not fooling anyone!
Five songs that are obviously all about drugs but the artists insist
are about fluffy by bunnies and such like...
SHAMEN 'EBENEEZER GOODE'
A cunning one
to start. No really. Oh alright, it's bleedin' obvious. The refrain
of the song goes "eezer Goode, eezer Goode, he's Ebeneezer Goode".
Do you get it? E's are good, you see. Pulp's front man, Jarvis Cocker,
was not exactly impressed: "I thought it was a despicable record.
With a clever play on words they covered the fact that they thought
E's were good and got it to Number One." Well, it may've made
the top spot back in 1993 but they hardly covered their tracks as
well as Jarvis might imply. The BBC banned it, the tabloids hounded
the band, and they withdrew the single after four tempestuous weeks.
Incredibly the band continued to deny it was a song about ecstasy,
although the fact that some of their critics thought Goode was spelt
with an E as a drugs reference indicates that they really were stretching
it a bit.
STRANGLERS 'GOLDEN BROWN'
The Stranglers' album
'La Folie' gave rise to their biggest hit, 'Golden Brown', which
made it to No.2 in January of '82. Due to the fact that it's a lovely
tune and has got harpsichords in it, it flew beneath the moral majority's
radar for a while until some bright spark implied that it was all
about heroin consumption and an outraged horde of Daily Mail readers
got the Stranglers firmly in their sights. Happily the lyrics are
so impenetrably obscure that no-one could pin anything on them,
copper, and a ban was averted.
YOUTH 'PASS THE DUTCHIE'
Youth, a group of Jamaican lads from Brummagem recorded this massive
No.1 hit single back in the heady days of 1982, and were the darlings
of the media. Come on, who could resist, cute kids playing reggae.
The tabloids loved them, no-one could get enough. The single spent
a wearying 12 weeks on the charts. Unfortunately the songs was actually
based on The Mighty Diamonds' 'Pass the Kouchie', Kouchie being
Jamaican patois for a pipe full of marijuana. A dutchie, however,
was a cooking pot, so no-one realised that the song had drug origins
until much later. When the single was at No.1, and the papers had
yet to figure it out, it's hard not to imagine the whole of Birmingham
in utter hysterics!
BEATLES 'LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS'
Lucy, Sky, Diamonds... LSD... do you see what he's done there, do
you? The Beatles album 'Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band' is
a classic of acid-soaked nonsense and we all love it to bits. But
come on John, mate, who did you think you were fooling? Two weeks
after the album came out the band admitted to dropping the odd tab,
but given the song's lyrics, the album's psychedelic imagery, and
their groovy costumes, pretty much everyone and their auntie had
already worked that out. John insisted that the title was a coincidence
and he didn't realise until afterwards. Yeah, right. No, really
cries John, "my son Julian came in one day with a picture he
painted about a school friend of his named Lucy. He had sketched
in some stars in the sky and called it Lucy in the sky with diamonds.
Simple. I swear to God, or swear to Mao, or to anybody you like,
I had no idea it spelled LSD." No one, and we mean absolutely
no-one, ever believed him for one tenth of a second, although his
story is corroborated by witnesses, and the venerable Sir Macca.
PETER, PAUL AND MARY 'PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON'
we may be reaching here but puff, eh, puff. Come on, go with it.
The magic land of Hanah Lee? Well that's and obvious reference to...
um... some druggy thing or other. And Dragons, right, they're obviously
something you only see when you're on drugs.
Or perhaps in Komodo...
Or on drugs IN Komodo...
Oh, forget it...
In fact lots of people, inspired by an article in Newsweek, did
claim this was a drugs song. Hana Lee was supposed to be Hanalei,
some golden triangle village famed for the quality of its drug output.
Puff, well that's obvious. Peter Yarrow, the co-writer, responded
bluntly: "When 'Puff' was written, I was too innocent to know
about drugs. What kind of a meanspirited SOB would write a children's
song with a covert drug message?" Objection sustained, Peter.