Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hollaback Girlz

"Thees my sheet! Thees my sheet!"
There I was, sitting at the back of the small room where the twins' dance class rehearses. They've been working hard all year, preparing for the big show that is coming up this weekend. I'd mostly stayed away from the practises, figuring that it could be a surprise.
And boy, what a surprise it was.
Before me were twelve cute little 10/11 year old girls, almost all of them singing along with the song as they practised for the dance recital.
"Thees my sheet!"they chirped enthusiastically.

Well, I thought to myself, Perhaps this is a song about a woman with a Martha Stewart-like love of fine bedding. She has a nice 400 thread count Egyptian cotton duvet cover and has morbid fears about it being stolen. Hence her repetitive insistence that it is her very own personal sheet. Yes! I'm sure that's it!

But then I listened to the lyrics on the tape. And, as you may have guessed, the song was not about decorative texiles for the home.

Of course, the little group of French-speaking beauties obviously had NO idea what they were saying. And Alexandra, the teacher, while fluent in Russian and French, is not so great with English- as we see by looking at her choice for the song about to be played in front of hundreds of parents and children at the French Cultural Center on Saturday night.
The song in question is something called "Hollaback Girl". I don’t know what a hollaback girl is, but she wants to hurt you, bad.
And I quote:
“Oooh, this my Shit , this my Shit  [4x]
I heard that you were talking shit
And you didn't think that I would hear it
People hear you talking like that, getting everybody fired up

So I'm ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out
That's right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up”
It is possible that Alexandra chose it because it's educational, though.
Later in the song, Gwen Stefani helpfully spells out the name of
a tasty and nutritious fruit: 
"This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S"
Perhaps she has plans for future songs where she shows children the joys of
spelling other useful words like "papaya" and "litchi nut"?

It's a very, very strange song.
The word shit is repeated many, many times.I wondered why the
twins hadn’t mentioned this little problem.    
But it turns out that Mal and Al didn’t  see any problem at all.
“Alexandra already picked the song and planned out the dance.
We didn’t want to hurt her feelings.”  Mallory explained afterwards in the car.

“Besides, the other girls don’t even know what the words mean,”
Alexa added.  “And Mallory and I just sing ‘This my chip!”
She illustrated this point by crunching an imaginary potato chip.

Works for me..
When I got home, I did a little internet research and came across this very funny analysis
of the song.
The fact-based Wikipedia take on it can be found here.
Neither of these sources mentions potato chips.


Anonymous said...

i can practically see it, a grande ouaga soiree, probably lasting all saturday afternoon with speeches and some confusion, an audience of sweaty dusty proud and bored parents, at long last, everyone nudging each other to get a better view, their teacher beaming on the sideline as the girls shuffle into the centre courtyard .... then suddenly break into Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl! can you imagine the parents' expressions? i love it. can't wait to see the youtube video if it's coming.
ps. break a leg to your girls - i bet they'll look back on this in a few years and revel in the humour and fun of it all :)

babzee said...

Your children are BORN anthropologists!

Samantha said...

ha, that is hilarious!!

Cyndy said...

When I first heard this stupid song I thought it was "Haul a bat girl" My girls, rolling on the floor in fits of laughter, corrected me. Of course I got the "mom, you are so out of it", lecture.
In the US, our kids all understand English perfectly well so no "Hollaback Girl" will ever be performed with Just Dance.
There are many songs currently unfit for humanity. Luckily, we can dub words out or even go purely instrumental if we need to.