this is a dumb song and why

So everyone and their mother’s status is the sung chorus of this song, “Airplanes” by B.O.B feat. Hayley Williams. Sure it is catchy and cute. But it upsets me so much for one reason: the chorus’ use of the word “like.”

It goes like this:

Can we pretend that airplanes

In the night sky

Are like shooting stars

I could really use a wish right now

Wish right now, wish right now

Sure, fine, whatever. It is kind of a cheesy simile. Except the simile makes little no sense. Airplanes ARE like shooting stars: they glow, they move across the sky, they look similar. So there is no need for pretending that airplanes are LIKE shooting stars. Lyrically and grammatically, pretending that airplanes ARE shooting stars makes way more sense.

I had a similar reaction in 2005 with the song “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder. It’s offending lyric goes like this:

Well, my girl’s in the next room
Sometimes I wish she was you
I guess we never really moved on

“She” refers to a specific person because the song implies that he only has one “my girl.” If she remains the antecedent, the lyric “Sometimes I wish she were you” makes more sense with the subjective because there is no way that the girl in the room can become the girl talking on the phone. Still that changes the meaning a bit, so the lyric could have been “Sometimes I wish it was you” the it referring to the nebulous, unidentified person who has the potential to be in the next room.


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