Kiss That Frog

Album: Us (1992)
Charted: 46
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Gabriel got the idea from a book by Bruno Betelheim called The Uses Of Enchantment. It dealt with the frog and princess fairy tale in terms of sexuality. The message is that by accepting the frog, he may become a prince.
  • There is some strong evidence that this song is about oral sex - both giving and receiving. References include: "He's all puffed up," "He's living with you, sleeping in your bed," "Dive down in the deep end," "Let him sit beside you and eat right of your plate," "Don't you know, his tongue can kill." Other references include some explicit visual hints in the video, and Gabriel's movements performing the song live, as seen on the Secret World Live DVD, with the most obvious being Gabriel standing on a chair and thrusting his hips. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Markus - Molnlycke, Sweden
  • Gabriel came up with the groove while working on the soundtrack to the 1985 movie Birdy.
  • The video won for Best Special Effects at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1994.

Comments: 14

  • Asshead from MontrealDid anybody think that Gabriel’s girlfriend at the time broke up with him and found herself in the arms of a French fellow?!!! Wake up you posers! Artist’s are a lot more like us than you think! Jesus What’s the H for Christ! It’s an “I hate your new boyfriend song.” Wake up! And it’s brilliant!
  • Fishoow from Albuquerque It’s about licking the poisonous frogs in South American rainforests. Yes, paralleled to the fairytale of risk-taking to find something you couldn’t have imagined actually existed.
    Just sayin’
  • Samantha from OklahomaI'm guessing he got some of the inspiration for this song from "transformations" by Anne Sexton. In her interpretation of the frog prince, the princess 'tosses her golden ball up like a bubble and it drops into the well as has been ordained and sinks like a cast-iron pot into the bottom of the well' (I'm paraphrasing here). Obviously, it is more than a ball and she feels lost forever. The well 'grows thick and boiling and the frog appears'. He claims to be 'a tradesman who has something to sell'. He will 'retrieve her golden ball from the bottom of the well if she will allow three things, to let him eat from her plate, drink from her cup, and sleep in her bed' (again, massive amounts of paraphrasing going on here *grins*). She agrees but turns and runs back to her castle leaving the frog there all alone.

    Mr. Gabriel sings: Splash, dash, heard your call,
    Bring you back your golden ball
    He's gonna dive down in the deep end
    He's gonna be just like your best friend

    When the king learns of her promise to the frog, he forces her to comply, so the frog eats from her plate and drinks from her cup, which she treats 'as if it were Socrates' hemlock'. Then he sleeps on the pillow beside her.

    Mr. Gabriel sings: Get it into your head
    He's living with you he sleeps in your bed
    Can't you hear beyond the croaking
    Don't you know that I'm not joking

    Let him sit beside you, eat right off your plate
    You don't have to be afraid, there's nothing here to hate
    Princess, you might like it, if you lowered your defence
    Kiss that frog, and you will get your prince...

    Granted, the poem is not at all cheerful, and if you read it in full, you will probably find it disturbing - she doesn't kiss the frog, she whips him across the room! As for sexual, while it is not overt, it is implied, and if you read between the lines, it's a great poem that makes you really stop and think. It goes way beyond simply a princess and a frog, just as the song does, and therein lies Mr. Gabriel's brilliance and talent.

    Or I could be totally full of s--t here and it's just about oral sex. *maniacal laugh*
  • Roberta Trevisan from S?o Paulo, BrazilYeah, it's about sex and so what? It's just a song and I like to hear and that's it! LOL
  • Stimpson from Salem , MaI'm glad that Peter Gabriel is the kind of artist who can write both deeply spiritual, and and highly sexual songs,because that's the way we are all wired.
  • Someone from Freedom,Geez, you are so simple minded, people. Since when does a song have to be about *one* thing? It's obviously about at least two things.

    It's both about that accepting the frog, he might become a prince. I.e., looks aren't everything, prince charming does not usually come on a white horse, etc.

    And it's ALSO a plead to have oral sex.

    The dual level of meaning is surely intentional.
  • Peter from New York, NyOH, come on, thats why this music isnt for Kids, princess Diana???, Come on... Its about Sex,
    of course is about sex, Gabriel has a Brain, he is
    not gonna write a song with a shallow meaning, or
    he is not Britney Spears, lol, so you guys never actually Listen to music, you just Hear Music... besides, whats the meaning in ALL fairy Tales? do you think the Little Red Hood thingy wasnt about Sex? so... for you it was a Wolf trying to Eat a Girl? -_- Let us grow up already!
  • Lucas from Pittsfield, MaAfter Listening to it thouroly I Beleave its About Princess Dianna and Prince Charles and how she was so beautiful and he Ugly and mean to her.

    But Thats Just Me

    Great Song
  • Wes from Springfield, VaI think the song works better in a more general sense: the notion of having to do something you'd rather not do in the expectation of something good or redemptive coming about as a result. Or, if you like, since it refers to the old fairy tale, it could be an allusion to a beauty and a beast. By the beauty accepting the beast (kissing the frog) she helps the beast or loathsome object become more beautiful.
  • Jana from Lee, NhOh, I guess you've got me . :D I'd listened to the lyrics, of course, but never considered to interperet them in such a light. Actually, while revisiting the music video, I'd gathered some evidence to further enhance your argument. The castle/pallace thing has a few suggestive columns and towers... Lol, point well taken, Mike and Pat.
  • Katie from Las Vegas, NvWow, I guess I just never listened close enough. But I think you guys are right. I like the song even more now.
  • Mike from Houston, TxHave you listened to or read the lyrics, Jana? The hidden meaning of some songs is subtle or obscure, but not this one. It doesn't get much more blatant:

    "He's all puffed up";
    "He's gonna dive down in the deep end";
    "I swear that this is royal blood running through my skin--oh, can you see the state I'm in";
    "Get it into your head";
    "He's living with you, he sleeps in your bed";
    "Don't you know that this tongue can kill" (<--the veiled threat there being that she'll miss him going down on her when he stops in retaliation for her refusal to reciprocate);
    "Princess, you might like it";
    "C'mon baby get wet with me".

    If you still don't see it, then consider this: Would any guy really be trying so persistently to get a girl to kiss an actual *frog*?? What else would a guy be so persistent about? :)

    The song is definitely about oral sex.
  • Jana from Lee, NhEr, I'm gonna have to trust the songfacts on this one. Do you have a source, Pat? Oh, and the harmonica in this song's groovy. :D
  • Pat Malloy from Aurora, IlThis song has nothing to do with frogs or accepting them, the frog is a d*&^ and hes telling the princess to kiss that frog. The song is about oral sex.
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