Saturday, December 12, 2009

Justin Timberlake -- "Rock Your Body"

Come on now, you now I couldn't do Britney without doing Justin.

Wait a minute, that sounds like a ... oh, never mind.

You know, I think I've said this before, but I really like Justin Timberlake. I find his SNL appearances consistently hilarious, I really unironically enjoy a lot of his music, and I've already spoken of how I appreciated his performance as Pilot Abilene in the movie Southland Tales. So, I guess I was sort of pleased to discover that the lyrics to his songs are not that bad. I mean, certainly it's not Wordsworth or anything, but on the whole they seem simple, heartfelt and inoffensive.

This song, then, is the exception that proves the rule! (Can anyone explain this saying to me? I've always felt that an exception would disprove the rule, not prove it. Is there some basis for saying this, or it just a little bit of nonsense that found its way into the vernacular? Please discuss in the comments section.)

Also, please indulge yourself by viewing the video for this song, in which Justin dances inside the Large Hadron Collider and propounds the theory of parallel universes around the 4-minute mark. This video must've caused quite a stir in the quantum mechanics community.

Not sure if this is the official video because there's a little part in the middle that isn't in the radio version of the song, but if you don't like it, go fuck yourself.

Don't be so quick to walk away / Dance with me / I wanna rock your body / Please stay / Dance with me

This seems sort of desperate, doesn't it? Especially when he cries out "Please stay!" Come on, you're Justin Timberlake. You don't have to beg this girl to stay and dance with you.

You don't have to admit you wanna play / Dance with me / Just let me rock you / 'Til the break of day / Dance with me

I don't get the first line. She doesn't have to admit she wants to have sex with you, she can just dance with you? That doesn't make sense though, given that in the same breath you say you are going to "rock [her] 'til the break of day," which quite clearly means having sex all night.

Also, saying "'til the break of day" is a sweet pop music cliche to indicate the sexual prowess of the singer. Kudos for slipping this in there, Timberlake.

Got time, but I don't mind / Just wanna rock you girl / I'll have whatever you have / Come on, let's give it a whirl

"Got time, but I don't mind"? I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Just making small talk before he gets back to talking about rocking her body, I suppose.

See I've been watching you / And I like the way you move / So go ahead, girl, just do / That ass shaking thing you do

If Lou Gramm sang this shit I'd probably crucify him and leave his putrefying corpse to be pecked at by woodland creatures, but Justin Timberlake is just so cute! You go, Justin! (Swoon)

So you grab your girls / And you grab a couple more / And you all come meet me / In the middle of the floor

If she already grabbed her girls, does she really need to grab a couple more random ones too? Come on. Let's not get greedy now. How many people do we need in this clusterfuck? Britney? Any thoughts?

Said the air is thick, it's smelling right / So you pass to the left and you sail to the right

First line is kind of gross. Second one is about dancing. Justin Timberlake likes dancing. And sex. But not Britney. Right? I haven't read any of the tabloids lately. How's Bennifer doing?

Don't be so quick to walk away / Dance with me / I wanna rock your body / Please stay / Dance with me / You don't have to admit you wanna play / Dance with me / Just let me rock you / Till the break of day / Dance with me

Seriously, though, you've probably seen his SNL skits, but if you haven't, please watch them, here and here. It's OK. I'll be right here.

I don't mean no harm / Just wanna rock you girl / You can move, but be calm / Let's go, let's give it a whirl

"You can move, but be calm"? This sounds like something a bank robber would say to one of his hostages.

See it appears to me / You like the way I move / I'll tell you what I'm gonna do / Pull you close and share my groove

The first two lines are funny if you imagine them being said by an elderly British gentleman, e.g. Ian McKellen or Patrick Stewart. Second two, not so funny. ... OK, I guess they're kind of funny too.

OK, now this song gets kind of complicated with different lyrics and vocalists overlapping and such. I think what I'll do is put any non-Timberlake lyrics in parentheses.

(Talk to me boy) / No disrespect, I don't mean no harm

I love the phrase "no disrespect." Check-plus. But, it should always be said in a New York and New Jersey accent. Check-minus.

(Talk to me boy) / I can't wait to have you in my arms / (Talk to me boy) / Hurry up cause you're takin' too long / (Talk to me boy) / Better have you naked by the end of this song

I've been led to believe that this whole rigamarole has been occurring in a public place, so I suppose that getting her naked by the end of the song would be grounds for arrest. Which mean, of course, that I can break out the "criminal activity" tag! I'm so excited, and I'm sure you are too.

So what did you come for / (I came to dance with you) / And you know that you don't want to hit the floor / (I came to romance with you)

Ah. I'm starting to rethink this song. Justin Timberlake's character may be a member of the mafia. The "no disrespect" line set off alarm bells, and now he appears to be coercing her into stating her affections through threats of physical violence.

You're searching for love forever more / (It's time to take a chance) / If love is here on the floor, girl

"Love is here on the floor?" Ewwwww.

Aaaand this goes on for some time, but without any really discernible alterations in the lyrics. Same words, different patterns. I think this song might actually be a sestina.

Eh, not really, but let's go out on a classy note since we were veering into vulgarity at times. Although, I guess I can't be blamed for being a little vulgar in a post about a guy who sang about sticking his dick in a box and banging his friend's mom.



  1. The word "prove" used to mean "test," so the exception proves the rule originally meant the exception tests the rule. (Yay, stupid trivia I can actually use!)

  2. That's certainly one version of "the exception proves the rule"'s origin: another is that it means that the existence of an exception proves the existence of a rule.

    For example, if you are a Roman governor who writes an edict stating that this particular soldier from Gaul (let's call him Dave) is to be considered a full citizen of the Roman Empire, it proves that no Gauls are considered Roman citizens as a general rule. By singling out Dave the Gaul for citizenship, you are clearly making an exception on his behalf: the rule is thereby proven.

    Really, though, all the origins for the phrase are pretty speculative. These days it just means "hey, check out this one particular thing, it's really different from pretty much everything else in its category. Isn't that weird?"

  3. More information on exceptions proving the rule can be found on the internet.