Little Sister

Album: Lullabies To Paralyze (2005)
Charted: 18 88


  • Lead singer Josh Homme says that this song inspired by the "sort of sexual twist" of the song "Little Sister," which Elvis Presley recorded in 1961.
  • The song was recorded in one take.
  • Queens of the Stone Age performed this on Saturday Night Live. Will Ferrell, who was hosting the show, joined the band onstage and played the cowbell dressed as his character from the famous "More Cowbell" sketch, which parodied the usage of the cowbell in Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." The Cowbell sound in the song is actually a Jam Block. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bert - Pueblo, NM, for all above

Comments: 5

  • Sister Ashley.... from San DiegoNo way have I ever detected any incest in this song. And I happen to be the survivor, not victim, of sexual incest growing up, so it's strange I never picked up on that vibe. I also have many brothers, blood and friend alike. I have brothers in christ, never mind the ethnicity or the age. If I share an interest within any type of concept whether its an outright gang (where they actually call their members brothers and sisters and I'm not talking about street gangs, btw, just more like bands of friends, I guess...but who knows maybe they too call each other bros and sisters-? i've never been in a gang so I dunno...), a religious group, a secret society, or even a fraternity type gig with an affiliated Sister House organization ALSO use those terms. I mean even if I was a friggin' vampire, a fellow female vampire would be referred to as a sister, meaning we share roles in the same "family" not necessarily a blood born one but members of ANY kind of group that share the same beliefs. In that sense, if someone has been in the family (or group) longer they would be an "older" brother. So say one is in a witch craft coven, even (for the sake of being facetious...)and a new convert comes into that family, the males would refer to the new female, not as spiritually along, as a "little sister" even if she was physically older. And if I take that route, since he knows her better than anyone else, maybe he knows it isn't her nature to roll in the shadows like that. I'm assuming (although there is zero evidence for it) that hes referring to prostitution or dancing (stripping) or - just doing anything "in the shadows" (possibly the practice of the occult) because he thinks it's not necessarily "her" nature and he'd rather see her in the light where he knows she belongs. Almost as if shes posted in the shadows but he knows it's just an act, maybe something she felt forced to become or do or out of low self esteem, just accepted the 'shadows' denying her true nature because she has poor self image or something and he IS of the shadows or occult. Since shes opened up and shared her true self to him its obvious shes fronting "something", whatever it may be to the rest of the world. He wants to be with her but he knows, maybe out of love or out of respect, that they couldn't roll together. He wants her out of the shadows where he operates, he wants her to have the courage to step out and join the light where he knows she belongs but out of whatever fear she stays put. I got the impression that he loves her enough to see that and NOT take advantage of it, not the other way around. She must be new to the shadows, thus the term "little" sister but maybe it's really an age thing, maybe shes physically younger and that's where the sweet moniker came from. Either way its beautiful, I thought. Nothing sinister at all.
  • Juno from Los Angeles, Cawtf how is incest better than arrogance? Vomiting aside... It always sounded to me like a song about prostitution and the male figure is someone who engages in that world but also wants to "save her". Based on the tone of the song, these efforts are "futile". There is definitely some sexual activity implied "come together" because "I understand you" etc. It's musically a great song, people interpreting the "sister" as a literal sister is what makes me not want it in my itunes.
  • Nick from Gold Coast, Australiai always thought it was about the songs protagonists sister being lured into a lured world like being a stripper or a pornstar, hence the lyrics little sister, cant you find another way
  • Paris from Phoenix, Azlol right on
  • Kat from Chicago, IlAha, I always thought this song sounded incestuous. Though I think I'd take incestuous over the arrogant and shallow Elvis Presley version. (;
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Adam Young of Owl City

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Lip-Synch Rebels

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."

Eric Burdon

Eric BurdonSongwriter Interviews

The renown rock singer talks about "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."