Last week, stories were floating around the interwebs about the meaning of the song “Electric Slide.”
You know the Electric Slide, right? It’s the line dance song that’s been popular at weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. The dance was created in 1976 from a demo of the Bunny Wailer recording. And now we think the song might be about a sex toy. Say what?
It’s been reported that Neville Livingston, aka Bunny Wailer, the songwriter behind “Electric Boogie,” also known as “The Electric Slide,” confirmed rumors that the song is about a vibrator. One report states that the rumors circulating on social media for the past couple of weeks were put to rest by the writer: Livingston supposedly said: “I’m surprised it took people this long to figure out.” Apparently Livingston wrote the song after a girlfriend told him she didn’t need him because she had a toy she nicknamed the “electric slide.”
But, oh, the internet. The rumor became so widespread that the songwriter had to come forward to officially debunk it. No, says Bunny Wailer, the song isn’t about a woman’s vibrator. “At no time have I ever lent credence to a rumor that the song was inspired by anything other than [Eddy] Grant’s Electric Avenue,” Wailer, aka Neville Livingston, tells EDM. “To state otherwise is a falsehood and offends my legacy, the legacy of the singer Marcia Griffiths, and tarnishes the reputation of a song beloved by millions of fans the world over.”
As HuffPost explains, it’s not crystal clear where it all started, but the rumor officially kicked into gear when an LGBTQ website ran a story with a definitive-sounding headline of “Writer Confirms ‘The Electric Slide’ Is About a Vibrator.” The story, which includes the lyrics, has a quote from an anonymous source who says Wailer confirmed the rumor. That story set off a social media frenzy, which the real Wailer is now trying to shut down.
Myth-busting site Snopes concludes the rumor is indeed FALSE. The site digs into the whole mess and reports that Marcia Griffiths, who performed the song, denied the rumor as well. The singer told The Blast that the “Electric Boogie” was about positive vibrations, not vibrators. “I don’t sing about vibrators … I sing to teach, educate and uplift.” She says the 80s hit is about “positive vibrations, not vibrators,” and that when she called Wailer to find out what was going on, he had no clue about the rumor.
What do you think? Here are some of the lyrics:
I’ve got to move
I’m going on a party ride
I’ve got to groove, groove, groove
And from this music I just can’t hide
Are you comin’ with me?
Come let me take you on a party ride
And I’ll teach you, teach you, teach you
I’ll teach you the electric slide