5 grammar errors in songs that you’ve missed while singing along

Música y canciones

Good music (and bad music, let’s not kid ourselves), has the ability to worm itself into our
heads and set up camp there. In turn, we end up internalizing some truly aberrant lyrics
without giving second thought to the grammatical errors that many singers so fervently apply
with the furious vehemence of Cristiano Ronaldo’s syntax. What’s wrong? Do you really think
that this would never happen to you? Think it’s impossible that record companies’ filters can’t
detect simple grammar errors? Keep reading, you might be surprised…

5 grammatical errors that stick out like a sore thumb

It’s the moment of truth. Do you want to know what the biggest linguistic blunders are that, in
all likelihood, you have sung along to without realizing? Here we give you 5 examples of the
guiltiest linguistic culprits.

1. Mecano – No es serio este cementerio

Like the title of the song suggests, to Ana Torroja and the brothers Cano, this cemetery
isn’t serious. Leaving aside the sophistication of his rhyme, that would be like
comparing the work of Roahl Dahl to predecessors such as Shakespeare, what is not
serious is the following construction: “Este cementerio no es cualquiera cosa pues las
lápidas del fondo son de mármol rosa”. What should in fact be colour pink are their
embarrassed faces when changing the gender of the word “cualquier” just to balance
the metric counts that, apparently, needed that extra syllable. Shame on you, Mecano!

2. Cecilia – Un ramito de violetas


We live in times of great cultural emphasis in development of identities, and it would
not be surprising that any day Madrilenians claim “laísmo” (variation from standard
Spanish involving the third person object pronouns) as a funny peculiarity of their
speech. However, while the RAE doesn’t state otherwise (and remember that this
venerable institution has already exonerated Robe, from the band Extremoduro, for
his mythical “iros”, not “idos”, “a tomar por culo”), “laísmo” continues to be a fairly
cacophonous error. “Quién la escribía versos/dime quién era/quién la mandaba
flores por primavera…”

3. Marisol – Corazón contento


“Quisiera que sepas”… My dear Marisol, I would like you to know that you should
have used the imperfect subjunctive (“supieras”), not the present.

4. The Clash – Should I stay or should I go

For a song that speaks so passionately about doubt, Joe Strummer should have
hesitated a little more when it came to choosing whose advice to listen to when
recording the choruses in Spanish. The legend says that the idea came to him in the
middle of the recording. It was then that the legendary Punk Rocker asked the sound
technician, whose parents were Ecuadorians, to call home to translate the verses of his song.
We don’t know whether it was due to a communication problem or because the
poor parents had been living in the United States for too long and native language had
begun to rust, but the end result leaves verses such as “Yo me frío o lo soplo?” or
“sabes qué ropa me quedar?”. Strummer’s love for our recent history has been
demonstrated in “Spanish Bombs”, but his love for Cervantes’ language leaves much to
be desired…

5. Love of lesbian – La niña imantada


Being “indie” is no excuse to slack with verbal conjugations. “Es como si andara
siempre en espiral, cuando encuentro una salida tú apareces, niña imantada”, states
the song. And yes, perhaps the word “anduviera” doesn’t rhyme as well with
“imantada”, nevertheless, it’s the correct formation.
What do you think of our list? Do you have any suggestions? Should we allow artists to justify
their mistakes through the handy excuse of poetic license? There’s always the option for you
to correct them on your own when you hum their creations. These are only some examples. If
you have any examples of grammar errors in songs that make your blood boil, leave them in
the comment section below!

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