On the way to work this morning, I was listening to La Bamba on the radio and, as usual, singing along even though I not only don’t really know what he’s singing about in English, I don’t understand for sure what Spanish words he is singing. And then I thought, hey, why don’t I try to translate this song despite not knowing what the heck I’m doing in either language? After years of Spanish and English, I could make so many teachers cry silently at once.
Come on, Vamanos. Everybody let’s go!
Spanish version (Espanol, muchachos! Yo rock-o!)
La la la la la la bamba!
La la la la la la bamba!
Necesito un poco de gracia
Una poca de gracia
A mi fatia
Arriba arriba por ti dicen
Por ti dicen
(next verse, I’m worse than the first!)
Yo no soy no dinero
Yo no soy no dinero
Soy capitan, soy capitan
La la bamba
La la bamba
La la bamba
(repeat lines a few more times, no one will notice, they’re still singing “bamba bamba”)
And now to make you cringe even more, here comes my English translation!
English version – Yay yay yay dumb Anglos!
The the the the the bomb!
The the the the the bomb!
I need a little thanks
A little thanks
Yay yay for your talking
For your talking!
(He wanting thanks for making the bomb, or for defusing it? Yay yay!)
I don’t have any money
I don’t have any money
I am the captain
I am the captain
The the bomb!
The the bomb!
The the bomb!
(I’m guessing at this point the bomb blows up thus ending the song? Maybe if he wasn’t a broke captain, he could have stopped the bomb, which clearly was not defused.)
So what do you think? Are you thinking I might have goofed up some of the lines? Or rather accidentally gotten one or two right? Who knows? La la la la la bamba, amigos!
Lo siento, mi profesoras.
It’s been just ages since I wrote one of these song reviews. Heck, it’s been ages since I wrote a post. But the other day I was just INSPIRED to write when I heard this awesome song by Bruno Mars. It’s called “Grenade” so I knew that obviously it had to be a love song and IT IS! Check out these lyrics:
Should’ve known you was trouble
From the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open
Why were they open?
Um, I dunno, Bruno? So she could get better aim? Cause she had something in her eye? Also, how do you know her eyes were open unless yours were open, which means you’re doing the same thing, ie not closing your eyes while kissing. Is this a requirement? I guess so since it’s the gal who is clearly the trouble here as you’ll soon see.
Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
‘Cause what you don’t understand is…
Just give me all your love, that’s all I ask! And by all your love it’s not like I’m talking anything crazy, like being willing to die for me by various methods. I mean, tossing love in the trash, that’s just mean, girl, cause look at what he’s willing to do for you! Just wait!
I’d catch a grenade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Well, uh, that’s nice. Saying we were in some baseball game where live explosives were used, I guess any girl would be grateful not to be the catcher. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Throw my hand on a blade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
So you’re – just throwing your hand on a blade? For me? Gosh that’s – not frightening at all! That is the most romantical thing ever! I’m a hidin’ the silverware, though. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I’d jump in front of a train for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Okay, Bruno, dude, I really can’t see any reason why you would need to jump in front of a train for someone unless you have sparkly vampire powers and can make it all go crunch with your body. I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite thing that will happen here. As in Bruno go crunch. Yeah yeah, REALLY yeah.
Oh, I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
That’s . . . awesome. Grenades, blades, trains, now a gun! Maybe we should not let Bruno around any weapons or methods of transportation. He seems just a tad unstable. Even more unsettling about this line is that the first time I heard it sung it was by a three-year-old on Ellen. No, seriously. And she gave him lots of toys for it cause it was so GOSH DARN CUTE. “Take a buwwet thwu my bwain fer youuuu.” he sings with passion and I am not at all worried.
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won’t do the same
I understand your sentiment, Bruno. I mean, Romeo and Juliet died for each other and they were like fourteen so clearly they should be imitated. Also, if you’re both willing to die for the other one, and you both die, this romance is gonna be one bloody mess. And by bloody mess I mean literal bloody mess. But golly, true love!
Black, black, black and blue
Beat me ’til I’m numb
Tell the devil I said “Hey” when you get back to where you’re from
Mad woman, bad woman
That’s just what you are
Yeah, you’ll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car
Boys and girls can we say pro-jec-tion? This mad, bad devil woman is beating this guy black and blue and that’s just mean! Also pointless since he seems willing to do all that stuff to himself already. I do like how she’s willing to rip the brakes out of his car. I think if this guy continued to follow me around, I might be tempted to do the same. Especially if said guy was dragging a piano around behind him everywhere he goes. Like in the video. No, really, check it out.
Why is he dragging the piano?????
If my body was on fire
Oh, you’d watch me burn down in flames
You said you loved me, you’re a liar
‘Cause you never, ever, ever did, baby
Okay, now we can’t even let him around matches. Good grief, this reads more like one of those Weird Al videos where he starts out normal broken-hearted and then starts diving into pools of razor blades and burning down malt shops. Like this video of Al’s, that looks plain old normal compared to Bruno’s. Note the absence of pianos.
Now I know partly why this song is so popular. It has a good beat and the artist is pretty good looking. But I’d still stay the heck away until he sees a counselor and finds some meds stat. Luckily, there are some great parodies of this song, like this one from Key of Awesome. My favorite part is when she makes him go to Target and watch Lifetime with her and he’s willing to pick up the cleaver again.
Just to make things a little easier for Bruno, and others like him, I’ve compiled a quickie list of what are normal romantic gestures and what are NOT normal romantic gestures.
1. Jump out of a plane with no parachute. NOT NORMAL
2. Cut off a body part. NOT NORMAL
3. Give her chocolates. NORMAL (unless they are poisoned)
4. Play with napalm. NOT NORMAL
5. Take her to a nice restaurant. NORMAL
6. Run naked over a patch of hot coals in the middle of the park. NOT NORMAL
7. Stalk her. NOT NORMAL (I don’t care if Edward does it!)
8. Sit through an entire Cinderella movie with her. NORMAL (It’s not that hard!)
9. Call her constantly with this song playing in the background. NOT NORMAL
10. Write her a love poem. NORMAL (unless it mentions any of the above NOT NORMAL things)
See, romance doesn’t have to be so hard! I’m pretty sure most women would be willing to go out with you without you threatening constant physical harm to yourself. Most women aren’t into that, and if they are, you really don’t want to go out with them. Note to Bruno: The mental hospital is not a good place to pick up potential romantic partners.
Okay, so, saying anyone’s still here, what do you think of Bruno’s song? Please respond because you know I’d do anything for you. I’ve got the grenades here to PROVE IT!
I hear Christmas songs! They’re everywhere. Sometimes you don’t even realize they’re playing in the background! Since I’ve made it a habit to pick on other songs with my song reviews, I think I would be remiss to leave out Christmas songs. I like using the word “remiss”.
This morning I heard the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and I had all these questions, as usual, because I wonder about lots of pointless stuff. These lyrics are kind of whack if you think about it. Basically we’re talking a long game of “telephone” starting with the night wind and ending with a “mighty king”. They’re all talking about Jesus – sorry, spoiler there. But the first one to talk, remember, is wind.
Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite . . .
Wait a second. I mean, nevermind that the wind is talking, and talking to a lamb for that matter, but “tail as big as a kite?” Did they have kites back in Biblical times? I mean I know the Chinese invented them oh wait, Google search . . . there are birds called kites too. But we’re talking something with a long tail, since you always see the Christmas star with this long freaking tail right? So I think they meant the toy kind of kite. Which is like, kind of anachronistic, though why I’m bothering with this at all considering the next part I don’t know.
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
Hang on a second. Okay, so the lamb goes on to tell the boy about a song above the trees with a voice as big as the seas. That’s totally tripping right there, but here’s the kicker. The kid doesn’t freak out about this at all. He just totally takes it in stride. Which begs the question. Did animals just normally talk in Biblical times? I mean, I think there was some tale about a donkey, and weird stuff did happen like say a bush spontaneously bursting into flame, but those were supposed to be unusual, I think. So if this isn’t a normal occurrence, we’ve got one really laid back kid. Anyway, the shepherd boy decides to spread the news to the king, because of course the night wind couldn’t be bothered to just deliver the message to everyone itself.
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know?
Like, how did the shepherd boy get to the mighty king? I mean, he’s a shepherd boy. Was he all surrounded in holy light or something, because I can see that getting a king’s attention. But just some shepherd boy? I can just see the king going “Hey, get back to your freaking flock and quit eating those shrooms, you brat!” But okay, the kid gets an audience with the king somehow. He goes on to say
A child, a child shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Wait, what? First off, what the heck are silver and gold going to do for a cold child? Wouldn’t it make more sense to bring him a blanket? Or, say, let him hang in the palace where he could be warm? But even weirder, how on earth did the shepherd boy get that a baby was born, a baby that needs silver and gold, from a lamb yammering on about big old songs above the trees? I mean, wtf? He sure deduced a lot from that nonsense. Kid should be an English major.
So the king not only lets the kid speak, but does what he says.
Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light.
I have to say – I like this last part. Pray for peace. There is a new baby, new life, new hope. It makes me want to believe this crazy story. But I have to ask – where is Jesus now? Is our world not in need of peace, goodness, and light more than ever? Has he not seen reality television? Or am I missing something important? Maybe a child is being born right now that will bring goodness and light. Or maybe it’s one of our own children. I know Thing Two would be a good president if only because she likes telling people what to do and will not let up until you do it.
Maybe it’s none of these things. Who knows? I mean, this all started with an animal listening to the wind.
Have you ever sung along to a song only to go “la la la” at times when the song, for once, wasn’t using “la la la”, “na na na” or “hum-diddy-do” to fill up space? I’ve been doing this for ages, and only since the arrival of the almighty Google have we had a chance to figure out exactly what these artists are singing. And how badly we’ve been goofing it up.
For my first example, I want you to think way back to Dolly “Double D” Parton and Kenny Rogers. Even if you dislike country music, you probably know who these two are and some of the songs they are famous for – you know, like Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler.” Well you would know unless you are twindaddy who I swear had never heard of this song before I brought it up. How do you miss this song? Know when to hold ‘em? Know when to fold ‘em? It’s everywhere. Please people, do inform him of this in the comments. Thank you.
But I’m not talking about “The Gambler”, cause most people, (except twindaddy) know the lyrics to that one. Kenny Rogers also did a duet with Dolly Parton called “Islands in the Stream” back when I was a little kid. I thought, for the longest time, they were singing “Islands in the Street.” That made no sense at all. Why was there an island in the middle of the street? Then I realized it was stream. And it still made no sense. It’s a stream, why is there an island in the middle? And wtf does that have to do with love?
Another song that has puzzled me for ages is “Blinded by the Light” by Bruce Springsteen. You know that line where he says “Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche in the middle of the night”? How do you get wrapped up like a douche? That’s kooky and gross, Bruce. No wonder you do this in the middle of the night. Well, that’s what I thought until, to be fair, twindaddy pointed out that he wasn’t saying “douche” he was saying “deuce.” The line was “revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.” Oh, okay, well that’s so much clearer now, I mean wait a second. A Deuce can be so many things, depending on whether we’re talking about the regular definition or the slang, but either way, the lyrics are still stupid. Bruce is saying he is revved up by either A. a playing card, B. peace out, C. cool, or D. poop. Let’s hope it’s not D. Even the feminine hygiene product sounds better than that.
Just for fun, here’s the video. Bruce starts it off saying “We’ve never done this. Hope we can do it.” No comment there. Just watch and see if you can understand ANYTHING this man is saying.
One of my favorite songs is Aretha’s Frankin’s well known anthem “Respect.” But there are some lyrics I’ve never gotten until good old Google. No, I understand the “sock it to me” although I’m not sure why she wants someone to sock her. What I didn’t get was the last line of that famous chorus:
Find out what it means to me
Bee bee mee mee mee yeah!
Okay, so that was the way I’ve been singing it all this time. Turns out she was saying “Take Care, TCB.” Great, so now I had to look up “tcb” which, according to the great Wikipedia means “taking care of business.” Another interesting fact: originally the song was sung by a man who used respect as a euphemism for a woman putting out. I have to appreciate the irony of taking a sexist song and making it an anthem for women’s liberation. You go, Aretha.
One thing you might notice from these mixed up lyrics songs is that all of them are supposedly written in ENGLISH. Whether the line is crazy or the singer just slurs the words, somehow it comes out as unintelligible as a foreign language. The person might as well be singing in Spanish. Speaking of, one of my on-the-ball readers, James, pointed out to me that the English translation of Macarena says that she is cheating on her boyfriend who is currently enlisting in the service. Congrats, Mac, you actually made me have even less r-e-s-p-e-c-t for you. That’s impressive.
I could tell you more about the meanings of famous songs sung in foreign languages that we have cheerfully been singing along with for ages, but I’ve already filled your heads with enough earworms to last a few weeks so I’ll save it for next time.
The next couple of songs I’m bringing to you are what I like to call “user friendly”. That’s the new PC name for, as twindaddy would say, “People with welcome mats in front of their crotches.” Now technically I’ve done this before under the “Chipper Cheatin’ Song” heading with songs like “Run Around Sue” and “The Wanderer” – hilariously sung by the exact same person. They certainly do fall in this category, and likewise the two songs I’ll introduce could fall into chipper cheatin’. But I just really wanted to use the phrase “User Friendly” cause I like it. Here we go.
First up is the 1995 hit “Macarena”. This is one of those songs so popular it not only was played on the radio until your ears bled, it also inspired a stupid dance craze! What was great about this dance was that anybody, no matter how uncoordinated, could do it, since it mostly involved hopping and slapping your butt. And they STILL play this song at weddings and other special occasions, so it’s not going away any time soon. Think of it as the modern day Chicken Dance, only more slut-tastic.
Our girl of the hour, apparently named Macarena, likes to dance with lots of men. If you’re good she’ll take you home with her. She might take several of you. Now she has a boyfriend, but she doesn’t really like him, so don’t worry about him even if his name is Spike and he bench presses large buildings for fun. So Macarena cheats on him, but she has a perfectly understandable reason for doing so.
What was I supposed to do?
He was out of town.
And his two friends were soooo fine.
Good point, there, Macarena. I mean, he was gone, but his hot friends were there, so what could you do? Wait, did she say his two friends were so fine? Well, if you’re gonna cheat, go all the way. Very impressive, girlfriend. Now her parts are the only ones you can understand. Otherwise we’ve got these two guys chanting in Spanish. I took years of Spanish but still can’t translate all of it except random bits like “thing good” but I’m pretty sure “she’s a tramp” is in there somewhere.
Now the video is incredibly inspiring, if your name is Britney Spears. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of girls in crop tops and spandex shorts bouncing around and lip synching to the song – I guess to prove that any gal can be Macarena if she just lowers her standards a lot. Then every once in a while you get those two old guys in suits on the album cover who chant the chorus. I don’t know why they don’t wear spandex shorts. Maybe even the Macarena has some sense of decency deep down. Deeeep deep down. Take a look.
Next up, just to be fair, is a user-friendly guy. Lou Bega brought us “Mambo No. 5” in 1999. This was another very popular song that was played over and over until people stormed the radio stations with sticks. Not really, but I would have liked to see that. Lou tells us his dating philosophy.
To me flirtin’ it’s just like a sport
Anything fly it’s all good let me dump it
Please set in the trumpet (from lyricsfreak.com)
That didn’t make much sense, so I looked on several other lyrics’ sites, because sometimes they don’t agree. But these all did. So he’s wanting to dump something and set in the trumpet. So is he going to sit in the trumpet, or set something inside the trumpet? What is he dumping? The world may never know. Anyway, like Macarena, Lou’s not all that picky. He lists all the girls he’s supposedly “flirted” with, much like Dion did in The Wanderer, only his list is longer.
A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man
Uh, no thanks, Lou. After all those other girls, I might be afraid of “a little bit of Herpes” comin’ my way. Lou also lists dance steps, though I don’t think anyone bothered copying these. They were too busy trying to remember the names of all the girls Lou had hit. Hopefully Lou wrote all their names and numbers on the bathroom wall for the convenience of his friends.
I’ll just tell ya right up, this video makes the Macarena video look like something classy out of Masterpiece Theater. It is not safe for work, unless you work at a porn store, then go right ahead. I’m really not kidding here. Thing starts out normal, showing a bunch of freaky old mambo dances, then goes to our Lou with his magic marker stash peepin’ in on these women who are gyrating in their underwear (which covers almost half a butt cheek), over and over and over. This is probably the point at which I will lose most of my straight male readers who have left to check out Rita, Tina, and Sandra, so I might as well stop for the rest of us too. Be safe, guys.
When I wrote Chipper Cheatin’ Songs, I knew there were plenty I was leaving out. Thankfully, I have readers who help jog my gerbil memory. Another of these cheating lover songs with a strangely happy beat is “Christie Lee” by Billy Joel. Really, this one tops both Dion and Rick, possibly because Joel is singing this as if it was someone else who got messed around by Christie Lee. Thanks to James for bringing this one up.
In case you don’t know the story, Billy Joel was once married to Christie Brinkley, the model pushing 60 who still looks like she’s in her 30s possibly due to a contract with Satan. Anyway, while Billy is clearly a musical genius, if you’ve ever had a gander at him, he looks a lot like Kermit the Frog. So their romance was rather fairy tale like, even inspiring the song “Uptown Girl” where Billy actually picks up Christie at a mechanic’s shop all while singing doo-wop and dancing around in his coveralls. He never gets in trouble for screwing off at work, probably because the boss was also getting his motor revved by Christie. But that’s a happy song, and we’re looking at the Romance Gone Bad ones.
Now it starts out okay, as Billy tells us about a story about a saxophone playing man whose name he doesn’t remember (so he calls him “Joe”) and this girl named Christie Lee. As he says, Christie is a “nice piece of music with a rhythm all her own” and “she really dug his saxophone.” Now I might be wrong here, but I’m thinking maybe he’s not just talking about music. Anyway, things start going downhill pretty quickly, though the beat stays relentlessly jazzy.
Billy says “she didn’t need another lover / all she wanted was the sax.” Oh, hey, I think I get what you’re saying here, Billy. Or – um, maybe? He goes on to say “Yes the man had the power to perform / But Christie Lee was more than he knew how to handle / She didn’t need him as a man / all she wanted was the horn.” I’m not sure what to make of this. So, let’s just say, for giggles, he’s referring to the horn as his own personal, um, package. Are we saying Christie only wants his horn? As in for the “sax” or as a personal momento? Let’s hope it’s the sax.
Whatever it is, Christie Lee dumps poor Joe but he ends up okay, no worries. He takes up a new career and everything.
“They say that Joe became a wino / They say he always drinks alone / They say he stumbles like a blind man / They say he sold his saxophone.”
Okay, so I feel a little better now. He just sold the sax, she didn’t steal it. Wait. I’m getting my innuendos all mixed up here. Anyway, there’s a moral to this story. “The only time you hit the high notes / Is when you play the Christie Lee.” Uh hmm. Yes. I’ll just bet you hit a lot of high notes there, Billy, er, I mean, Joe. Of course, Joe.
Ironically, he came up with this song long before he and Christie divorced. I have to think he made the song up for Christie, since, well, that’s her name, and it’s even spelled the same. But what an odd song to write for your wife, there. Hey, honey, here’s a song about some chick that sleeps with guys for their, er, instruments. I wrote it for you! No wonder they divorced.
Anyway, so there’s one more Chipper Cheatin’ song down. No video for that one, but you can check out the song on youtube if you don’t mind staring at a Billy Joel album cover for three minutes.
Oh, but in case you were wondering about poor Dion, another reader, wordsurfer, let me know that he moved on. Boy did he move on. Like with every single girl in town. As he says, “Oh well, there’s Flo on my left and there’s Mary on my right / And Janie is the girl that I’ll be with tonight / And when she asks me, which one I love the best? / I tear open my shirt I got Rosie on my chest.” I’m guessing he has a tattoo of Rosie’s name on his chest, not Rosie herself clinging to his chest, though the song doesn’t make that totally clear. It doesn’t seem like the best idea to tattoo a girl’s name on you if you’re going to be going out with lots of girls, but oh well. Interestingly, they call him the “Wanderer” rather than the “Slut” because he’s a guy, see, and guys are cool when they sleep around, do ya dig?
Once again we’ve got Dion with his backup singers clappin’ and a snappin’ in the background, playing for an audience that looks like they were given a hefty dose of Valium in their drinks. Enjoy!