Song of the Day: Cherry Pie by Warrant

Cherry bomb by AncillaTilia

Cherry Pie” is a song by the American hard rock band Warrant. “Cherry Pie” is the title track from Warrant’s album of the same name which was released in 1990.

Lyrics:

Well swingin’ on the front porch swingin’ on the lawn
Swingin’ where we want ’cause there ain’t nobody home
Swingin’ to the left and swingin’ to the right
If I think about baseball I’ll swing all night yeah

Swingin’ in the living room swingin’ in the kitchen
Most folks don’t ’cause they’re too busy bitchin’
Swingin’ in there ’cause she wanted me to feed her
So I mixed up the batter and she licked the beater

I scream you scream we all scream for her
Don’t even try ’cause you can’t ignore her

She’s my cherry pie
Cool drink of water such a sweet surprise
Tastes so good make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie oh yeah

She’s my cherry pie
Put a smile on your face ten miles wide
Looks so good bring a tear to you eye
Sweet cherry pie yeah

Swingin’ to the drums swingin’ to guitar
Swingin’ to the bass in the back of my car
Ain’t got money ain’t got no gas
But we’ll bet where we’re goin’ if we swing real fast

Swingin’ in the bathroom swingin’ on the floor
Swingin’ so hard we forgot to lock the door
In walks her daddy standin’ six foot four
He said you ain’t gonna swing with my daughter no more

……

“Cherry Pie,” Warrant’s best-known song, was not originally planned to be put on the album. Joey Allen of Warrant has stated that the album was originally going to be called Quality You Can Taste (frontman Jani Lane recalled this differently, stating that the title was supposed to be Uncle Tom’s Cabin), but the president of Columbia Records, Don Ienner, wanted a rock anthem, so he called Jani Lane. (According to Lane, he wanted a “Love in an Elevator” type song.) Lane wrote “Cherry Pie” in about fifteen minutes. Allen stated that “…the whole marketing and everything for that record changed. It was definitely driven by the label and not the band. The song was written down on a pizza box which is now on display in the Hard Rock Cafe in Destin, Florida, part of the Destin Commons. The guitar solo was played by C.C. Deville as a favor to Lane, who was a long-time friend.

Many of the band members feel that “Cherry Pie” is not one of the better songs on the album, and see the song as a double-edged sword: it brought them fame, but many of their other songs are overshadowed by the major hit. On VH1’s HEAVY: The Story Of Metal – Episode 3: Looks That Kill, Lane expressed his regret for writing the song, stating that “I could shoot myself in the fucking head for writing that song.” However, he later clarified that he had been under personal stress at the time of the VH1 interview, and had no ill feelings towards his association with the song.

“Can I clear the air on that? They [VH1 producers] just caught me on a bad day. It was a bad moment – I was going through a divorce, my mom had just passed away, all this stuff was going on – and they sit me down in a chair and wanna start grilling me with questions, and I didn’t wanna be there, so…You know, push that interview to the side, I’m happy as a clam to have written a song that is still being played and still dug by so many people. It’s hard enough to write a song, let alone one that sticks around.”

Lyrics and tune

The lyrics contain many metaphorical and blatant references to sex: “Well, swingin’ on the front porch/Swingin’ on the lawn/Swingin’ where we want/’Cause there ain’t nobody home”, “Swingin’ in there/’cause she wanted me to feed her/So I mixed up the batter/And she licked the beater”, etc.

The lyrics are generally about a man bragging about his sexual exploits (swingin’) with a woman who is very attractive and who is the object of desire of many men. However, near the end of the song, the woman’s father accidentally walks in on the pair having sex in the bathroom and immediately puts a stop to their relationship: “Swing in the bathroom/Swingin’ on the floor/Swingin’ so hard/We forgot to lock the door/In walks her daddy/Standin’ six foot four/He said you ain’t gonna swing/With my daughter no more.”

The song title itself may be another blatant reference to sex. Here, both “cherry” and “pie” may be used sexually, as “cherry” can mean a virgin (as used in the context “pop her cherry” or to take her virginity, specifically when breaking the hymen during sex), and “pie” is slang for vagina.

The tune bears a strong resemblance to both Def Leppard’s hit “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and Joan Jett’s hit “I Love Rock and Roll”. Notably, both of these songs have lyrics in a similar vein to that of “Cherry Pie.”

Cultural references

One of the phrases in the song, “Swingin’ to the left/And swingin’ to the right/If I think about baseball/I’ll swing all night yeah” is a reference to the sexual practice of delaying orgasm by concentrating on something other than the act, usually portrayed as baseball in humorous media. The song also plays on the children’s song “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” when the line “I scream, you scream, we all scream for her/Don’t even try ’cause you can’t ignore her” is sung.

Inspired by the passing of former Warrant lead singer, Jani Lane, on August 8, 2011. Radio and TV personality Adam Carolla dedicated a special tribute of “Cherry Pie” to Jani Lane. On the “Adam Carolla Podcast” August 15, 2011 Episode, featuring Jordan Rubin, Adam and his cast produced a remix based on a slowed down rendition of Warrant’s classic hit “Cherry Pie”. The audible can be heard on the, “Guinness Book of World Record, “Adam Carolla Podcast” at the 14:40 minute of the mentioned podcast. The remix can be heard again throughout the mentioned episode.

Warrant

Origin Hollywood, California, United States
Genres Hard rock, glam metal, heavy metal
Years active 1984–present
Labels Columbia, CMC, Down Boys
Website http://www.warrantrocks.com
Members Erik Turner
Jerry Dixon
Steven Sweet
Joey Allen
Robert Mason
Past members Former members

image by AncillaTilia

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