When doing research for my previous post on bad grammar in songs (Yes, I do research; it’s a pain and it takes a long time), I saw that for the most part, the offenders usually limited their errors to a verse or two. But one performer stood out: Beyonce and her song “Get Me Bodied,” a song in which almost every single line has some form of bad grammar, spelling or punctuation.
Think about that. That’s really hard to do. Even people with failing grades can get things right 60 percent of the time.
First, there’s the title. As a middle-aged white guy, I’m quickly losing touch with today’s vernacular (the fact that I’m using the word vernacular in a sentence probably proves my point). But WTF? I didn’t even know “body” was a verb. I looked it up, and sure enough, it means, “To give shape to; usually used with forth,” as in, “Imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown'” by Shakespeare.
Somehow, I didn’t think Beyonce meant this definition, especially since the titled wasn’t “Get Me Bodied Forth.” So I turned to the Urban Dictionary, hoping it would help me. I found seven different definitions, including:
- To be killed or murdered
- To have one’s body against yours intimately while dancing to an urban hiphop beat
- To shoot an opponent in the XBox 360 game “Gears of War” so many times that their body completely falls apart
- To be extremely drunk to the point where you can’t function properly
- To kill someone with moves on the dance floor.
I was no closer to an answer.
I discovered that I wasn’t the only one wondering this. Someone with grammar skills equal to Beyonce’s posted the same question to Yahoo! Answers: “i just seen the video and now i wanna know what she means because it dosent make any sense to me.” The best rated answer was from a person who posted the lyrics and wrote, “To be honest I have no idea.” The original poster then commented, “i guess she means ‘ask me to dance’. this is stupid. i swear people just put together a few words and make their own meaning to it.”
I think this person was on to something.
Now on to the lyrics. It’s all here: Poor subject-verb agreement, made-up contractions, run-on sentences, made-up words (“Conversate”! Yesss!) and, my personal favorite, this verse:
“I ain’t worried doin’ me tonight, a little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody,”
This is a work of art. Aside from the run-on sentence, it has four negative words, and three in the same phrase. No, not a double negative, but a trifecta!
But wait, this is the best part. Did Beyonce commit all these grammar felonies herself? No! She had help! It actually took six people to write this song!
Here are the lyrics, with my attempt to translate.
Mission one, I’ma put this on
(First, I’m going to wear this dress)
When he see me in the dress I’ma get me some, hey
(When he sees me in this dress, I’ll probably have sex with him, hey)
Mission two, gotta make that call
Tell him get the bottles poppin’ when they play my song, hey
(Second, I have to call him and tell him to open some bottles of champagne when they play the song that I like, hey)
Mission three, got my three best friends
(Third, my three best friends are with me!)
Like we do it all the time we could do it again, hey
(We could do whatever it is that we do regularly, hey)
Mission four, got the vintage Rolls
(Fourth, I’m going to drive my vintage Rolls Royce)
Drop a couple hundreds tell him leave it at the door
(I’ll give the bouncer at the door a few hundred dollars and tell him to leave my expensive car close to the entrance, where dozens of people are congregating)
I ain’t worried doin’ me tonight, a little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody
(I’m not worried about having sex with you tonight; sweat is not detrimental to my health)
Why I’m standin’ on the wall, I was wantin’, might get me bodied
(You wonder why I’m standing on the dance floor with my back against the wall? Well, I was hoping that you might bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor)
Get me bodied, Get me bodied, Get me bodied, Get me bodied
(Bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor, bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor, bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor, bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor)
Want my body, won’t you get me bodied
(Do you want my body? Won’t you bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor?)
Can you get me bodied, I wanna be myself tonight
(Can you bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor? I want to be genuine tonight)
Won’t you sing my body? I want to let it out tonight
(Will you sing a song called “My Body”? I was going to use it to symbolize my body getting out of its cage tonight – Rawr!)
Wanna party, wanna dance, wanna be myself tonight, me bodied
(I want to party, I want to dance, and I want to be genuine tonight, so bump and grind with me and/or get killed on the dance floor)
Mission five, skip to the front of the line
(Fifth – Yes, I’m still numbering my plan steps – I will cut in line)
Let me fix my hair up ‘fore I go inside (hey)
(But wait, before I enter, I need to make sure that my hair looks good, hey. Oh drat, that should have been the fifth step)
Mission six, gotta check these chicks
(Sixth, I need to get in the way of these other women)
‘Cuz you know they gon’ block when I take these flicks (hey)
(Because you know that they are probably going to block me when I take these…movies? [Sorry – Urban Dictionary only lists movies, porn movies, shooting a bird and female masturbation as possible definitions of “flick.” I picked the one that fit the best])
Mission seven, gotta make my rounds
(Seventh, I need to walk around my regular spots in this club)
Givin’ eyes to the guys, now I think I found him (hey)
(Flirting with all of the men – oh, wait, there’s the man with whom I’m going to dance and have sex, hey)
Mission eight, now we conversate
(Eighth, we begin to talk)
And we can skip small talk let’s get right to the chase (hey)
(But let’s not talk too long because I really want to dance and have sex, hey)
You should see my body
(Wow! You should see my body!)
I gotta know enough to know if you can get me bodied
(I need to know enough to make sure you can bump and grind and/or get killed on the dance floor)
I’m kinda tight, I’m feeling right enough to see somebody
(Sorry – not touching that line)
I wanna let it off tonight
(I want – It seems, uh borso flagon deflsfj; sdd d, sdj,dssffd dfsjkfsafdsjfvxjvx fdsjf.sdf;;87(&*(
I can’t finish this. I feel like I just translated the last half of “Flowers for Algernon.”