"(a woman) built for speed" -- was: urgent please

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 13 16:54:54 UTC 2004

At 11:18 AM -0500 4/13/04, Gerald Cohen wrote:
>The reference is almost certainly to a car. Car references are used
>frequently in the blues for sexual imagery (just one of many sexual
>images used there). A car built for speed will no doubt give a good
>    Just one example (Robert Johnson's Teraplane Blues (From Eric
>Sackheim's _The
>Blues Line_, p. 218):
>  "I said I'd flash your lights, mama,
>                Your horn won't even blow
>          (somebody's been running my battery down on this machine)
>I even flashed my lights, mama,
>                        this horn won't even blow
>Got a short in this connection,
>                hoo-well babe, and it's way down below.
>I'm going h'ist your hood, mama,
>                I'm bound to check your oil.
>   [etc. etc. etc]."
Or for a more recent example, here's the Rolling Stones' "Brand New
Car", from Voodoo Lounge.  Note the typical exploitation of the
feminine pronoun.

I got a brand new car
And I like to drive real hard
I got a brand new car
And I'm feeling good so far

Take her on the highway for a little spin
I want to see the kind of shape she's in
And I got a brand new star
Jack her up baby, go on, open the hood
I want to check if her oil smells good
Mmmm...smells like caviar

Give her some stick
Push her too far
Right to the brink

Hear the motor running
Yeah, she's right in sink
Tell me if she's thirsty
Would she like a drink
And I'm stopping at this bar

Slinky like a panther
You can hear her purr
Touch her on the seat
Go on, feel the fur
And I got a brand new star

Feel the juice
Foot to the floor
Take some abuse

I got a brand new car
And I drive her in the dark
And I got a brand new car
I think I'll stop and park

And for equal time, cf.
"Daddy, you been a good ol' wagon/But you done broke down."


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