vagina, and "finger pie" is a euphemism for female sexual stimulation through use of the fingers. So it all ties up together as a pun, and John Lennon was fond of puns, as evidenced by his book A Spaniard in the Works (cf. "a spanner in the works").
  #54  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:51 AM
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Censors deal primarily with actual profanity, not adult themes and situations. If you don't say (according to one well-known list) shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, or tits, you can describe pretty much anything you wish.
"And tits doesn't even belong on the list! It sounds like a snack. New Nabisco tits! Tater tits!"

As for 'fish and finger pie', if we're going to censor that, what do we do with 'Cat Scratch Fever'? Burn it in a holy ceremony?

I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand
They know they gettin' it from me
They know just where to go
When they need their lovin' man
They know I do it for free
I give 'em cat scratch fever

The entire song, including the title, is about finger pie.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 06-08-2019 at 11:53 AM.
  #55  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:03 PM
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The song was a cover, and the original is called Pass the Kouchie, which was Rasta for a dope pipe. The Musical Youth version was a weak attempt at obscuring that fact.
I remember Musical Youth being on the terribly wholesome BBC kids show Blue Peter. The explanation for what a Dutchie was was unconvincing (some sort of bowl of food iirc) even for the young me.
  #56  
Old 06-08-2019, 12:16 PM
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The explanation for what a Dutchie was was unconvincing (some sort of bowl of food iirc) even for the young me.
"Pass the duchy on the left hand side" may also have been what kings once said when bestowing titles on their courtiers.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:39 PM
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Man, I just read this thread while listening to some of Dinah Washington’s 1950s R&B records.

Look up the one where she phones her boyfriend late at night to come over and “fix her TV.” The two of them do it on EVERY channel.
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  #58  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:32 PM
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Yeah, but it would seem to be a pun or play on words of "fish finger pie". On a superficial reading, it might sound to British ears that the song's narrator is describing the buying of four [quantity or money's worth] of fish finger pie, perhaps at the fish and chips shop on Penny Lane. However, the number used is four, and we have four fingers on a hand, so that implies that the "finger" of "finger pie" could be understood as being the fingers of a hand. "Fishy"-smelling is a common descriptor trope of a vagina, and "finger pie" is a euphemism for female sexual stimulation through use of the fingers. So it all ties up ttogether as a pun, and John Lennon wast tfond of puns, as evidenced by his book A Spaniard in the Works (cf. "a spanner in gathe works").

That’s all well and good, but John didn’t write Penny Lane. Paul did.
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:54 PM
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You are right. But anyone watching the 1967 Penny Lane video could be fooled. Because John is definitely the coolest guy in it.

Either tripping balls, or at least completely stoned.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S-rB0pHI9fU
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  #60  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:59 PM
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That’s all well and good, but John didn’t write Penny Lane. Paul did.
While primarily a McCartney composition, Lennon contributed to it, and likely wrote the 'Four of fish and finger pie' line. From the Beatles Bible:
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John Lennon is said to have contributed the line "Four of fish and finger pie", which derived from a crude Liverpudlian sexual term.

 It's part fact, part nostalgia for a great place – blue suburban skies, as we remember it, and it's still there. And we put in a joke or two: 'Four of fish and finger pie.' The women would never dare say that. except to themselves. Most people wouldn't hear it, but 'finger pie' is just a nice little joke for the Liverpool lads who like a bit of smut.

Paul McCartney, 1967
Anthology
It appears to have been hidden well enough to get past British censors. "I am the Walrus", on the other hand, released a few months later, was banned by the BBC because of the following line, supposedly because of the word "knickers":

Boy, you've been a naughty girl
You let your knickers down


The BBC also refused to broadcast the song "A Day in the Life" due to the line "I'd love to turn you on", which they felt advocated drug use.
  #61  
Old 06-08-2019, 03:52 PM
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Let's not even mention Brown Eyed Girl.
I bought a CD compilation of his stuff and the version of that song was AM-bawdlerized. They just left out an entire stanza, left it behind the stadium. I suppose it may have been a completely different recording specifically for radio, because, if it was edited, they did a really good job.

As to the other meaning of the title, well, uh.
  #62  
Old 06-08-2019, 06:14 PM
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Man, I just read this thread while listening to some of Dinah Washington’s 1950s R&B records.

Look up the one where she phones her boyfriend late at night to come over and “fix her TV.” The two of them do it on EVERY channel.
And Big Joe Turner's "TV Mama" was the one with the "big wide screen."
  #63  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:07 PM
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Let's Spend the Night Together didn't receive as much airplay as the other A side, "Ruby Tuesday" but it did reach #55.
It did get censored by Ed Sullivan, story in the link.
So the censors were not all that active.
  #64  
Old 06-08-2019, 10:02 PM
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Let's Spend the Night Together didn't receive as much airplay as the other A side, "Ruby Tuesday" but it did reach #55.
It did get censored by Ed Sullivan, story in the link.
So the censors were not all that active.
Ed Sullivan (actually one of his producers) attempted to have the Doors change the lyrics to Light My Fire. They disagreed.
  #65  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:34 AM
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Little Feat!


Now I know just how heaven feels
When she reach beneath my big old steerin' wheel
Dyna flow, power glide
Bored and stroked, I'm satisfied
When I take my baby for a ride

'Let it Roll'.

Spot-check Billy got down on his hands and knees
He said "Hey mama, hey let me check your oil all right?"
She said "No, no honey, not tonight
Come back Monday, come back Tuesday, and then I might"

'Fat Man in the Bath Tub'
  #66  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:27 PM
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I remember Musical Youth being on the terribly wholesome BBC kids show Blue Peter. The explanation for what a Dutchie was was unconvincing (some sort of bowl of food iirc) even for the young me.
I remember reading an interview at the time, probably in New Musical Express, where one of the adults involved with Musical Youth was very open about the process of bowdlerising the song to make it suitable for kids to sing*.

The Wiki page addresses the story of the change from dope pipe to cooking pot.

j

* - I even remember one of the kids expressing a desire to own, when older, a bad man wagon - BMW. Shit - I can remember that but I have no idea what I had for lunch.
  #67  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:57 PM
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Censors deal primarily with actual profanity, not adult themes and situations. If you don't say (according to one well-known list) shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, or tits, you can describe pretty much anything you wish.
George Carlin's 7th dirty word was "prick", not "tits."

I've always heard the Who's "Who Are You" with that F-bomb at the end left intact and uncensored.
  #68  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:05 PM
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George Carlin's 7th dirty word was "prick", not "tits."

I've always heard the Who's "Who Are You" with that F-bomb at the end left intact and uncensored.
sorry, no, it was tits
  #69  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:11 PM
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sorry, no, it was tits
You are correct.
  #70  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:21 PM
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And possibly Carlin was extremely high at the time, to include both fuck and motherfucker? In that case, the seven could have been fuck, motherfucker, fuckhead, fuckface, fuckwit, dumbfuck and buttfucker? Or at least it implies any other variation than the two he mentioned were acceptable?

Last edited by Helmut Doork; 06-10-2019 at 01:22 PM.
  #71  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:28 PM
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Interesting diversion, but I don't think he ever put them to music and/or said them on the radio uncensored.
Back on track: Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side:
"Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody's darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head"
  #72  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:32 PM
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Interesting diversion, but I don't think he ever put them to music and/or said them on the radio uncensored.
Back on track: Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side:
"Candy came from out on the island,
In the backroom she was everybody's darling,
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head"
see post #1
  #73  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:38 PM
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see post #1
That's why I said "back on track". Although most of the time I heard it those lyrics were censored, how was it he got those lyrics to play on the radio at all?
  #74  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:00 PM
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That's why I said "back on track". Although most of the time I heard it those lyrics were censored, how was it he got those lyrics to play on the radio at all?
I didn’t hear the song in its hey day, but in the ‘90s, when I got around to stations that played this music, I don’t ever recall hearing it censored. That said, I feel like I hear more censoring now than before. Am I nuts or misremembering? Like I hear lines abou& masturbation being censored now, but I don’t recall that happening in the 90s. Like the Greem Day line: “when masturbation’s lost it’s fun, you’re fucking lonely,” my memories are only the “fucking” being censored but not the “masturbation.” There’s a number of songs like this where I hear non-obscene sexual words being cut out, where before they were aired. I assume this is just some corporate policy stuff, but my impression is that one is more likely to hear songs edited now on the radio than at least since when I grew up (the 80s.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 06-10-2019 at 02:00 PM.
  #75  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:06 PM
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It was censored out when I heard it on the Mighty KMET in the late 70's.
  #76  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:08 PM
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And what about “good golly, Miss Molly, you sure like to ball?” I mean, by the 60s, “balling” referred to sexual intercourse. I assume this was the case with this late 50s lyric, especially given the euphemistic tradition of a lot of blues and r&b, but I haven’t quite found a definitive answer on that one. I mean, sure, there’s the interpretation of “sure like to [have a] ball” or “sure like to dance,” etc, but this is Little Richard, so I’ve always assumed the more lascivious interpretation. But I don’t know if the verb “to ball” had the meaning at the time.

Wait, actually, etymonline says jazz slang for “to ball” meaning to copulate goes back to the 40s, so it seems quite likely to me that the meaning was known and intended by Little Richard.
  #77  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:17 PM
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So "Penny Lane" is playing on the office muzak, and Paul mentions "fish and finger pie"- there is literally no other meaning to 'finger pie', other than 'fingerbang', (even according to the Wikipedia page of the song) and they throw in a mention of fish, just in case you had any doubts to the meaning. That this was played on radio, and a top ten hit, in the mid-1960's to me is quite astonishing.
Well, maybe not...

I mean, I'm no virgin, I've been listening to those lyrics since they came out, and until your OP it never occurred to me that any of it had to do with "fingerbanging". So perhaps this scandalous subtext was not as obvious to many of us as it was to you?
  #78  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:22 PM
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I don't know about the UK, but in the US censors were probably too busy hunting for lyrics with drug references to notice a rather obscure reference to finger fucking in a song so cheery and bright.
  #79  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:27 PM
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Ever read the lyrics to Aerosmith's "Walk This Way"? You would be hard pressed to find another song from that time period that had so much naughtiness. True, Jefferson Starship's Miracles had Marty Balin crooning, "I got a taste of the real world when I went down on you girl"; however, that line only appears on the longer album version and not on the hit single.
  #80  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:32 PM
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George Carlin's 7th dirty word was "prick", not "tits."

I've always heard the Who's "Who Are You" with that F-bomb at the end left intact and uncensored.
He may have offered different variations in live performances; however, I had the record and the 7th word was, in fact, tits. He went on about how that word did not even belong on the list since it is such a friendly word and sounds like a brand of snack food (not the kind of snack you are thinking about, you pervert

Last edited by TimfromNapa; 06-10-2019 at 02:33 PM.
  #81  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:39 PM
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1) It was the 1960s. Rock and roll got away with a lot of stuff they probably wouldn't get away with before or after them.

2) It was the Beatles, who could get away with a lot more stuff than, say, the Buckinghams.

3) I certainly didn't know what "finger pie" was supposed to mean. I thought it was one of those meat pies the British are supposed to be so fond of.

3A) I suspect a lot of Americans, including a lot of radio station owners, shared my ignorance. The ones who knew either didn't play the record, or didn't care.

4) Even back then, the government didn't "censor" radio stations over content, unless a bunch of people sent angry letters. We had two rock and roll stations here that lost their FCC licenses during that ear. One of them was to to have run a fraudulent promotion, the owner of the other one was convicted of child molestation. We have an AM station here that is currently under investigation because the "owner" is allegedly a shell corporation hiding the identity of the real owner, who's a convicted felon.

4A) See "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen.

5) By the time McCartney got around to explaining the lyrics, the song was already a part of the oldies collection of every radio station in America. It would be no more scandalous than today's news that your grandmother was three months pregnant when she married your grandfather.
While the government may not have censored radio, the networks themselves did. There were songs that got banned either because of drug references, like the Blues Magoos' "Pipe Dream", or sexual content, like the Standell's "Try It".
  #82  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:34 PM
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I haven't read the whole thread, even though I've posted in it before, but has anyone else addressed the "He keeps his fire engine clean" line in "Penny Lane"? I have a feeling that it is NOT a reference to an emergency vehicle.
  #83  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:48 PM
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double entendres sure, but finger pie would be a single entendre, there is no second meaning.
I've heard that song an many, many times, and I can honestly say that I never thought a "finger pie" was anything other than a pie you ate with your fingers. Along the lines of finger food. Maybe the censors, at least in the US, didn't know what it meant elsewhere.

Or, IOW: nm!

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 06-10-2019 at 03:50 PM.
  #84  
Old 06-10-2019, 04:09 PM
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Another voice from someone that doesn't agree with the accepted meaning.

If the line is really about finger fucking, how does that fit into the song? Unless you're going to say the whole song is a sexual metaphor? Is "Penny Lane" a person, and everyone is "in" her? Come on!

At the surface level, it's a song about a simple life in a small town street. Every line is describing the people that live there.

So the song is supposed to be:

Here are some quaint people that live on Penny Lane
Oh by the way I'm finger fucking someone never mentioned in this song
And here are some more quaint people

What kind of song is that?
  #85  
Old 06-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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Ever read the lyrics to Aerosmith's "Walk This Way"? You would be hard pressed to find another song from that time period that had so much naughtiness.
Heh! I was actually thinking about that song earlier today in regards to this thread, but forgot to mention it. Indeed.
  #86  
Old 06-10-2019, 06:49 PM
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I remember Musical Youth being on the terribly wholesome BBC kids show Blue Peter. The explanation for what a Dutchie was was unconvincing (some sort of bowl of food iirc) even for the young me.
Speaking of innuendoes........

There's all that line in "Pass The Dutchie" that goes "How do you feel when you've got no food?" I knew it was a remake of a, ahem, silly drug song (see footnote) but I always interpreted the updated version as being about a Dutch oven (the cookware, not, well, that).

Footnote: Someone did a parody of Wings' "Silly Love Songs" called "Silly Drug Songs", but I can't find a recording of it.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:13 PM
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Another voice from someone that doesn't agree with the accepted meaning.



If the line is really about finger fucking, how does that fit into the song? Unless you're going to say the whole song is a sexual metaphor? Is "Penny Lane" a person, and everyone is "in" her? Come on!



At the surface level, it's a song about a simple life in a small town street. Every line is describing the people that live there.



So the song is supposed to be:



Here are some quaint people that live on Penny Lane

Oh by the way I'm finger fucking someone never mentioned in this song

And here are some more quaint people



What kind of song is that?


^^^^^ This
  #88  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:12 PM
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And Dylan walked because the suits (not Sullivan) wouldn't let him sing John Birch Society Paranoid Blues. I have one live version of it where he begins "there ain't nothing wrong with this song."
  #89  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:18 PM
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While the government may not have censored radio, the networks themselves did. There were songs that got banned either because of drug references, like the Blues Magoos' "Pipe Dream", or sexual content, like the Standell's "Try It".
Well, individual stations. My wife's college roommate's father owned a radio station in Virginia, and they were absolutely paranoid about dirty words getting on. Including a Tony Orlando song where "we can make it together" was misheard as "wake up naked together" and thus banned.
One Firesign Theatre album had a warning on the back about maybe not playing it on the radio because of the F-CC.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:09 AM
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He may have offered different variations in live performances; however, I had the record and the 7th word was, in fact, tits. He went on about how that word did not even belong on the list since it is such a friendly word and sounds like a brand of snack food (not the kind of snack you are thinking about, you pervert
The 'prick' reference was in the same routine, about how context can make a word dirty. For example, you can prick your finger, but you can't finger your prick.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
While "finger pie" was a euphemism for genital touching, it wasn't a widely known euphemism and the censors probably though it just another nonsense phrase from a couple of blokes known for making up nonsense phrases.
This, for sure. Take a look at the lyrics for "Come Together" or "I Am the Walrus" -- there's all sorts of word salad in there.
I think what you're both overlooking is that, at the time of "Penny Lane"'s release, the lyrics of Lennon and McCartney were not particularly known for making up nonsense phrases. With the exception of "Strawberry Fields Forever", which was the flip side of "Penny Lane", the group's most celebrated nonsense songs (including the two you mentioned) were later releases. If the censors chose to handwave away "finger pie" as a harmless nonce term, it wasn't because the boys had made a big name for themselves as purveyors of meaningless lyrics.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:35 PM
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Other stories of small-town radio censorship.

The owner of one station I worked at pulled Paul Anka's Having My Baby because "we don't play those kinds of songs." Oddly enough, he let us play Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown.

At another stop on my small-town dj career, the owner pulled Johnny Paycheck's Take This Job and Shove It because it offended his wife.
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