Thunder Volcano

Boundless enthusiasm for something stupid

Gettin’ Jailhouse Rocked (in the can)

with one comment

For a while now, I’ve held the belief that the song Jailhouse Rock is secretly about gay sex*.  The most obvious evidence is this verse:

Number forty seven said to number three
“You’re the cutest little jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company
Come on and do the jailhouse rock with me”

Now, I don’t know that much about life Way Back When, but I’d imagine they didn’t have too many co-ed prisons.  I figured it might be a fluke or something, but then I let that idea sink in a little bit and listened to the song again with a more critical ear:

Shifty Henry said to Bugs “For heaven’s sake
No one’s lookin’, now’s the chance to make a break”
Bugs turned to Shifty and he said “nix nix
I’m gonna stick around a while and get my kicks”

Yeah, OK, you could make the argument that it’s just a really fun party being held in a jail, but that’s still some suggestive phrasing.  Then things get weird:

Sad Sack was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said “Hey buddy don’t you be no square
If you can’t find a partner use a wooden chair”

…at this point I’m hoping the song (or at least this verse) is about dancing.  In any case, sixty percent of the verses in this song can be used to support my theory, and the rest are used to set the scene.  In other words, my argument is Rock Solid.

I suggested this theory to my dad a ways back, and he had a few thoughts that give some credence to the idea: for starters, The King didn’t write all his own songs (in keeping with my policy of never researching anything, I have not confirmed this).  If we take that knowledge on a brief trip to Stereotype Town (and since this was mid-century America, Stereotype Town was pretty much the only game in… town), consider that people working in songwriting were statistically more likely to be gay.  Now take one more logical jump and consider the fact that being a homosexual was Way More Taboo during that period of time, and we’ve arrived at the idea that maybe the songwriters really were slipping in some innuendo, possibly because they were afraid to Come Out in a more public way.

Alternate explanation: somebody thought it would be hilarious to have Elvis sing a song that’s secretly about dudes boning (which is true.  It would be hilarious).

*I have a similar theory about Ring of Fire being about gonorrhea, but that one doesn’t have as much supporting evidence.
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Written by Baron Volcano

05/09/2011 at 12:08 pm

One Response

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  1. There’s also the thing where prison has tons of gay sex going on in it.

    angry man

    06/08/2011 at 1:45 pm


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