A Seduction Lyric is, simply, a song or poem in which the singer or first-person figure is attempting to get a potential sexual partner into bed. The means of persuasion used can vary.
Probably the most common is to pitch this as a straightforward love song or love poem, with a strong and more or less explicit implication that the next thing for the lovers to do is to express their affection physically. (Cynics might say that almost all love songs ultimately fit this pattern, as sex is a stage towards which most romantic relationships eventually move — but the seduction lyric makes the objective explicit and immediate.) Other arguments used include pragmatic hedonism ("You want it, I want it, what are we waiting for?"), emotional blackmail ("I need you so badly that I may die if you don't put out"), and even bleak philosophy ("Life is short, we'll be a long time dead, let's seize what pleasures we can while we still can"). The seducer may tell the target that, whatever they may have heard elsewhere, sex is not a bad thing, so acting on their evident desires is fine. Or the seducer can just try to exert raw animal sex appeal and hope that the other person loses control.
Needless to say, any given lyric can invoke more than one argument for combined effect, in varying proportions. If the lyric has to be written to get past local Moral Guardians, there may be some strenuous effort involved in Getting Crap Past the Radar — the seducer may talk about holding the partner's hand, or kissing them, or dancing with them, leaving the audience to guess that more will follow.
If the dramatic setting or prevailing culture tends towards conventional, conservative sexual morality, then a would-be seducer is by definition a bad person — a Loveable Rogue at best, and probably an outright villain. (If the seducer is trying to get their target away from an existing partner, this too will automatically make them the villain for many people — though the lyric may offer some kind of justification, probably saying that the current partner is bad for the target.) Hence, this trope has a considerable potential overlap with the Villain Love Song, which often has seduction as a goal. Also, given such assumptions, if the seducer is female, this can double as a Bad Girl Song ("I'm good at being bad and you'll enjoy it"). However, in a context with more relaxed moral norms, the Seduction Lyric may just be a chance for a charming or attractive character to cut loose and show the audience how cool or hot they are. More thoughtful treatments of the trope may double as implied discussions of moral philosophy; is the pursuit of pleasure a good or a bad thing?
Descriptions of a seduction in the third person don't generally qualify here, though if the description includes a lot of quoted seductive speech, the distinction can get fuzzy.
Cynical versions may double as an Anti-Love Song, implying either that romantic love is a delusion which gets in the way of simple pleasure, or that conventional Silly Love Songs are just hypocritical seduction songs in thin disguise. Intercourse with You is of course what follows if the seduction succeeds, so a song may transition between tropes, from Seduction to Intercourse, as it goes along.
- "The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)", by Flight of the Conchords, is a hilariously inept seduction song, designed as a parody of Prince. As the title suggests, the singer really hasn't got the hang of flattering a girl.
Why don't we leave?
Let's go to my house and we can feel each other up on the couch...
- "Castle in Spain", in Babes in Toyland, is a Villain Love Song in which the villain seeks to seduce a woman with the offer of material goods — "You'll eat nothing but cake / You'll drink naught but champagne / You'll be in on the take / In our castle in Spain". Admittedly the villain is supposedly trying to seduce his target into marriage rather than sex as such, but this is a 1961 Disney movie, and it's easy to see this as a metaphor, especially given the song's last lines: "You have caught me today / In a generous vein. / Come now, what do you say? / To our castle in / ahh... ahh... ahh... ahh... Spain."
- In Cool World, Holli Would takes the stage at a nightclub alongside Frank Sinatra Junior, and starts singing "Let's Make Love" to him. Sinatra was not expecting this, and is both unnerved and delighted by this Statuesque Stunner and her blatant seduction. The only reason Holli doesn't get it on with Sinatra then and there is that Holli's alternate form, as a cartoon character, starts manifesting itself. Or, as Holli puts it: "I got all doodly."
- In Grease, after Sandy adopts Be a Whore to Get Your Man tactics to catch Danny, "You're The One That I Want" marks the point where she seals the deal.
- Neptune's Daughter was the film that first showcased "Baby It's Cold Outside" (see under Music below), which in fact won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for its appearance here. The song is both played straight between Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams, and gender-flipped when Betty Garrett is flirting with Red Skelton, coaxing him to stay.
- There's a lot of indirect or direct seduction all over the place in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but special mention has to go to "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me", in which the newly deflowered Janet simply declares her enthusiasm for sex to Rocky — who, in truth, probably wouldn't understand anything more complicated.
- "All For You", by Imelda May, is sung from the point of view of a woman who is cheerfully trying to seduce a guy. Perhaps he's been a little slow to take the hint because she's now spelling it out.
When I toss my hair, throw my head in the air
It's all for you
Every hook, every clip every twitch of the zip
It's all for you
I'm spelling it out it's not written in code
I want you so much I think I'm gonna explode...
- "Baby It's Cold Outside" (which first appeared in the movie Neptune's Daughter — see under Films — Live-Action above) has been covered by multiple artists; it's a male/female duet in which the man is clearly attempting to seduce the woman (with some controversial implications of possible Date Rape). Occasionally Played for Laughs by gender-flipping, as in the Hello Cheeky Christmas Special. Some recent treatments have sought to make this more of a flirtatious mutual process.
- Bad Boyfriend, by Garbage, is a song about how All Girls Want Bad Boys, and doubles as a Bad Girl Song, as the singer thinks shes a good match for this bad boy.
So ripe so sweet come suck it and see
But watch out daddy I sting like a bee
I know some tricks I swear will give you the bends
Come on baby be my bad boyfriend
- In "Body And Soul" by Tori Amos, the singer is straightforwardly offering herself to someone who is evidently a good Catholic boy, and very possibly a priest, arguing that sex isn't as sinful as he's been taught.
- In "Come Outside", sung by Mike Sarne and Wendy Richard, the boy attempts to lure the reluctant girl outdoors because "there's a lovely moon out there". In the end she agrees.
- Dead Ringer For Love by Meat Loaf depicts a mutual seduction in a bar. The woman clearly thinks that the man is a bit clueless, but what the hell...
- The Halestorm song "Do Not Disturb" is about the singer trying to get a stranger and his girlfriend into having a one night stand with her.
- "Don't Cha", by the Pussycat Dolls (actually a cover of a Tori Alamaze song) is distinctly in the Bad Girl Song crossover zone, being a brazen attempt to seduce a guy away from his girlfriend — though there are hints that the singer accepts that this is a bad idea, and may have to wait for "next lifetime".
Don't cha wish your girlfriend was wrong like me?
Don't cha wish your girlfriend was fun like me?
Don't cha, don't cha?
- "Don't Marry Her", by The Beautiful South, is a completely open, NSFW offer of sex to someone who seems intent on taking a different, less appealing option.
Think of you with pipe and slippers
Think of her in Bed
Laying there just watching telly
Then think of me instead...
- "Family Man" from 1982, written by Mike Oldfield and performed by Maggie Reilly, has a family man being approached by a seductress. While he recites the chorus as a refusal, it's clear that his resolve is crumbling as she continues to work her wiles on him. The song was later covered by Daryl Hall & John Oates.
- "Hard to Handle" by Otis Redding is an upfront seduction in which the singer mostly seems to be offering experience and technical competence.
- "Honey I'm Good" by Andy Grammer is an inversion of this trope, the lyrics being about the singer turning down another's advances because he is already involved with someone else.
Naw, Naw, honey I'm good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't;
Because I've got somebody at home
And if I stay I might not leave alone
- In "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" from The Beatles' Abbey Road, for the first half, John serenades Yoko with
I want you,
I want you so bad,
It's driving me mad...
- "Lady Marmalade" (originally performed by Labelle, and famously covered by Christina Aguilera, Mya, P!nk and Lil' Kim for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack) is widely remembered for its brashly seductive chorus of Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? ("Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?"), though actually most of the song is a third-party description of a sexual encounter.
- "Lay, Lady, Lay" by Bob Dylan is at the romantic end of the "Why wait?" class.
Lay, lady, lay
Lay across my big brass bed
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine...
- "Let's Get It On", by Marvin Gaye, is hardly a subtle example of the trope in action...
Let's get it on, ow baby
Let's get it on, let's love baby
Let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on, woo...
- The Rolling Stones gave us "Let's Spend The Night Together", another less-than-subtle instance — sung by Mick Jagger, of course...
Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever...
- "Only the Good Die Young", by Billy Joel, is a famous example. (Come out Virginia, Don't make me wait). Its cynicism about conventional morality (You Catholic Girls start much too late, But sooner or later it comes down to fate) made it somewhat controversial when it was first released.
- Another example from The Beatles; they wrote "Please Please Me" in the early '60s when an overly blatant seduction song wouldn't have been allowed on the radio — but a boyfriend saying "Come on (Come on), come on (Come on), Please please me..." to his girlfriend is surely importuning some kind of sexual favours.
- "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Pelvis" by Barry Adamson, with Jarvis Cocker on vocals, involves a peculiar approach to seduction.
Oooohhh, set the controls for the heart of the pelvis
Haven't you heard my name rhymes with Elvis
And one thing I know is this
That your mouth is telling me to give you
A big kiss
- "Shut Up and Sleep With Me", by Sin With Sebastian, is pretty overt and on the nose.
Shut up and sleep with me
Come on, why don't you sleep with me?
Shut up and sleep with me
Come on, aha and sleep with me
- Despite the blunt-sounding title, "Take Me I'm Yours" by Squeeze is actually a metaphorical sort of seduction; the singer has found not only his dream girl, but a whole fantasy world, and offers it and her complete surrender.
Take me I'm yours
Because dreams are made of this
Forever there'll be
A heaven in your kiss
- "Wild Thing", by the Troggs (later covered by Jimi Hendrix), makes the "I love you so let's have sex" approach hilariously blunt.
Wild thing, I think I love you
But I wanna know for sure
So come on and hold me tight...
- Catullus demonstrates this trope in the "Thousand Kisses" poem, making it Older Than Feudalism.
- John Donne clearly enjoyed getting explicitly seductive in his poems. For example, "To His Mistress Going to Bed" is evidently set after seduction has been largely accomplished (Licence my roving hands, and let them go, Before, behind, between, above, below...), but "The Flea" is a sneaky seduction poem that suggests that the poet isn't asking for anything more dishonourable than a flea-bite.
- "To His Coy Mistress", by Andrew Marvell, is pretty much the trope codifier for life-is-short philosophical Seduction Lyrics, to the point of getting seriously bleak — after all, saying that someone Must Not Die a Virgin is reminding them that they're going to die.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
- Unsurprisingly given that it's all about a legendary seducer, Don Giovanni has a whole load of Seduction Lyrics. Aside from the notorious Don himself, the peasant girl Zerlina gets in on this when working to keep her soon-to-be husband happy and distracted.
- Be More Chill has two of these, "Upgrade" and the more disturbing "Do You Wanna Hang?"
- The song "But Not You" by Naxx Guyfiery and Doge Mayer from the SiIvaGunner "King For Another Day" Tournament is a Parody with intentionally awful, lecherous lyrics, sung from the point of view of an incompetent, sleazy Casanova Wannabe; So come on baby please / Let me give you a squeeze. "The Ballads of Naxx and Doge", the video in which the song debuted, also opens with Naxx singing a different song in similar style.