“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Bob Marley said that. And we have never known the man to be wrong in matters of music. Music has the power to capture people and free them from their own chains, be it nationalities or a language you can’t understand.
And that could be the very reason why foreign language songs attract us so much. Not much time has passed since people were humming Despacito. Albeit, without understanding a single word. So we decided to make a list of foreign language songs that went viral and tell people, what they actually mean.
1. Gangnam is the wealthiest district in South Korea’s Seoul. PSY, who himself comes from the region is making fun of those people’s lifestyles, their posh and often pretentious choices.
2. Despacito literally translates to “slowly”. The song has some raunchy lyrics that speak about the ‘proper way’ of making love to a woman.
3. The official theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is a wake-up call asking every player to give their best in the tournament, albeit, this time for Africa.
4. Las Ketchup tells the story of three women fantasising about a young fashion conscious Rastafarian gipsy, who loves to dance and sings his own rap.
5. Didi is a sing about Khaled trying to court a pretty woman, whom he often finds at the bar. Despite his terrible luck, he lets her know how he truly feels and what he woul do to see her.
6. Gasolina is actually a sexual innuendo, that Daddy Yankee uses to talk about an outgoing, free-spirited woman, who would do anything in bed.
7. Never did we realise that while we blasted dour lungs out with this song in front of our families, Macarena was actually about a girl of the same name who is cheating on her boyfriend with two different people.
8. Makeba is Jain’s tribute to singer and activist Makeba, who spent her life fighting the apartheid policy in South Africa and the racism faced by black and other coloured people in the country.
9. Goulou L’Mama is basically General Aladeen bitching about his life and the foolish sentimental people he has been surrounded with. Paired with the video it is a satire about how sad his life truly is.
10. If you have watched the Hindi version, you probably know what this song is about. Just in case you don’t, Boro Boro is Arash’s feeling of betrayal after being cheated on by the woman he had so deeply loved.
And there we were for decades, singing and dancing to lyrics that we had no idea about. Imagine your parents finding out what Macarena was all about!