It Could Mean Infant Or Maybe Not

At what age, and which song or songs that you were listening to in particular, did you realize that 95% of the time when they say the word ‘baby’ in a song, they don’t mean an infant?

I should say songs sung in English but yeah. I remember a younger cousin asking the question “in English songs when they sing “baby” do they mean an actual infant?” when he was around 10 or 11 years old and his older brother and I just looked at each other and giggled. But yes it was a valid question, especially for those of us who live in a country where English is not the native language. Or wait – don’t little kids in England, Canada, the US, Australia & New Zealand also get confused the first few years of their life when they hear “baby” in a song?

I myself must have been 8 or 9 years old when I attained ‘lyrical’ enlightenment and understood that it meant a hot girl. I liked Michael Jackson at that age! Which still didn’t quite satisfy me until the age of 12 and when I understood ‘biology’ and then slowly it dawned on me – calling a chick ‘baby’ sounded right! But then I remembered this song from Madonna that sounded confusing with it’s lyrics – “Papa don’t preach, I’m in trouble deep, Papa don’t preach, I’ve losing sleep, but I’ve made up my mind, I’m keeping my baby” – did she mean keeping her baby in her belly or her boyfriend? Since her father doesn’t approve, it could have been either right?

When did they first start using ‘baby’ for a girl and then for a man? I would like to know who was the first person to start calling a girl baby; it probably was an African American blues loving guy in the 40s or 50s. Cause they are the ones who start all these cool terms. Probably some dude who was walking around, whistling to himself, on the way to a small club to play his guitar with some band and he sees this hot looking woman and he says out loud “Oooooh baby!” and the term stuck! I’m sure that it was something like that. Yeah!