Lola Isn’t The Love Song You Think It Is

Lola. Ahhh, Lovely Lola. She’s a great song, that Lola. If you don’t know that Lola is about a transvestite and instead think it’s a wonderful love song, you need to read this. Unless you want to keep that illusion, then don’t read on.

“Lola” was a big hit for the great group, The Kinks. Ray Davies of the Kinks was a prolific songwriter, one of the best. Lola is one of his best, because it hid a rather obvious reference to a drag queen in a love song. It’s loosely based on a incident at a nightclub involving the Kinks’ manager getting up close and personal with a transvestite.

“I met her in a club down in old Soho”


Did you know that Soho means South Houston? Houston being “House-ton” just like we say it. When you hear Soho, it generally means a part of London, or New York, where they pronounce Houston the correct way.

“Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola” The BBC banned the LP recording because Ray sang “tastes just like Coca-Cola”, so Ray flew back to London just to do a voice dub of “cherry cola” for the single.

“I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola.” The masculine voice should have been a clue, but since the manager was drunk, he missed it. What he didn’t miss later on was the stubble on the man’s face, but apparently the manager’s intoxication interfered with his senses in the heat of the moment.

“Well I’m not the world’s most physical guy, But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine” Another clue. I know I’ll get in trouble on this, but I don’t want a chick who can break me in half. But to each their own.

“Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man.” Some women have husky voices. Nothing wrong with that.

“She picked me up and sat me on her knee, And said dear boy won’t you come home with me. Well I’m not the world’s most passionate guy, But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola.” The fact Lola could pick him up was another clue. Alcohol really inhibits the senses.

“Well that’s the way that I want it to stay, And I always want it to be that way for my Lola, Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola.” This is where the song gets confusing. Maybe he’s saying that Lola is a girl. Hard to tell, but that was Ray’s intent. He had to get past the censors of the BBC and American sensibilities as well.

“Well I left home just a week before, And I’d never ever kissed a woman before,
But Lola smiled and took me by the hand, And said dear boy I’m gonna make you a man.”

Now that’s what young men want to hear, right?

“Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man, But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man, And so is Lola.”

It could have been “Lola’s glad I’m a man.” But it’s not. For a reason.

Kelly Burke, master attorney, former district attorney and magistrate judge, is engaged in private practice. He writes about the law, rock’n’roll and politics. These articles are not designed to give legal advice, but are designed to inform the public about how the law affects their daily lives. Contact Kelly at to comment on this article or suggest articles that you’d like to see.

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