Monday, 19 November 2012
The following is a list of six songs that have always baffled me because of their unclear messages and the potentially-disturbing ways that their lyrics can be interpreted. Some of them are funny, while others are just downright disturbing. If you search around on the Internet, most of these songs can be found on “Worst Love Song” lists, and it’s not much of a wonder why!
1) Song: “You’re Beautiful” (James Blunt)
Paraphrased song lyrics: “Woe is me; a random, attractive stranger I saw on a subway with whom I’ve never had a conversation was with another man. I’m so depressed.”
Comments: A cheesy song about a guy who gets bent out of shape because he sees an attractive stranger with another man on the subway. Not even an ex-girlfriend or even a woman whose name he already knows – a stranger! If this doesn't scream, "I have a screw or two loose!" I don't know what does.
Supposedly the man in the song shares a “moment” with this attractive stranger, but seeing as how he only saw her on a crowded subway, I’m not sure what a “moment” would entail. Did she look in his general direction for a couple of seconds? Did he wave at her out of the blue? Does he consider his fascination with staring at her a “moment that will last ‘til the end”? On top of that, he believes that seeing this random stranger was some work of angels, and the angels are looking down and smiling at this moment.
Also notice in the music video that the man is so worked up over what he considers to be this great loss of love that he jumps off a bridge. Really? He would do that over a stranger? I can’t imagine what he must be like when he is rejected or dumped by a person he knew much better than that…
2) Song: “Every Breath You Take” (The Police)
Paraphrased song lyrics: “I’m watching. I’m always watching. You’re mine.”
Comments: It’s a song about stalking. “Sexy,” said Bella Swan and nobody else ever.
The fact that this song is sung by a group called “The Police” makes it even more humorous. Maybe this song isn't actually about love; maybe it’s a song meant to illustrate that the police are always watching you. You know, like a gentler version of Inner Circle’s song, “Bad Boys.”
Or maybe this song was meant to be on a soundtrack to a movie adaptation of 1984. I can just imagine Big Brother and the Party singing this song to their underlings in Oceania and spontaneously breaking out into a synchronized dance routine to a dance remix of the song.
3) Song: “Sometimes” (Britney Spears)
Paraphrased song lyrics: “I like you, but my shyness causes me to run away from you and send you mixed signals. But I like you. Except I don’t act like I do. But I really like you! Wait for me to stop sending you mixed signals. I LIKE YOU!”
Comments: What is wrong with the girl in the song? Is she purposely playing mind games with the guy and then trying to excuse herself from her bizarre behavior by saying that she’s “shy”? Is she mute? Is she schizophrenic? Why can’t she just tell the guy that he needs to move slowly with her or that she’s shy around him? If he was able to tell her that he loved her, as she said at the beginning of the song, she must not be afraid to physically stand near him. Now she needs to open her mouth, talk with him, and tell him how she feels, or at least write her feelings out in a note and give it to him. Or is she illiterate, too?
4) Song: “Summer Girls” (LFO)
Paraphrased song lyrics: *incoherent babbling about girls he meets in the summer time mixed with references to Scooby Snacks, Abercrombie and Fitch, New Kids on the Block, and Chinese-food-induced stomach illnesses*
Comments: …What? I think the guy in this song was trying to tell me a story about some girl he met one summer, but I was distracted from the main storyline by his numerous, and seemingly random, pop culture references. This is what happens when lyrics rhyme for the sake of rhyming.
5) Song: “(You’re) Having My Baby” (Paul Anka)
Paraphrased song lyrics: “I got you pregnant, and now I’m going to go into every detail about what a pregnancy entails, in case you missed that part of Sex Ed in middle school. Also, I own this baby, even though it is growing inside of you. I’m so great."
Comments: This is probably the most cringe-worthy love song I have ever heard, mostly because of the arrogance of the man. Does he mean to sound so arrogant? A woman is enduring the physically and emotionally draining process of a pregnancy and bringing a baby into the world, and all he can think about is himself.
To the man, the pregnancy is a “…lovely way of saying how much you love me.” He asks the woman, “Are you happy knowing that you’re having my baby?” Me. Me. Me. It’s never “our” baby, but his baby. He’d might as well put a ribbon on his woman and parade her around the way farmers show off a prized pig at a county fair.
At least the pig gets out of it eventually; it is either bought or taken to the slaughter. Meanwhile, the poor woman is stuck with this jerk and the baby who is guaranteed to be at least 50% jerk himself.
6) Song: “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?” (Jimmy Buffet)
Paraphrased song lyrics: “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?” Honestly, these song lyrics do not need to be paraphrased!
Comments: Finally, a song with a message that everybody can understand! But what makes it a contender for this list? The fact that the main point is stated so boldly and blatantly. No metaphors, no promises he doesn’t intend to keep, no telling the woman that she’s the perfect match for him – just pure honesty! Who does that?
Do you have any other love songs that you would add to this list? Leave the name of the song and what you find confusing or disturbing about it in a comment, and I may include it in my next edition of “Confusing and Potentially-Disturbing Love Songs”!
Note: There is a specific reason why I refer to the characters in a song as "him" or "her" or "the guy/girl in the song" instead of the name of the artist singing it. Singers, like writers, are merely storytellers. Similar to how a novel's narrator and author are usually not the same person, there is also a difference between a singer and the character he portrays in a song, unless the singer has written the song based on his or her real-life experiences.