Cherry Pie (Warrant song)

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"Cherry Pie"
Single by Warrant
from the album Cherry Pie
Released 1990
Recorded 1989
Genre Hard rock, glam metal, heavy metal
Length 3:18
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Jani Lane
Warrant singles chronology
"Sometimes She Cries"
(1990)
"Cherry Pie"
(1990)
"I Saw Red"
(1991)

"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.

Background[edit]

"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[1]), 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.

Personnel[edit]

Lyrics and tune[edit]

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."[citation needed]

Cultural references[edit]

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.

On The Adam Carolla Show (podcast), "Cherry Pie" is frequently used as a drop by sound man Bryan Bishop to divert conversations and humorously suggest that the person-in-question has ended up at a strip club. After the song starts playing, Carolla becomes a personified strip club DJ and begins making improvised stage announcements in regards to the conversation in a strip club context.

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.

Cover versions[edit]

In 1992, "Weird Al" Yankovic included the song in his polka medley "Polka Your Eyes Out" from his album Off the Deep End.

Chart success[edit]

"Cherry Pie" soon became a Top Ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 10 and also reached number 19 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.[4] The song has been cited by many as a "rock anthem".[5] In 2009, it was named the 56th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[6]

Despite its success, a daylong MTV special on the best and worst music videos of all time, MTV's Triumphs and Tragedies, listed the song's video as one of the worst. Matthew Wilkening also ranked the song at No. 89 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, commenting that "A lot of people missed this song's subtle commentary on outdated gender roles. Well, that's because there weren't any."[7]

Video[edit]

The video for "Cherry Pie" received heavy airplay on MTV and other music video stations. It featured the members of Warrant and a scantily clad woman (model Bobbie Brown) who is seen dancing throughout the video while the band members perform and make tongue-in-cheek references to the song's lyrics (for example, when the above-quoted line referencing baseball is sung, Bobbie appears in a form-fitting baseball kit, complete with a bat), all against a white background.[8]

However, Canadian cable-TV music network, MuchMusic refused to air the "Cherry Pie" video on the grounds that it was "offensively sexist".[9]

Bobbie became involved with Jani Lane soon after the video was shot, and married him in 1991.[9]

Alternate version[edit]

"Cherry Pie" was re-visited by the band in 1999 on their Greatest & Latest album and was released as a promo and later iTunes single[10] and was also released on several mixed compilation albums. In 2004 Jani Lane re-recorded an acoustic version of "Cherry Pie" which featured on the second "VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped" compilation.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Lead singer Jani Lane is seen walking into Grant Wood's painting American Gothic (during the first verse, when he sings "most folks don't 'cause they're too busy bitchin'")
  • During the guitar solo, Brown is seen playing air guitar

References[edit]

  1. ^ VH1 – Heavy – The story of metal
  2. ^ Interview with Joey Allen
  3. ^ Blabbermouth.net
  4. ^ "Allmusic (Warrant charts and awards) Billboard singles". 
  5. ^ Press release
  6. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  7. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever". AOL Radio. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ Fortunecity.com
  9. ^ a b Downboys.com
  10. ^ "Warrant digital singles". Digital. Retrieved 2012.