break/doWn: translating the hits for the masses.
August 2, 2002 8:25 AM   Subscribe

break/doWn: translating the hits for the masses. Spent any sleepless nights wondering what those pop songs stuck in your head are really all about? Well, has done the work for you. For instance, did you know that when Britney sings "I know I may come off quiet, I may come off shy/But I feel like talking, feel like dancing when I see this guy" she's saying "I've spent the last three years carefully crafting a "good girl" image of myself for the public/But I'm ready to throw it all away for a one night stand with that guy over there." break/doWn has 13 "hits" translated just for you! (scroll down the the bottom of the page for other songs)
posted by witchstone (12 comments total)
Maybe a little better in concept than in execution, but this line is priceless (from "H.O.V.A." by Jay-Z): "Forgive me, but I have to mention my name again."
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:53 AM on August 2, 2002

I thought to myself, "Well I'll be darned, that's one heck of a butt./ I was trying to flirt with the woman that owned that most glorious of tushies

Metafilter: the most glorious of tushies.
posted by adampsyche at 9:01 AM on August 2, 2002

the Eve/Gwen Stefani "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" is my favorite. About 8 lines of translation for every line Eve sings.

Meet me in the lab, pen and pad, don't believe


If you still don't trust that I'm as good as I say, I'm willing to set up a class for uneducated rappers-don't forget to bring materials with which to take notes
posted by witchstone at 9:11 AM on August 2, 2002

Thanks, witchstone. This is so true - in fact, it gives deconstructists a good name. Can't wait for them to explain a recent Radiohead lyric...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:19 AM on August 2, 2002

deconstructionists, deconstructivists, whatever. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:20 AM on August 2, 2002

This was beautiful.

I'm waiting for a breakdown of Brian McKnight's "Back to One"-- possibly the most asinine song ever put to wax:

One, you're like a dream come true
Two, just wanna be with you
Three, girl it's plain to see
That you're the only one for me and
Four, repeat steps one through three
Five, make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I'll start back at one

What the fuck does that MEAN?!  Does it mean ANYTHING?
posted by nath at 11:08 AM on August 2, 2002

Miguel: the correct term is deconstructorigraditicallacols.
posted by ODiV at 11:13 AM on August 2, 2002

is THAT who sings that song? i hate it! that stupid line "four: repeat steps one through three" ugh. it gives me the willies. you can email them at they take requests!

and if you haven't yet, check out the eminem song. it's a truly beautiful thing.
posted by witchstone at 11:14 AM on August 2, 2002

Does anyone really pay attention to music lyrics? I tend to be very leery of songwriting as "art".
posted by owillis at 11:16 AM on August 2, 2002

owillis: I, for one, pay attention to lyrics. Not I judge songs solely on their lyrics, but I definitely notice a difference between "good tune, uninspired lyrics" and "good tune and good lyrics."

I think there's a very small handful of good lyricists out there, who really pay attention to crafting their words. Paul Simon tops my list.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:33 AM on August 2, 2002

OMG, bloody hysterical! I'm snickering all the way through. Great links witchypoo!

You rock, or translated, "My, I find this endeavor of yours to be most pleasing." ;-)
posted by dejah420 at 11:41 AM on August 2, 2002

Translation of Eminem:

Move out of the way;
I'm here to once again announce my delusions of grandeur.
Because as Americans you don't have enough to talk about as it is.
How could you when I'm not in the news?

heh heh heh...
posted by jokeefe at 5:56 PM on August 3, 2002

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