S-s-s-singin’ that blah, blah, blah

So, there I was, mindlessly singing along to the radio on my mundane, road construction-filled drive from one job to another, when I realized: “What the heck am I singing?”
A. Top 40.
B. A song I don’t necessarily like but, nonetheless, know all the words to.
C. Idiotic lyrics.
D. All of the above.

Guilty. And I've given up caring who sees me.

D., of course. Unless it’s the LSAT or my nutrition class, where they throw in options like “A and C only,” or pose questions like “Which could be, but need not be, true,” just to make you second-guess yourself.

But, really, as someone who oftentimes likes songs solely for their lyrics, I felt like I was betraying myself. When I really think about how little a song contributes lyrically and how much depends on a catchy tune or the name of the person singing, it kind of makes me want to just turn off the radio.

Metal has nothing to do with the Top 40 pop music I'm discussing, but this was too good.

Not to be all pretentious and obnoxious. I’ll listen to Top 40 radio as much as the next guy. But we don’t always pay attention to the lyrics; that’s the beauty of music — if the tune is catchy, it doesn’t really matter how stupid the words that go along with it are.Β  But once you start to think about them (if you’re like me, at least), you realize how much you would make fun of the lyrics if, say, a local band (or someone like Rebecca Black, whose song I will not even include in this post because it’s glaringly obvious) were singing them.

This is the advertisement for an actual band. It came from MySpace, so it has to be true.

Allow me to illustrate:

“Right There” by Nicole Scherzinger featuring 50 Cent
Would we love it if 50 Cent didn’t proclaim, “It’s just another one / Another number one,” at the beginning of the song? Probably, because the radio tells us to.
Here are some gems:
“Me like the way that you hold my body / Me like the way that you touch my body / Me like the way that you kiss my / Yeah yeah yeah me like it.”

See, it’s a little different when you see it in writing. Come on, Nicole, use your big girl words!

 

“Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown
Gems:
“Better cuff your chick if you with her / I can get her / And she accidentally slip and fall on my d*** / Oops, I said on my d*** / I ain’t really mean to say on my d*** / But since we’re talking about my d*** / All of you haters say hi to it / I’m done.”

Um … so are we supposed to be impressed when we “look at you now,” because I literally giggled at how ridiculous those lines are when I read them for the first time. I had no idea he was saying that, probably because I’ve only ever heard the radio edit.

 

“What’s my Name” by Rihanna featuring Drake
I feel like Rihanna’s gotten a lot of play on my blog. I really don’t dislike her music, she just gives me a lot of things to write about.
Gems:
“The square root of 69 is eight-something, right? / ‘Cause I’ve been tryna work it out, oh.”

Is that supposed to be a pickup line? Smooth …

“I can get you through a mighty long day / Soon as you go, the text that I write is gon’ say / Oh na na, what’s my name? / Oh na na, what’s my name? / Oh na na, what’s my name? / What’s my name? / What’s my name?”

You know how I would feel if I got a text message like that. Most people would probably be like, uh, what the heck? That’s obnoxious.

 

“Peacock” by Katy Perry
Heard this one on the radio for the first time yesterday. It provides some lovely new inappropriate lyrics for small children nationwide to unwittingly belt out. Katy Perry pesters some guy the whole song to let her see his “peacock,” and then this is her reaction:
“Oh my God, no exaggeration / Boy, all this time was worth the waiting / I just shed a tear / I am so unprepared / You’ve got the finest architecture / End of the rainbow looking treasure / Such a sight for me to see / And it’s all for me.”

1. Why are there so many shlong songs lately? Can we sing about something substantial please? Plus, the day I hear my 10 year-old sister singing, “Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock? / Don’t be a chicken, boy, stop acting like a beeyotch,” I say I’ll drop over dead, but I’ll probably just blog furiously about it again. If I don’t even realize how often I’m senselessly singing about wieners and random girls’ luscious booties in the club, how are they supposed to?
2. Is shedding a tear a good reaction? That seems a little over-the-top.

 

“I Know You Want Me” by Pit Bull
This song has to contain one of my favorite ridiculous lines ever:

“Mami got an a** like a donkey with a monkey that looks like King Kong.”

Uh, is that a good thing? This line was brought to my attention by this video segment from The Current news channel a few years ago.

And this screenshot from it always runs through my head when I hear that line:

And Sergio saying, "Oh, yeah. That's hot." Or whatever he says with it. The video's worth watching just for that clip.

(I realize I didn’t embed the actual video. It was disabled by request. 😦 Mer.)

 

“The Call” by the Backstreet Boys
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a BSB fan and, yes, it’s a guilty pleasure. “The Call” is the tale of how the Backstreet Boys cheated on their apparently collective girlfriend and made up a lie to her about it over a cell phone conversation. My friend Jessie and I share feelings on how awesomely terrible the lyrics to this song are. Pretty sure we sang karaoke to this song at our high school graduation party … And that probably won’t be the last time.
Gems:
Chorus: “Listen baby I’m sorry / Just wanna tell you don’t worry / I will be late, don’t stay up and wait for me / I’ll say again you’re dropping out / My battery is low / Just so you know we’re going to a place nearby / Gotta go.” (Yes, I recited these lines from memory.)

 

“Summer Girls” by LFO
It’s not new. It’s rarely on the radio anymore. But it takes the award for the song with the worst lyrics ever. (Well, maybe now it ties with “Friday.”) But “Summer Girls” moves completely into the realm of “so bad, it’s good.”

The way they jump completely from one subject to another for the sake of rhyme and rhythm alone is hilarious. If you looked up none of the other lyrics, this one is worth clicking the link for solely because it’s so bad it’s funny. (It’s okay, I still know all the words to it from when nine year old Kaitlin found it on her “Totally Hits” CD and listened to it on her boombox while playing Barbies. Yeah. Either it’s that old, or I’m that young. Whichever way you want to look at it.

Gems:
–The chorus, of course: “New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits / Chinese food makes me sick / And I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer / For the summer / I like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch / I’d take her if I had one wish / But she’s been gone since that summer / Since that summer.”
–“You’re the best girl that I ever did see / The great Larry Byrd: jersey 33 / When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet / Willy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets.”

 

Next time you find yourself mumbling that catchy song you don’t really care much about, aside from the fact that it’s on the radio every 20 minutes, listen to the words you’re actually mumbling. It’s pretty good for a laugh and a hopeless head-shaking at the demise of lyrical quality in pop music.

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10 thoughts on “S-s-s-singin’ that blah, blah, blah

  1. Any Katy Perry song will have you scratching your head wondering why you allow your girls to listen to this. My 13 and 11 year old girls love Perry. They sing in the car when I’m driving them back and forth from soccer practice with their car-pool buddies. Friday Night or whatever her latest top #1 uno song is.

  2. What really kills me is how hits aren’t even new songs. Every Flo Rida song samples from Low, and producers have no shame when it comes to stripping a beat from an old classic and ruining it just to put something on the radio.
    Remember when people got pissed at Vanilla Ice for stealing a beat from “Under Pressure”? Yeah, those were the good old days. Now it’s all that famous “musicians” do.

  3. Love this post.I am completely guilty of knowing and singing the lyrics of every top 40 hit out there and yet I will still complain about the demise of pop music.The songs are just so darn catchy!

  4. I don’t really ever listen to top 40, but I do find myself singing along to songs I don’t like all the time. There aren’t very many good radio stations where I live, and I’m way too lazy to change the station all the time looking for good songs, so in my car my radio is almost always on the same station, no matter the song currently playing. Because of this, I find myself singing along to pretty much any song they play, even ones I hate.

    The examples you provided were hilarious! I used to like “Summer Girls” by LFO. I think the only reason was because it was popular in the 90’s and I grew up in the 90’s. I had never really paid much attention to the lyrics, though, so reading them was hilarious!

    I’m kind of surprised they let Katy Perry get away with singing about trying to see some guy’s “peacock, cock, cock”. If I found my kid singing along with that I definitely would not be happy. hahaha.

    • I know! And North Dakota is pretty conservative, so I’m surprised it wasn’t an edited version or something at least! I do the same thing with the radio station. We have two Top 40 ones in my city now right next to each other in frequency, so if I ever do muster up the energy to change the channel (usually only when a Taylor Swift song comes on — I know 90% of the world loves her, but I am not one of those people) I usually only have the patience to get to the other Top 40 station. The only conundrum I have is when Taylor Swift is on both stations AT THE SAME TIME. For quite a while I was listening to public radio, but the station somehow disappeared on me 😦

  5. Yeah! The ‘pop’ music nowadays isn’t that worth listening to anymore, and the lyrics are just going downhill. What do they think people are, dimwits? My opinion is that the artists are simply trying to be the most outrageous, most “different” of all to get their desired attention (see: Lady Gaga), and that their efforts have become twisted somewhere along the way. Also, it seems to me that a lot of the music is no longer aimed at family radios, but at nightclubs and places like that (nice beat, may or may not be tune, crappy lyrics that nobody can hear from all the noise anyway, etc). Uh-oh, long comment. πŸ˜› I love the way you always have something new to blog about. Me? Just too lazy.

    • Psh I feel like I struggle to come up with things! Now that I have subscribers, I feel obligated for it to be good, too. And most of the time when I post things, I’m like, “Eh, that sucked,” the second I hit the “publish” button. But I’m glad you disagree! πŸ™‚ Besides, you are always interesting, lady!

  6. Wow, you said it exactly right. All the time I think to myself how ridiculous lyrics are these days and how they have no real deep meaning, but I sing along with them anyways.

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