Let's nitpick some lyrics

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by KevinP, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert Thread Starter

    Maybe you know what the lyricist meant, but there's another meaning if you think about it. Or maybe you have no idea what hte lyricist meant. (But not misheard lyrics because there's a couple threads for them already.)

    This is a famous one. If, last Christmas, Geroge Michael gave you his heart, and the very next day you gave it away, doesn't that mean George Michael now loves the other person?

    Beatles. 'I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man.' That's violently homophobic, John.

    Cheap Trick, the only bad song on their s/t 1997 release (and not just because of this lyric). 'If I had a child, I would love it as my own.' Um...if you had a child, it would BE your own.

    (I know I have some other examples, and when they float to the top of my consciousness again, I'll post them.)
    Louise Boat likes this.
  2. peerke

    peerke Isabelle or Sophie?

    "Wake me up before you go-go" ? Now what can that mean?
  3. dbz

    dbz Bolinhead.

    Live At Leeds (UK)
    nothing but it rhymes with "I'm not planning on going solo" -oh yeah??????:wave:

    Heres one...

    "In my thoughts I have seen, rings of smoke through the trees and the voices of those who stare looking"..so my question is how do you see a voice?
    Louise Boat likes this.
  4. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Horse Shoe, NC
  5. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert Thread Starter

    That had me literally laughing out loud. Surprised I never caught that one before.
    Louise Boat likes this.
  6. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert Thread Starter

  7. AaronW

    AaronW Formerly Blackie

    Los Angeles
    God forbid someone takes a little artistic licence when writing lyrics, oh the horror! Please let's get all the mathematicians in here to proof read lyrics before they go to press so they're no logistical inconsistences. Whew, now they're MUCH better ;)
  8. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    Stevie Wonder 'Lately' - "Lately I've been staring in the mirror". Oh yeah?

    Elton John 'Your Song' - "I'm not one of those". He's the screamingest one of the lot!

    Space - "The female of the species is more deadlier than the male".
  9. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert Thread Starter

    That's quite a heavy tone for a lighthearted topic. No one's saying these lyrics shouldn't exist or anything.
  10. ChristianL

    ChristianL Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Make a wave-file and load it into a sound editor. I guess Robert Plant had an early beta-version of Cool Edit :D
  11. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Vancouver, BC, CA
    Well, John didn't intend anything since he didn't actually write that lyric. He borrowed the line, word for word, from the song "Baby, Let's Play House," written by Arthur Gunter and covered by Elvis Presley. However, there's one line in "If I Fell" which I always thought could be considered to have lesbian or bisexual connotations: "I must be sure from the very start, that you would love me more than her". It should be "...you would love me more than she" - if it were meant to be heterosexual, that is. :shh:
  12. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    Well the one I wonder about is
    Hey Mr Tambourine Man, Play a Song for me.
    I mean, what kind of song can one play with just a tambourine?
  13. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Vancouver, BC, CA
    I've heard that song is actually about drugs. :shh: :angel: Dylan denied it though.
  14. John Cantrell

    John Cantrell Active Member

    Outta here
    Well, it would have riddim...:winkgrin:
  15. lobo

    lobo Music has always been a matter of Energy to me...

  16. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Vancouver, BC, CA
    :agree: :laugh:
  17. garyt

    garyt Forum Resident

    'Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town'

    Any chance of narrowing that down?
  18. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Speaking of tambourines, Abba's Dancing Queen - I never understood how one can "feel the beat of the tambourine". Maybe it was a bass tambourine...
  19. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    My guess would be at the jail! :laugh:
  20. Joey Self

    Joey Self Red Forman's Sensitivity Guru

    There are several single lines that can leap out at us, but here's a whole song that is just ripe to be nitpicked--Paul McCartney's "C'Mon People." Here's what I did to it on another board last year, with my comments in [ ] at the end of the lines:

    Well We're Going To, Yeah We're Going To
    Get It Right This Time. [get WHAT right?]
    We're Going To Really Going To
    Raise It To The Sky. [raise WHAT to the sky]
    People Are Ready To Forgive A Few Mistakes [Like these lyrics?]
    But Let's Get Started, Form A Party [political?]
    Don't You Know How Long It Takes! [haven't a clue, and I bet you don't either]

    C'mon People Let The Fun Begin. [OK, Paul, sing another song and it will]
    We've Got A Future And It's Rushing In. [whoa, deep]
    Call All The Minstrels From The Ancient Shrine. [huh?]
    Pass Down The Message That It's Right This Time. [WHAT'S right this time, and why was it wrong last time?]

    Well I'm Trying To, Yeah I'm Crying To [your efforts make you sad?]
    Lay It On The Line. [lay WHAT on the line, Paul, be specific]
    We're Trying To, Really Dying To [and you're in mortal danger?]
    Get It Right This Time. [Get WHAT right, again?]
    So Many Yearning For The Way It's Gonna Be. [show me the plan, brother]
    Believe It When You See It Happening To You, [sigh]
    You Know It's Real. [Oh, I'm not even going to bother, it's too easy at this point]

    C'mon People Let The World Begin. [uh, it's been here 8000 years]
    We've Got A Future And It's Charging In. [the versitility of the man, switching from "rushing to "charging"]
    We'll Make The Best Of All We Have, And More. [how can you make the best of more than you have?]
    We'll Do What Never Has Been Done Before. [like not giggle as you read these lines on paper?]
    Oh Yeah. [obscure Beatle reference--should have been 'Yeah yeah yeah']

    The rest of my comments would be redundant, kind of like this song.

  21. Mike B

    Mike B Forum Resident

    New York City
    I was just listening to that Beatles song the other day. I hate it- it just sounds so forced and odd coming from that light, poppy, tuneful voice, with that bouncy rhythm.

    The most misogynist song I can think of is "She's A Lady" by Tom Jones. I was listening to it on the radio once (in a moment of "oh it's so bad it's good" appreciation) and I was laughing at lines like "she always knows her place" and such.
  22. Jimbo

    Jimbo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Zero/Zero Island
    "I'm glad I'm a man, and so is Lola." :confused:

    Of course, the double meaning was completely intentional in this case. ;)
  23. protay5

    protay5 Member

    Washington, DC
    The [Weird] Way You Do The Things You Do

    You got a smile so bright
    You know you could have been a candle
    I'm holding you so tight
    You know you could have been a handle
    The way you swept me off my feet
    You know you could have been a broom
    The way you smell so sweet
    You know you could have been some perfume

    If your good looks was a minute
    You know that you could have been an hour
    The way you stole my heart
    You know you could have been a cuckoo
    And baby you're so smart
    You know you could have been a schoolbook

    You make my life so rich
    You know you should have been some money
    Baby you're so sweet
    You know you should have been some honey

    'You could have been an hour'? 'You should have been some money'? This song is way more surreal than the Beatles "wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door." I remember those psychedelic illustrations Alan Aldridge did for the Beatles, & I'd love to see him do this song.

    Perhaps more directly in the spirit of this thread --

    The Doors --

    "til the stars fall from the sky for you and I" This is what is known as the "false formal." A preposition like "for" takes an objective pronoun not a subjective pronoun.

    The lines should have been "til the stars fall in the sea for you and me." :)

    "It's a beautiful day
    don't let it get away"
    Louise Boat likes this.
  24. MikeM

    MikeM Senior Member

    Youngstown, Ohio
    I do understand artistic license, and most certainly I'm willing to permit a fair amount of grammatical looseness in song lyrics...after all, "He doesn't love you as I love you" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it!

    But there are limits...here are three examples I've been citing for several years now that cross the line:

    "Walkin' in the Rain" -- The Ronettes

    (Johnny) No he'll never do
    (Bobby) No, it isn't him too

    (Huh?? Seems to me a lyric ought to have at least some relation to what someone would say in real life.)

    "Heard It in a Love Song" -- The Marshall Tucker Band

    Always something greener
    On the other side of that hill
    I was born a wrangler and a rounder
    And I guess I always will

    (...will WHAT? There's no verb that "will" can refer to anywhere in the lyrics leading up to this.)

    "Smoke From a Distant Fire" -- Sanford-Townsend Band

    I'd just like to know
    Do you love him or just makin' time

    (I suppose what is meant here is "Do you love him or [do you] just [love] makin' time." But it could just as easily be "Do you love him or [are you] just makin' time." Either way, this line has always stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb for me.)
  25. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Shania Twain "Man, I feel like a woman" - it could be misinterpreted. I I were to say "I feel like a sandwich", it doesn't mean that my skin feels bread like, it means that I am hungry for a sandwich. Apply that to Ms. Twain's lyric!

    Not necessarily in the same spirit of the thread, but one of the many Paul McCartney lyrics that sound awkward due to gramattical errors:*

    in this ever changing world in which we live in
    from Live and Let Die

    * not that I didn't make about a dozen in this posting!
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