Meaning of “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE

DNCE’s “Cake by the ocean” is actually a euphemism for having an intimate interaction with someone on the beach. By virtue of this, the lyrics of this song are full of sensual innuendos. However, they are not that obvious. In fact “Cake by the Ocean” is often interpreted as a kids’ song, and it comes as a shock to some people when they discover what the lyrics are actually based on.

Indeed for the most part, “Cake by the Ocean” reads like the average fare of a man trying to get with a lady he is interested in. And a child can easily decipher the singer’s intentions to truly be just to enjoy “eat(ing) cake by the ocean”.

In fact Joe Jonas, the leader of DNCE has explained that the lyrics are open to interpretation by the listener, calling this track “a party anthem for any occasion”.  So if you enjoy being intimate with your partner on a beach or literally eating pastries on the seaside, this song is applicable. Also, considering that it uses “cake” as part of its imagery (including having a giant depiction of one on the music video), it is likely, as Joe suggested, that this track will remain a popular all-around party song despite its sensual foundation.


Lyrics of "Cake by the Ocean"

Facts about “Cake by the Ocean”

  • This was the first single DNCE ever dropped.
  • They dropped this tune on 18 September 2015, over a year before the album it was featured on, DNCE, was released on 18 November 2016. However, it was also included on their 2015 EP, SWAAY.
  • The label that published this song is Republic Records.
  • The title of this track originated from the Swedish producers who produced this song, Mattman & Robin. The pair confused the phrase ‘S*x on the Beach’, which is the name of a popular cocktail, with “cake on the beach”.
  • Mattman & Robin (Mattias Larsson and Robin Fredriksson) are also co-writers of this track along with DNCE lead singer Joe Jonas and American musician Justin Tranter.
  • “Cake by the Ocean” has been performed in family-friendly venues such as the 2016 Radio Disney Music Awards and the 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards. As such, there is a Clean Version of the song that is devoid of direct sensual references.
  • The clean version also makes an appearance in the video game Just Dance 2017.

Appearance in South Park

Since the release of “Cake by the Ocean” in 2015, it has been featured in multiple movies and television shows. Most notable amongst them being an episode of the 20th season of South Park.

Chart Performance

“Cake by the Ocean” reached number-9 on the Hot 100. Furthermore, it reached number 7 in Canada and went on to become the second-most played song on the radio in Canada during 2016, preceded only by Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself”.

“Cake by the Ocean” peaked at number one on the music charts in several countries, including Argentina, Israel, Japan and Mexico.


Does “Cake by the Ocean” have any certification?

Yes. It has been certified quadruple-platinum in Italy, triple-platinum in Australia and the United States and double-platinum in Brazil. It was also certified double-platinum in Canada and the United Kingdom. In France, Germany as well as Sweden, it also went platinum.

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