This Tuesday, it will have been a year since the radio release of the song “Rude” by the band Magic! If you are not familiar with it, here is the music video. Honestly, while I donâ€™t mind the music so much, there is something about the lyrics that puzzle me. It seems to be telling a storyâ€¦but then it just stops and stews. That is not the issue, though. The issue is that the song, pretty much from the outset, makes me doubt the intentions of the character singing and severely compromises my ability to sympathize. Granted, a lot of songs can do this, but usually they are deliberate about it. And even the most irritatingly whiny songs have not turned me against the singer so badly. Maybe it is just that the lyrics here are just so enticingly repulsive to me. Usually, I just try to ignore it with stupid songs, but for some reason, this one really stuck with me. I will try to explain by looking at the lyrics themselves. And, just to be fair, I will not compare the lyrics to the music video.
Saturday morning jumped out of bed
First, I have to get this out of the way. I am pretty sure that he really means that he jumped out of bed, not that Saturday morning did. And I doubt that his name is Saturday Morning. He seems to have this tendency to drop â€œIâ€ and â€œmyâ€ from sentences when he feels that he can get away with it, as if he were on the Spartacus television series. Other than that, this line is fine.
And put on my best suit
This is a somewhat questionable line to immediately follow the last one. Should we assume that, between getting out of bed and putting on his suit, he cleaned up? If I had to put on my best suit, I would probably shower beforehand, regardless of what I had been doing before. Are we to assume that he brushed his teeth?
Got in my car and raced like a jet
This is a figure of speech, of course. No car can race like a jet. Still, this line does not answer the questions that I posed regarding the last one. On the one hand, it could mean that he was in so much of a hurry to go somewhere that he did not bother to make himself look presentable in his suit and, perhaps, did not even bother to put it on properly. On the other hand, it could mean that he struggled so hard to look and smell presentable that he had to drive quickly to get to where he was going on time. Either explanation is plausible.
All the way to you
So, we get to the subject of the songâ€¦okay, that is not completely unexpected.
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
The singerâ€™s tendency to drop references to the first person may make it seem as if he came to my house holding a cowâ€™s heart that he bought from the market and kept in his freezer overnight, but this is just another figure of speech that implies pure and deeply felt emotional sincerity. I, as the subject of this song, can appreciate that. And while I was actually doing something this morning (or just sleepingâ€¦how early in the morning is this?), but I also appreciate that he came here this morning instead of yesterday morning, when I was at work, or tomorrow morning, when I will be at church.
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old-fashioned man, yeah
Now, I would not consider myself to be that old-fashioned, but for the sake of the story, we can assume that that label could apply to me. Really, though, I do not really like using the term old-fashioned. True, I have, at times, referred to myself as old-fashioned a few times in a somewhat joking manner when the rather untethered and corrosive values of modern society become too much for me to handle. I would, however, prefer that, in serious discussions, others refer to me as traditional. I am no PC word police, though, so I can easily forgive this rather small transgression, provided that the rest of the conversation goes well.
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
I have a few questions regarding this question. Firstly, did the singer greet me before asking the question? How well do I know him? How long has he known my daughter? Did he remind me of this before asking the question? What are my thoughts about him driving really fast? How well can he provide for my daughter? Old-fashioned or not, do not all fathers want their daughters to be safe and well provided for? These are questions that I need answered before making my decision.
Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know
Instead of answering any of MY questions, the singer immediately follows up his question about taking my daughter with this needy-sounding demand. And he did not even say â€œplease/â€™, the most magic (!) of words. Maybe had he spent a bit more time working on his script and controlling his wild impulses, I would have been more willing to hear him out. As it is, I now know what my answer is and it is unambiguous.
You say I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is ‘No’
He should be grateful that I called him a friend, even if I obviously did not mean it.
Why you gotta be so rude?
The singer sings this in probably the whiniest manner possible without actually whining. How am I, being so old-fashioned, supposed to take him seriously as a man, let alone a viable husband for my daughter?
Don’t you know I’m human too? Why you gotta be so rude? I’m gonna marry her anyway
And here is where my lack of respect turns to outright and solidified hostility. I suppose that I should appreciate that this young man of the modern lifestyle has made the effort to approach me on my own â€œold-fashionedâ€ terms which is why I tried to be patient even when he completely failed to prove himself to be worthy of my daughterâ€™s hand. Now, however, he has proven to be a person without integrity. He did not try to appeal to my values for honorable reasons, but to trick me. And now he has revealed himself to be underhanded, as well as whiny, and impulsive. I want this sniveling liar nowhere near my daughter.
Marry that girl Marry her anyway Marry that girl Yeah, no matter what you say
This almost sounds as if he is giving me an order. What a brat.
Marry that girl And we’ll be a family Why you gotta be so Rude
Does he seriously still have no idea why I am soâ€¦emotionally honest here?
I hate to do this, you leave no choice
That sounds vaguely like a threat. I might take it seriously if I could take this legal definition of a man seriously.
Can’t live without her
Well, here we can probably reach a compromise. Thisâ€¦manâ€¦wants my daughter for the rest of his life and I said that he will never get my blessing until the day that he dies. So, the compromise is that he will get to marry my daughter todayâ€¦and then immediately kill himself. I believe that they call itâ€¦a shotgun wedding.
Love me or hate me we will be boys
He may be a boy. I am a man. And I have no intentions of putting up with this nonsense for much longer.
Standing at that altar
This may come across as homo-eroticâ€¦or maybe he wants us to be altar boys; I do not know what goes in the minds of this new generation. However, if â€œboysâ€ in this scenario means that he thinks that we will be friends, he is mistaken.
Or we will run away
Is he talking about my daughter again or me?
To another galaxy, you know
How? Is his car a spaceship as well as a jet? He is not driving her anywhere.
You know she’s in love with me She will go anywhere I go
So my young impressionable little baby has fallen sway to this human weaselâ€™s manipulations. Maybe he is more dangerous than I thought.
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know You say I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die Tough luck, my friend, ’cause the answer’s still ‘No”
I cannot believe that, not only is he still here, but he asked me the same question in hopes that I would drop my defenses and relent. Not only has my wife already called the police during this conversation, but she has also gotten the AR-15 in case he does something funny. We are well within our rights to shoot this trespasser right now.
Why you gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?
That is an odd thing for him to say about himself since, during this entire conversation, he has acted as if my daughter were some sort of fancy cell phone or puppy.
Why you gotta be so rude? I’m gonna marry her anyway
Marry that girl Marry her anyway Marry that girl No matter what you say Marry that girl And we’ll be a family Why you gotta be so Rude Rude
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know You say, I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die Tough luck, my friend, but ‘No’ still means ‘No’!
Okay, so now I am simply Ankai again. I just want to point out that I looked up this song for a bit of background and learned that the original idea for the line â€œwhy you gotta be so rudeâ€ came after an argument that he had with girlfriend, now ex-girlfriend. It is kind of interesting that it was decided to build a song around that line, and instead of doing a â€œmy girlâ€™s done done me wrongâ€ song, take out the real-world context, and almost completely sideline the female character except to make this fantasy girlfriend seem like the kind of girl who would never be so rude to him; someone with almost no presence or agency, trapped between the competing claims of two unyielding men. In any case, I donâ€™t know what the actual argument was about or whether this real girl was being rude, but I do kind of wonder if she may have said â€œno still means noâ€ in that argument. If the singer could not bend his actual girlfriend to his will, he did it in song. And all of the issues that kept him from possessing her, he turned them into her father. Heart in my hand, indeed.
Why you gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too? Why you gotta be so rude? I’m gonna marry her anyway
Marry that girl Marry her anyway Marry that girl No matter what you say Marry that girl And we’ll be a family Why you gotta be so Rude Why you gotta be so Rude Why you gotta be so rude?