Those of us too young or too not alive to appreciate the 90s may be confused by some of the more popular singles of the decade. Here is a compilation of some of the more lingering questions that were posed or inspired by these hits and some that actually have answers.
“Lump” – President’s of the United States of America
The Question: Is Lump OK? Should Someone check on her
Sample Lyric: She's lump she's lump She's in my head She's lump she's lump she's lump She might be dead
According to the song there’s a female named Lump who may be mentally disabled if not violently so and is homeless. The man can’t stop thinking about her and leads her on sexually based on her suspected promiscuity but in the end he abandons her somewhere where she could be lying dead or dying. Why have no criminal charges been filed? Why has nobody looked for lump!? JUSTICE FOR LUMP!
“The Boy is Mine” – Brandy v Monica
The Question: Whose Boy Is It Anyways?
Sample Lyric: I'm sorry that you Seem to be confused He belongs to me The boy is mine
Ignoring the video where it’s clear that the ladies kick the two-timing sleaze to the curb(neck roll, finger snap, sassy eyes) the song doesn’t give any indication of the outcome of this battle of wills. These ladies are so busy competing they have neglected to see the giant douche-e-phant ™ in the room. Why aren’t they just making out? That’s how I solve all my hot lady problems.
“The Sign” – Ace of Base
The Question: What is the Sign?
Sample Lyric: I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign
Considering they’re Swedish I assume they’re talking about Ikea. I can’t tell you how many fights I got into at Ikea with my ex-boyfriend. “I don’t think the Birknöck will fit our room as well as the Üfgrapple” “When you touch me I long for death”. Swedes (shrugs).
“Feed the Tree” - Belly
The Question: What is this hippie talking about?
Sample Lyric: So take your hat off boy When you're talking to me And be there when I feed the tree.
Lead singer Tanya Donelly says the song is a metaphor about commitment and respect, with the tree being a place on a large farm where a family would be buried. Sigh, I miss the 90s. Good thing we have Portland.
“Are You That Somebody” – Aaliya
The Question: Why are there baby noises?
Sample Lyrics: If I let you know You can't tell nobody, I'm talking 'bout nobody (BABY COO) Are you responsible?
It could have something to do with Aaliyah being referred often as, “baby girl”. More likely it’s just because the producers were being music nerds. The sample used by Static Major and Timbaland was an homage to electronic music pioneers Perrey and Kingsley's and their 1966 hit "Countdown at 6". Honestly? I’m just glad that I wasn’t imagining the sound for the last decade plus. Babies are terrifying.
“Let Forever Be” – The Chemical Brothers
The Question: How does it feel like to ____?
Sample Lyric: How does it feel like, To breathe with everything? How does it feel like, To let forever be?
It’s one of my favorite videos but it’s nonsense is the only sense lyrically speaking. Plus side I’m sure you can probably find someone who knows what he’s talking about at Burning Man.
“I Want It That Way” – The Backstreet Boys
The Question: Why did they go with the nonsensical lyric? They sound like d#$@s.
Sample Lyric: Tell me why, I never want to hear you say, I want it that way
There were two versions of this song recorded: one that made sense lyrically and thematically and one that didn’t. Guess which one won out? The alternate take has the more logical and affirmative, “I love it when I hear you say, that I want it that way” which brings to mind a bloke who is sensitive and comfortable enough to let his lady lead. The other way he sounds like a controlling a-hole. But boy bands don’t have to make sense, they just have to make little girls feel things and horseback ride.
“It Wasn’t Me” – Shaggy
The Question: Is Shaggy the worst Jedi or just and idiot?
Sample Lyric: I even had her in the shower (It wasn't me) She even caught me on camera (It wasn't me) She saw the marks on my shoulder (It wasn't me)
While Shaggy is busy rhyming in the Ewok language last heard at the end of Return of the Jedi, the guy in the chorus comes to his own conclusions. One, that Shaggy is a moron and two, that he should probably be honest with a woman who has already “stayed until it was over”. Call me crazy but I have a feeling she knows.
“It Was a Good Day” – Ice Cube
The Question: Which Day is ‘The Day’?
Sample Lyric: Half way home and my pager still blowin up Today I didn't even have to use my A.K. I got to say it was a good day
Blessed Donovan from Murk Avenue did the legwork and now this question can actually be put to rest. SPOILER: The ONLY day where: - Yo MTV Raps was on air - It was a clear and smogless day - Beepers were commercially sold - Lakers beat the SuperSonics, and - Ice Cube had no events to attend was…
JANUARY 20 1992. National Good Day Day. Please remember to mark your calendar fools! Not that you’re foolish. That’s just something they used to say. I’m sorry, I made this awkward.
I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Wont Do That) – Meatloaf
The Question: WHAT WOULDN’T YOU DO?
Sample Lyric: Girl: Will you make me some magic with your own two hands? Can you build an emerald city with these grains of sand? Can you give me something I can take home? Loaf: I can do that!
A lot of people are still confused about this one, but it was actually explained on Vh1 Storytellers ages ago. Each verse mentions two things that he would do for love, followed by one thing that he will not do. The things he wont do are: forget the way you feel right now, forgive myself if we don't go all the way tonight, do it better than I do it with you, stop dreaming of you every night of my life. And after being accused of infidelity he ends the song with saying, again, he “wont do that”. So bookmark this page so you have it at the ready the next time you’re at karaoke.
Any burning questions you’ve always had about a 90s song? Let me know on Twitter or leave a comment below!