Song of the Day #1,910: ‘Poem to a Horse’ – Shakira

laundry_serviceWhen driving I often listen to complete albums, but since I switched from a CD player to a USB drive I’m just as likely to let it play songs in random order. It’s a nice way to hear a broader selection of my music collection, songs I might not reach for otherwise.

It’s also good for blog fodder. The Wallflowers’ ‘One Headlight’ popped up the other day and inspired Monday’s SOTD post. And this morning I was treated to today’s Shakira track.

Laundry Service was Shakira’s first album to include English-language songs, and at the time she wasn’t yet fluent. In fact, some songs she sang phonetically. And the lyrics read like they’ve been run through Google Translator a couple of times (which, who knows, maybe they had).

What other explanation is there for repeated mentions of “hydroponic pot?” Or this priceless verse: “I’d rather eat my soup with a fork or drive a cab in New York ’cause to talk to you is harder work.”

And I love that the most absurd line in the song wound up as its title. Talking to this guy is as pointless as reading poems to a horse. Why a poem? Why a horse? This song is the gift that keeps on giving.

Shakira’s English-language songs got much better over time, though she remains strongest in her native tongue. But this album — which was actually a big hit — is not her finest moment.

You’re too far to bring you close
And too high to see below
Just hangin’ on your daily dose
I know you never needed anyone
But the rolling papers for your grass
How can you give what you don’t have

You keep on aiming for the top
And quit before you sweat a drop
Feed your empty brain
With your hydroponic pot
Start out playing with yourself
You get more fun within your shell
Nice to meet you but I gotta go my way

I’ll leave again ’cause I’ve been waiting in vain
But you’re so in love with yourself
If I say my heart is sore
Sounds like a cheap metaphor
So I won’t repeat it no more

I’d rather eat my soup with a fork
Or drive a cab in New York
‘Cause to talk to you is harder work

So what’s the point of wasting all my words
If it’s just the same or even worse
Than reading poems to a horse

You keep on aiming for the top
And quit before you sweat a drop
Feed your empty brain
With your hydroponic pot
I bet you’ll find someone like you
‘Cause there’s a foot for every shoe
I wish you luck but I’ve other things to do

I’ll leave again ’cause I’ve been waiting in vain
But you’re so in love with yourself
If I say my heart is sore
Sounds like a cheap metaphor
So I won’t repeat it no more

About these ads

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,910: ‘Poem to a Horse’ – Shakira

  1. Dana says:

    I don’t see where these lyrics, including the ones you highlighted, are examples of poor or awkward use of the English language. In fact, I think the soup and ny taxi line is clever, as is the title.

    My problem with this song and Shakira’s work, particularly when she sings in English, is the tone of her vocals. I’ve said this before, but she sounds like Alanis Morissette, and that’s not a good thing for me.

  2. Clay says:

    I agree, her voice is much more effective on her Spanish-language work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s