Lyrical Epiphanies

Do you ever have those songs that you’ve listened to hundreds of times and you kind of think you know the lyrics, then at some point, maybe months or years later, you hear the song again and realize that whatever you thought were the right lyrics were actually 100 percent wrong? Or maybe you knew the words, but you thought it meant something totally different. This happens to me all the time.

Part of the reason it’s so frequent for me is because much of the music I listened to between the years of 1992 and 1997 was rap and R&B. I’ve venture to guess that a majority of those lyrics were not intended to be understood by a third-grader.

One of my favorite groups back then was 112. I had a huge crush on their lead singer, whose name is a total mystery to me and I’m too lazy to Google it. Anyway. One of their songs, Only You, had a remix version (back then every song had a remix, I think) featuring Puff Daddy (yeah, I called him Puff Daddy; he will always be Puff Daddy to me) and Mase. When Mase gets the chance to show his skillz, one of his lyrics goes something like, “I know I’m not the one that gave you the stone/but on your days alone I can make you moan.”

Now, when this song was considered a “hit” on “YO! MTV Raps!” or Bill Bellamy’s Top 10 Countdown (1996ish), I was in sixth or seventh grade [By the way, I wanted to be Bill Bellamy’s wife basically my entire stint in elementary]. When Mase said “stone,” I thought he was talking about kidney stones. I concluded that the woman’s current husband/boyfriend was causing her a lot of stress, which had given her kidney stones (I don’t even know if stress can cause kidney stones, but stress seems to be a possible cause of everything), and Mase was going to relieve that stress through massage when her husband/boyfriend wasn’t there.

This is not what Mase meant. I think “stone” is actually referring to her wedding/engagement ring, and “moan” is referring to something that is much less professional than a massage. But this seriously didn’t occur to me until tonight.  Somehow the song got stuck in my head and I’ve been wandering around my place singing it to myself all evening. When I got to the section from Mase, I sang it, like I have thousands of times before, and then stopped, sang it again, realized what he meant, and then my head exploded. That’s usually what happens any time I have one of these lyrical epiphanies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s