Home » Song Meanings » The Meaning Behind The Song: Sweetest Taboo by Sade

The Meaning Behind The Song: Sweetest Taboo by Sade


The Meaning Behind The Song: Sweetest Taboo by Sade

Sweetest Taboo is a mesmerizing and soulful song by Sade, released in 1985 as part of her second album, “Promise.” This enchanting track quickly became a hit in numerous countries, captivating listeners with its seductive melody and heartfelt lyrics. With her rich and velvety voice, Sade explores the depths of desire and the complexities of love in a way that only she can.

The song’s meaning revolves around the theme of forbidden love, tapping into the raw emotions and intense feelings that arise when one finds themselves irresistibly drawn to someone they know they should resist. Sade’s lyrics paint a picture of a passionate romance that defies societal norms and challenges conventional boundaries. It speaks to the yearning for connection, even in situations where the risks are high and the repercussions profound.

In the verses of “Sweetest Taboo,” Sade delves into the overwhelming attraction and magnetic pull between two individuals. She describes the intense connection as a secret that ignites a fire within, acknowledging that it is both exhilarating and dangerous. The lyrics express a desire to surrender to this magnetic force, even though it may lead to heartache and uncertainty.

The chorus of the song emphasizes the addictive nature of this forbidden love. Sade sings about the “sweetest taboo” and how it feels like she’s doing something wrong, yet the allure is too powerful to resist. The repetition of the phrase “sweetest taboo” reinforces the idea that this love is forbidden but irresistible, intensifying the emotions conveyed throughout the song.

Frequently Asked Questions About “Sweetest Taboo” by Sade

1. What inspired Sade to write “Sweetest Taboo”?

Sade has revealed that the inspiration behind “Sweetest Taboo” stemmed from her own experiences and observations of passionate relationships that exist outside societal norms. She wanted to capture the complexity and allure of forbidden love in a way that resonates with listeners.

2. Who wrote the lyrics for “Sweetest Taboo”?

The lyrics for “Sweetest Taboo” were written by Sade herself, along with the other members of her band at the time, Andrew Hale and Stuart Matthewman. Sade took a hands-on approach to her music, contributing not only her enchanting vocals but also her poetic prowess.

3. Was “Sweetest Taboo” a commercial success?

Yes, “Sweetest Taboo” was a commercial success, reaching the top ten in several charts worldwide. It became one of Sade’s signature songs and continues to be cherished by her fans today. The mesmerizing combination of Sade’s distinctive voice, the captivating melody, and the relatable theme of forbidden love contributed to its enduring popularity.

4. What other songs are similar to “Sweetest Taboo”?

Sade’s unique blend of smooth jazz, soul, and R&B sets her apart, making it challenging to find songs exactly like “Sweetest Taboo.” However, tracks such as “Smooth Operator,” “Your Love Is King,” and “No Ordinary Love” share a similar sensual and emotive quality that fans of “Sweetest Taboo” may appreciate.

5. Has “Sweetest Taboo” been covered by other artists?

Yes, “Sweetest Taboo” has been covered by several artists over the years. Notable covers include those by Reba McEntire, Shirley Bassey, and Maxi Priest. Each artist brings their own unique interpretation to the song, showcasing its timeless appeal and versatility.

6. What impact did “Sweetest Taboo” have on Sade’s career?

“Sweetest Taboo” played a pivotal role in solidifying Sade’s success as an internationally acclaimed artist. It helped propel her second album, “Promise,” to commercial success, earning her widespread recognition and critical acclaim. The song remains a fan favorite and continues to be an integral part of Sade’s extensive discography.

7. What is the genre of “Sweetest Taboo”?

“Sweetest Taboo” is primarily classified as a blend of smooth jazz, soul, and R&B. Sade’s unique voice and the song’s melodic arrangements contribute to its distinct sound, capturing the essence of these genres while maintaining a contemporary allure.

8. Is there a music video for “Sweetest Taboo”?

Yes, a music video was created for “Sweetest Taboo.” Directed by Brian Ward, the video features Sade performing in a live concert setting, surrounded by her band members and captivating the audience with her enchanting presence. It beautifully complements the sensual and intimate nature of the song.

9. Has Sade performed “Sweetest Taboo” live?

Yes, Sade has performed “Sweetest Taboo” live on various occasions throughout her career. Her live performances bring an additional layer of intensity and emotion to the song, allowing fans to experience the captivating magic of her voice and stage presence.

10. What is the legacy of “Sweetest Taboo”?

“Sweetest Taboo” has left an enduring legacy in the music industry and continues to be celebrated as a timeless classic. Its profound lyrics, soulful melodies, and Sade’s iconic vocals have secured its place as one of the most beloved songs in her repertoire, captivating new listeners with its seductive charm.

Rate this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top