Ah, Is That What They Meant?

I heard a song the other night on the radio during the quiet storm that I hadn’t heard in quite some time.  And I happened to really, really listen to the lyrics.  Hmph.  I sure didn’t hear it or process it like that back in the day.   Then last night while driving home, it happened again.  Different song, same reaction.  Dang, all THAT was going on???  Most of it surely passed over my head.  I started thinking about a few of my favs from the 80’s/90’s and now, after hearing them with older and wiser ears, I’m wondering if I’m the only one the “missed” some of the themes and references the first few times around.

Maybe I’m over thinking these tunes, but damn if all these folks don’t sound touched in different ways.  Allow me a moment to discuss three such songs that have piqued my interest lately:

En Vogue – Just Can’t Stay Away

Pipe down music police – I know it’s a Natalie Cole remake, but I loved the En Vogue version before I discovered the Natalie version.  I used to think that this song was oh so romantic and about the power of love and being drawn to your partner despite the challenges.    Ummm, not anymore.

And though it’s not the first time, baby

I ever wanted to get away, no

Oh, but the magic of your love

Just would not let me stray

So I find that I just can’t stay away from you

Hmm, she “wanted to get away” but couldn’t?  Sounding kinda suspicious there.  Then they go on to say,

You see, my mama scorned me

Oh yes she did

And my closest friends, oh Lord

You know how they warned me

They say you’re no good for me

But I just ignored it, yes I did

Hmm, well sometimes your friends don’t always like the person you’re dating.  But to have your mama “scorn” you and other folks warning you that the dude is no good?  Wow.  What’s really happening here sis?  What is it about this dude?

When someone controls your mind

There’s not much you can do

Oooooohhhhh!  It’s the power of the adult stuff.  She’s become “d*ck dumb*!  (circa Robyn T, 2010).   Well hell, that explains it all.  We’ve all seen THAT phenomena play out time and time again.  Save yourself girlfriend, there’s plenty of good loving out there that comes with all the love, respect, friendship, trust and honesty that you deserve.  Geez!

Guy – Piece of My Love

This one came out in 1988, so your girl was only 12.  I was able to listen when in the presence of older, mature cousins.  Allegations that would still be denied if Mama and Daddy TDJ were to ask said cousins today.  “Nah, we never let her listen to any inappropriate music.”  At the time, “Teddy’s Jam” and “Groove Me” where THE CUTS to dance and lose your mind.  But then there was, “Piece of My Love”.  So sexy and needy from the first beat.  And in a very juvenile way, it sounded to me, at the time, that he was a bad boy looking for love.  **smh**  Yeah, I know.  Really paying attention last night?  Can anyone say serial cheater??

Baby, you can’t have all of me

Cause I’m not totally free.

I can’t tell you everything that’s going on.

Yeah, dark and mysterious, huh? 

There are a few things in my past

That should not be explained

Like what?  Your girlfriend?  Wife?  Kids?  Fool please!!  Get the hell outta here with that nonsense.  I’m not even going to touch on the whispered utterance in the beginning.  Ninja please!

Me’Shell Ndeogeocello – Outside Your Door

This one surprised me the most.  Hmm, let’s see.  October 93 when her album “Plantation Lullabies” came out, I was a carefree, first year college student taking in the sights at Mr. Jefferson’s University.  At that moment in time, I was much more interested in the “Just Kickin’ It” with Xscape or doing the “Gangsta Lean” with DRS.   I loved slow jams, but I hadn’t yet been exposed to Ms. Ndeogecello.  The first time I heard the song, I was mesmerized.  A beautiful mellow little diddy with the haunting sound of rain drops in the background.  The raspiness of her voice makes you feel her pain of loving a dude that didn’t love her back, yet the song was still beautiful.

That’s what I heard in ’93.  Last night, I heard, STALKER AZZ STALKER.  Let’s take a look see at the lyrics:

Here I am waiting.

Just waiting.

Anticipating a chance to run into you.

I sit here for hours.

One day I even sat through a rain shower.

For just a glance.

A chance to talk to you.

Wow!!  Old girl sat outside, through an entire rain shower hoping to get a PEEK at this dude?????  Hmmm, well, maybe there’s a whole lot to their history.  Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they’re in love and had a breakup, or maybe they got physical and then he pulled away so she’s emotional attached, but he isn’t.  Um, ok, I guess MAYBE I could go with that, until she says,

You’re probably wondering how I even know you

Huh?  Say what????  Damn!  You’re stalking a STRANGER???????  Damn Me’Shell.  I guess he gives good eye or something, huh?  Whew.  Stalker azz stalker!!

I can still see myself jamming and humming along with these three, but now that I’ve really, really heard and digested the lyrics, they just don’t sound as good.

Have the lyrics to a song that you loved ever thrown you for a loop or am I the only one?


53 thoughts on “Ah, Is That What They Meant?

  1. HIlarity!

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a song from back in the day and realized that I had the lyrics all fudged up OR have come to the realization of what the song was really about like your examples.


    • Girl, I can mess up some lyrics is a heartbeat!!
      My biggest blunder to date is Michael Jackson, You are not alone.
      The line is, “Your burdens I will bear”
      I heard, “Your burgers I’ll prepare”.
      LMAO!! #greedygirl

  2. Love that EnVogue song. And I didn’t know it was a remake.

    Yes! Piece of my love is the most misunderstood song ever. It’s not sweet at all. He’s basically saying “Yeah we can get down but I dont have to talk to you about anything. So dont ask me no questions.” She can have a piece of his love and I guess he is telling her exactly which “piece” she can have. Ya feel me!

    I mentioned in an old post that “Don’t be Afraid”by Aaron Hall is a blatent song about raping girls. I used to jam to it until I listened to those words hard. Aaron Hall the perv strikes again!

  3. BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! you’re commentary is hilariou sbut OH SO true! And now you’re not the only one ..it happens ALL the time when I’m in the car like “WHAAAT!?! they were saying all that?!?!?! It even happens with movies from when i was younger. Like for example “The Last Unicorn” It came on recently and i was so fascinated because it was one of my favorite movies when i was like 4 or 5!!! but now watching it as an adult I realize I had NO BUSINESS watching that cartoon at all…it had way too much sexual innuendo

  4. Girl there’s not a single song from my childhood (18 and under) that I’m not weekly or monthly traumatized by when I hear the real lyrics as an adult. This is why I can’t suffer the fools who say music today just ain’t like what it used to be. THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY PEOPLE SINGING CRAZY LYRICS!! Just because he said it over a beat you liked better doesn’t mean his words are less nuts.

  5. I didn’t know D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar” was about smoking weed until someone told me. But when I looked at the lyrics it totally made sense. And how brilliant to use a woman as a metaphor for marijuana. Clever. I wonder if he wrote that song himself.

  6. My favorite song as a 9yr old was I Shot The Sherrif. Yeah, you know I didn’t listen to all of the words. I loved the song so much that my brother purchased the single for me.

  7. I can’t think of any at the moment but this post is hilarious! The Guy songs have me speechless. All rape-y and cheat-y BOOOOOOO!

  8. The picture of the lady sitting under the cart?


    • I’m gonna start throwing pennies across the miles every time one of ya’ll tries to get me on twitter!!
      I’m on the internet too damn much as it is! I can’t become addicted to laughing with ya’ll on twitter.
      Plus, don’t tell Jameil – I tried it, but I didn’t understand it!! =( She’ll say it’s cause I’m old!

  9. isn’t if funny when you get older you realize what is REALLY going on…like on the Cosby show, you didn’t realize how freaky Cliff and Clare were until now…or anything else, you didn’t see all the “adult” ad libs in cartoons, we didn’t know what they were singing…now its like DAGGGGGGG LOL

    • Weren’t they??? They are constantly flirting and trying to get a free minute to themselves. Didn’t get it then, but now? I think it’s too cute!! Older married couple still trying to get it in!!

  10. Honey HUSH…that GUY song always has me rolling when he gets to part asking her ‘to please be with him for a little while.” and “please hush, lay back and relax.” SMH…I’m not saying Aaron Hall wasn’t belting one out but they were trife for the lyrics, LOL!

    Miss Me’Shell always has lyrics that make you look at her side-eye. Her metaphors are always deep. She could sing her ABCs to me and I would sit and listen!

    • Right! Hush, lay back and relax. “Looka here girl. Is we gonna get to it or not?” That’s what he was saying. “All this yip yapping is ruining the mood. I’m trying to smash.” Crude azz.
      I love Me’Shell too! I’ve been giving some of her lyrics the side eye, but I still love her!

    • That is definitely the theme song of a pimp with a STRONG hand! *LOL* Nah, I can’t imagine that the girlfriend was that big of a fan. I’d have popped that tape and made you listen to Heatwave, “Always and Forever” on repeat!!!

  11. Me’shell was talking about chicks anyway lol.

    I knew what peice of my love was talking about. I’ve always been a lyrics girl and I’ve never heard that en vouge song.

    • Not sure. She’s bi, so she could have been talking about either. Or BOTH! *lol*
      Really @ never having heard the En Vogue song? I used to play that thing over and over.

  12. It’s so funny that you’ve bought that up because I’ve been listening to a lot of 80’s and 90’s music lately and realizing how naive I was back then. I obviously never really listened to the lyrical content of a song. Lol.

  13. I cannot sing so it’s hard for me to remember lyrics but i do love singing along to “i wanna dance with somebody”, anything by whitney houston is good when whitney was whitney!

  14. As someone mentioned above, Michelle was talking about girls…..But it was still some stalker ish!

    And really, what did Aaron Hall really say in the beginning of that song?? For the longest time, all of my friends swore he said “dumb B****”!!!

    • I’on know ya’ll. She was bi, ya know? Could have been referring to either.
      Yep, that’s exactly what he said! And then tried to get the drawers! Dirty dog!!

  15. What does it say that I absolutely LOVE “Outside Your Door”? Like it’s really one of my favorite slow jams ever. *Sigh* No ladies, I am not a stalker.

    • LOL! I don’t think it says anything, just that you have great taste in music. Me’Shell is the bomb and that is one of the best slow jams ever. I don’t know you KNOW YOU, but I think I can step out there and say, nah, you’re not a crazy azz stalker. *lol*

  16. lol. This is hilarious! It’s interesting to hear old songs again and re-interpret them with my adult minds. So many songs that I thought were innocent, I have learned, well, that they aren’t. It’s funny. And, I thought only songs today were full of drama. I’m learning it’s (or drama’s) been here all along.

  17. That last one is hilarious! It made it better that I didn’t know the song, that way I had no idea what to expect.
    I have definitely had moments like this with music. Its funny what we don’t hear even after having listened to a song numerous times.
    The one I thought of while reading this was “Too Close” or “Real Close” by Next and some lady. I will never forget the time I really paid attention to that one…

    • LOL @ the Next song! I used to jam to that one, then one day heard him say, “Feel a little poke”, “You’re making it hard for me”, etc. GIrl!! I was shocked!! Just jamming to the beat and this fool is talking about getting some.

  18. Too funny. Sadly many songs throw me for a loop. I’ll think that they are great until my husband points out the real words to me and then I’m like “what?” I’m bad with words to songs–what can i say? LOL

    • LOL! I’ve been known to butcher a song and substitute the words that I think are being sung. **smh** These 3 threw me for a loop last week since they used to be some of my favorites. My husband laughs at me too and says, “I thought you knew what they were saying!”.

  19. Girl you had me literally laughing out loud! Great post. I might have to dig deep and think of a few of my own! LOL! But one that I always always ALWAYS hated but would sing every time it came on was Mokenstef “He’s Mine” ARGHHH! Hated that song, but the beat was rockin’!

    It just started off ALL wrong!

    “He might be doin’ you but he’s thinkin’g about me.”

    Girl, TRUST! He is NOT thinking about YOU while he is doin’ me! And WHY would you even be thinkin’ about a dude who is doin’ another girl? He aint worth it!

    “He’s Mine! You may have had him once but I got him all the time!”

    You don’t have him if he’s doin’ ME! LOL!

    That song really gets me!

    LOL! Loved the post!


    • ARGH!! I remember that one! And they sang it in that little sing-song, nursery rhyme kinda way. That line was the worst – “He’s Mine! You may have had him once but I got him all the time!” Thank goodness they were one hit wonders and we didn’t have to hear more of their groundbreaking, feminist lyrics! *lmao*

  20. I had no idea that En Vogue’s song was a remake. It was one of my faves from that CD – well that and “Don’t Go”.

    I can’t think of any misinterpreted song lyrics but I do remember buying BlackStreet’s first CD on the strength of nice love songs like “Before I Let You Go” and “Joy” and being kinda shocked at some of the rest of their material. It was always like a nice beat and then a real nasty rap thrown in like “Huh?”

    • Yep, I used to love “Don’t Go” too! Ahh, yeah I remember Blackstreet’s CD. My mother bought it too and ended up giving it to me. “Those boys don’t sing quite like I thought!” *lol*

  21. This is too funny! I do know what you mean cause I have done that before. I kinda got the same effect with things like learning Teddy was singing to a man and that other song was about the guy loosing his dog. Still love the songs though!…lol

    • LOL! Aw, yeah, “Brandy” by the O’Jays. Most have people have NO idea that the song is about his dog.
      However, sir, I must HALT you in referring to my beloved Mr. Pendergrass and the ever persistent rumors regarding his sexuality.
      I will forever trust and believe that he was indeed singing to a lovely lady. ****fingers in ears and shaking head vigorously****
      Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’ll visit again!

  22. Ummmm, yeah. I recently listened to 12 Play by R.Kelly. Seriously, why were we even listening to that foolishness in middle school. Lawd, I can’t imagine what my kids will be listening to. I knew every word to that song, didn’t have a clue.

    • Yep, 12 Play is most definitely still a guilty and seedy pleasure to listen to!!!! I must be just a tad bit younger than you because I remember the foolishness that accompanied that song during my first year of college. When I came home during Xmas break, my mother heard me playing that CD and proceeded to crack it in half. Simply more evidence to solidify their title as amongst the most gangsta parents EVER.

  23. For me it’s the song “Afternoon Delight” As a kid I had noooo idea what that song was about… I hadn’t heard the song, really, since I was a kid… About 5 yrs ago, I heard somebody talking about it and I BURST into the convo with: THAT’S what song is about??!! They all looked at me like I was CRAZY and said “Of course…” Feeling a bit foolish I had to explain that I hadn’t heard it since childhood and… Well.. Never mind…

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