Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I was out dancing the other night when the band started playing "Brickhouse," a Commodores song from the 70's. I love how clever this song is and how much fun I had explaining it to my kids in the van on one of our homeschool field trips.

Brandon: What's a "brickhouse." It doesn't sound like a woman.
Me: The whole phrase is "She's built like a brick shithouse."
Sophie: What? A woman is a shithouse?
Me: No, it's a metaphor. It's saying she's built like a brick shithouse.
Brandon: How do you know that? They don't say that in the song.
Me: No, but they leave space in the lyrics and melody. Listen to how they say "brick....house." They're leaving out the "shit" because they wouldn't be able to play it on the radio. But it's implied because of the pause and the way they fill between the words.
Sophie: I still don't get what a brick shithouse is.
Me: It's an outhouse. People used to dig a big hole in the ground and build a small building around it. They called them outhouses or shithouses, and that's where they went to the bathroom. We used to steal them for our big autumn bonfire when I was growing up. Not many people had them by then. When my dad was a kid everybody had them, and they used to think it was funny to sneak up on people and tip the outhouse over while they were in it.
Brandon: Did they build them out of bricks? How did you burn bricks?
Me: No, most of them were wood, but rich people could build theirs out of bricks. They would be much nicer than most people's. That's why it's a bigger compliment to be a brick shithouse than just a shithouse.
(At that point, I realized I wasn't going to be able to fully explain the metaphor, because really, what woman wants to be called a "shit" anything?)
Sophie: I wouldn't want anybody to call me a shithouse. That's not nice.
Me: Well, if somebody was going to call you a shithouse, at least you'd want them to call you a brick shithouse because that's the prettiest kind.
Sophie: I guess so.
Brandon: (opens his mouth)
Me: Don't ever call your sister a brick shithouse, Brandon.
Brandon: (closes his mouth)

She's a brick...buh buh buuuuh buh.....house
She's mighty mighty
just lettin' it all hang out...


  1. Lol! Oh the shit women have put up with over the years. holy crap. lol

  2. You should know, Queen of Poo! :-) It's funny how many people have never stopped to think what that song means. It's just a fun song to dance and sing along to.

  3. I've always liked the song, but I never knew what that meant.

  4. What? Nobody ever told you you're built like a brick shithouse??? I'm sorry.

  5. I love it how moms know exactly what kids are going to say before they say it. It irritates the kids to no end. :)