The song I'm referring to is "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band, a pop rock staple of the '70s. You still hear this song all the time, but here's the rather "Huh?" factor: parents complain all the time that there are so many sexual overtones in the modern music their children listen to while they make light of all the sexual references in the music they grew up on. Well, sorry, I ain't buying the "It was a different time" excuse anymore.
In the case of "Afternoon Delight," let's look at a couple of lines that leave nothing to the imagination:
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day
Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
Looking forward to a little afternoon delight.
Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite
and the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting.
Growing up, I never pictured daytime lovemaking when I heard this song. As a matter of fact, I always thought this song was about having an afternoon snack at a picnic with fireworks shooting off in the sky. Well, just like the realization that Bryan Adams was not singing about the summer of 1969 in "Summer of '69," some imaginations get changed over time.
I know there are subtle ways and not-so-subtle ways about talking about sexual innuendo. Sometimes no innuendo is implied at all. I'm still convinced that "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is really about holding a person's hand. "Dancing Queen" is about a young dancing star. "Beat It" is about not fighting. Yet a song like "Go All the Way" by the Raspberries is about one thing and one thing only.
Am I missing something here, or were these songs ever thought of as controversial in their day? I know of plenty of songs that were controversial in their day because of supposed drug or sexual overtones ("Puff, the Magic Dragon" anyone?), but these days, they're thought of as totally harmless. Now I'm not trying to sound like some moral analyst here, but come on, why do parents flip out about a modern song that sings about "the nasty" while they are perfectly fine with "Afternoon Delight"?