Songs are always packed with hidden meanings. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was about vampires being in love, and "I Shot the Sheriff" was actually about Bob Marley's distaste for his girlfriend's decision to take birth control pills, and the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" is about fooling people into thinking they're a good band.
But what about more recent pop hits that have seemingly overt lyrics, like Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl"? What does cherry ChapStick mean in it?
What does cherry ChapStick mean in the song, "I Kissed a Girl"?
The 2008 pop track that reached No. 1 on the Billboard music chart has a fairly straightforward premise. Let's read the lyrics and analyze them: This was never the way I planned / Not my intention / I got so brave, drink in hand / Lost my discretion / It's not what I'm used to (used to) / Just wanna try you on / I'm curious for you (for you) / Caught my attention.
I kissed a girl and I liked it / The taste of her cherry ChapStick / I kissed a girl just to try it / I hope my boyfriend don't mind it / It felt so wrong, it felt so right / Don't mean I'm in love tonight / I kissed a girl and I liked it / I liked it.
On a surface reading, Perry's words are telling us a tale. She's out drinking, presumably with some female friends of hers. We know that she has a boyfriend, so it's assumed that she views herself as predominantly heterosexual, however, a wrench is thrown into her self-perception.
We can infer that thanks to the drink that's in her hand, an alcoholic one, she is emboldened to venture into a new encounter.
Our narrator in the song kissed a girl, and she liked it. Liked it so much that she says so three times in the hook.
But the reference of "cherry ChapStick" in the song isn't just an innocent reference to lip balm.
Maybe it was a cold winter's night and Perry's character in the song had placed cherry-flavored ChapStick on her lips.
However, according to multiple interpretations on the web, the cherry ChapStick coated lips Perry's referring to aren't those lips.
No, she's actually insinuating that she enjoyed puckering up and smooching what Joyscribe refers to as this mystery woman's "lady's coin purse," aka her genitals.
So how did people come to infer this?
Well that's because in the popular game Just Dance that featured the song, the "Cherry ChapStick" line was actually bleeped out. Why would the developers censor a phrase as innocuous as lip balm? Is it because they don't want to give any free product placement to the ChapStick brand?
If that was the case then there are tons of other tracks with references to popular products. Needless to say, denizens of the web were shaken to learn of this new meaning.
Urban Dictionary also agrees on the definition of cherry ChapStick.
But has Katy Perry said anything to support this theory? Why yes, she has. In a 2017 acceptance speech for the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner she said, "I’m just a singer-songwriter, honestly. I speak my truths, and I paint my fantasies into these little bite-size pop songs. For instance, I kissed a girl and I liked it. Truth be told, I did more than that."
She should totally have an endorsement deal with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, the owners of ChapStick.