Why it probably isn’t a good idea to take everything so literally.

People need to lighten up. Some people literally take things too literally; others literally say the word literally without thinking what it means. Either option can lead to numerous problems. Take song lyrics as an example:

”Your sex is on fire”. Think about it. How inconvenient.

So you’re there, about to make love to someone for the first time, and you are helping them to undress and suddenly it’s all like “whoa, your sex is on fire”. It’s just not practical, what do you do? Reach for the fire extinguisher?

The worst you expect down there when you first encounter those nether-regions is some uncontrolled forest, or the faint aroma of pickled herring marinated in Guinness. You don’t expect to be undressing someone, thinking to yourself “they’re hot for me”, only to find you actually need to worry about setting off the smoke alarm.

How would it even work? I don’t want first degree burns on my todger. And blistered unmentionables is just the least of your problems, if it’s taking a while you might need skin grafts, and then you’ll be thanking god for that extra elbow skin.  I don’t see how someone’s sex being on fire can possibly be a good thing, but maybe I’m just not that kinky.

If everything was literal we could look back at some awful dates. Some guy telling his friends “My heart literally skipped a beat when I first met her, seriously man; the ambulance rushed me to hospital”. Meanwhile she’s telling her friends what happened after the hospital trip… “It was amazing, it was like, literally there were fireworks in the room, it was like, literally as if there was a rocket inside me and I just totally exploded.” And thus the second hospital trip occurs, leaving both parties to question whether they should risk a second date.

Songs definitely give us some good expressions to misuse in conjunction with literally. Take the song “Drop the world” (OK, I actually like the song, but it is a great example):

Literally “I’mma pick the world up and I’mma drop it on your fucking head”. Aside from the obvious issues with using the word I’mma, the practicalities of this are quite complicated. For some reason I can just imagine some man doing a handstand, picking you up with his feet and then smacking your head against the pavement.

Made in China

Made in China, not heaven.

The song has a few others lines to ponder if we preceded them with literally: “I’ve got ice in my veins”, “you keep the sunshine, save me the rain” with Eminem adding that “I stole that fuckin’ clock”, I’ll let you work the last one out.

To be fair, there are plenty of bands that you can worry about. Look at Queen song titles: “Another One Bites the Dust”, “Made in Heaven”, “Too Much Love Will Kill You”, “I’m In Love With My Car”, “I Can’t Live Without You”, and “You Take My Breath Away”. Of course none of these are anywhere near the level of having your sex on fire.

Still, it’s easy to pick up the flaws in song lyrics. I mean, you could use their powers for good. For example, writing some sort of schizophrenic, forlorn love letter like this:

This one goes out to the one I love,

I’m writing to reach you. It might not be the right time, I might not be the right one, but there’s something about us I want to say:

Our time is running out, but in the end it doesn’t even matter. I never had the nerve to make the final cut, but it’s all over now. In five years’ time you might just prove me wrong, who knows? Not me. I can’t believe this could be the end.

Sometimes, you make me feel like a whore; you’re just somebody that I used to know. I’m so tired of playing; I’m so tired I don’t know what to do. I’ve never known what’s good for me. I never claimed to be no angel, I ain’t no fucking hero, but the little things they make me so happy. I really don’t think you know that I’m in heaven when you smile.

Be my hell of a girl, we’ve got nothing to lose. I’ll be the one to tuck you in at night and I will try to fix you. Imagine me and you, walking on the milky way, walking on the sun. You can’t love me, I’m unloveable, but baby you could try. Good times, bad times you know I’ve had my share; if loving you is wrong I don’t want to be right.

I don’t know why I got these feelings; I’ve never met a girl like you before. I’ve got a fire in my heart, though I’m falling apart, waiting for the beat to kick in but it never does. You desired my attention but denied my affections, so kiss me, go on and fool me.

I’m already torn, tired of waiting for you, now the words just slip away and I’ll take the low road. I got no distance left to run.

Love me when I’m gone,

Mr Writer.

P.S. You Rock My World. I still wish you the best with a fuck you.


Totally, dude. It’s like the end of the world as we know it.


Image courtesy of Mr Wabu

One Response to “Why it probably isn’t a good idea to take everything so literally.”

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  1. Lip says:

    I feel bad that I didn’t put some Idlewild in there. So I’ll just leave this here: If you don’t know what you want, then what you want won’t wait.