While we've grown accustomed to penis metaphors in song titles ("Love Gun
" by Kiss comes to mind), a song titled with a vagina euphemism was shocking in some circles. Prince's erotic lyrics ensured an airplay ban in some territories and its video was one of the first to be banned because of its lyrical content rather than its imagery.
The tune was also listed by Tipper Gore of the Parents' Music Resource Council
as one of the "Filthy Fifteen," a list of songs deemed indecent because of their explicit lyrics. Easton denied the song was overtly sexual. "It doesn't say, Let's have intercourse, or Oh my, what a wonderful penis you have," she told Q
. "I've sung songs before and since that were sexual – even the very first song: 'Hey, that was great, he said. Wish we could stay in bed.' 'Sugar Walls' was just another song which, without getting, too hoity-toity, was an artistic interpretation of a sexual, a love relationship."
Prince was a predictable target for the PMRC, but Easton, whose first American hit was the anodyne "Morning Train (Nine To Five)
," was more surprising. Easton's happy housewife from "Morning Train" and sex starlet in "Sugar Walls" were not indicative of her real life, but were characters she portrayed in her songs. Her ability to assume roles served her well, as she adapted to a variety of musical styles and got some acting gigs, including a role on Miami Vice
and voicework on the shows Gargoyles
and All Dogs Go to Heaven