Posted by Lyn McCarthy
SWEETS: luscious lollipops, creamy cakes and pies, rich, dark chocolate and sticky toffees. Don’t pretend that these words don’t fill your mind with naughty thoughts. Yes, everyone knows that when songwriters come over all sweet it can only mean one thing, its “sexy time’.
You may be pleased to know that not all the songs on our playlist were about carnal delights. Having said that, we started the show with Bow Wow Wow’s cover of the Strangeloves I WANT CANDY. There is no doubting the sexual nature of this little ditty. “Candy on the beach, there’s nothing better.” “Someday soon I’ll make him mine and then I’ll have candy all the time.” Come on!
Nina Simone is hanging out for some more of something, and I don’t think its sugar, despite what she sings on the classic Blues track SUGAR IN MY BOWL. Big Maybelle is equally audacious. She reckons her man is just a nice piece of CANDY.
I’ve definitely got a sweet tooth and, so, I was ecstatic to have Jackie and Renee from Brown Betty’s Bakery into the studio to tell us about their boutique business and to giveaway some mouth-watering goodies. I love Brown Betty’s, not just because they have the best baked goods out, but they really know how to work a theme. It’s 50’s retro: the girls dress the part, the cakes look and taste delicious. During the show we gave away one of their specialties, the whoopie pie. It’s made of two round mound-shaped pieces of cake (usually chocolate), with a sweet creamy frosting sandwiched between them. It’s an American Amish tradition. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these (known as ‘hucklebucks’ at the time) and put them in farmers’ lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout “Whoopie!” How cute is that.
Just for Jackie and Renee I played Dinah Washington’s version of MAKIN WHOOPEE, a case of a song that reverses my premise that all songs about sweet things are really about sex. This is just a song about sex, pure and simple. We followed with the Godfather of funk, Mr James Brown, and a song about another of my favourite treats. The song is called MOTHER POPCORN.
SEX AND CANDY, by Marcy Playground, is a track that doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. No room for innuendo, no sirree. The Four Tops gave us something a little less suspicious: I CAN’T HELP MYSELF (SUGAR PIE, HONEY BUNCH). This is just one of those songs that puts a smile on your face. And you’ve got to love that.
Iggy Pop has this knack of dueting with the best people. On the track CANDY, he does it again, this time with Kate Pierson from the B-52s.
I try to play a couple of pieces of instrumental in each show, usually as background when we do Community Service Announcements or the local Gig Guide. The two I chose this week were perfect: First up, Al Hirt with COTTON CANDY, known here in Australia as Fairy Floss. And, of course, Hot Butter with POPCORN. With the latter, I swear I could not only hear the sound of popcorn popping, I could almost smell it. Mmmmmmm.
I was feeling an insulin rush coming on, so it was time for a little bit of Blues. MY COUNTRY SUGAR MAMA from Howlin’ Wolf was a perfect antidote. He was a big influence on the Rolling Stones so BROWN SUGAR, the opening track on the Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers, was a perfect follow up. Seemingly about a favourite sweetener, BROWN SUGAR boasts some scandalous lyrics. It’s essentially a mix of a number of taboo subjects, including interracial sex, cunnilingus, slave rape, sadomasochism, lost virginity and heroin.
That reminds me, I’ll be joining the Midnight Ramblers this Saturday night between midnight and dawn to help present the Rolling Stones All Nighter. So make sure all you night owls tune in then. Should be fun.
And talking of fun, next up it was a couple of guilty pleasures: Spinal Tap with CUPS AND CAKES and then a childhood hero of mine, The Cookie Monster: “What else starts with C. Who cares! C IS FOR COOKIE.
We followed with a French pop song LES SUCETTES. In English that’s LOLLIPOPS. It was written by Serge Gainsbourg and recorded by an 18 year old France Gall in 1966. On the surface, LES SUCETTES is a pleasant children’s song about a girl who likes aniseed-flavoured lollipops. But Gainsbourg’s lyrics are full of playful double meanings referring to oral sex, which Gall says she simply didn’t understand at the time. Well she was 18 and it was 1966. Naughty Serge!
Call me naive, but I like to think that the next song we played really is innocent. It’s Mille Small’s MY BOY LOLLIPOP. We paired that with the antithesis of innocent: Madonna, with some help from Pharrell, claiming that she’s a one-stop CANDY SHOP. I, for one, believe her.
If you’re looking for a real sugar hit you can’t go past Aqua with CANDYMAN, Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs with SUGAR SHACK or The Undertones with MARS BARS. Christina Aguilera broke things up somewhat with her rendition of CANDYMAN and then it back to more bubblegum pop with Mika singing LOLLIPOP. Cute animation in this clip at least:
Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers play with my head, in a good way. Certainly the track ICE CREAM MAN seems to be designed to make radio presenters pay attention. It has at last 4 or 5 false endings, but I’m proud to say he didn’t fool me!
All this frivolity needed some tempering. So it was quite a beautiful song, from the very tasty Paolo Nutini, pleading for some CANDY, that did the trick.
The always brilliant Tom Waites contributed CHOCOLATE JESUS and then it was one for all my loyal listeners who have been asking me why I don’t play Roy Orbison, at least as regularly as I used to. Yes, very remiss of me. To fill the void, I chose CANDY MAN. We followed with The Beatles and SAVOY TRUFFLE, a song written by George Harrison about Eric Clapton’s huge sweet tooth.
We closed the show with a a song about a guy whose all upset ’cause “someone left the cake out in the rain.” “He just can’t take it cause it took so long to make it and he’ll never have that recipe again.” Sounds like a bad night on Masterchef doesn’t it? No, it’s MACARTHUR PARK written by the great Jimmy Webb and sung by esteemed actor Richard Harris.
Thanks to Renee and Jackie from Brown Betty’s Bakery for the giveaway of the Whoopee Pies and to everyone who contacted me during the week to say how much they enjoyed last week’s show on UNLIKELEY COVERS.
My sister is having a birthday next Tuesday, so to celebrate, the show next week will be on SISTERS AND BROTHERS. Love to hear from you with your suggestions.
Here’s this week’s full playlist:
I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow
Sugar In My Bowl – Live And Kickin’, Nina Simone
Candy – Candy Disc 1, Big Maybelle
Makin’ Whoopee – The Very Best Of Dinah Washington
Mother Popcorn, Pt. 1 – 20 All-Time Greatest Hits!, James Brown
Sex And Candy – Marcy Playground
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops
Candy (with Kate Pierson of B-52s) – Iggy Pop
Cotton Candy – Al Hirt
Sugar, Sugar – Billboard Top 100 Of 1969, The Archies
My Country Sugar Mama – The Real Folk Blues-More Real, Howlin’ Wolf
Brown Sugar – Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2], The Rolling Stones
Cups And Cakes – This Is Spinal Tap, Spinal Tap
C is for Cookie – The Cookie Monster
Les Sucettes – France Galle
My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small
Candy Shop – Hard Candy, Madonna
Candyman – Aqua, Aqua
Sugar Shack – Rock’n’Roll Love Songs, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
Mars Bars – The Best Of: Teenage Kicks, The Undertones
Candy Man – Back To Basics, Christina Aguilera
Lollipop – Life In Cartoon Motion, Mika
Popcorn – Hot Butter
Ice Cream Man – Best of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers
Candy – Paolo Nutini
Chocolate Jesus – Tom Waits
Candy Man – The Essential Roy Orbison (Disc 1), Roy Orbison
Savoy Truffle – The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2], The Beatles
MacArthur Park – His Greatest Performances, Richard Harris
Next week: SISTERS & BROTHERS
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn
Tags: Al Hirt, Aqua, Australia, B-52s, Beatles, Big Maybelle, Bow Wow Wow, Brown Betty's Bakery, Byron Bay, Cakes, Candy, Christina Aguilerra, comedy, Cookie Monster, country, Dinah Washington, Eric Clapton, France Gall, George Harrison, Hot Butter, Howlin' Wolf, Iggy Pop, James Brown, Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, Jimmy Webb, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Kate Pierson, Lollipops, love, Madonna, Marcy Playground, Mika, Mille Small, music, Nina Simone, Paolo Nutini, Pharrell, pop, R&B, radio, Richard Harris, rock, rock 'n' roll, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Serge Gainsbourg, SONGS ABOUT CANDY, SONGS ABOUT SWEETS, soul, Spinal Tap, Strangeloves, Sugar, Sweets, The Beatles, The Four Tops, The Undertones, Theme music, Tom Waites, Whoopie Pie