Ask McFartnuggets: “Was That Song ‘Twist And Shout’ About Nipples?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Hey is that song “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles about nipples? Whenever I hear the words twist and shout my mind goes back to my childhood when I used to get titty twisters all the time and if you don’t know what that is that’s when someone grabs your nipples and twists them and then you shout. Was titty twisters around back when The Beatles sang that song? -- Norm from Palo Alto, California

Dear Norm:
Here’s a little musical history for you. The song known as “Twist And Shout” was first recorded by the Top Notes in 1961. It was originally called “Shake It Up, Baby” and written by Phil Medley and Burt Berns. The Beatles covered it in 1963 and there is no evidence to suggest it was inspired by titty twisters, purple nurples, or nipple cripples. Did those exist back in the 60’s? Probably. I think the act of jokingly grabbing someone’s nipple has been around for much longer than humanity would care to admit. Now while the lyrics might seem like they’re referring to squeezing your nipples, it’s much more likely that the song was referring to the dance called the Twist. Shouting wasn’t really part of the dance, but it was something people used to do back then when they were having fun. People used to scream a lot when music was being played for some reason. It was a strange time. Fortunately these days people take more time to listen to the music which is likely why you stopped to ask if the song was about nipples. Back then they were probably too busy hollering to notice or even give a care. Thanks for the question!

If it was about nipples it might be called "Twist and Moan."

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