The Chicks’ll Scream: Lyric Changes in “Grease: Live”

Fox’s “Grease: Live” aired on Sunday, January 31st at 8pm starring Julianne Hough as Sandy, Aaron Tveit as Danny, Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo, Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchie, Keke Palmer as Marty, Eve “The Original Jane Brady” Plumb as shop teacher Mrs. Murdock, and cameos by the original Frenchie and Doody. The only thing more notable than all the intricately and impressively choreographed dance moves, costume changes, and camera shots were the lyric changes necessitated by primetime sponsorships:

Freddy My Love

From “And I will be wearing your lacy lingerie” to “And I will be wearing my bridal bouquet”

Grease Lighting

From “You know that ain’t no shit, we’ll be getting lots of tit” to “You know without a doubt, I’ll be really makin’ out.”

From “The chicks’ll cream” to “The chicks’ll scream”

From “With new pistons, plugs and shocks I can get off my rocks” to something inaudible about super socks…?

From “She’s a real pussy wagon” to “She’s a real dragon wagon”

But then there were some, shall we say, provocative lines — both spoken and sung — that remained: Danny talking about “sloppy seconds,” Rizzo derisively suggesting Danny going off to “flog his log,” the entire “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” song about Sandy’s sexual prudery, Sonny using a wrench as a phallic symbol of Kenickie inside Rizzo, the Boyz to Men’s Teen Angels singing about Frenchie’s only paying clients being hookers. And then there’s Rizzo’s whole pregnancy scare (which actually seems like an important slice of real life worth keeping) alongside the very problematic idea that Sandy “must start anew” by changing her entire look and personality just to get a man (but change that, and of course you’ve got no iconic ending). The original Grease oozed with sexual references, both crass and realistic, so the recent live version was an interesting — and sometimes confusing — look at where lines get drawn today, at least during primetime.

The the inclusion that seemed the most tone-deaf in this day and age was the infamous line from the song “Summer Nights“: “Did she put up a fight?” Lacy lingerie is a no-go but date rape is hunky dory? When there’s a real ongoing campaign to educate young people about the importance of consent, this seemed like the most important line of any to change.

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One Comment

  1. Hilarious– didn’t even notice “She’s a real pussy wagon” to “She’s a real dragon wagon”. Crazy how many changes there were!

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