I want to sing Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines every time that incessant earworm crawls into my head. But I have a few problems with the lyrics.
… tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
Uh, no, Rob. It is not in my nature to call women animals and try to “domesticate” them. Nor have I ever presumed anyone “wants it” from me and I will tell my daughter and anyone else that it’s not a compliment to tell a woman, “You’re the hottest b—- in this place.”
So as a sing-along song, Thicke’s misogynistic anthem really doesn’t work for me, nor does his whole twerking thing with women half his age. It feels like a mid-life crisis playing out in music videos and on award shows.
But that tune …
Thank God for “Weird Al” Yankovic!
For those of you whose wordy friends have not already overwhelmed your news feed with Al’s latest video (I have provided it above), it’s a treatment of Thicke’s controversial hit called Word Crimes, and like Eat It, The Rye or the Kaiser, Like a Surgeon, Amish Paradise and numerous other Al classics, it’s a scream.
You finished second grade
I hope you can tell
If you’re doing good or doing well
Al, 54, has been in the music business for well over three decades, but the topic of the parody is so timely because more people communicate publicly in writing now than ever before, and we have all seen people who have tenuous grasps of the English language.
I read your e-mail
It’s quite apparent
Your grammar’s errant
Now we’re not talking about the person who accidentally, on occasion, sticks an it’s where and its should be. Believe me, I can testify that when you work with thousands of words a day, mistakes will happen. It’s called human error. But you don’t have to sit on social media long to see writing that just screams, “I don’t know any better!”
The other great thing is, like Al’s best parodies, Word Crimes is a great replication of the original song. Yes, he’s had fun diversions, like the accordion-based satire of Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust called Another One Rides the Bus.
Hey! He’s gonna sit by you! Another one rides the bus.
But there’s a reason many of us think of Al’s parodies, even when listening to the original songs.
Get yourself an egg and beat it
The impressive thing is how consistent Al has remained over the years. He satirized the songs of my youth, and now he’s having fun with my kids’ favorites and being successful. His new album, Mandatory Fun, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, powered by fans of Word Crimes and other videos he released in a precision promotional campaign.
It’s a great grammar primer. But even better, it lets me enjoy a song that, in its original form, doesn’t even work as a guilty pleasure.