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Warrant’s Cherry Pie; A second look

I felt the best way to honor the passing of Warrant lead singer Jani Lane was to take a second look back at his seminal work Cherry Pie.  Too often the song is thought of as just a one hit wonder that is only about one thing.  By really going through the lyrics of the 1990 hit we can see there is a much deeper subtext about life, love, liberty, and the upcoming Gulf War.  It is all there once you know what to look for.


 

She’s my cherry pie
Cool drink of water such a sweet surprise

This first part of the chorus is about the economic slow down occurring in the early 90s.  Detroit and Wall St. were hit full in the face with reality.

Taste so good make a grown man cry
Sweet cherry pie, yeah

Not a sexual reference like you would think, but a call to arms. How much more pain until grown men cry?  How hungry are we as Americans?  We cry from pie.

Woaw

Well, swingin’ on the front porch, swingin’ on the lawn
Swingin’ where we want ’cause there ain’t nobody home

Most of our family farmers were at this point being shut down. Hence they ain’t home.

Swingin’ to the left and swingin’ to the right
I think about baseball, swing all night, yeah
Yeah, yeah

Ever seen Field of Dreams?  Same thing here.  Our idealism is gone as a country.

Huh, swingin’ in the livin’ room, swingin’ in the kitchen
Most folks don’t ’cause they’re too busy bitchin’

Most folks don’t collect unemployment because they are too busy fighting to put a hot meal on the table.  The poor are swinging from one place to another by means of pulleys.

Swingin’ in there ’cause she wanted me to feed her
So I mixed up the batter and she licked the beater

Yeah that one is about sex

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

How much longer must the cries of children be heard before we enter into action.  Very Bono-esque

She’s my cherry pie
Cool drink of water such a sweet surprise

Again with the Economic talk guys

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

A pot shot at the Reagan administration

Looks so good bring a tear to your eye
Sweet cherry pie, yeah

A pot shot at the Bush Administration

Swingin’ to the drums, swingin’ to guitar
Swingin’ to the bass in the back of my car

This begins the anti-Gulf War portion of the song

Ain’t got money, ain’t got no gas
But we’ll get where we’re goin’ if we swing real fast

Warrant realized early that this was a war for oil.  We don’t need petroleum based vehicles they scream.  We can get anywhere fast.

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

Who hasn’t screamed over high oil prices before?

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

A commentary on Nelson Mandela’s current incarceration.

She’s my cherry pie
Put a smile on your face ten miles wide
Looks so good bring a tear to your eye
Sweet cherry pie, yeah
Pie, yeah
Swing it
All night long
Swing it
(Aow)

This section of the song is a tribute to the Weavers, the legendary folk group of the 50s and 60s.  The call and repeat section is a direct reference to Pete Seger and his version of This Land is Your Land.

I’m a trained professional
Swingin’ in the bathroom, swingin’ on the floor
Swingin’ so hard forgot to lock the door
In walk her daddy standin’ six foot four
Said, “You ain’t gonna swing with my daughter no more”

Know who looked 6’4.  George H. W. Bush.

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

Coming to the final section of the song this is Warrant’s last appeal to the listener.  A call to action.  No crying in life men.

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

No more Nukes.

Huh, swing it

Song ends exactly the same way Rhapsody in Blue ends

One Comment

  1. NessValentine wrote:

    This is the weirdest thing I’ve EVER read! I wonder what would’ve been Jani Lane’s reaction to this…

    Monday, August 29, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

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