Song of the Day #916: ‘Fuck You’ – Cee Lo

Best Songs of 2010 – #3

If it weren’t for a couple of sublime releases by two of my favorite artists, today’s song would have been an easy pick as song of the year.

It’s just so bright and fun and exciting… it’s like a great big neon Vegas sign in the middle of a drab suburban strip mall.

Of course the elephant in the room with this song is its profane chorus (and title). It’s as if Cee Lo wrote the catchiest song in decades, was poised for superstardom, and then decided to flush it all down the drain by guaranteeing the song would never get played on radio or TV.

Cee Lo did release a clean version (replacing “fuck” with “forget”) but that’s like watching Do the Right Thing on TV and hearing all the “motherfuckers” replaced by “mickey fickeys” — it’s just wrong. That didn’t keep Gwyneth Paltrow from performing a rousing rendition on Glee, of course, but it’s wrong all the same.

I love this song because of its irresistible blend of Motown and doo-wop and because it is chock full of hooks, but also because it gets right to the point in a way that few songs ever do. “I see you driving ’round town with the girl I love and I’m like ‘Fuck you!'” Yes, exactly.

I see you driving ’round town
With the girl I love and I’m like
“Fuck you!”
Ooo ooo oooo
I guess the change in my pocket
Wasn’t enough I’m like
“Fuck you!
and fuck her too.”

I said
“if I was richer I’d still be with ya”
Ha now ain’t that some shit?
(ain’t that some shit?)
And although there’s pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a…
“Fuck you!”

Ooo ooo oooo

Yeah I’m sorry I can’t afford a Ferrari
But that don’t mean I can’t get you there.
I guess he’s an X-box and I’m more Atari
But the way you play your game ain’t fair.

I pity the fool
that falls in love with you
(oh shit she’s a gold digger)
(just thought you should know nigga)
I’ve got some news for you.
Yeah go run and tell your little boyfriend.


Now I know that I had to borrow
Beg and steal and lie and cheat.
Trying to keep ya trying to please ya.
‘Cause being in love with you ass ain’t cheap.

I pity the fool
that falls in love with you
(oh shit she’s a gold digger)
(just thought you should know nigga)
I’ve got some news for you
Ooh I really hate your ass right now.


Now baby baby baby
why d’you wanna wanna hurt me so bad?
(so bad so bad so bad)
I tried to tell my mama but she told me
“this is one for your dad”
(your dad your dad your dad)

Uh! Why? Uh! Why? Uh!
Why lady?
I love you oh!
I still love you.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #916: ‘Fuck You’ – Cee Lo

  1. Dana says:

    I find this song completely brilliant and addictive. I challenge anyone not to have this chorus stuck in their mind, even after one listen, whether you want to or not. And, while I agree that the profane version is more effective than the clean version, mostly because of the striking contrast between the bright bubble gum sound and the sentiment expressed, I’m still glad he (and Glee) released a cleaner version because the music is still awesome and the sentiment still comes through, albeit in a watered down form.

    Great pick for a top 3 song for the year.

  2. Amy says:

    Well, I’m more than a little bit embarrassed to say that today is the first time I’ve heard the original song. And the video is the first one I’ve instantly fallen in love with for years. What a great marriage of song and visuals, he provides in that video.

    Yup, I’m the 40 something the Gleeks accuse of knowing nothing about Cee Lo, at least until I heard that Glee would do a “clean” cover of the song. At least I can thank the show for introducing me to the brilliant hooks, so I haven’t been completely in the dark these past couple of months.

    I do love that he’s up for a Grammy award for the song; it should be amusing to watch the presenters work around pronouncing the title. After all, I’m not sure how you pronounce +#*&, which is some version of what they type every time the title is mentioned.

    Yes, great pick for a top song of the year. This is one for the ages.

  3. Kerrie says:

    I’m all in on this one, too. I happen to think the Glee “clean” version was fantastic and, of course, I heard it before I heard the original. That said, I totally agree with Dana’s point on the contrast between the song’s sound and the startling chorus. It’s a pretty genius song in that way. Personally, I especially like the X-Box/Atari line the best, but the whole thing works and the video really supports it well.

    I heard the other day (read, actually) that Cee Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow are releasing a duet version of the song because he was so pleased with her Glee version. I will really look forward to hearing what they’ve come up with. Good pick!

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