What would happen if we took all lyrics literally?



After the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ (you can read all about that here) I decided to make a little post of what would happen if society continued to be massive killjoys and we took all song lyrics/videos literally. Because if people are annoyed Robin Thicke sang the line ‘But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature’ and take that to mean he’s literally referring to women as animals, then there are a lot more songs out there that also pose huge problems.

Artist: Ronan Keating
Song: When You Say Nothing At All
Lyric: “You say it best, when you say nothing at all…”

Clearly Ronan thinks women shouldn’t be allowed to speak or express their opinion. In fact, it’s just best when they literally say nothing.

Artist: Leona Lewis
Song: Bleeding Love
Lyric: “You cut me open and I keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding  love”

Uh Leona, if your boyfriend is cutting you open, and you’re bleeding, I would strongly recommend you get out of that relationship quick smart.

Artist: Kings of Leon
Song: Sex on Fire
Lyric: “Your sex is on fire…”

Mate, I think that’s called chlamydia.

Artist: Jordin Sparks
Song: Battlefield
Lyric: “I never meant to start a war..”

Oh, forget North Korea, Jordin Sparks is actually our biggest problem.

Artist: Britney Spears
Song: Slave 4 U
Lyric: “I’m a slave for you..”

Seriously, just ask her, she’ll do anything. Popped a button off your coat? Don’t worry Britters is there to sew it back on. Need someone to pick up your dry-cleaning? Give Brit a call. She’s a slave for you after all.

And what about Britney’s video for ‘Everytime?’ I mean, she drowned in that. If we’re taking that literally, she’s no longer alive you guys. OH WAIT. She wakes up in the end. Lucky. But that’s another song.

Artist: Katy Perry
Song: ET
Lyric: “Wanna be a victim. Ready for abduction”

Clearly Katy is begging to be kidnapped by some criminal on the loose. She’s ready for it. She wants to be a victim.  I mean that’s what she said right?

Artist: Adele
Song: Set Fire To the Rain
Lyric: “I set fire, to the rain…”

Wow. I mean I knew Adele was a pretty powerful woman, but in this case, she’s basically God. 

Artist: Bachelor Girl
Song: Buses and Trains
Lyric: ‘So I walked under a bus, got hit by a train…’

Is that followed up by ‘And now I’m officially dead?’ That sounds like a rough time. I assume they only had that one smash hit because the lead singer is in hospital recovering from her numerous injuries.

You get my point. Music is a form of expression. Lyrics are a form of expression. I get some aspects of music videos and lyrics can come across as sexist or derogatory (and not just songs from men. Anyone remember Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy?’)
If we were to take all lyrics and videos literally, then we probably wouldn’t be enjoying music anymore. Let’s just leave it at that.

Can you think of any songs that would have their entire meaning altered if they were taken too literally?

Article by Tahlia Pritchard who thinks Ronan and Robin should never team up for a song, because then women would be domesticated, liberated animals that said nothing at all. Wait, what?


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