Lyrics, Lyrics for other Composers, Writing, Writing Process

Holiday Cheesecake (Dexter Gordon Style)

imageThe holiday celebration season is upon us! This time of year I am usually scouting the local Italian bakeries for a “Pastiera” (a ricotta cheesecake made with wheatberries) that is sometimes available around Christmas. Luckily my daughter is baking one, and I can scratch that difficult search off my “TO DO List.” So, for this month’s post, rather than dwelling on all the distressing, sad, and confusing things going on in the world, I have instead decided to write about another cheesecake; one that contains no calories at all! Here is the story of my favorite lyrics from 2016 — words I was instantly inspired to write after hearing Dexter Gordon’s tune “CHEESECAKE”.

In the middle of July, during a particularly stressful week, a link to “Cheesecake” arrived as an unexpected IM, instant message. What a joy! It exudes such an upbeat, positive energy. I was so grateful to receive it. (Thank you to the friend that sent it to me, you know who you are.)

As I continued listening and thinking about what might have made Dexter call the tune “Cheesecake”, the first line of  lyric popped into my mind. I wrote it down. Then the rest of the first A (the first section of the song) just all spilled out onto the paper and I was totally hooked.

For my interpretation I assume he meant cheesecake as a metaphor for an attractive woman, usually specifically referring to the beauty of a woman’s legs. Think “calendar models”. After I made that assumption it all clicked and for the second A, I went to another food metaphor “sugar” to describe a coy kiss request. And, you will see that after the bridge I flip the story/metaphor and describe the guy.

In talking with friends about the lyrics, especially friends from countries other than the United States, I was surprised to discover that these inuendos, these metaphors, are not universally known. When I asked them what they thought I meant by “cheesecake” they described the dessert, a cake made with creamcheese. They had no idea it had a double meaning.

This is a fun song to sing and, like I said earlier, I am grateful to have it in my life.

UPDATE: In March of 2017 I was able to record a short audio clip of Cheesecake during my rehearsal in Latina, Italy, with Triology.

©2016 Laurie Early

Oh what a laugh it is when you ask for some “cheesecake”!
I always smile whenever you ask for some leg.
I know, you are a flirty fellow,
baby, please keep it mellow,
or I might have to go.
(Baby, you know…)

I get a thrill whenever you ask for some “sugar”!
Baby, you know that I’ll reply with a big kiss.
It’s true, you are a naughty flirter,
but you have won my heart, sir, and I think we both know it.

I’m high on your charming smile.
Now that true love’s in style
let’s try romance a while.
(I want you; you know I do)

Now what a kick it is to ask you for some “beefcake”!
How does it feel to be the object of desire?
I know, you never meant to tease me
more than you meant to please me,
and now I can’t let you go.

No, I can’t let you go.
Oh, baby, I love you so!