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The Lyrics Don’t Always have to Make Sense

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Usually, celebrity deaths don’t really get to me. Sure, they can be tragic or even a little sad, but I’ve never been someone who’s felt a strong connection to specific celebrities. Well, except Freddie Mercury. I still sometimes cry because he’s dead. Yes, my roommate thinks I’m nuts, considering that he died when I was still to young to even know who Queen was.

But I digress. Yesterday, I was overwhelmingly sad to find out the singer-songwriter frontman of LFO, Rich Cronin, lost his battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. LFO has some success in the 90s, but they certainly weren’t a power boy band like N*Sync or the Backstreet Boys. I was sad because some of my favorite memories hanging out with my best friend at that point in my life involves singing and dancing to their most popular song, “Summer Girls.”

Yes, I know all the words to “Summer Girls.” All the…horribly weird lyrics. If you listened to the radio at all in the late 90s, I’m sure you heard this song at some point. But did you realize that, as catchy as it is, the lyrics are downright ridiculous? Let me recap some of my favorite lines:

You’re the best girl that I ever did see
The great Larry Bird Jersey 33
When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet
Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets

Um. What?

Oh it gets better:

There was a good man named Paul Revere
I feel much better baby when you’re near

Paul Revere? Really? Really?

Yet, this song was all over the radio. In fact, this song made it as high as #3 on the charts, was named on Billboard magazine’s list of top summertime songs of all time, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Those are some hefty achievement for a song that has incredibly bad lyrics.

Earlier today, I posted about the need to challenge yourself to be a better blogger. It isn’t ok to write posts that are mediocre, with the mindset that, “eh, they’re good enough.”

But at the same time, the lyrics don’t always have to make sense.

“Summer Girls” wasn’t a success because it had a life-changing message. It was a success because it was catchy. It was a success because it fit the overall cultural mood of that summer. It was a success because people like me associate it with good times with their friends. “Summer Girls” wasn’t a song that LFO released because it was “meh, good enough.” It was a song that fit their style, what they wanted to convey with their music. I know a lot of people make fun of silly pop music, but say to anyone, “You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch,” and they’ll probably get the reference.

I do want you to challenge yourself, but at the same time, you don’t need a life-changing message with every post. If the lyrics don’t make sense, that’s ok – as long as you have something that’s catchy and fits your style. Don’t get too caught up in writing a prize-winning post every day. Don’t get so paralyzed with trying to be perfect that it takes you weeks to write a post.

It’s a fine line, to challenge yourself and also realize that not everything you write is a 10 out of 10. Look for the sweet spot between complacency and perfection. If all else fails, repeat after me:

“There was a good man named Paul Revere.”

RIP, Rich Cronin. May your afterlife be filled with fun dip, cherry coke, and girls who laugh when you tell a joke.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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  • Judy Helfand

    Alli,
    I read about Rich Cronin’s passing, but I need to tell you I was not familiar with him, his music, or LFO. But I wanted you to know that the best part about reading your post today is that I get to know you. I’m able to learn about what your life was about in the 90’s.

    You are correct, sometimes when we write a post it does not have to be about social media, web traffic, making money, it can just be a way for your readers to see inside your soul.

    A while back I wrote a post about the movie:He’s Just Not that Into You, I talked about it, music that I grew up with, just a human interest post about the times of my life.

    Have a good weekend. Looking forward to BWE10

  • Divitiae Squares

    You’re right LOL.

    I wrote many songs myself years ago, and when I dig into my papers and find some old lyrics I can’t stop laughing…

    What would I think about my present lyrics in a few years???

    ah ah ah ah

    Stay beautiful,

    SN

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