Song of the Day #2,047: ‘Dark Horse’ – Katy Perry

katy_perry_prismDuring the great “radio hits” debate of late 2013, I agreed to dedicate time each month this year to the songs topping the charts. That way I won’t be ignorant of some ubiquitous smash when populating my year-end list with deep album cuts by bands like Belle & Sebastian.

I’ll probably still leave those hits off my list, but at least I’ll do it consciously.

I figure the best way to tackle this is to run off the top five songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list every four or five weeks. I’ll skip any tracks that have been featured on the blog already, of course, though if history is any indication that won’t be much of an issue.

Sitting atop the charts right now is Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse,’ the second number one single from her album Prism and her ninth overall. Perry truly dominates the charts. Among her numerous accomplishments and records is the stunning fact that she’s the only artist in history to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the Billboard Hot 10. That’s almost a year and a half!

Prism‘s first single, ‘Roar,’ was destined for #1 the minute it was committed to tape (or hard drive, more appropriately). It was a big-chorus sing-along girl power anthem ready made for radio.

‘Dark Horse’ is quite different, syncopated and edgy. Having heard the whole album, this is one of the last songs I would have pegged as a #1 hit. Shows how much more than me Katy Perry knows about this stuff.

Intro: Juicy J
Yeah yall know what it is
Katy Perry
Juicy J
Uh huh, let’s rage!

[Verse 1: Katy Perry]
I knew you were
You were gonna come to me
And here you are
But you better choose carefully
Cause I-I-I
I’m capable of anything
Of anything
And everything
Make me your Aphrodite
Make me your one and only
But don’t make me your enemy
Your enemy
Your enemy

[Chorus: Katy Perry]
So you wanna play with magic?
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for
Baby, do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse
Are you ready for?
Ready for?
A perfect storm?
Perfect storm?
Cause once you’re mine
Once you’re mine
There’s no going back

[Verse 2: Katy Perry]
Hey! [etc.]
Mark my words
This love will make you levitate
Like a bird
Like a bird without a cage
We’re down to earth
If you choose to walk away
Don’t walk away
It’s in the palm of your hand now baby
It’s a yes or a no?
No maybe
So just be sure
Before you give it all to me
All to me
Give it all to me


[Verse 3: Juicy J]
Uh, she’s a beast
I call her Karma
She eat your heart out
Like Jeffrey Dahmer
Be careful
Try not to lead her on
Shawty’s heart is on steroids
Cause her love is so strong
You may fall in love
When you meet her
If you get the chance you better keep her
She’s sweet as pie but if you break her heart
She turn cold as a freezer
That fairy tale ending with a knight in shining armor
She can be my Sleeping Beauty
I’m gon’ put her in a coma (Woo!)
Damn, I think I love her
Shawty so bad
I’m sprung and I don’t care
She ride me like a roller coaster
Turn the bedroom into a fair
Her love is like a drug
I was tryna hit it and quit it
But lil mama so dope
I messed around and got addicted


4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,047: ‘Dark Horse’ – Katy Perry

  1. Dana says:

    Very glad that you are doing this top 5 review, though I will now have to find some new inane basis to criticize your year end list.😄

    For the sake of completeness, the big single you missed between “Roar” and “Dark Horse” was “unconditional,” While “Roar,” like many of Perry”s songs grew on me with repeat listening, “Unconditional” never did. Something about the way she pronounces the word in the chorus just really annoys me. I am alone in this criticism among my family as they all seem to like the song, especially Daniel.

    As for today’s track, I like it slightly better than “Unconditional,” but only slightly. And, frankly, if I hear another white pop singer bring in some rap guy for the ubiquitous and increasingly obligatory rap beak, I may just put my head through a wall!

    Meanwhile, does anyone find the casual reference to Jeffrey Dahmer a bit off putting and inappropriate? Part of the disturbing quality of these rap breaks is that the rapper can somehow say edgy and offensive things that the more pure pip singer probably couldn’t get away with. The rap break in “Blurred Lines” comes immediately to mind as another example of this.

  2. Clay says:

    I’m familiar with ‘Unconditionally’ and I completely agree about the awkwardness of its chorus.

    I also agree about those ubiquitous rap breaks. ‘Paycheck’ is another example that comes to mind. Also a song still to come this week, though in that case the lead singer is black as well.

    It’s like in the middle of these pop songs, somebody hands the mic to their brother who has Tourettes.

    • The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

      Dana and Clay, I disagree completely about your comments about “Unconditionally”. It makes perfect sense. She’s saying her love is unconditional and then she says she loves him unconditionally.

      For the rapping opinion I agree completely. It just seems weird to have another random person in a song. Unless the rapper is somehow playing a role in the song it seems awkward just to throw him in.

  3. Amy says:

    I love “Unconditionally,” as I find myself generally liking/loving most of Katy Perry’s songs. That said, there is always one per album that I dislike as intensely as I like the rest. From the last album it was E.T., which I just couldn’t stand. For this album, it’s shaping up to be “Dark Horse.” Don’t get the appeal of this song at all. Still, Katy is amazing.

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