The Benefit Of Songs In Languages You Don’t Understand

Most people seem to listen to most of the songs that they listen to in languages that they understand. I wholeheartedly disagree with this entire idea. I think songs in other languages totally opens up a whole world of music, and I don’t mean because the song might not already have a version in your language. In fact, I specifically mean when the song already has a version in your language.

Let’s take an example. Here is the video for Shakira’s song Suerte (in English: Whenever, Wherever):

Now, let’s take a look at the video for the same song in English:

Presuming you speak English and not Spanish, I think you see my point. This is a pretty song to listen to (and watching Shakira dance around wet and/or muddy isn’t too bad if you like girls either), as long as you don’t understand what she is saying.

Understanding the lyrics totally ruins this song. Why? Because the song is completely fucking inane!

Let’s just consider these lines from the song: “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble/So you don’t confuse them with mountains.” What the fuck?! What does that even mean?! That’s worse than: “If it hadn’t been for my horse I wouldn’t have spent that year in college” (all props to Lewis Black).

See what I mean? The song sounds pretty and interesting in Spanish because I don’t understand Spanish. In English, it sounds fucking stupid and makes my brain hurt.

I think I’ve made my point. Take a chance and listen to some songs in other languages. Then you can just enjoy the sounds and not have to worry about how stupid the words are. I’ve heard it said that this is the best hope for mariachi music.

About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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