Tag Archives: lyrics

Let’s Get Lyrical #31 – Happiness

There are a lot of songs that make me smile.  One of them is Look At Me (I’m A Winner)!! by The Aquabats.

If you listen to this and don’t feel happy, there is something wrong with you.

The best lyric is probably:

Someone once told me
You can’t lose em’ all
And that someone was you
But when I nail gunned my hand to the wall
I started to wonder if that could be true

I don’t think I really have to add anything to that, do I?

Leave a comment

Filed under letsgetlyrical, music, noise

Let’s Get Lyrical #19 – Metallica

I’m not very well.  How about you head back to 1984 and listen to For Whom The Bell Tolls whilst I drink my weight in Lemsip? Seems a suitably melodramatic choice under the circumstances.

Oh, and if anyone can tell me why you would make a video where the whole point is to tell people the lyrics, and then get half of them wrong / misspelt, do leave a comment… I’m pretty sure all you have to do is copy them from the sleeve notes, but apparently that’s beyond some people.

1 Comment

Filed under adolescence, letsgetlyrical, music, noise

Let’s Get Lyrical #9 – Gwen Stefani

Twas during the noughties that lovely Gwen Stefani went solo, and whilst many annoyingly catchy tunes resulted, some of the lyrics were a little dubious.  Take the title track of 2006 LP The Sweet Escape.

If I could escape I would but
First of all, let me say
I must apologize for acting stank & treating you this way

OK, that’s fair enough, she’s taking responsibility for her mistakes which is pretty cool of her.  Acting stank, in case you don’t already know, refers to the phrase ‘stank bitch’ which means a female who bitches a lot – possibly a slaggy one with a smelly woo woo.  I say.

Cause I’ve been acting like sour milk all on the floor

As similes go, it’s certainly an original one… not sure if I’d ever use it myself, but top marks for effort.

It’s your fault you didn’t shut the refrigerator –
Maybe that’s the reason I’ve been acting so cold?

How cold is your fridge, Gwen?  Is it actually cold enough to affect your actual relationship with your actual partner?  THAT’S TOO COLD, Gwen.  Your cheese must be like ICE.  Not ideal for when you get in from work and want to make a toastie, is it.

If I could escape, and recreate a place that’s my own world

You’d be Penny Crayon, which would be AWESOME.

And I could be your favourite girl,

Yeah sure, if you draw me a unicorn that turns real, and a pile of cupcakes, and some sort of employment contract with a broadsheet newspaper, you can totally be my favourite girl.  I’m materialistic in that way.

Perfectly together, tell me boy now wouldn’t that be sweet?

Damn.  Not talking to me, then.  She’s probably on about Gavin Rossdale or something.  Just because he’s her husband.  Lame.

If I could be sweet, I know I’ve been a real bad girl (I’ll try to change)
I didn’t mean for you to get hurt (whatsoever)
We can make it better, tell me boy wouldn’t that be sweet? (sweet escape)

Whatevs Stefani, I’ve still not forgiven you for leading me on so callously.  You probably do not have the capacity to change, on account of the fickle nature of your sex.  Ask Andy Gray, he knows all about it.

You held me down, I’m at my lowest boiling point

What is the lowest boiling point of Gwen Stefani?  To find this out I googled ‘boiling point of human beings’ (of which she is one), because I like to conduct the most stringent of research when writing blog posts.  Interestingly one of the first things to come up was the WikiAnswers entry ‘what is the boiling point of the human soul?’  Apparently, if you’re asking in a spiritual sense, “it varies greatly from person to person, because each person has a different threshold for anger, love, understanding and forgiveness.”  So now we know.

Come help me out, I need to get me out of this joint
Come on let’s bounce, counting on you to turn me around

In theory, as a strong independent woman with a scary entourage of Japanese minions, she ought to be able to sort out her own bouncing arrangements.  But apparently the viscosity of her contrition is so great that she needs a bit of help.

Instead of clowning around, let’s look for some common ground

Perhaps a right of way or local park?

So baby, times get a little crazy

Yep, there’s a lot of cider down that park.

I’ve been gettin’ a little lazy, waitin’ on you to come save me

Aw, I like it when an artist can take a little bit of constructive criticism.

I can see that you’re angry by the way that you treat me
Hopefully you don’t leave me, wanna take you with me

I’m sure the combination of this apology and your sweet magic drawings will do the trick.  Rossdale would be mad to give that up.

Then it’s the chorus again, followed by the squeaky bit that goes


a load of times.  That’s a fun bit to sing along with, isn’t it?  Yeah.  Then there’s the milk bit again, followed by more woohoos and yeehoos to fade.  An excellent conclusion, to what was already a pretty persuasive argument.  If you know a better apology song, I’d be moderately interested to hear it.

Leave a comment

Filed under clubbing, Edinburgh, letsgetlyrical, music, noise

Let’s Get Lyrical #3 – Willow Smith

Originally posted on my personal blog, December 29 2010, reproduced now for Let’s Get Lyrical

You know Will Smith? The Fresh Prince? The only black lead in any of the fifty highest grossing films ever (unless you count Eddie Murphy in Shrek, which I wouldn’t – Donkey is a sidekick)? His career trajectory has been pretty astounding, hasn’t it? And now his kids are following suit, which is nice, but dear god his daughter’s debut single is annoying.

The song begins with the line “I whip my hair back and forth,” which is repeated 8, 9, 10, or maybe even 100 times… or until young Willow gets distracted by something shiny. The verse goes:
“Hop up out the bed turn my swag on” –

I had to conduct not one, but two internet searches to find out what that meant. She’s not referring to ‘swag’ as in a sackful of loot stolen by a burglar in a book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, or SWAG as in the elite unit of the Philippine Navy. She’s only ten, which lead me to surmise she didn’t mean the type of valance, either. No, according to urban dictionary, ‘swag’ refers to the way one carries oneself, eg “he got a killa swag.” I am going to be using that, sounding whiter than anyone ever dreamt possible of a white girl from Scotland.
“Pay no attention to them haters,” she continues, encouragingly.

What haters are these, one wonders. You’re ten years old, what have you been doing to accumulate haters? Helpfully, she explains:
“Because we whip em off.”

Get your mind out of the gutter, people, that can’t possibly mean what it sounds like. Maybe she literally has been whipping them with like a riding crop or something. Ouch. But then she elaborates,
“and we ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong,” which puts paid to the whip attack idea. She must know that assault is bad, irrespective of whether haters have been hate-ing on you.  Or does she?
“So don’t tell me nothin’ / I’m just trying to have fun,” she interjects defensively.  This implies she is well aware of the ‘turn the other cheek’ advice, and is deliberately choosing to ignore it.

Although that’s pretty standard kid chat, isn’t it.

Adult: Hello, small child! What are you up to?

Child: Nothin’. Just trying to have fun, jeez, leave me alone already. You’re so embarrassing.
“So keep the party jumping,” Willow continues vaguely, perhaps referring to the time mom and dad got her a totally sweet bouncy castle for her birthday.
“So whats up? Yeah. / You know they don’t know what to do / we turn our back and whip our hair…”

Sage advice for you there. If you got some haters all up in your grill, whip your hair back and forth. They won’t know what to do. To prove the point, Willow proceeds to whip her hair back and forth for about eight years, occasionally exhorting haters not to get her off her grind, until Jay-Z caves and gives her a record contract. Hopefully she will annoy him into writing her a proper song.


Filed under adolescence, Edinburgh, letsgetlyrical, music, noise

Let’s Get Lyrical #2 – Justin Trousersnake

The second of my posts in honour of UNESCO’s Let’s Get Lyrical campaign.  Originally posted on my old blog, January 11th 2009.

Ah, iTunes. The magic of shuffle is indeed a powerful tool.

It has in recent moments come out with ‘Losing My Way’, a provocatively poor track from the otherwise surprisingly enjoyable Future Sex/Love Sounds by none other than Justin Timberlake.

I was leant the CD by an embarrassed friend who entreated me not to tell anyone where it came from. Released in 2006, just ahead of several undeniably better albums (Jarvis Cocker’s first solo effort, a re-release of Pavement’s Wowee Zowee, Pieces of the People we Love by The Rapture – the list goes on), it received mixed reviews. I know this because I just read a load of them. Tim Finney of Pitchfork, for instance, wrote: “According to the laws of momentum which govern pop music, any sequel [to a debut album] could only be either be a pale reflection or a hubristic monstrosity. With FutureSex/LoveSounds he unrepentantly chooses the latter.”

That’s a tad unfair. The album is by no means a total failure, although it does veer from the sublime to the ridiculous with the breakneck speed of a toddler pumped full of cherryade, and it fizzles out a little bit towards the end. On the other hand, I was rather expecting it to be gash, so the fact it was any craic at all is a tribute to the Timberlake. The first single, after all, was SexyBack, a hugely confusing track for those of us who didn’t know sexy had left in the first place, and the song chosen to annoy the crap out of anyone who listened to Star FM (the St Andrews University Radio Station) at the time of release, as it was their signature tune. St Andrews University Radio is not now, nor has it ever been, bringing sexy back.

But what I really want to talk to you about is not Sexyback, nor the album as a whole, but the aforementioned crap in a bag that is ‘Losing My Way’. This is an anti-drugs song so preachy that a gospel choir comes in half way through. Lucy Davies of BBC online “can’t decide whether this is brilliant or cheese on toast.” It’s the latter. No question. Rolling Stone’s Robert Christgau is far closer to the mark in describing it as a “clueless embarrassment.”

It’s about a crack addict called Bob, who will probably never know the colour of his daughter’s eyes on account of all the drugs. Drugs are bad, m’kay. It’s deep, meaningful and touching. Victor, of lyricsdepot.com, said “Justin expressed my pain in one song”. A few posts down, Nanea elaborates “this song could for so many situations not just drugs.. like alcohol problems or anything that might cause you to lose your way. I pray for those who have lost thier way and hope God lights their path. I thank JT for singing a song that touched me.” Evidence that people who genuinely enjoy this track are unable to proof read their own posts, if nothing else. The only thing this song touches is the gag reflex, or whatever nerve it is that makes you cringe.

The epic melodrama sees Justin, whose acting you may remember from Shrek 3, sings from the point of view of a junkie. To engage the listener, he easily introduces himself through rhyme:

“Hi my name is Bob and I work at my job.”

The man is a poet.

“I make forty-some dollars a day
I used to be the man in my hometown
’til I started to lose my way”

The reason Bob thinks that ‘forty-some’ is a number is quickly explained:

“It all goes back to when I dropped out at school
Having fun, I was living the life
But now I got a problem with that little white rock
See I can’t put down the pipe.”

It’s about as subtle as Just Say No.

“It is breaking me down, watching the world spin round..
While my dreams fall down
Is anybody out there?”

It is unclear whether Bob is tripping and can see the world spinning around as part of a hallucination, or whether the fact the world spins round is something he vaguely remembers from watching National Geographic in the middle of the night having been unable to score. But more important is the point that his dreams have not come true, and he feels alone. Drugs and lack of schooling will do that to you.

“Can anybody out there hear me? ‘Cause I can’t seem to hear myself…”

Wow, that is like, so true! Nobody listens to drug addicts except for the people they mug to fund their addiction.

“Can anybody out there see me? ‘Cause I can’t seem to see myself…”

Nobody makes eye contact with them, either. And not being seen makes you feel invisible. God, that Justin is good innee. Look at his hair.

“There’s gotta be a heaven somewhere”

Fair play. You can’t argue with established facts, like the proven existence of a physical heaven.

“Can you save me from this hell?”

Yes, for I am Justin Timberlake, popstar, actor and superhero! But I shall not tell you how yet, for we must add EVEN MORE DEPTH to this utterly believable, clearly based on more solid experience than watching a couple of True Movies, tale.

“Now you gotta understand I was a family man
I would have gave anything for my own”

(His family, that is)

“But I couldn’t get a grip on my new-found itch”


“So I ended up all alone
I remember where I was when I got my first buzz
See I thought I was living the life
And the craziest thing is I’ll probably never know the colour of my daughter’s eyes.”

Mmm. That implies she was unborn when all this transpired. Which begs several questions. How old is Bob? How long has Bob been on the drugs? Is he actually intending on getting clean at any stage? It seems he wants someone else to solve his problems for him, which is totes lazy imo. JT, you are a busy and important man, you shouldn’t be trying to find friends for indolent crackheads. And yet, he does. What a guy. All Bob need do, Justin suggests, is repent. And lo, he will be saved. Biblical.

Justin, it may be worth pointing out, has been in the entertainment industry since he was about ten. Call me a cynic, but it seems unlikely that he ever met a proper down and out junkie from the street when he was doing the Mickey Mouse club. When he comes into contact with drugs, it’s surely in rather more glamorous surroundings than poor old Bobby Bob Bob. Essentially, I think he’s watched a documentary and written a song about it.

I look forward to the follow-up, a ditty from the point of view of the half-ton boy who was on that Bodyshock program. It’ll be poignant as fuck.

Leave a comment

Filed under letsgetlyrical, music, noise