THE CHINESE restaurant played American pop ballads non-stop tonight. While trying to eat masala-drenched mushroom rolls, I wished that Leon Lai's "爱你/不爱你" was playing instead of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". And that's because I'd rather not pay attention to lyrics I don't understand, than try to understand lyrics I'm forced to pay attention to. Like "My Heart Will Go On". Think about it: what on earth does that line really mean?
And so while trying to eat masala-drenched chicken, I dedicated the entire dinnertime mentally listing ten American pop songs with the most confusing titles. Broken hearts and endless dreams are what make pop so memorable, especially by such lyricists as Paul Williams, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, and Carole Bayer Sager in the 1970s and 1980s. "I Won't Last A Day Without You." "The Way We Were." "Nobody Does It Better". Story-telling at its lyrical, drama-queen best.
But sometimes, songs of broken hearts and endless dreams are narrated weirdly. Here are ten of those songs. I'm sure there are other songs worthy of greater discombobulation, but these are the ones that came out of my head while trying to eat masala-drenched jasmine rice. Masala in a Chinese restaurant. Confusing.
- "My Heart Will Go On"—Celine Dion
And on and on and on and on. Lord knows where to. Woe betide those whose paths cross with this unstoppable heart.
- "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight"—Cutting Crew
It must have been about a vampire. He got killed before singing the song.
- "Eaten Alive"—Diana Ross
It must have been about a vampire. She got digested before singing the song.
- "Three Times A Lady"—The Commodores
Whether you're once, twice, or thrice a lady, you're still fake, lady.
- "Muskrat Love"—America
A house is not a home unless there's puppy love, pussy willows, and rodent adoration.
- "Killing Me Softly With His Song"—Roberta Flack
As opposed to killing her hardly.
- "She Blinded Me With Science"—Thomas Dolby
I suppose that Mr. Dolby was fascinated with the seventies urban legend of a vengeful Imelda Marcos throwing muriatic acid on a famous singer's face.
- "More Than A Woman"—The Bee Gees
The result of too much cosmetic surgery.
- "Making Love Out of Nothing At All"—Air Supply
The person in question isn't at all interested, so why does he even bother doing it?
- "Popsicle Toes"—Michael Franks
I refuse to think what happens to the foot when those toes melt.
So there. I now invite you to translate these titles into your native language. They might make better sense in the vernacular.
Better, at least, than Chinese masala.
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