small rant

I really don't mind that most songs are poetry set to music. Often the words and their meanings are vague and image filled. Songs do not have to fit into prose style. I get that. But sometimes, songwriters do indeed use prose storytelling type sentences in their lyrics. In these cases, I think that the words should at least kinda make sense. One song that has been completely ruined for me due to the asinine nature of the lyrics is Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." A repeating line in the song is "maybe next time he'll think before he cheats." At first glance, I get her meaning. What she MEANS is that maybe the consequences of his current decision to cheat (a vandalized car thanks to a rather angry woman) will give him pause and something more to consider the next time he is deciding whether or not to cheat; she says this assuming that his busted car may even make him stop cheating. But that is not actually what she says. What she actually says is that maybe next time maybe he will think about his wrecked car and then go ahead and cheat anyway. That's dumb.

And what it shows is a complete lack of respect and understanding of a couple of other simular phrases. 1 - Look before you leap - the purpose of looking being that you can see what is below you and plan your landing accordingly.  Know what you are getting into. Not so that you can avoid it, but so that you can do it better. 2 - Think before you speak - the purpose of thinking being so that when you actually do speak (which if perfectly fine for you to do), your words are well chosen. Go ahead - Leap! Speak! just get knowledge so that you can do them both well. Think before you cheat does not fit into this pattern at all. Miss Underwood is certainly meaning to say that he should go ahead and cheat in the future, but to do it with more thought and care so that his car doesn't get trashed again. And yet, that is exactly what she does say.
That's dumb.

1 comment:

Evangeline Denmark said...

LOL. You are 100% correct. I'm glad little things like this bother someone besides me. I'm fine with a song making absolutely no sense and I'm fine with a song serving a purpose and delivering a message. Apparently, I'm not fine with a mixture of the two.