For about as long as there’s been music, dudes have been writing songs about younger girls — but since the dawn of rock and roll, singing odes to teenage flesh has been one of the genre’s proudest traditions. Thus, when our own Matthew Bolin suggested that one of our first lists should be a rundown of our favorite age-inappropriate rock songs, the suggestions came fast and furious. This list only scratches the surface — of the songs we discussed, or the ones we forgot — but it contains a pungent blend of classic and little-known statutory rock anthems. Prepare to feel terribly unclean!

Chuck Berry, “Almost Grown” If it weren’t for underage girls, it seems fair to say that Chuck Berry might never have been inspired to pick up a guitar — and rock & roll as we know it might never have come to be. And okay, so “Almost Grown” isn’t as lecherous as, say, “Sweet Little Sixteen” — but even if this song’s protagonist is supposed to be the same age as the “little girl” he’s got his eye on, this is still Chuck we’re talking about. –Jeff Giles (download)

Brian Wilson, “Hey Little Tomboy” When a song starts off with the line “Hey little tomboy, sit here on my lap,” and Mike Love was anywhere within a 50-mile radius when it was written or recorded, you know you’re dealing with a towering classic of skeeve. Here’s the Brian Wilson demo, for that extra element of drug-addled psychosis. –JG (download)

Foreigner, “Seventeen” The title “Seventeen” is pretty common in pop music. If you AMG’d the title, you’d likely get a couple dozen different tunes all named the same. Yet it is hard for me to believe that any of the other performers looked quite as… old… as Foreigner did, even back then. Lou Gramm with his rangy, mangy, almost bro-fro, Mick Jones looking more like Chumley the janitor rather than a student… If context is everything, then picture these guys mourning the young’un that got away in the tune, and then go to therapy, you filthy pedo. –Dw. Dunphy (download)

Benny Mardones, “Into the Night” “She’s just sixteen years old / Leave her alone, they say.” We could say more, but Jason’s already said it all here. –JG (download)

Winger, “Seventeen” Such an obvious choice that we don’t feel the need to say anything else about it here — we’re just adding it because we can imagine the disbelieving comments if we don’t. –JG (download)

Van Morrison, “Cyprus Avenue” A lilting, beautiful slow number, reflecting on the everyday actions and making them into a beautiful dream when the past swirls into the present…..and then suddenly he gets to the end and: “Nobody, no, no, no, nobody stops me from loving you baby / So young and bold, fourteen years old / Baby, baby, baby…” Oh my God. –Matthew Bolin (download)

Damn Yankees, “Coming of Age” Jack Blades is a happily married man and Tommy Shaw is a lesbian, so clearly, the blame for this most foul of pervy corporate rock anthems lies with the ever-disgusting Ted Nugent. By 1990, some of the guys who rocked out to “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” (or “Little Miss Dangerous” [download]) had teenage daughters — think they started feeling pangs of regret when they leafed through their record collections? –JG (download)

KISS, “Christine Sixteen” Not to be outdone by Paul Stanley’s ode to a hand job in the song “Take Me,” Gene Simmons decides to go for … statutory rape in “Christine Sixteen.” In 1977, Gene was 28 years old. His object of lust is a girl he instantly fell for when … oh, I’ll let Gene tell you in the spoken word part of the song: “I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age, but when I saw you coming out of the school that day, that day I knew, I knew, I’ve got to have you, I’ve got to have you.” This gem peaked at #25 on the U.S. Hot 100. But before you write Gene off as just another perv skulking around high school parking lots looking for girls, Gene gives the listener this snippet about Christine: “She’s been around, but she’s young and clean.” So … she really loves sex, but doesn’t have any discernible STDs? Maybe I’m overthinking this, maybe when it come to KISS, all I really need to know about them I can glean from This Is Spinal Tap. –Py Korry (download)

Ringo Starr, “You’re Sixteen” This will no doubt be a controversial choice for those who choose to believe that Ringo was the harmlessly cuddly one in the Beatles, and that by covering “You’re Sixteen” he was taking a harmless trip down memory lane — but there’s still no getting around the fact that Starr was in his thirties when his version of this song was released. Imagine early ’70s Ringo loitering around outside your daughter’s high school, muttering about his octopus’s garden — you think you wouldn’t have called the cops? –JG (download)

Alex Chilton, “Jailbait” From Chilton’s 1989 Black List EP comes this paranoid celebration of teenage lust (correction — lust for a teenager): “An outrage in short shorts / Set me up a date at the law courts … Everybody in the neighborhood / Knows that I’m up to no good.” Chilton himself was 16 years old when he sang lead on his first (and only) #1 record, the Box Tops’ 1967 smash hit “The Letter.” –Robert Cass (download)

Motorhead, “Jailbait” It’s got the same title as the Chilton song, but a whole ‘nother vibe. This might be the least threatening track on the list, actually, ’cause any underage girl who feels anything other than sheer terror when hearing Lemmy sing “I don’t care about our different ages / I’m an open book with well thumbed pages / You’re Jailbait, and I just can’t wait / Jailbait baby come on” can probably handle herself pretty capably. On the other hand, Lemmy is super gross, and this track definitely deserves a place on the list. –JG (download)

Peter Cetera, “Daddy’s Girl” Oh, sure, Cetera wrote this so you could interpret it as being about his actual daughter, but we know what he really meant. “Little baby wanna hold you tight / She don’t ever wanna say goodnight / She’s a lover, she wanna be Daddy’s girl”? While Cetera was lulling America to sleep with his seemingly innocuous ballads, he was scoping out our innocent young daughters. Shameful. –JG (download)

Gilbert O’Sullivan, “Clair” I’m reading the lyrics to “Clair” now, and WOW, this is messed up: “I don’t care what people say / To me you’re more than a child…But why in spite of our age difference do I cry…” But here’s the money line: “Nothing means more to me than hearing you say / I’m going to marry you / Will you marry me, Uncle Ray?” There’s more, but I think I’m going to be sick. — David Medsker (download)

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