Remember that age of innocence when you would sing along to Spice Girls songs in the lounge and make up dance routines?
Your audience members (parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers – and even the cat) would look on with pride.
Well, we hate to break it to you but they were obviously only pretending to listen – because if they had been paying attention, they would have stopped you IMMEDIATELY.
We’ve revisited some popular songs that we thought were just catchy tunes we heard when taping the top 40 on a Sunday night in the 1990s (and trying to pause it at the exact right moment.)
Having sung along to these lyrics absent-mindedly for years, realising what they are actually about is cringeworthy.
If you have any more suggestions to add to the list, tell us in the comments below or email [email protected]
1. Blue – Too Close (2001)
Hands up if you liked Blue? Those angel-faced cheeky chaps were the object of many a girl’s affections.
What you might not have known if you were young and innocent in 2001 is that their hit Too Close was a song about men dancing with women and trying not to get ‘over-excited’.
Yep, really. It was originally recorded by Next in 1997.
“Baby, when we’re grinding / I get so excited / Ooh, how I like it / I try but I can’t fight it.
“Oh, you’re dancing real close / Plus it’s real, real slow / You’re making it hard for me.”
Add in ‘the way that you shake it on me / Makes me want you so bad sexually’ and ‘You’re dancing like you’re naked / Oh, it’s almost like we’re sexing’ and you’ve definitely got a song that’s far too inappropriate for an eight-year-old to sing in the playground.
2. Grease cast – Greased Lightning (1978)
We probably shouldn’t have been watching this film under a certain age – but it’s so iconic, you could hardly avoid catching it on TV or seeing bits when your older siblings were watching.
That song with the funny dance takes on a whole new meaning as an adult.
Unless Danny Zuko was letting a bunch of neighbourhood cats hitch a ride in his car, we’re betting this went WAY over our heads.
Other lyrical gems are: “You know this ain’t no s**t, we’ll be getting lots of t*t in Greased Lightning.”
There are more, but they’re too rude to mention. Look up the lyrics. Seriously, look them up.
3. Atomic Kitten – Right Now (1999)
With Natasha Hamilton’s entrance into the Celebrity Big Brother house, a few people may be rekindling their love of Atomic Kitten tracks.
And they might quickly be realising that some of them are a bit rude.
Their hit track Right Now, released at the end of 1999, includes the chorus: “Come on baby do it to me good now / Do it to me slowly.”
And they keep singing it over and over.
4. Spice Girls – 2 Become 1 (1996)
OK, we all know by now what this song is about. After all, the lyrics are pretty straightforward (‘I need some love like I’ve never needed love before / Wanna make love to ya baby’)
But it still gives you a little chill when you realise doe-eyed Baby Spice was singing about condoms.
At least there’s an educational safe-sex message in there. But we were probably still too young to be singing about it.
5. Another Level – Freak Me (1998)
Back when Dane Bowers was Jordan’s main squeeze, he liked to sing about licking people up and down and getting freaky.
And there we were thinking freaky meant that weird kid in your class.
There are far too many lyrics to quote in this track, originally recorded by Silk, but we really should have been covering our ears for this one.
6. Christina Aguilera – Genie in a Bottle (1999)
We used to think this song was inspired by Disney’s Aladdin. No, really.
Look back at it now and it’s one massive extended metaphor.
“You’re lickin’ your lips / And blowing kisses my way / But that don’t mean I’m gonna give it away.”
All that talk of hormones racing at the speed of light and her body saying ‘let’s go’ while her heart is saying ‘no’. It’s obvious now.
7. Liberty X – Just a Little (2005)
For the kids born later in the 90s, this was a catchy tune and was always on the music channels.
Most of it is pretty abstract, but there are some lines that provide cause for concern.
“I know you really like it like that, ah / Can’t get enough, won’t you satisfy my needs.”
8. Aqua – Barbie Girl (1997)
Sure, Barbie, we’d love to brush your hair. Yes, life in plastic really DOES seem fantastic.
But looking back on this seemingly innocent song, it seems a bit odd that Barbie is telling Ken to undress her.
Also, when this line is followed by ‘you can touch, you can play’ it’s not cool.
9. Horny ’98
It’s hard to believe a kid could wander around singing this one – but WE DID. It was number 2 in the UK singles chart in June 1998, so naturally it would have been played all around us.
It’s not our fault. To us, horns were just things rhinos had.
10. T-Spoon – Sex on the Beach (1997)
Ok, we might have known this one was rude. But we’re including it because it was still bad that a seven-year-old could sing along to this on the radio – even if we did think it was hilarious.
We really should have stuck to our Disney soundtracks…