There was a whole genre of recorded blues music in the 1930s that came to be known as “dirty blues” for its suggestive lyrics about sex and drugs. Songs were generally banned from radio play and weren’t commonly available as recordings; they tended to crop up in jukeboxes in adults-only bars and clubs, or as live performances.
Most of the song titles and lyrics are merely innuendo, like Lil Johnson’s Press My Button (Ring My Bell) or Harry Roy’s even more obviously childish My Girl’s Pussy. But the lyrics of some songs still have the power to shock even a hundred years later, like Lucille Bogan’s Shave ’Em Dry.
It’s like the movies that were made in Hollywood before the advent of the Hays Code: because everything became so sanitised in the 1940s and ’50s, it’s easy to forget that popular culture has always had an undercurrent of… well, filth. Next time some old folks moan about how sexually suggestive modern music is and how the world’s going to hell in a handcart, send ’em Shave ’Em Dry.