Poets once said, “Money can’t buy me love.” But…that’s not always true. Escorts, gigolos, ladies of the night, or straight-up hookers: They’ve stolen many hearts and acted as muses for some of the biggest names in music! There had been many an ode to prostitutes over the years, so we’ve decided to round up 10 of our very favorite. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, too!
10. “Killer Queen” by Queen (1974)
When asked asked about the true meaning of the song in interviews, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was fairly blunt. “It’s about a high class call girl. I’m trying to say that classy people can be whores as well. That’s what the song is about, though I’d prefer people to put their interpretation on it.”
9. “Charlotte the Harlot” by Iron Maiden (1980)
Written by guitarist Dave Murray, this is the first of four tunes Maiden based on “Charlotte.” Although she’s fictional, Murray insists that her musical exploits were based on true stories.
8. “X Offender” by Blondie (1976)
The NYC pop-punks also had “Call Me” and “In The Flesh” to add to their hooker-cred, but we’ve always preferred this unusual song about about a lady of the night who falls in love with the policeman who puts her under arrest.
7. “Trick Of The Light” by The Who (1978)
Perhaps the most human and humble of all the numbers on this list (and therefore our favorite), bassist John Entwistle wrote this song describing the fear of being sexually inadequate in the face (and bed) of a prostitute. Our thoughts exactly!
6. “Just A Gigolo” by David Lee Roth (1985)
Many listeners didn’t realize that Diamond Dave is actually an Austrian song that’s been around since 1929! But his version of the old standard is indeed the most famous, reaching Number 12 on the Billboard charts.
5. “Sweet Painted Lady” by Elton John (1973)
Sir Elton also wrote “Island Girl” about a 6 foot 3 “business woman” from Jamaica, but it doesn’t come close to this track from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy for pure beauty.
4. “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer (1979)
The disco queen was inspired to write this funk-tastic hit after one of her assistants was mistakenly nabbed by a undercover police offer believing her to be a prostitute. Ouch!
3. “Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle (1974)
The genius refrain “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?” is enough to catapult the song into the history books. But then when it got a revamp from a vamped up Xtina, P!nk, Lil’ Kim and Mia for the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge in 2001…look out!
2. “Hot Child In The City” Nick Gilder by (1978)
Sure it’s a depressing ode to runaways forced into prostitution. But it’s SO CATCHY!
1. “Roxanne” by The Police (1978)
There was no way we could get away with not including this one! Sting got the idea for the lyrics while the band were staying at a seedy hotel in Paris. A poster for the play Cyrano de Bergerac hung in the lobby, featuring a heroine named (you guessed it) Roxanne.
BONUS: “Maggie Mae” by The Beatles (1970)
Even the Fabs had a hooker tune, with this fragment of a Scouse folk song about a prostitute who robbed a “homeward bounder.”