Pour some sugar on me

I’m excited because I finally myself a bass. Since I don’t know how to play, I’m learning using a video game called Rocksmith 2014. If you think of it as Guitar Hero with a real guitar, you won’t be far off. Anyway, Rocksmith tells me I can now play the bassline to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” But I’ve also learned the lyrics. And the lyrics are even more bizarre than I thought.

Listen! red light, yellow light, green-a-light go!
Crazy little woman in a one man show
Mirror queen, mannequin, rhythm of love
Sweet dream, saccharine, loosen up

Saccharine. That’s the word I’ve been failing to understand for twenty-six years. According to the Leppard “saccharine” and “mannequin” both rhyme with “queen” and “dream.” Mannakeeeeen. Sacchareeeeen.


We get dosed twice:

You got the peaches, I got the cream.
Sweet to taste, saccharine.

Even after abusing the pronunciation of the word they still only get a slant rhyme with “cream.” Since they shout-chant the words, though, you barely notice. Until I read the lyrics go by on Rocksmith, I thought this lyric was:

You got the peaches, I got the cream.
Sweet potatoes, certainly!

… which I thought was a really weird double-entendre, especially for a bunch of English guys. Maybe they were just hung up on the Cracker Barrel waitress or something. But no. The lyricist is either referring to himself or his lady-friend as “saccharine,” and in either case he’s doing a bad sales job. Do they know “saccharine” is an insult?

Nevertheless, this song has endured for a quarter century. It is as old now as “Duke of Earl” was when “Pour Some Sugar” was released. Sample lyrics:

Duke duke duke
Duke of Earl duke duke
Duke of Earl duke duke
Duke of Earl duke duke

So I don’t want to hear any nonsense about the devolution of song lyrics, thank you very much.

I think the staying power of the song — besides Rick Allen’s amazing one-armed drum performance — is in this screamed lyric:

Do you take sugar? One lump or two?

I don’t have a clue what they are trying to say. But boy do they sell it.

Image Credits: Flickr / Renée Suen

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