Bawdy Songs: the double-entendre
Bawdy songs were popular with the common folk of Europe, especially the British Isles as far back as the 16th century, and no doubt much earlier. Playwrights, poets and musicians such as Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723), whose Wit and Mirth: or, Pills to Purge Melancholy, were using language that would make a whore blush. Even Scotland's favourite son, Robbie Burns (1759-1796), enjoyed off-color ballads such as his own composition titled "Nine Inches Will Please a Lady".
In the 1930s and 40s, with the recording industry well established, performers such as Benny Bell recorded somewhat cleaned-up novelty songs full of innuendo and double-entendres to entice snickers and nervous giggles from listeners.
WWII Europe, and American GIs on furlough were drinking in the brothels and singing lewd songs such as "Cemetary Sue" and a host of others.
The prosperous good-times after the war and into the 1960s, produced the great Baby Boom. And sure enough, folks weren't just doin' in the back seat of a '54 Buick on Lover's Lane, they were singing about it! Cliff Edwards (the voice of Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket in the film Pinocchio, and singing "When You Wish upon a Star,") produced several risque novelty records. Then there was Oscar Brand and David Sear's Bawdy Hootenanny (which included such endearing tunes as "Charlotte the Harlot") and Sid "Hardrock" Gunther's Songs They Censored in the Hills.
Pour yourself a strong pint of ale and chase the young'uns from the room, this week the Old Blue Bus is headed for the seedy side of town.
Let's ease on in with a few double-entendres.