“Songs that make you go WTF?”

By Bry Schulz

Have you ever realized that the lyrics to the song you're listening to are totally whack? Seriously, you've heard the tune before but the point of the song finally hits you. You think, ‘I've been listening to [insert song here] for years but what IS this even about?’

Well it's about a lot of things, none of which make any sense. Songs generally don't have a real solid message. Most just rhyme and are cutesy. I mean take that song by REM – “End Of The World As We Know It.” Sure the chorus repeats and has a point but the verses in between are just gibberish that happen to rhyme. Now don't get me wrong, that song is fantastic and all (actually I don't care for it but I don't want to make Michael Stipe angry as he looks like the Death Dealer). And that's only one example.

Please allow me to enlighten you with more lyrical genius.

Exhibit #1: "She's weighin' but I know she's a loser. How do you know? Me and the crew used to do her." - “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe.

The "crew used to do her"! Did you know that? How big is the crew? Well I guess it's at least three guys. (BBD = 3) She sure as heck could be poison! She's probably got a good case of crabs at the very least.

Exhibit #2: "I'm on a bus on a psychedelic trip. Reading murder books tryin' to stay hip. I'm thinkin' of you you're out there so... Say your prayers." - “Eyes Without A Face” by Billy Idol.

If I were Billy's lady friend I might be a little worried that he's reading murder books and thinking of me. And telling me to say my prayers. I don't think it's because Billy wants me to find Jesus. I think Billy might be coming up with clever ways to dispose of the body.

Exhibit #3: "I brought back to the hood and all you ever did was take away. I pray for patience but they make me want to melt their face away." – “Live Your Life” by T.I.

YES! FACE MELTING! That sounds totally insane. The day I realized that's what he said I was running and I nearly tripped due to my fit of joyous laughter. Rappers no longer participate in gun wars my friends. They're into chemical warfare now. Do not mess with the rappers. They've gone medieval!

Exhibit #4: "Hangnail, hangnail, hangnail, hangnail. Have you ever seen a man with a hangnail?" – “Hangnail” by James Taylor.

The lyrics to this song are not as surprising as some of the others on this list. The song is CALLED “Hangnail” so going in you already know it's going to be about hangnails. I just find it amazing someone would sing about hangnails. And to answer your questions James, Yes. I'm sure I have seen a man with a hangnail. But I haven't been fortunate enough in my life yet to have one point it out. A girl can dream though. (I'm crossing my hangnail free fingers).

Exhibit #5: "Havin' my baby. What a lovely way of sayin' what you're thinkin' of me. I can see it, your face is glowin'. I can see in your eyes and I'm happy you know it. You're havin' my baby." – You’re Having My Baby” by Paul Anka.

This is the craziest of my exhibits. You may not have heard this song if you're not over 35 years old. I only know of this P.O.S. song because I'm forced to listen to the 70's at work and they play it once a damn day. As you can see from the lyrics this song's a doozy. The man sings about this woman who's pregnant (and we assume it is his, this is the 70's after all).

Several things go through my mind when I hear this song.

First: having a man’s baby is NOT the way to show that you're thinking of him. I'm a mother and have been pregnant and I can promise you I didn't get in that position because I wanted my husband to know I WAS THINKING OF HIM! How ridiculous. If I want him to know I'm thinking of him I send him a kinky email or I buy the kind of ice cream HE likes. I don't get PREGNANT.

Second: this woman sounds like she's been tied to a chair in a room somewhere. Frankly the whole song creeps the shit out of me. When this song comes on I pray to God whoever this poor kidnapped woman is that she has Stockholm Syndrome.

The moral to this tale is that a song doesn't have to be meaningful to be a hit. Hell, it doesn't have to even make sense. You can slur your words in a drunken stupor and turn out a billboard top 100 jam. "Ina gadda da vida honey, don't you know that I love you." (oldie by Iron Butterfly) The lead singer meant to say "In the garden of Eden" but was too drunk/high to enunciate. That song is their one hit. Amazing. It kind of makes you think we as humans are freaking stupid or something.


Bry Schulz is a writer, photographer, and mother who really hates squash. Not necessarily the game but definitely the vegetable. Email Bry at bry@zoiksonline.com.

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