Grace Jones – “Pull Up to the Bumper” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Grace Jones’ iconic song, “Pull Up to the Bumper,” is a masterpiece in lyrical ambiguity and playfulness. At first glance, the song appears to be about driving and parking a car. However, a closer look reveals a clever double entendre. The song is loaded with sexual innuendos, using the metaphor of driving and parking to explore themes of desire and seduction. Jones, known for her androgynous style and fearless personality, weaves these themes into a danceable, funk-infused track. The song is a celebration of boldness and sexuality. Written during a time when such open expression was less common, “Pull Up to the Bumper” broke barriers and became a beloved dance floor anthem.

Ever wondered what makes a song stick with you for decades? “Pull Up to the Bumper” by Grace Jones isn’t just a catchy tune – it’s a clever blend of rhythm and wordplay that keeps you coming back for more. This isn’t just another song; it’s a cultural phenomenon wrapped in a funky beat.

“Pull Up to the Bumper” Lyrics Meaning

The lines, “Waiting to get down, Won’t you get your big machine, Somewhere in this town?” aren’t just about finding a parking spot. They’re an invitation, a playful challenge wrapped in the guise of urban navigation. This metaphor extends into the chorus, “Pull up to my bumper baby, In your long black limousine.” Here, the “long black limousine” is more than a car; it’s a symbol of desire and attraction, adding a layer of intimacy and seduction to the song.

The verses “Now in the parking lot garage, You’ll find the proper place, Just follow all the written rules, You’ll fit into the space” are cleverly crafted. They use the mundane task of parking as a metaphor for a more intimate connection, suggesting a game of flirtation and pursuit. The instruction to “follow all the written rules” could be seen as a nod to the social norms of courtship and seduction, urging the listener to engage in this dance of attraction within accepted boundaries.

The repeated lines, “Pull up, To it, Don’t drive, Through it, Back it, Up twice, Now that, Fit’s nice” further play with the double entendre. The instructions for maneuvering a car double as suggestive guidance in a romantic or sexual context, blending the mundane with the provocative.

Throughout the song, Jones maintains a tone of command and invitation. Her direct and playful delivery invites the listener to engage in this metaphorical dance. The song’s bridge, “Operate around the clock, Why don’t you come in? I’ve got lots of space for everyone, Why don’t you my friend?” shifts the focus from individual interaction to a more inclusive, communal vibe. It’s an invitation to join a never-ending party, a celebration of freedom and joy.

In summary, “Pull Up to the Bumper” is a masterful blend of metaphor, innuendo, and invitation. It uses the act of driving and parking as a playful allegory for human connection, desire, and seduction, all set to a rhythm that’s impossible to resist.

The Story Behind “Pull Up to the Bumper”

When Grace Jones released “Pull Up to the Bumper” in 1981, it was a time of cultural shift. The late 70s and early 80s were a period of sexual liberation, disco fever, and the rise of new-wave music. Jones, a model turned singer, was at the forefront of this change. Known for her androgynous appearance and bold personality, she was not one to shy away from pushing boundaries.

The song was written during a prolific period in Jones’ career. Collaborating with the Jamaican rhythm duo Sly and Robbie, she created a sound that was a fusion of disco, funk, and new wave. This song, in particular, encapsulated the essence of the era – a blend of fearless expression and irresistible rhythm.

Jones’ state of mind during this period was one of exploration and empowerment. She was breaking the norms of gender and sexuality, both in her personal style and through her music. “Pull Up to the Bumper” was a reflection of this boldness. It wasn’t just a song; it was a statement. The sexual innuendos and the metaphor of driving as a dance of seduction were revolutionary at the time. It was a song that didn’t just fit into the cultural milieu; it helped shape it.

The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal. It’s more than just a dance track; it’s a piece of cultural history. Through “Pull Up to the Bumper,” Grace Jones didn’t just make music; she made a statement about freedom, identity, and the joy of being unapologetically oneself.