Tag Archives: slang

Let’s Get Lyrical #4 – Amanda Palmer

As songs about minge go, I doubt you’ll ever get catchier than Amanda Palmer’s ‘Map of Tasmania’.

She said, conversationally.

For those who haven’t come across Palmer, she’s an American songwriter and performer with an eclectic body of work including burlesque, being one of those living statue things, and an EP of Radiohead covers performed on a ukulele.  Her eyebrows are tattooed on, she’s married to Neil Gaiman, and she was once quite rude to a friend of a friend working at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

According to her blog, this track was written in about half an hour after someone told her the Australian equivalent of driving past shouting ‘scrubbers’ (à la Withnail and I) was to say ‘show us your map of Tasmania.’  It’s nothing if not direct.

You can download it from her website for free / a donation.

Oh my God (fuck it!)

they don’t play the song on the radio x 4

That’s a real possibility, it being about lady parts.  She’s been banned from the radio before, with a song about date rape and Oasis.  (Not that she implicated the band.  You’d definitely have heard of her then.)
they don’t show the tits in the video

Well, not a whole one.
they don’t know that we are the media

I dunno, hyperlocal is pretty popular these days and tends to involve the inclusion of citizen journalism on the grounds they’ll do it for free.
they don’t know that we start the mania

Actually, I think that’s pretty well established, judged by the cynicism of many marketing campaigns.  Hence the success of viral advertising.  Still, power to the people is a nice sentiment.
I’s don’t want to see what I’m making you
ass is off it’s seat and I’m shaking you

*Insert witticism / insight here.*
walking down the street I’m the lady – oh
showing off my map of Tasmania

Not literally, one assumes, although I wouldn’t actually put it past her.  She does seem to court controversy where possible.

soft and sweet and shaped like a triangle!
some girls want no shape and they shave it all
that so wack it hurts with the stubble
walkin’ round you look like an eight year old!

Arguably you only look like an 8 year old if people see, so unless you’re walking round naked from the waist down… maybe the previous part was literal after all?
i say grow that shit like a jungle
give em something strong to hold onto
let it fly in the open wind
if it get too bushy you can trim

Useful grooming tips for you there, ladies.

Then she goes back over the chorus a couple of times, by which point you are thoroughly hooked in spite of any dubious lyrical content regarding indecent exposure. And then there’s the video…

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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.

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Filed under adolescence, Edinburgh, letsgetlyrical, music, noise