I recently read a blog post where the author lambasted Alanis Morissette for her use of the word 'Ironic' in her song, pointing out that rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you've already paid or good advice that you just didn't take isn't ironic at all as irony is 'using language that normally signifies the opposite'.
I pointed out in return that he was 22 years too late as she was suitably hit over the head with it back in 1995 when the song came out to which the reply was that the author was only 22 which is fair enough as he would have been preoccupied with filling his nappy and dribbling at the time and missed the whole thing.
There are some song lyrics which do make you wonder why nobody fact checked them before they were released, U2's 'Pride' has a line about Martin Luther King getting shot: 'Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky' although he was shot in the evening.
The Band Aid signal 'Do They Know It's Christmas' is a charity single which raised millions for drought striken Africa so it feels churlish to point out that the line sung by Paul Weller, Sting and Boy George that 'there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time' is wrong unless Morocco is no longer in the continent as it snows every winter in Morocco.
There is also 'Where nothing ever grows/No rain or rivers flow' when the continent has the second longest river in the Nile winding through it along with the Congo river but as it was for charity we can let them slide .
Unfortunately we can't do the same for RUN DMC who rapped: 'There's three of us, but we're not the Beatles' in their King of Rock single which shows a real blind spot either for counting or the most famous four-peice in music.
Pink Floyd singing 'We Don't Need No Education' in their song ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ shows that in using a double negative they badly do need education and it probably wouldn't be wise to go orienteering with The Who as who knows what sort of crazy compass they were using when they came up with the lyric 'The north side of my town faced east and the east was facing south' in their
The song 'Catch a Falling Star' tells you to not only catch it but to then put it in your pocket although the next line should warn you that as it has just reached a heat of 3,000F or 1,650C falling through the atmosphere, it will probably burn straight through your leg if you did.
Such disregard for all thing astronomical is also present in 'Save the Best for Last' where Vanessa Williams tells us 'Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon' which it doesn't and Christopher Cross in Arthur’s Theme tells us what to do 'When you get caught between the moon and New York City'. He suggest fall in love but as the moon is about 240,000 miles away which would put you 120,000 miles out in space if you are caught between New York and the Moon, i would suggest screaming while you fall to your death as more appropriate.
Lions are nocturnal and sleep during the day so 'In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight' is misleading, as is Sade's Smooth Operator song which contains a blunder obvious to anyone with a map of America when she says: 'Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago' although 'Coast to somewhere just past the middle' probably doesn't have the same ring to it.
Napoleon didn't surrender at Waterloo, he was captured by the British weeks later trying to sneak off to North America so you shouldn't trust Swedish singers with British and French history and literacy lessons from Sam Cooke should be avoided as in 'Another Saturday Night' he describes being set up with a girl who: 'had a strange resemblance to a cat named Frankenstein' so unless he meant that she looked like the mad scientist Dr Frankenstein who created the monster, he got that wrong.
I'm sure there are many more inaccuracies which have slipped through the net but Wang Chung's 'Dancehall Days' with 'Take your baby by the wrist/And in her mouth an amethyst' and Oasis's 'Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball' in Champagne Supernova
always leave me wondering.