Questions about the words used in a song.

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4
votes
2answers
74 views

Non-verbal lyrics in songs - is there a nice name for these?

Often in songs the lyrics will be "na na na", "doo doo doo" etc in a particular section or part. Is there a name for these sorts of sounds? I've seen "non-lexical vocables" which, while being ...
-3
votes
1answer
27 views

“Why do all good things” or “Why does all good things”? [closed]

I always thought that: "I, you, we, they do" and "he, she, it does". But, I have heard the following music: "Why do all good things come to an end" Shouldn't it be does instead of do ? Since I think ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Define “plate” from Sweeney Todd musical

The opening song of the Sweeney Todd musical contains the following passage about his wife: There was another man who saw that she was beautiful... A pious vulture of the law who, with a ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

In the rap Baby Got Back, does Sir Mix-a-Lot's anaconda want buns or not? [duplicate]

In the rap Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-a-Lot claims: My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns, hun. Which at first glance would appear that his pet snake doesn't want any (food, presumably) ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Biting butter and crumbs

In a song by The Last Shadow Puppets there is this line: "Can't you see I'm the ghost in the wrong coat Biting butter and crumbs" Is the "Biting butter and crumbs" an actual saying, or just a ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

“Jesus is a coming” - what's the exact grammatical role of the “a” before the gerund? [duplicate]

I've noticed that in the common use of English, namely in songs, there is also an extra redundant(?) "a" before a gerund, such as in a gospel song I heard Jesus is a coming (this particular ...
2
votes
1answer
784 views

“Living like Jim Morrison” . what does it imply or refer to? [closed]

In the Gods and Monsters song by Lana Del Ray “No one’s gonna take my soul away”, there is the line: I'm living like Jim Morrison What does this line mean?
1
vote
1answer
265 views

You can spend all your love making time? [closed]

"You can spend all your time making money; You can spend all your love making time." from the song Take it to the limit by The Eagles, the phrase "love making time" makes me wonder. Does it mean ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

To die or to kill? [closed]

In the Boney M song 'Ma Baker', one line is: But she knew how to die I always wondered if this is correct English, or that it should be: But she knew how to kill Since dying seems to ...
3
votes
3answers
100 views

Carry we who die in battle

A song by the heavy metal band Manowar includes these lines: Carry we who die in battle Over land and sea The "we" sounds wrong for me. I'd use "us" in this sentence. A quick google search ...
1
vote
0answers
107 views

What's the meaning of the word “spitters” in The Chemical Worker's Song?

Amongst the different versions of this song (Known by various names including "The Chemical Worker's Song", "Process Man" and "The ICI Song") that are floating around, there seem to be two variations ...
3
votes
1answer
345 views

“Definite ninety-nine” - UK English meaning

I've been browsing through older lyrics of Judas Priest songs, namely Rocka Rolla, which has the following lines in a verse: Barroom fighter Ten pint a nighter Definite ninety-nine ...
2
votes
3answers
264 views

Could the sentence “Not even death can do us part” be considered correct?

Not even death can do us part. These are lyrics from the Beyoncé song "Sweet Dreams" (link to the part in question.) I've been curious about this for a while. If one considers "Till death do us ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

First use of the slang term “Scrub”?

The slang term "scrub", when referred to a person, can mean several things. It seems like the original usage as an adjective is someone who is not good at something - video games, sports, etc. I am ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

Term for poems structured by repetitive devices

Terms such as "blank verse", "free verse" and "heroic couplet" are used to refer to poems with particular forms. I am curious to know whether there exists a term for poems that are strongly ...
2
votes
1answer
203 views

My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins

I am trying to improve my vocabulary translating lyrics of songs I like. Today is "Slow Show" by The National. Everything is pretty clear, but for one line: My leg is sparkles, my leg is pins My ...
4
votes
2answers
805 views

What does “love me do” mean?

As many of you know, there is a famous song by the Beatles entitled Love Me Do. Nevertheless, I have some doubts about the correctness of such a title. Does "love me do" mean the same as "love me" or ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Tower of Babel, what is the meaning of the following verse?

What is the meaning of the following verse from Bernie Taupin's Tower of Babel as sung by Elton John on the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy? Those hungry hunters Tracking down the ...
0
votes
3answers
918 views

'Blowing Dixie double four time' and 'He can play the honky tonk like anything' meaning

in Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing" what is the meaning of these two lines: In the first verse: You get a shiver in the dark It's been raining in the park but meantime South of the ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

“Buy the farm” meaning

In Alice Cooper’s song “Hey Stoopid” from his 1991 album, there is a verse that runs like this: Now I know you’ve been kicked around. You ain’t alone in this ugly town. You stick a needle ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

What is “I'm gonna serve it to you” trying to convey?

Though there is no dispute that songs may have nonsense lyrics, the song "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes actually have very coherent lyrics. However, one line stands out as some type of ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

what's the lyrics in this line?

What are the exacts words in this line of Aaron Tippin's song "Christmas is the warmest time of the year? The time is: 1:36 - 1:39 Here's the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxZz1169s0Q Are ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the meaning of bedshape?

I was listening to a song called 'Bedshaped' of English band 'Keane'. But, I couldn't find any meaning of it from any dictionaries. Maybe I can guess, but I would like to make sure about this. How do ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

“Lick on a trick for a Rolex” — meaning?

I heard this line in the rap song Ghetto Bird by Ice Cube (full lyrics here) and I'm completely puzzled by its meaning. My homey's here to lick on a trick for a Rolex And let me try the four ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

what does “I will step into the ring for you” mean? [closed]

The sentence comes from a song. Leonard Cohen I am your man .... If you want a boxer I will step into the ring for you ...... What does "step into the ring for you"? Someone can explain it for me. ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

The meaning of “blue canoe” in the lyrics of “Where to Now, St. Peter” sung by Elton John

In his song Where to Now, St. Peter, Sir Elton John sings: I took myself a blue canoe, And I floated like a leaf Dazzling, dancing half enchanted In my Merlin sleep. Crazy was the ...
6
votes
8answers
897 views

“I'd-a lost”? What does this contraction stand for?

The first lines of George Thorogood's version of "One bourbon, one scotch, one beer": Wanna tell you a story about the houseman blues. I come home one Friday, had to tell the landlady I'd-a ...
1
vote
4answers
188 views

“to go up the field a ways”

I found this phrase in some Chemical Brothers lyrics: I thought we were going To go up the field a ways To join all the other living souls But you never came English's not my first ...
1
vote
0answers
262 views

What meter is best for songs, especially hymns? [closed]

I realize that this may be somewhat open-ended, but although I am not a poet, I want to try my hand at writing a song, perhaps a hymn, and wonder if perhaps iambic pentameter is best, or perhaps ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

What is the precise meaning of “fuck” in the context of the hip hop mantra, “Fuck bitches, get money”? [closed]

I've been hearing the line "Fuck bitches / Get money" in hip hop songs recently. I mostly noticed it lately in a couple of notable songs by Lil Wayne and other Young Money affiliated artists, but ...
0
votes
1answer
545 views

What does “put the top down” mean? [closed]

Well, I have been searching the meaning of "put the top down", but I didn't find anything useful. Let me show you a little bit the context. I'm gonna put the top down I'm gonna talk about old times ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Correct punctuation in song lyrics that aren't necessarily good English [closed]

Lots of music contains repetitions, incomplete sentences, and slang. I want to know if there's a "correct" way to add punctuation and breaks when transcribing the lyrics. Take for example an excerpt ...
-2
votes
2answers
121 views

“Do I believe the sky above” vs. “I do believe the sky above” [closed]

I’m Brazilian and I have a question. Why does Enya say the following in her song “Caribbean Blue”? So the world goes round and round With all you ever knew They say the sky high above Is ...
0
votes
1answer
592 views

Meaning of 'That old rocking chair's going to get me' [closed]

In the Joni Mitchell song Stormy Weather, there's this line: That old rocking chair's going to get me What does that mean? I suppose that old rocking chair is a symbol of something, but what? ...
-1
votes
1answer
13k views

What is the meaning of “as we moonshine and molly” in Rihanna's Diamonds? [closed]

Palms rise to the universe As we moonshine and molly Feel the warmth, we’ll never die We’re like diamonds in the sky In the above part of Rihanna's Diamonds song, what does she mean by ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

What does it mean “may you never take a single breath for granted” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why to use “May” before using “May God bless you”? I'm amused by the song "I hope you dance" from Lee Ann Womack, but I'm not sure if I understand the meaning of the ...
-2
votes
2answers
285 views

Can the word “he” be used to refer to a woman? [closed]

In the song “Extraordinary Girl” by Green Day, you can notice that the vocalist sings about an “extraordinary girl”, sometimes referring to her as he, and sometimes as she. For example, at 2:51, you ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “well you done done me and you bet I felt it”

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it— Jason Mraz, I'm Yours What does the first sentence from this song mean?
1
vote
0answers
3k views

What does the word “seether” means? [closed]

I am trying to translate Veruca's Salt song "Seether" and I can't find this word's translation, or, at least, meaning. Ow! Seether is neither loose nor tight, Seether is neither black nor ...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the meaning of the expression “bed burning” or “bed on fire”? [closed]

There's a song by Midnight Oil called Beds Are Burning, and the song Psycho Killer also says that "my bed's on fire". What do those expressions mean (if they mean the same thing)? update: Some ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “Hallelujah” mean in Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah song? [closed]

Rufus Wainwright's Cover of Hallelujah The literal meaning of hallelujah is "Praise Yah", however the song uses it in different ways and I have always wondered what it really means in the song. ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Pink Floyd's “steel breeze” [closed]

Keeping in mind how difficult to explain/translate Pink Floyd's lyrics are, I would carefully listen to all insights that native speakers might have as per the meaning of the phrase "steel breeze", ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What does it mean “It is hard to get by just upon a smile”?

I am listening to a song by Joanna Wang: "Wild World" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnlQT1I5K9s It is originally by Cat Stevens, and some lyrics are near the end of this question. I wonder what ...
1
vote
1answer
273 views

Keep myself right on this train [closed]

In Underdog, a song by Kasabian, I have some difficulties to understand the meaning of Kill me if you dare ok Hold my head up everywhere Is it an ellipsis for "I hold my head up ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

Meaning of “Ain't Seen Nothing Yet”

Was a little surprised I couldn't find a previous question asking about the phrase "Ain't Seen Nothing Yet". I try to decode its meaning every time I hear the song of the same name by Bachman Turner ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of Lyrics in “Diamonds on the Inside” [closed]

In Ben Harper's song, "Diamonds on the Inside", there is a verse that goes She made herself a bed of nails, And shes plannin' on puttin' it to use. I don't quite understand its meaning, ...
6
votes
4answers
463 views

Have I got a little story for you

There is a song called "Alive", by Pearl Jam. The opening line is: Son, she said, have I got a little story for you Despite the subject-auxiliary inversion ("have I"), which would be expected in ...
3
votes
1answer
669 views

Join with all nature in manifold witness

In the song Great is Thy faithfulness there is a line that reads Join with all nature in manifold witness What does that mean? What is manifold witness?
0
votes
0answers
396 views

“She’s got a ticket to ride, but she don’t care” — why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” In the famous Beatles song Ticket to ride, it is said of the protagonist that “she don’t care”. Why ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

What does the expression “Brothers in Arms” mean?

I was listening to Dire Straits and wondered what "brothers in arms" are...