Grammatical mistakes in lyrics to popular songs that really should have been picked up before recording
Inspired by the recent thread on bad rhyming, and the reference to Neil Diamond's "Play Me", what's the most glaring grammatical error you've heard in a popular song? One where someone in the recording studio should have piped up: "Hey, that's wrong, isn't it?" but didn't.
As a reminder, Diamond sings: "Song she sang to me, song she BRANG to me."
I nominate Ace of Bass's "Life Is A Flower" : "Please Mr Agony release them for a while, LEARN them the consequence of living without life."
I also nominate Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids": "We must be high, the help don't stare, they just walk by, they must DON'T care." I realize it should also be "the help doesn't stare" but only really glaring, stupid errors that reveal the singer's idiocy, please.
BAD ROMANCE ... I want your lovin', I want your revenge
You and ME could write a bad romance.
It should be YOU AND I
"Telled you all of his dreams"
I love 'I Go Crazy', but Paul Davis smoked some crack right before penning that line.
Oh my god. I LOVE "I Go Crazy" ... only just realized that mistake now. How could he?
R2 I just went and checked. Actually he sings "Tells you all ..." Phew. For a minute there...
I don't think I understand the question.
"Do You Know Where You're Going to?"
This song drove one of my music teachers to distraction. Do you know where you're going! Not going to!
"If this ever changing world in which we live in, makes you give it a cry."
I thought it may have been "in which we're living" but I checked on paul McCartney's website and it is indeed the wrong version.
Too many ins, Sir Paul.
"Between You & I" by Jessica Simpson. Not just in the lyrics, but the actual f*cking song title!
Beatles " If I Fell"... " That you love me more that her," rather than " "That you love me more than she."
I love the song, but It should be "The Man Who Got Away" not "That".
The Grammar trolls are spazzing out! Some of these are good examples, but it's like none of you have heard about artistic license.
Judy should have sung "The Man Who Got Away."
Simon and Garfunkle actually wished they "were homeward bound."
R12, see Sid's response at R10.
I agree that some of these are clunky, but they are often there so the line fits the melody or to rhyme with another word. If the lyric is wrong, suggest a better word that fits the melody and rhyme.
Also, certain consonants and consonant clusters are very hard to sing. Try singing The Man WHO Got Away vs The Man THAT Got Away. "That" is a lot easier to sing than "who"
Popular on this thread mobility scooters are.
Actually, r16, I was thinking that everyone must be fairly young as the oldest song mentions is "The Man That Got Away".
Mobility scooters fat young mouth breathers love.
Please don't confuse grammatical mistakes with speaking like Yoda.
Young people don't understand grammar and have no motivation to use it properly.
From yoda great wisdom comes.
[quote]From yoda great wisdom comes.
Such as, names generally capitalized are.
You are a cunt YODA says
Is that çunt with a cedilla?
To Whom Can I Turn, When Nobody Needs Me?
r15, only hard to sing by amateurs. "Who" and "that" are one syllable. Equally easy for professionals.
You get grammatical license when it comes to writing song lyrics, so it really doesn't matter if there are errors.
Forget grammatical errors. What's worse is that absolutely nothing in Alanis Morrisette's "Ironic" is actually ironic.
Did Alanis ever address the whole "ironic" thing?
You grammar nazis are dancing very close to edge with this one.
r30, detail leads to perfection.
English is a living language and grammar rules are always changing/becoming flexible. Plus artists do have license to make changes to accommodate rhythms, moods, etc. But the point of this thread is to point out those instances where somebody really should have mentioned the glaring error. It wasn't created as yet another thread to call somebody a cunt.
Nora Jones, "Dont Know Why I Didn't Come"
There are a lot of examples of "You and I" as the object of a preposition and "You and me" as subjects of a phrase. I just can't think of any right now.
Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know. I loved the song but, "to deny me of the cross" bugs me every time I hear it. He's just denying you the cross, Alanis, not denying you of it.
It's not fair to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know
One grammatical error I heard every week on Dawson's Creek was in the theme song, Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait."
"So open up your morning light And say a little prayer for I"
Should be "prayer for me."
It isn't him, too
It's not a popular song, but I still don't know what Alan Jay Lerner was thinking when he wrote "Up with which below can't compare with" in "Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here" from ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER.
Not really grammar per se, but Natasha Bedingfield pronounces hyperbole as "hy-per-bowl" in a spoken part of her song, "These Words," which was a huge hit across Europe and Top 20 in the US.
And I don't think it's some British variant pronunciation. And it's spoken, so it would have been extremely easy to fix.
Wasn't there SOMEBODY at some point before release who knew how to pronounce the word? Or did they want her to look like an idiot?
The fucking Backstreet Boys "All I have to Give"
I don't care if he buys you nice things
DOES his gifts come from the heart?
Does he leave when you need him the most?
DOES his friends get all his time?
Seriously, couldn't one have them said it would sound just as good with proper English?
Justin Bieber's Song - Beauty and the Beat
Chorus: "All I need is a beauty and a beat, who can make my life complete." "Who" is meant to refer to "a beauty," but because of the misplaced modifier it refers to "a beat."
Messes and messes,
of young DD'ses.
James Brown - "I Feel Good" - Should be "I Feel Well"
Bieber - "If I was Your Boyfriend" If I was your boyfriend, I'd treat you good." - Should be "well" not good.
Timbaland - "The Way I Are"
Justin Timberlake "Mirrors"
"I couldn't get any bigger with anyone else beside of me. - no need for "of"
Gwen Stefani, “Rich Girl” – “If I was a rich girl…” - Should be "were."
Eric Claptan "Lay Down Sally" Should be "lie down".
"Bess, you are my woman now. You are. You are."
Doesn't quite have the right ring to it.
[quote]I still don't know what Alan Jay Lerner was thinking when he wrote "Up with which below can't compare with" in "Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here" from ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER.
He was thinking, "Thanks God Dr. Jacobson is here with the "vitamin shots" or I never would have gotten this fucking song written."
Yes, r28, some comic (I cannot recall his name) said the only ironic thing about that song is that it was written by someone who clearly does not know what irony is!
My vote goes to Kate Bush's Babooshka where she says, "just like his wife before she freezed on him". I think she also says, "she couldn't have made a worst move" but I can't swear to that one.
In "I Love the Nightlife" Alicia Bridges sang "I love to boogie" as if she were talking about Humphrey Bogart.
Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band"
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
And come to know so well
Pacey @r36, then she goes on to rhyme "I" with "eye".
"You persuaded me to love you - and I did - but [bold]instead[/bold] of tenderness I found heartache [bold]instead[/bold]..."
"...these precious words [bold]keeps[/bold] me hanging on, I remember Mama said (you can't hurry love)..."
"...and then I'd like to [old]axe[/bold] you where have you been..." (0:57)
R11, I thought the same thing you did. But there are instances in which it's just bad grammar. Two of Miss Ross's moments above, for instance, are not about yielding to any rhyme/meter requirement, cultural element or dramatic characterization. They're slips, pure and simple.
"...and then I'd like to [old]axe you where have you been..."
"...and then I'd like to [bold]axe[/bold] you where have you been..."
I cringe when singers pronounce little as lit-TUL.
There should be only one "t" sound, in the first syllable.
The one that has always bothered the hell out of me is Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die." The offending lyrics are "But if this ever changing world in which we live in." That final 'in' just drives me up a wall. You want to applaud the lyricist for saying 'in which we live' which is correct, then he goes and spoils it by adding that totally redundant and unnecessary 'in' at the end.
"If you should find someone new...
he better be good to you...
cause if he DOESN'T...
I'll be there."
This has always driven me crazy.
OP, lyrics in songs, just like lines in plays or movies, don't have to be grammatically correct.
For the simple reason that people often don't speak with correct grammar.
Often lyrics in songs are deliberately and ironically playful with grammar. At other times the point of view, the person expressing him or herself with the lyrics, does not speak perfect English.
"It Ain't Necessarily So"
"Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby"
"I Got Rhythm"
"How can I be what I ain't, I cain't say no"
"You're a rose,
You're Inferno's Dante,
You're the nose
On the great Durante.
I'm just in a way,
As the French would say, "de trop".
But if, baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!
"Eek, Officer Krupke, you've done it again
This boy don't need a job, he needs a year in the pen
It ain't just a question of misunderstood
Deep down inside him, he's no good"
True r56. However, but as you state, the songs you cite use incorrect grammar as a device, which is clever. Blatantly incorrect grammar without any purpose other than laziness or lack of knowledge is just that: lazy and stupid.
40 & 55 those examples have bothered me for years.
I is what I is.
I'm no grammar queen, but this song always makes me want to scream:
"I ain't missin' you, I ain't missin' you, I ain't missin' you, I ain't missin' you..."
I know that technically it's not grammatically incorrect, but for some reason, Frankie Valli stressing that you should "trust IN [him] when [he says]..." has always made me feel uncomfortable, especially because it comes right after telling you that he can't take his "eyes off OF you..."