Humour: Beset by the Pyrrhic Lyric

Snoop_Dogg_by_Bob_Bekian_2Originally published in the Toronto Star on June 14, 2005.  Have you ever been moved to violence, even blood carnage, by the sheer grammatical audacity of radio fare? I know I have. Below follows the most comprehensive grammatical assessment ever performed on a Snoop Dogg composition, and that’s just the opening act.


“Late night, come home /

Work sucks, I know /

She left me roses by the stairs /

Surprises let me know she cares /

Say it ain’t so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home /



— Blink 182, “All the Small Things”


Picking on Blink 182 is like shouting at one’s dog. You hate it for excreting all over the airwaves, and yet in your heart you know the poor beggars just don’t know any better. Thoroughly inept at all instruments, unquestionably illiterate and probably quite smelly, Blink 182 has appeared on the cover of the appalling rag CosmoGirl and won an irrelevant Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award.


Spelling and Grammar:

1. “Late night, come home /Work sucks, I know”…

Demons from hell, can you say SENTENCE FRAGMENTS?? F.

2. “Nanananananananananana” is spelled with a silent ‘e’. F.


“[Urination sounds]

Heah hah hah!/

I’m serious nigga one of y’all niggaz got this ass motherf**** up/

Ay baby…get some bubblegum in this mother******/

…Two in the mornin and the party’s still jumpin’/

’Cause my momma ain’t home.”


— Snoop Dogg, “Gin and Juice”


The rest of the lyrics are equally retarded, but so disgusting that this newspaper would be red before it ever left the presses if we printed it. “Get some bubblegum in this mother******,” raps Snoop vacuously. That’s right, Snoop. Yeah…bubblegum! You just shove that old piece of vile bubblegum right up…wherever it is you want to put it so desperately. Use violence if you have to…then call it self-defence.


Spelling and grammar: Since when does “niggaz” have a “z” in it? Also, mother******* is spelled with a silent “*”. F.

Content: The blueprint for all meaningless, sleazy twaddle about hoes and homeboys. F.

Best rhyme: “Tinkle” and “sprinkle” (freestyled by Snoop’s urethra). B+

Personal note: Snoop Dogg and The Game recently played my school, Cornell University. Admission was free – worthless, actually – just like Snoop. I didn’t go.




“It’s like ten thousand spoons/

When all you need is a knife

..And isn’t it ironic?”


— Alanis Morissette, “Ironic”, from “Jagged Little Pill”


No, it’s not. 500 kg of cutlery may be 499.9 kg heavier than all of Alanis’ lyrics combined, but it is definitely not ironic. Got it? NOT ironic. Not. No part of the song was ironic. And we must never let her forget it.


Spelling and grammar: She may have a feeble grasp of English adjectives such as “ironic”, but she spells like Noah Webster. Now that’s ironic. A.

Content: Completely unironic. Sheesh, learn some irony already. F.

Irony: F. Absolutely not ironic. She’s had hourly reminders of this for past 10 years, you’d think she might have gotten the message by now.




”I know a mouse / And he hasn’t got a house

I don’t know why / I call him Gerald

He’s getting rather old / But he’s a good mouse”


— Bike, Pink Floyd


They just don’t make mice like they used to. Poor old beggar never even had a house, not even six. Frilly elephants…gobsmacked…semolina pilchard…purple haze kaleidoscope …six. It all comes back to six…which is probably the number of dozens of LSD pills Syd Barrett popped before he wrote “Bike”.


Content: So simple, and yet so complex. A.

Spelling: Very professionally done. House and mouse are particularly well-spelled. A.

Mice: Only one, but Lord, what a mouse. Minor deductions for not having a house. B+




“You make me wanna la la, la la la, la la, la la la la la la la la la

You make me wana la la, la la la la

You make me wanna la la”


— Ashlee Simpson, “La La”


And you make me want to hurl. Next.


Content: La-la-lame. F.

Grammar: L-la-l’atrocious. F.

Spelling: Not even Ashlee could get “l” and “a” out of synch. A.

Best rhyme: “La” and “La”.



“Load up on guns/ Bring your friends

It’s fun to lose / And to pretend…

She’s overboard / Myself assured

I know I know / A dirty word…


Hello hello hello how low

Hello hello hello how low

Hello hello hello how low

Hello hello hello how low


…Here we are now / Entertain us

A mulatto / An albino / A mosquito / My libido



— Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”


Nirvana was a misunderstood band, and Smells Like Teen Spirit a misunderstood song. I don’t even understand the title. Teen Spirit, an antiperspirant product, is by definition odourless and is in fact an effective agent for stench reduction, so you tell me: how could anything possibly smell like…whatever. Just nevermind. After the first utterly illogical stanza, Kurt Cobain remembers his manners and says hello…nine times. It’s okay, Kurt. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright…Cocaine…does tend to make one repeat oneself. Just ask Eric Clapton.


Spelling and Grammar: Punctuation and syntax are trappings of the American establishment . So are grades.

Phileas Faraday’s Accuracy: Yeah, yeah. Kurt was hooked on heroin, NOT cocaine. You try making a joke out of heroin. Fool, it’s no laughing matter. A+.

Mice: Sorry, we’re just out of mice. May I offer you a mosquito? A mulatto? A little albino, perhaps? F.



“Hast du etwas Zeit fur mich

Dann singe ich ein Lied fur dich

Von 99 Luftballons

Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont”


— Nena, 99 Luftballons


WHAT? These aren’t even in English!! Get with the program, nürds.


Content: Very confusing. Written in the wrong language. F.

Spelling and grammar: “Hast du etwas Zeit fur mich” reeks of dangling participles. Plus, it’s Luftballoons, not Luftballons, morons. F.




“Sleepy jack the fire drill/

Running round and round and round and round and round…And round


Cut the kids in half

Cut the kids in half”


— Radiohead, “Morning Bell” (from Kid A)


After OK Computer was widely hailed as the greatest album in history, English band Radiohead really had nowhere to go but down. Thom Yorke undoubtedly realized this, ghoulishly shrugged, then methed up a gerbil and recorded him jumping on a synthesizer. Kid A was thus born, and Radiohead laughed miserably all the way to #1 on the Canadian, U.S. and U.K. charts. The working album title was “We’re Just Kidding, Eh”, but market research showed that this didn’t go down very well anywhere but Canada, so EMI nipped and tucked it into something very deep and intellectual, just like all Radiohead fans.


Content: One giant cell phone ring. N/A.

Spelling and grammar: “Cut the kids in half” is imperative and “kid” is plural; the more appropriate command would “Cut the kids in halves”. Now do it. F.

Deepness: Deeper than Deep Throat, but not as deep as a McCain’s Deep n’ Delicious. Grade? D, obviously. For deep.



“Don’t care what is written in your history/

As long as you’re here with me …

I don’t care who you are / Where you’re from

What you did / As long as you love me”


— The Backstreet Boys, “As Long as You Love Me”


The lame rhythms and sickly beats of this boy band paean mask the fact that “As Long as You Love Me” is one of the creepiest pop songs ever written. Don’t care what unspeakable, horrific crimes you have perpetrated, bleat Brian and co, just love me. Please, love me, for I am small and dusty, ugly and desperate. Serial rapist? Professional boxer? Gisele Bundchen? No…OK, Sheila Copps? Mike Tyson? Someone? Anyone?


Content: An “S”, for “spooky”.

Spelling and Grammar: “Don’t care what is written in your history” has no subject and the entire piece lacks punctuation. But you guys probably don’t care. F.




“Once Mom finds out ’bout this party I had/

I don’t wanna even start thinkin’ about dad/

I’m hustlin’ around the house /

Tryin’ to clean up the mess/

I sure put my new white Nikes to the test”


— Aaron Carter, “Aaron’s Party”


I guess sucking runs in the family. Nick Carter’s baby brother started lisping professionally when he was 9, and the horrendous “Aaron’s Party” was released when the monster was about 12. Aaron, a despicable maggot, lures his parents out of the house by bribing them with the tantalizing prospect of his own absence. He then proceeds to throw a lame party. Everyone makes a mess, and Aaron soils his new white Nikes! Instead of castrating the unendurable turd, Aaron’s parents ground him. I would have freight-shipped him straight to a Nike sweatshop, then condemned him to death.


Spelling and Grammar: I don’t think they teach that stuff in grade 6 any more. F-.

Content: Rap was once a chronicle of the urban black experience, the angry outpouring of an oppressed minority. Now available in bubblegum. If he weren’t such an obvious rat, I might almost be tempted to accuse Aaron C. of satire. F-.


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