Funk / Jazz / Lyrics / Music / Pop / Rock / Songwriting / Writing

Who’s holding whom? My problem with a song lyric

Georgy PorgySongs aren’t just tunes, are they? As someone who’s made his living with words, the lyrics really matter to me. I’ve always been uneasy when a lyric doesn’t quite make sense or say what it’s supposed to. Toto’s Georgy Porgy, for instance.

Not familiar with Georgy Porgy? Well, it’s pretty old – it was a minor hit from Toto’s self-titled debut album of 1978 – one of the band’s more jazz/funk-influenced songs, it has been much covered, and the original is the opening track on Jackmaster’s Tweakaholic 3 disco mix, so it’s a song that’s still around – and something of a classic, well worth a listen.

Written by David Paich, it takes the form of a confession to a girlfriend that the writer/singer has other lovers. “I never, ever should have told you you’re my only girl.”He is the Georgy Porgy who kisses all the girls and makes them cry.

Okay, but what’s this line? “I’m not the only one that holds you.”

Err, wait a second, somgwriter David Paich (I’m in the mind of the girlfriend here). You’re saying you’re not the only one who holds me? You’re suggesting I am “held” (is this a euphemism?) by other people? Has this confession become an accusation? I think you meant to say “You’re not the only one I hold,” didn’t you, songwriter David Paich?

Mmmm? And why didn’t you say that? Because it wouldn’t scan or rhyme properly, I suppose. To me that’s no excuse, songwriter David Paich.

This is a superb track that has stood the test of time, but always marred by that lyrical error. Only for me, though, I’m sure.

3 thoughts on “Who’s holding whom? My problem with a song lyric

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