Monday, January 26, 2009

Say What?

I listen to pretty much all Christian music. I find most of the time the lyrics have more meaning, and apply more to my life. God often uses songs from various CCM artists to speak to me, or remind me of things He's been teaching me lately. But sometimes I hear the odd CCM lyrics that just kind of leave me speechless. Not because it's particularly wonderful, poetic, or applicable, but just because it either makes no sense or is really awkward. One of those "wait a minute, did they just say what I think they said?" moments. I've had a few of those over the years as I've absorbed more and more CCM, so without further ado, here it is: Christina's Collection of Odd and Awkward CCM Lyrics. Okay, so the name is still in the works. If you have a suggestion, or lyrics you want to add to the list, go right ahead. The more the merrier

1. "Hit me with the juice/Much obliged got the head of a moose/So mount me on the walls of your living room." TobyMac, Ill-M-I

I love TobyMac. I think his songs are catchy, and most of the time I think I get what he's saying with the lyrics, but this one makes absolutely no sense to me. Is there some deep, metaphorical hidden meaning that I'm missing here?

2. "All you could hear/Was ka-chunk ka-chunk ka-chunk/All you could hear/Was the doctor putting staples in his punk...He could have died that day/Which means that he would not be here." Relient k, Staples

If you contrast Relient k's earlier CD with just about any of their later ones, you see just how much their work has improved. And Staples is easily the weakest track on a weak album. The story? The song is about a guy who crashed his car and had to get staples in his head. The conclusion? He could have died that day, which means that he would not be here (no, really?) but the good would be knowing he's in heaven. Not technically false, I suppose, but really awkward. Every once in awhile I like to listen to it to remind myself of how far Relient k has come since then.

3. “It’s the return of the Boneybone patnas trippin’/Cuz I’m dippin’ in my Lincoln, plus I’m pimpin’, still sittin’ on chrome/Bringin’ you that gospel sound that make you wanna boogie woogie...Gospelalphamegafunkyboogiediscomusic/Awaa nuttin’ but the ghost in me/Supergroovalistic hits ya see” – T Bone, Gospelalphamegafunkyboogiediscomusic

Really, I could have used just about any T-Bone lyric in this compilation. T-Bone amuses me. Make Carman a rapper, and give him a gun and shiny car so he can drive around his 'hood poppin' demons, and you got T-Bone. Someday I will have to devote an entire blog post to him. But I chose this particular lyric because I find it really awkward to use the use the word pimpin' when talking about singing gospel music. Maybe it's just me. Also, the title is pretty ridiculously long.

4. “This is fo’ tha playa playa make you holla holla/Tha kid wit no morals sell his mama fo a dolla” – Grits (They All Fall Down)

Once I was listening to this song and my mom walked in right at this part and was slightly startled. That's when I realized just how awkward it was. That being said, I like Grits. They be like ooh ahh.

5. “Carry me/I’m just a dead man/Lying on the carpet/Can’t find a heartbeat” – Jars of Clay, Dead Man (Carry Me)

Nuff said.

6. “Well the moral of the story/It goes a little something like this/If you got a mullet/Well it’s a haircut, not a fish” – KJ52, The Mullet Song

This one feels like he was really grasping at straws to rhyme, which was probably the case. The funny thing is, it's not even a perfect rhyme. He could have used a word like, say, kiss, which would have made as much sense (or rather lacked as much sense) and it would have at least rhymed better.

7. “Satan is an evil charmer/He’s hungry for a soul to hurt/And without your holy armor/He will eat you for dessert” – Randy Stonehill, Shut De Do

This is the kind of song that gives church kids under the age of ten nightmares. Also I love that throughout the song he talks about "De debil." Way to make him sound terrifying one minute and nonthreatening and almost cuddly the next.

8. “The other night I met a girl/And she looked to be so nice/I asked her for the digits/And she didn't think twice/A couple of days later called her up and asked her out/She said,'with you?' I said, 'with me,'/And then she said, 'without a doubt'/I took her to the Garden where/I guess they grow the Olives/She wore a tighter skirt/Than any I had seen in college/She said, "I love to smoke and drink/While cursing like a sailor"/I asked her where she got her mouth/And if she had a tailor/Finally I walked her to the door to say goodnight/She said, ‘I am an apple,/Would you care to take a bite?’” – dc Talk, That Kinda Girl

As much as I appreciate the premise of this song (which is about how they're holding out for godly women), I find this first verse amusingly awkward. I especially love the lines they attribute to the "bad girl." "I love to smoke and drink while cursing like a sailor" "I am an apple, would you care to take a bite?" And to hear Toby rap those lines just completes it. Check out this tribute video.

9. “Cause I represent a whole new breed of Christian today/I’m authorized and deputized to blow you clean away/I’ve got with me two bullets that overcome all sin and crud/One bullet is called the word of my testimony/And the other one’s called the blood.” – Carman, Satan Bite the Dust

Again, this whole song is just awkward. I fully believe in spiritual warfare, but writing songs about being a deputy in the Wild Wild West (Jesus is the sheriff, of course) and crashing saloon parties to bust Satan and his demons is just, well, odd. And kinda trivializes spiritual warfare and turns it into a joke, on some level. If you've seen the music video you know what I mean.

10. “Someday we’ll drink to this and say/Remember when we died? We went out in flames....I’ll take my heart back/And set the people free/I’ll leave the dead to die/There will be blood on the streets.” – The Classic Crime, The Fight

This is part of an emerging genre my sister and I like to call chremo (or christian emo). My friend "Becca" assures me this song is a spiritual metaphor of some kind, but I haven't figured it out yet. In the meantime I find it almost creepy, especially the line about blood on the streets.

11. “When the toast is burned/And all the milk has turned/And Captain Crunch is waving farewell/When the big one finds you/May this song remind you/That they don’t serve breakfast in hell.” – Newsboys, Breakfast

Strictly speaking, I'm pretty sure this is absolutely true. I've not been to hell myself, but I doubt they serve breakfast there. But I remember hearing this song for the first time when I was 7 and being so fascinated by the unconventional reference to hell that I made my friend Isaac put it on repeat.

12. “Where I and I is free/Jah set my mind at ease/Will I stay cool in the shade even at 96 degrees?” - P.O.D., Set Your Eyes to Zion

It's the word jah that most amuses me in this lyric. They use it throughout the song in the strangest places, and I have no idea what they're trying to say. I think maybe they're trying to use the German word for yes, but if that's the case they've totally butchered the pronunciation. I'm also having trouble discerning exactly what they meant by "where I and I is free." It's like I can almost get it, but not quite.

13. “You need that boy/Like a bowling ball/Dropped on your head/Which means not at all.” – Superchic[k], Bowling Ball

Again, this is one I really don't need to write much about. It speaks for itself. Someday I will use that line on a friend whose boyfriend I don't like.

14. "Professional." - Switchfoot, Amateur Lovers

Okay, so this one doesn't look awkward in print, but it definitely sounds awkward. P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-professional. It's like they're hissing and stuttering at the same time. Really, it's kinda creepy.

So, have I missed anything? What other strange and awkward CCM lyrics could be added to my list?

2 comments:

Joanna said...

I think it is some secret rapper rule that says you must have one passage that doesn't really make any sense on every album.

As for the P.O.D thing, i'm pretty sure Jah is a name for God used in some parts of the world. I suspect thats what they were trying

glowess said...

Ah, Carman. That wizard of words. "Satan Bite the Dust" literally haunted my childhood and I hadn't thought of it since at least 1997. Thanks for the laugh :)