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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 answers
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Do the lyrics of 'more than words' contain a Grammar fault? [closed]

I have a question about the song 'more than words' from Extreme. Saying I love you, is not the words I want to hear from you. Shouldn't it be 'are not the words'?
Casper's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
0 answers
83 views

Why do artists make grammar mistakes in their songs? [closed]

I would be deeply grateful if you answer my question. I'm currently writing my thesis about standard and non-standard English grammar and the main problem of my work is why artists make grammar "...
Magda Šudák's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
140 views

Word for a song recording where the lyrics have been removed

I am looking for a word for a song recording where the lyrics have been removed, leaving only the instruments and backing vocals. "Instrumental" misses the nuance of this particular ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
643 views

What do you call the person or character being spoken to in a poem or song?

This question asks what to call the person who is speaking in a lyric poem. The terms "narrator", "speaker", "persona", etc. may be used to refer to the "I" in &...
mriklojn's user avatar
  • 111
4 votes
1 answer
466 views

Meaning of "get the tags"

The song One Piece at a Time written by Wayne Kemp and made famous by Johnny Cash in 1976 tells the story of a man who steals Cadillac parts over several years and builds his own car. The song ...
Peter Phipps's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
96 views

Conditional sentence in the song "What Makes You Beautiful" [closed]

A small part of the lyrics in the song "What Makes You Beautiful" is If only you saw what I can see, you'll understand why I want you so desperately. But according to the second ...
Kaiden's user avatar
  • 19
0 votes
3 answers
146 views

Love is knowing we can be?

This is a phrase from one of my favorite songs by John Lennon, LOVE. Love is knowing we can be As a speaker of English as a second language, my first response was like we can be what? I know it's ...
Choe Guevara's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
634 views

What does "Make the colours in the sky" mean in this context?

Ay, ay, ay I'm your little butterfly Green, black and blue Make the colours in the sky Source: https://genius.com/Smiledk-butterfly-lyrics Or as song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzcvRDWgRIE&...
Augie Teen's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Word for songs used by rowers to synchronize their movements while rowing

While rowing, the rowers sing/chant songs which helps them coordinate their strokes and builds momentum. What are those songs called?
Pranks's user avatar
  • 121
10 votes
7 answers
4k views

What is a tune or song called that is recurrently used so people start to associate the tune or song with that what it is used with?

Lately I stream live on YouTube. While doing so, I play music. Every time I begin a stream I play the same song, the rest is random (shuffled). The idea is that people get used to this, and start to ...
Carlo Wood's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

Meaning of "he'd been had" in this song [duplicate]

There is a song which starts with Juno was mad, he knew he'd been had So he shot at the sun with a gun ... But I'm having trouble trying to understand the expression "he knew he'd been had"...
ABR's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

meaning of "polite" in this song

The musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum opens with the song Comedy Tonight. The lyrics describe how the show is a comedy, and not a tragedy. The show will not contain various ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 2,621
0 votes
0 answers
35 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 '...
Anonymous's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
54 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", ...
Gabriel Caldas's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
11k 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 ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 327
2 votes
1 answer
579 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 ...
Shelty's user avatar
  • 123
5 votes
1 answer
241 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 ...
David Barrios's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
580 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 ...
Artsiom Anisimau's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
757 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 last word or phrase in one line (bolded) often also serves as the first word or phrase in the next line without repetition: And I heard ...
Hactar's user avatar
  • 185
0 votes
3 answers
606 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 ...
thepufferfish's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
169 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 ...
Campaigner8's user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
128 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”?
Andrey's user avatar
  • 733
1 vote
1 answer
200 views

Phrasal verb: Wash upon

Non-native english speaker here. The context is songwriting. Can a tide "wash upon" someone or something?
Rob's user avatar
  • 13
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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: ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
4k 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 ...
Hawkeye should have jumped's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
955 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 ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 757
1 vote
0 answers
120 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 ...
NoLand'sMan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
230 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 ...
jennivier's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
209 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
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
1 answer
81 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 ...
Reverent Lapwing's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 11
-2 votes
1 answer
451 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 ?
Starrynight 1234's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
159 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 ...
Sasha Shpota's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

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

Its To Sir, With Love song, from Lulu.
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Angela's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
640 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 ...
Maciej K's user avatar
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 ...
none's user avatar
  • 29
0 votes
1 answer
94 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?
Aleksey122's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k 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 ...
bill999's user avatar
  • 333
0 votes
1 answer
620 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 ...
cocoa's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
1 answer
524 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 ...
Eran's user avatar
  • 301
0 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.
user63350's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Bruder Lustig's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
556 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 ...
Ionică Bizău's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
5k 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 ...
Dennis's user avatar
  • 175
3 votes
1 answer
385 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 ...
John Clifford's user avatar
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 ...
THN's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
0 answers
81 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'...
ruakh's user avatar
  • 15.5k
-1 votes
1 answer
315 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 ...
Matias Llorens's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k 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
Julian G.'s user avatar