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Translating the nation’s top singles

It’s time, once again, to translate the top five singles on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. Again, I don’t really intend to make a moral judgment about the lyrics, even though some I’ve analyzed undoubtedly warrant parental advisory stickers. My interest stems more from a desire to productively channel sarcasm and literary criticize.<br

0b184-lollipopLollipop, by Lil’ Wayne, featuring Static Major: There isn’t a lot I can say about the translation of this expletive-filled song and probably don’t have to. Once again, a guy meets a girl in a club, and the encounter leads to a rendezvous. I did find it interesting that, at one point, the rapper, Static Major, describes the woman he has passionately embraced (a very mild translation) as “Hillary Roddem. (sic)” I am sure Mrs. Clinton would be flattered by the comparison.

33c51-bleedingloveBleeding Love, by Leona Lewis: Lewis sings about giving up on love after failed relationships and protecting herself from future pain until she found someone she could trust to love. She equates love with bleeding, saying her new man helped her “open up.” She refuses to listen to friends, who she believes are trying to prevent her happiness and think she may be crazy. The lyrics read as if she’s either in love or suicidal.

73414-takeabowTake a Bow, by Rihanna: A woman finally realizes that her boyfriend, a cheater, is acting when he apologizes for his mistakes. Rihanna asks him to “take a bow” following his “performance” and tells him the show is over. This girl is so talented, and so young. I predict she’ll eventually be on Broadway.

0c182-loveinthisclubLove in This Club, by Usher featuring Young Jeezy: It’s another club song with expletives. The rapper, who describes himself as a “thug” who wears 87 Jeans and Nikes, offers to supply a woman with drinks all night and says he wants to have a liaison with her in the club. “I’ll bag you like some groceries,” is one sample of the romantic poetry you’ll find in this song. I didn’t know what 87 Jeans were, but a quick Internet search revealed that they are Jeezy’s own line of apparel.

bc54c-noairNo Air, Jordin Sparks duet with Chris Brown: Sparks sings about losing or being separated from her love. Brown is also forlorn that they’re apart. They can’t live without one another, like a person can’t live without air.

Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

This entry was posted in: MUSIC

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