Questions tagged [songs]

This tag is for questions relating to a song or songs. Most of these questions will pertain to unique grammar or vocabulary usage.

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-2 votes
0 answers
18 views

Is the phrase “We may come here from darkness and disguise“ acceptable? If not, what is the most similar phrase I can use? [closed]

I would like to use this phrase in a song lyrics, but I'm afraid it's not correct and the meaning can be confusing. What I'm trying to say is this: Perhaps we come from a place of darkness and ...
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

What is the term for the 'bastardisation' of common phrases and idioms? [duplicate]

Recently, I have been analysing lyrics to songs. Frequently, the writer inverts and 'bastardises' common phrases and idioms to play off of the established meaning. I have been using the term '...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Present subordinate clause using "when" followed by a main clause in the past

Recently, I've listened to this version (on YouTube) of Led Zeppelin's song When the Levee Breaks. In this part of the song this guy sings "when the levee breaks, I had no place to stay", ...
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2 votes
3 answers
711 views

Who are "bully boys" in sea shanties?

In various sea shanties the term "bully boys" comes up now and again. Here for example in The Wellerman, first verse: There once was a ship that put to sea The name of the ship was the ...
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  • 275
2 votes
1 answer
68 views

The meaning of "you can give in, you can give out but you don't give up"

I have taken a look at the definitions of all the three phrasal verbs but still not sure what the following sentence means: You can give in, you can give out but you don't give up. A bit more ...
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  • 123
5 votes
1 answer
179 views

Pronunciation of "I" vowel name in fast speech

I'm not a native english speaker. I was wondering what is the right way to pronunce the "I" (/aɪ/) vowel name in fast speech. Perhaps i'm confused, but sometimes i hear /a/. Like in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
139 views

What does "beat the birds" mean? [closed]

Heard this phrase in Frank Sinatra's song. Just say the words and we'll beat the birds Down to Acapulco Bay Just wonder what that means. I have rough idea, just to go to Acapulco Bay. Want to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Is there a term for sharing a word between multiple lines of a poem/song?

In Jonathan Coulton's "Sticking It To Myself," the first word or phrase in one line (bolded) often also serves as the last word in the next line without repetition: And I heard everything ...
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  • 147
0 votes
3 answers
322 views

Is the Christmas carol “We Three Kings” intentionally ungrammatical for artistic reasons, or does it use archaic grammar?

I was listening to the “We Three Kings” Christmas carol, and I ended up taking note of the syntax. Given the use of the thou/thy/thee/thine pronouns for the second-person singular and the vocative ...
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3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Wordsmith, singer, Leonard Cohen was perplexed as what word rhymes with orange? [duplicate]

My first question was basically, "What word, or words, rhyme with orange? The word "tinge" was not included in any of the answers, or words presented to me. Thank you for your patience ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
75 views

Articles in the song of the Beatles [closed]

Why there’s no articles in the phase of the song Blackbird? Blackbird singing in the dead of night Would it be more correct to use articles before “Blackbird” and “Night”?
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  • 723
1 vote
1 answer
84 views

Phrasal verb: Wash upon

Non-native english speaker here. The context is songwriting. Can a tide "wash upon" someone or something?
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does T become S sometimes in casual American speech?

Taylor Swift is American and I was listening to her song named "You belong with me". You can hear the song on Taylor Swift's official YT channel. In this song (from 0:48 to 0:52), she says: ...
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0 votes
0 answers
2k views

What does "take me places" mean?

The expression "take me places" other similar phrases are used in many pop songs and seem to refer to somthing about relationships or sex. However, I have been unable to find a definition of the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
2k views

Does "don’t stay awake for too long" mean "go to sleep soon"?

"stay awake" means "don't go to sleep", right? Or does it mean something else? On "Beabadoobee - Coffee" song, she starts with: Don’t stay awake for too long Don’t go to bed I’ll make a cup of ...
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  • 605
2 votes
3 answers
573 views

What does "dire is the horseman's wheel" mean?

This line comes from the Scottish patriotic song "Scotland the Brave". Bold hearts and nodding plumes wave o'er their bloody tombs, Deepeyed in gore is the green tartan's wave, Shivering are ...
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  • 703
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

What type of literary device is referring to a famous quote in a song?

In his song Land of the Free, the artist, Joey B., sings: And everything I do or say today that's worthwhile Will for sure inspire actions in your first child. is similar to this quote by Marcus ...
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0 votes
1 answer
161 views

"Had me blind" and grammar in lyrics/poems

I'm looking at a line from the song "I Can See Clearly Now". It's the line: Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. I know that that line is in the passive voice ("the dark clouds that had me ...
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1 vote
1 answer
175 views

"already" pronounced as [ˈɔʋɪ]

What is the pronunciation of already in the song Without Me by Halsey? What phonological processes take place resulting in such a pronunciation? (min 3:03) https://youtu.be/ZAfAud_M_mg?t=183
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  • 2,187
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

How should I understand "ought" in this verse?

I was wondering how should I interpret this verse from the old union song Solidarity Forever: What's the ought with have in common with those greedy parasites? I'm split between What ...
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0 votes
2 answers
4k views

Usage of "he don't" vs "he doesn't"

Well, I listened to a song and heard it's said in the text "He don't know how to..." I think a song artist used this phrase for better sounding. Am I right? Correct me if I'm wrong, and please explain ...
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  • 11
-2 votes
1 answer
449 views

Question for song

One Month - Tegan and Sara Video Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIwv1XdTTHc&t=32s Q1. What does she say in 0:32 ?
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0 votes
2 answers
133 views

Is the phrase "Those one track minds" grammatically correct? [closed]

There is an interesting grammatical construction in the song Shout by Tears For Fears. They really really ought to know Those one track minds That took you for a working boy Kiss them goodbye I'm ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

What is the meaning of "Who has taken you from crayons to perfume?" [closed]

Its To Sir, With Love song, from Lulu.
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-1 votes
2 answers
133 views

Words in a song: "How every mouth sings of what it's without so we all sing of love"

It is from Iron and Wine song "Innocent bones". As a non native English speaker, I struggle to understand the exact meaning. It is thoroughly a grammatical question. Does it mean that, because ...
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2 votes
1 answer
923 views

What is the real pronunciation of “postman”? [duplicate]

I can see that the word postman is pronounced as /pəʊs(t)mən/ commonly, where you can’t hear the vowel in the ‑man syllable. But sometimes it is pronounced /pəʊs(t)mæn/ — with a noticeable /æ/ vowel ...
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  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
514 views

Like she's never danced before - did she or she didn't [closed]

I have a questions that bugs me for quite some time and no one could explain it to me properly. In a song "Maniac" by Michael Sembello we have the line And she's dancing like she's never danced ...
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0 votes
1 answer
2k views

The reason... is you? [closed]

In Hoobastank's The Reason, a lyric is And the Reason is you... Is that sentence (grammatically) correct? I'm asking because, you know... You are the reason. Specifically, should "is" in the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
72 views

to be in present progressive

Sometimes in songs I see sentences in present progressive without verb to be, like - she getting down. Is it right?
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1 vote
2 answers
761 views

What does "her mama leaned hard" in this Emmylou Harris Song mean?

I was listening to the song "Red Dirt Girl" by Emmylou Harris, and didn't understand one of the lyrics: "her mama leaned hard." What does this mean? Her daddy turned mean and her ...
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  • 323
0 votes
1 answer
526 views

Looking for explanation of "His smile fair as spring, as towards him he draws you" [closed]

As the title, I couldn't figured out anything by myself from this sentence His smile fair as spring, as towards him he draws you. Especially "fair as spring", seems my first time to see the ...
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  • 11
2 votes
1 answer
518 views

Which of these two possible meanings of this sentence is correct? [closed]

I have a question regarding this quote from "Ravens" by "Mount Eerie": And in every dream I have at night And in every room I walk into like here Where I sit the next October Still seeing ...
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  • 301
-1 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does this song quote mean? [duplicate]

"All the good girls they go to heaven, but the bad girls they get backstage" The first sentence is fine, but I don't understand what it mean to go "backstage" Song name is Backstage.
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why sing "tow, row, row, row, row, row" for the British Grenadiers?

Like "Rule, Britannia!", I like the "British Grenadier March". I never understood however this phrase in the lyrics, it is in every verse, here Verse 1 for example: Some talk of Alexander, and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
438 views

What is the meaning of "waddnat"?

In the negro spiritual Jonah and the Whale, I found the word waddnat: ... Now the Lord made a whale, long and wide Lord, Lord waddnat a fish And he swallowed up Jonah, hair and hide Lord, Lord ...
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1 vote
1 answer
4k views

What does the phrase "branded on my feet" mean? [closed]

It is a line from Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man: Though I know that evenin's empire has returned into sand, Vanished from my hand, Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping. My ...
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  • 185
1 vote
0 answers
309 views

Is there a specific term for ending a rhyming line with something unexpected?

Please note that I've tried googling variations on this, but usually just end up with "words that rhyme with unexpected" which is obviously not what I'm going for. There's a technique I've seen used ...
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1 vote
3 answers
6k views

Should it be "you and I" or "you and me" in the song "We are the world"

In the song "We are the world" by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, there are these lyrics: "We are the world, We are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day So, let's ...
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  • 113
2 votes
0 answers
67 views

All I'm askin' / Is about the interesting preposition placement in the song "Respect"

The Aretha Franklin song "Respect" has the interesting lyric "All I'm askin' / Is for a little respect" [link] where in everyday English, I would expect "All I'm askin' for / Is a little respect". I'...
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  • 14k
-1 votes
1 answer
280 views

Specific usage of the word "Cruise" on a song [closed]

i just wanted to ask about the word "Cruise", because on the song by "Florida Georgia Line", they say "You make me wanna roll my windows down and CRUISE" and I don't understand the specific meaning of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "work me right" in "I set an explosion if you don't work me right" mean?

It's a quote from the song "Bomb" by Isa. Here is the rest of the lyrics: https://www.musixmatch.com/de/songtext/Isa-3/Bomb
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0 votes
1 answer
8k views

Really don't / don't really difference [duplicate]

In the Chris Medina song "What are words", he sings "what are words if you really don't mean them when you say them?". I am a non-native English speaker, but to my ears that doesn't sound good. Had I ...
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8 votes
6 answers
2k views

The term for a song that people quickly become tired of on the radio?

Recently I was listening to the radio and the host used some expression (that now evades me) to explain that the song 7 Years by Lukas Graham quickly becomes uninteresting to listeners after a few ...
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  • 317
25 votes
3 answers
18k views

Is there a word for the opening of a song?

I'm looking for a word (if such exists) for the opening of a song. Specifically, the part before the singer starts singing the lyrics, often a 30 seconds to 1 minute solo instrumental at the ...
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  • 261
0 votes
2 answers
139 views

Post-song Terminology

Sometimes, after the actual song is finished, musicians add an extra something to it, not necessarily part of the lyrics. Sometimes they recite a poem or sing lyrics from another song without ...
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0 votes
1 answer
456 views

What does it mean - "We all know that you are news"?

“We all know that you are news - but are you king? King of the Jews?" (Jesus Christ Superstar music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice) (Scene on YouTube). The line comes after 1:11 in ...
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6 votes
3 answers
240 views

Did "sublime" and "cherubim" rhyme in the past?

In my choir we are currently practicing some carols, including See amid the the winter's snow, which was written by Edward Caswall (1814–1878). Its six verses and refrain each have two pairs of very ...
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  • 162
4 votes
2 answers
5k views

"You're a crooked jerky jockey, and you drive a crooked hoss!" -- What's a Hoss?

So, it's that time of year, and every once in a while I'll hear the Grinch's tune on the radio. One line that has always confused me is the line You're a crooked jerky jockey, and you drive a ...
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  • 1,441
3 votes
3 answers
4k views

Term for addictive song, replayed too many times it is hated or neutral now

I looked thoroughly on the internet, but I failed to find a term or single word (if exists any) for a song that is so addictive that you replay it again and again although you know you will hate it ...
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  • 33
4 votes
2 answers
890 views

What does "be out in" mean?

There's a song "Winter" by The Rolling Stones, and there's a line And I wish I been out in California What does it mean - he wants to be in California or he's sad about being in California?
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