Legendary (to French people) pop singer Serge Gainsbourg was never any stranger to odd behavior. But the line between strange and crazy is a fine one. Take, for example, the time he appeared with Whitney Houston on what amounted to the European version of The View and said, and we quote, “I want to fuck you.” Strange? Sure. Crazy? No, it was 1985, who didn’t want to nail Whitney Houston in 1985?
No, the Whitney incident was downright boring compared to Gainsbourg’s single “Lemon Incest.” There is nothing inherently strange about singing about incest, we suppose. Aerosmith had a huge hit that was about incest (“Janie’s Got A Gun”). But it’s not like anyone thought any differently about Steven Tyler because of the song.
But to sing about incest with Joe Perry on lead guitar is one thing. To sing about it with your daughter on co-lead vocals, that’s some whole other shit altogether.
And that’s exactly what Gainsbourg did on “Lemon Incest,” a duet with his quite young daughter Charlotte. (12 years old) It’s at this point that our European readers will scold us for being “dumb Americans” who “misunderstood” the song. And hey, that may be. Or maybe Europeans just have hotter kids than we do. Whatever the case, it’s hard to read these lyrics without getting a bit of the heebie jeebies:
The love that we will never together,
Is the most beautiful, the most violent, the purest, the most intoxicating,
Exquisite outline, delicious child, my flesh and my blood,
Oh my baby my soul,
Incest lemon, lemon incest
But surely, seeing the video for the song will dispel any misunderstandings about the meaning of the song, right? What father doesn’t croon about incest over sleazy electronic music while laying shirtless in bed with his kid?
This is fucking awful.
And of course I have the video here.
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