LOS ANGELES, January 26, 2013—While Bruce Springsteen often mixes political commentary into hit music, it is hard to figure out his meaning given that he sometimes comes across as audibly coherent as boxing promoter Don King. After one particular round of “meaningful gibberish” in a Springsteen song, my friend Evan Sayet replied “Who could possibly disagree with that?”
Many of us make up words to songs and artists we like because while we like the beat, the lyrics are a mystery. This is not like playing Ozzy Osbourne records backward to find hidden messages. This is also not moving the record to the fast speed to make it sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks. These are actual songs played normally that we cannot understand. We keep this to ourselves until we find out that nobody else knows what is being sung as well. So in the spirit of fun, a list of the top ten most incomprehensible songs has been compiled.
Rankings had several criteria. One word or sentence was outranked by an entire song that was tough to decipher. Also, the familiarity of the artist played a role. With that, here is the list of the top ten most incomprehensible songs.
10.) Snow—”Informer“—This rap song is completely indecipherable, but the artist was a barely known one-hit wonder. An informer is a “rat,” somebody who violates the code of the streets. The only words that can be ascertained are “licky boom-boom down,” although nobody knows what that means.
9.) Michael Jackson—”Wanna be starting something?“—Most of this song makes sense until the very end where he keeps repeating something that sounds like unintelligible fictional words. He is actually saying “Ma ma say, ma ma sah, ma ma coo sah.” The reason this song does not rank higher is because there is nothing to translate. These words are unintelligible and fictional.
8.) Manfred Mann—”Blinded by the light“—He keeps saying one line over and over again that sounds like he is wrapping himself in a feminine hygiene product. The actual line is “revved up like a deuce.” A deuce refers to a car engine.
7.) Aretha Franklin—”Respect“—She is demanding the man give her “propers” when she gets home, not “profits.” Propers, also known as “props” means “proper respect.” Yet the very last line of this song was disputed for years. Original sheet music has “Take out, TCP.” The lyric is actually “Take care, TCB.” TCB is black slang from the 1960s and 1970s. As Esther Rolle explained on a hilarious episode of “Good Times,” TCB stands for “Taking care of business,” not “That’s cool baby.”
6.) Virtually all reggae/Bob Dylan—Bob Dylan is celebrated for being a genius despite nobody knows what he is saying. His best song “The Hurricane” makes perfect sense, but most of his songs are impossible to translate. As for reggae music, it is an entire genre of music that makes people feel good without explaining why. In both cases, heavy doses of marijuana is associated with appreciating this music. Those not consuming drugs will fail to reach the level of consciousness required to make heads or tails of this stuff.
5.) Nirvana—”Smells like teen spirit“—Some people claim that this song defined a generation, but that is only true if one accepts that the entire generation made even less sense. This song is unusual because we know the words. We just have know idea why they matter. “A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido.” This song can be whatever anybody wants it to be. A potato? A torpedo? Eat gelato? Spearmint Rhino? Who cares?
4.) Dave Matthews Band—”Ants Marching”—In the middle of this song Matthews says “They all do it the same way.” Then later on he says “Take these chances.” Everything in between those words makes no sense. Apparently he says “cut, cut cut, cut,” which may have something to do with a dentist.
3.) Def Leppard—”Pour some sugar on me“—The 1980s was about hard rock, high falsetto voices, and big hair. Def Leppard had one of the greatest songs of that entire genre, but so many lines are hard to figure out as Brit Joe Elliott sings American. “Demolition woman,” not “devilish woman.” “Radar phone,” not “redeye phone.” “Take a bottle,” not “take your body.” For those who do not understand the meaning of the song, it is about what every song of that era was about: sex.
2.) Sean Paul—”Temperature“—This guy is a Rastafarian, but even by those standards this incredibly fun dance song is impossible to interpret. It does not include a hidden reference to Barack Obama, since it was written before he became a national figure. The line is “worthless performer.” This song goes not mention a bomb. He says “I wanna be the papa, you can be the mom.” Again, this is about sex, not parenthood.
1.) Kingsman—”Louie Louie“—This is absolutely the most incomprehensible song of all time. What makes it so brilliant is that making the lyrics indecipherable was deliberate, a stroke of marketing genius. The original version in 1957 was a heartfelt love song by a sailor missing his woman while he was at sea. When the Kingsmen redid the song in 1965, they purposely made the words impossible to understand so everybody would think they were racy.
The strategy worked, as the federal government banned the song. Black market versions of the song were as popular as Beatles tapes and blue jeans in Russia. Everybody had to have the x-rated song even though nobody knew exactly what the salacious message was. To this day it is one of the great 1960s dance songs of all time, inspiring endless “air guitar” solos in the middle of the song. As for why the title is sung “Loo-eye,” instead of “Loo-ea” is just another mystery in the most incomprehensible song of all time.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, satirist, and public speaker. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
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