Oh, the 90’s. The boy bands, the overalls, the bleached hair, and the discmans. We all sang along with our favorite songs and obsessed over the celebrities who performed them, but how much of these celebrated tunes did we actually understand? Probably not much. Though we may have figured out some of them, there’s a special group of songs that to this day still don’t really make sense.
So, let’s review some of the best 90’s songs and their lyrics that we have to admit we still can’t figure out:
1. Wannabe – The Spice Girls
“If you wanna be my lover, you’ve gotta get with my friends.”
We can all admit we enjoying belting this one out, but this song is seriously messed up. They’re basically saying that to have a relationship with one of them you must sleep with all of them. You might be in denial, but they basically lay out sex-pectations in verse 3, guys. Just weird.
2. Groove Is In The Heart – Deee-Lite
“No walls, only the bridge. My supper dish, my succotash wish. The depth of hula groove moves into the nth hoop. We’re gonna groove to Horton Hears a Who-who.”
It’s about sex. That’s clear…crystal clear. But what is this woman talking about?! Succotash? Something about a hula hoop? And why must we drag a beloved children’s book into this?! I mean the song is insanely fun to dance to but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a stranger explanation of sexual desire in my life.
3. Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) – C+C Music Factory
“I’m here to combine beats and lyrics to make you shake your pants. It’s your world and I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut to move your butt.”
Honestly, I still have no clue what is happening in this song. I think they just want us to dance which is perfect because I think we’d all fry our brains trying to find any meaning whatsoever in these lyrics.
4. Barbie Girl – Aqua
“Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please. I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees. Come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again. Hit the town, fool around, let’s go party.”
Growing up, we thought this song was funny and catchy. Now, we’re still not sure what was going through the minds of the people who wrote this. I mean, we know what they’re talking about now, but no one really knows why. Aside from being generally misogynistic and degrading, they utilize a plastic toy as a sexual object which is just disturbing in itself. How did this become a hit again?
5. Shoop – Salt N’ Pepa
“Don’t know how you do the voodoo that you do so well. It’s a spell, hell makes me wanna shoop.”
We all know Salt N’ Pepa. They’re to thank for the hit “Let’s Talk About Sex.” And generally speaking, they did…in nearly every song. “Shoop” is no exception although it’s a little more cryptic. I’m still not even sure what it means to “shoop.” Nor do I understand half the references they make in the song. How does one “shoop-doo-be-doo-be like Scooby-Doobie-Doo”?
6. MMMBop – Hanson
“Can you tell me? Oh. No you can’t cause you don’t know. Can you tell me? Oh. You say you can but you don’t know. Mmmbop, ba duba dop.”
You probably had a crush on one of the Hanson brothers and that’s just fine. But this song was complete nonsense disguised as poetry. It was supposed to be profound yet fun, but none of us have the slightest clue what they were trying to say. Luckily, they were attractive so we shut our mouths and drooled over how cute they looked singing it.
7. Genie In A Bottle – Christina Aguilera
“If you wanna be with me, baby there’s a price to pay. I’m a genie in a bottle, you’ve gotta rub me the right way.”
This song was basically a very uncomfortable look into the mind of a teenager. I remember having a Christina Aguilera Barbie that sang this song when you pressed her belly ring. And no, I’m not kidding. I think she was talking about deciding whether to do the deed with someone but we’re still not really sure what she was looking for from this guy.
8. Jump Around – House Of Pain
“I got the skill, come get your fill. ‘Cause when I shoot to give, I shoot to kill. I came to get down, so get out your seats and jump around.”
When you hear this at a party, everyone is pumped, but when you really pay attention to the lyrics, it gets iffy. We really can’t tell whether this is a partying song or a “let’s beat the crap out of that guy” song. We thought the chorus was encouraging us to dance but with the verses graphically explaining a desire to murder someone, so maybe it’s more like trying to inspire some kind of violent mosh pit?
9. The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
“I’m spunky. I like my oatmeal lumpy. I’m sick with this, straight gansta mack but sometimes I get ridiculous. I’ll eat up all your crackers and your licorice.”
If you grew up watching “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, this song was in your life. But it has some of the most awkward lyrics ever. Over the course of the song (which in all fairness is over 6 minutes), the singer refers to himself as ugly, funny looking, and skinny (but still able to get busy with the girls he calls fat). He also informs us his nose is big like a pickle and he got busy in a Burger King bathroom. The song in itself doesn’t seem to have a point aside from a guy getting ladies despite his many pitfalls. But who knows really.
10. Boombastic – Shaggy
“Don’t you tickle my foot bottom haha baby please. Don’t you play with my nose, I might ha chum sneeze. Well you a the bun and me a the cheese and if me a the rice well you a the peas.”
Yeah seriously, those are the lyrics. The entire song is basically this random rambling that leaves us confused and possibly a little concerned. I think he was trying to seduce a woman? That seems to make sense. What the hell does boombastic mean?
Music is one of the best ways to capture a point in history and pop culture. The 90’s are still one of the greatest decades but this has been rather eye-opening. It’s interesting how some of the best songs made absolutely no sense. Apparently we listened to some weird crap, y’all.
Featured Image via We Heart It.