Tag Archives: Jason Mraz

grammar in lyrics, pt. 2 [punctuation in lyrics]

Our Players:

, . ! “

I guess I overlooked punctuation because most people do. I mean, in lyrics at least. It is a lot easier to hear


LOOK FUTURA, and the artist of "Oxford Comma"

the grammar than the punctuation. What if they just needed a breath/rest there? Who says it has to be a comma/semicolon?

Well, Vampire Weekend doesn’t exactly leave anything to the imagination about grammar in their song “Oxford Comma.” It quite a cute little song, pretty much about anything other than oxford commas. But of course, they are important, unnecessary, and adorable, all at the same time. Maybe that’s what the song is about? The grammar in the song usually changed the meaning more often than the punctuation. Because punctuation is usually a subject rather than technique.

Ezra Koenig said the first line came from his reaction to the group at Columbia University called Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma. And he immediately thought “Who gives a fuck about the Oxford comma?”

In a transition, and hint at future blog, Vampire Weekend used the font Futura on their album covers in a tribute to Wes Anderson. And I think that the next song sounds like it could be in a Wes Anderson film during the denouement.

“Triphallus, to Punctuate!” is a innuendo filled song, must like it’s title, possibly referring to what an exclamation mark looks a little like. But, Of Montreal uses both the verb ‘punctuate’ in the title of their song and a punctuation mark. Snaps to them, for double qualifying for this blog post.

Jason Mraz, known for his semi-intellectual, self-deprecating, slightly irreverent lyrics also scores double. In a very silly song about freeing a dolphin, he notes that his cause is “This is serious with a period, not a comma.” Who told you commas can’t be serious, Mr. Mraz? I’m pretty sure he just wrote this so it would rhyme with “drama” in the next line. It is a very silly little ditty.

Again, in Jay-Z’s song “Trouble” he remarks on how the period is the only finite punctuation “fuck that exclamation comma quotations I love drama period.” Is drama the only thing that rhymes with comma? NO. Llama, mama, lama [as in Dalai], pajama.

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