Nipple lyrics

It looks like I co-wrote the first lesbian S&M jazz ballad. By accident. Honestly. And it’s also the first jazz ballad I know that comes with a parental advisory label. How come?

I had been writing pop music with composer Herman Martin for a number of years without getting a cut. In parallel, he started working on tracks for an album with the code name “Jazzoid” in 2010 and that later became “Pretensions of a Stranger in a Strange Land”. One of the tracks really caught my ear, a slinky subterranean thing now known as “Nipple”. This was most definitely not pop.

Like many of the other tracks on Pretensions, “Nipple” is a wonderful blend of influences, from cool-school jazz to electronica. I immediately thought that the dark but chic vibe would suit a very sexual approach. I avoided the “all night long” type of lyrics (as if!) and headed for something that the early Roxy Music might have done. Something like “Love is the Drug” or “in Every Dream Home a Heartache”.

From Bryan Ferry to Grace Jones

Very quickly, the lyrics took on a life of their own. They basically describe the thrill and edgy feel of sex with a complete stranger. The words “happened” quite quickly (what does that tell me about my sub-conscious?) and I gave them to Herman, saying I would finish them later. I had almost forgotten them when he sent me the vocal version a month or two later in 2010.

The shock. It was sung by a lady. I hadn’t thought of that. From Bryan Ferry crooning we had slipped into Grace Jones heavy breathing.

The line “You ain’t no lady” suddenly took on a different meaning entirely. We had written the first sado-maso lesbian jazz ballad that I know of. There are not many of those lying around. With a title as blunt as “Nipple”, we quickly encountered problems. So we had also written the first jazz ballad to come with a parental advisory sticker!Jazz track with parental advisory

To keep with the overall spirit of the piece, I know nothing about the singer apart from the fact that her first name is Belinda. She vanished after the recording. But what a performance. She squeezes the words for all their worth. The spooky parlando parts in the middle were sentences that Herman chopped up.

The video by Francesco Javier Rodriguez (below), featuring the cross-dresser Patsy, was shot in Brussels.

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Nipple – full original lyrics

Home with a heart

Scared me from the start

You ain’t no lady

Not a face I know

Nowhere else to go

You laugh again

Did you say, “I’ll hurt you baby”

Feel in my bones

When I get you home it will be…

Crazy

Finger on my nipple and I die inside

Finger on my nipple and I die inside

“I’ll hurt you baby” “I’ll hurt you baby”

Key in the door

Footsteps on the floor

I hear you breathing

Clothes falling away…

You can walk me. You can talk me. What’s driving you?

You can talk me. Is something driving you? What’s driving you?

Finger on my nipple and I die inside

                Can I ride? I know what I want.

Finger on my nipple and I die inside

                Lost my heart and I don’t feel sorry. I don’t feel sorry      

Music: Herman Martin. Lyrics: Michael Leahy

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