By Erin Moyer || Senior Editor
When I first heard the name “Ginuwine,” I was watching Parks & Recreation and thought it was a joke. A clever joke, actually. I enjoyed a nice chuckle. You can get behind me on this, I hope; surely there would be no actual Ginuwine–yes, gin-u-wine–out there. Surely no one in the game would ever sincerely call themselves “Ginuwine.” That sounds like an intentionally bad thing I would dub my drunk alter ego. But reader, I am here to tell you what you may already know: Ginuwine is very real. And even better, he’s back in a big way.
But don’t call it a comeback, primarily because I don’t think that Ginuwine ever actually left. You cannot stifle the fitful, creative light that is Ginuwine! I’m sure the guy’s doing fine. But do you know what should come back? What belongs eternally in our hearts, in our minds, and in our slightly-ironic dance-jam playlists? Ginuwine’s “Pony.” Anyone who has seen Magic Mike, or who nurses a soft-spot for R&B slow-jams, will know what I’m talking about.
But to the rest of the world: have you forgotten the magic that is “Pony?” If so, how on Earth could you? I did not even know Ginuwine was a person and I still love “Pony.” It is such a good song, and I want us all to listen to it. I want our campus to share this with me. I want to be able to walk down West James Street and hear it ringing from home to home, much like hymns from churches on Christmas eve. Really, go and put it on right now. I can wait.
O! That sweet, synthetic, soulful sound. Hark, reader: does it not reverb with the feel of nostalgia? Of synthetic tulle skirts scraping against razor-burned, pubescent legs? Are you not drifting back to a dreamy, dreary time of acne and all-elbows, of prom dates and intermediate-level grinding in sweaty gymnasia? “Pony” is the soundtrack you didn’t know you needed, both in reading this article and in living your general life. (And if you haven’t put it on by now, I really can’t help you.)
Why do I suddenly like “Pony” so much, you may ask? Well, lots of reasons. It’s because when you actually listen to “Pony,” really listen to it, it seems impossible to believe anyone ever took it seriously in the first place. I don’t love it in an ironic way. No, I think I love it how it was meant to be loved. It is, and was always meant to be, slightly a joke. (At least, I sure hope so.)
Why? Let’s walk through this. Because “Pony”’s music video features a barely-clad Ginuwine grinding around alone on a rough-and-tumble country bar’s stage, slowly and magically converting the space into a sanctuary for the slow jam. It’s the classic story: you know, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy grinds around in a backwoods bar, boy saves the funk, and the only girls actually involved are the ones gyrating around on the mechanical bull.
Because the song’s extended “metaphor” (a generous word choice on my part) lacks any skimpy veneer of subtlety. I mean, honestly: “If you’re horny, let’s do it/ Ride it/ My pony/ My saddle’s/ Waiting.” Whoa, lyrical wordsmith! Poetry in motion! Whatever did strike Ginuwine to pen those lines, we may never know. Maybe he…saw a pony? We can never comprehend the genius!
Because in this rollicking, body-rolling good time, Ginuwine tries to seduce us by referring to “[our] body/ each and every portion.” Yes, “portion.” Portion. That is the first appearance of the word “portion” in any doing-it song known to humans, and it probably won’t be the last; after all, we all know that “portion” is the magic word. Nothing turns a gal on quite like tossing “portion” around in a conjugal setting. Hey baby, how about I stroke the upper portion of your chest? Damn, Ginuwine, can you call the fire department? Cause I’m pretty sure you just lit this track on fire. What’s more, Ginuwine then promises to send “chills up and down [my] spine/” and, crucial to us here, “juices flowing down [my] thigh.” Juices? Juices. Juices flowing. Because you know what I love hearing locked in a lover’s embrace even more than portion? Juices flowing. This all makes for such strange diction that the question must be begged: has Ginuwine actually had sex before? After listening closely, I am not so convinced. This song has layers, people.
And because all the silliness that is “Pony,” its odd lyricism, its strange indelibility, surely is not lost on Ginuwine. He clearly has a sense of humor about the song’s place in his career, and it’s endearing as hell. In fact, Ginuwine actually came onto Parks & Recreation, where he is cast as Diva Donna Meagle’s cousin, not once, but twice: once to croon “Pony” in Lil’ Sebastian’s memory (RIP), and once to be scolded in a cutlery closet by April Ludgate. Ginuwine’s a great sport. You can’t not like someone who’s game enough to be screamed at by April. You just can’t.
Above all else, I love “Pony” with the ardor of 5,000 candles in the wind because it has fermented, fine as the wine in its author’s name, into frothy, silly, vaguely sexual fun. “Pony” is the ultimate in camp, in trashy kitsch, in latter-decade corniness. And really, there can be nothing wrong with that. So if you’re horny, let’s do it. Listen to it, Ginuwine’s “Pony.” My iPod’s waiting, come and, press pla-ay.
Erin Moyer is the Senior Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.