There is no word in the English language that is worse than “rhythm”. Not only do educated people have trouble spelling it, but it is also needlessly deviant. If it would just conform and include a proper vowel or two, we wouldn’t need rules like “and sometimes Y”. Poor Y probably suffers from gender identity confusion.
Obviously, no group of people is more familiar with rhythm than musicians, and fortunately, recording artists on are on my side on this issue. Just listen to a few pop songs and it becomes instantly clear what a monster rhythm is. By the end of the list, you’ll be steering clear of Rhythm, too.
RHYTHM IS A…
1) … MIND CONTROLLER!
Rhythm Is a Dancer – Snap
”Let the rhythm guide you, guide you,
sneak inside, you set your mind to move…
Let it control you, hold you, mold you.”
Snap may be able to fool some people by attaching its message to a funky dance beat, but there’s no way I’m going to let a hypnotic parasite like rhythm take over my brain. Never concede your free will. For the record, however, if I could redo my high school yearbook quote, I’d change it to the lyric “I’m serious as cancer when I say, ‘Rhythm is a dancer.’” It doesn’t get much more poignantly ’90s than that!
2) … TORMENTOR!
Rhythm of the Rain – Cascades
“Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
telling me just what a fool I’ve been.
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain,
and let me be alone again.”
After getting dumped, the last thing you need is for someone to tell you how much you suck. But here comes rhythm to kick the Cascades while they’re down. Just because Rhythm derives pleasure from others’ pain doesn’t give Rhythm the right to rub it suffering people’s faces.
3) … METHAMPHETAMINE!
Rhythm of the Night – DeBarge
“To the beat of the rhythm of the night,
dance until the morning light.
Forget about the worries on your mind
to the beat of the Rhythm of the night.
Oh baby, I’m crying.”
I’m awake! I’m alert! I’m happy! I’m, I’m crying… Not since Jesse Spano’s dalliance with caffeine pills has drug abuse been portrayed so memorably. Meth may seem fun, but when the sun comes up and the high crashes, who’s going to be there to pick up the pieces? DeBarge, who look like the love children of Prince, Lionel Richie and the Oat-y half of Hall and Oates, can probably finagle their way onto Celebrity Rehab, but most rhythm addicts start the habit with fun and dancing and end it in a pit of despair.
4) … HOME-WRECKER!
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
“We may only have tonight,
but ‘til the morning sun, you’re mine all mine.
Play the music low
and sway to the rhythm of love.”
Hey there, Delilah, you might want to get tested. It looks like your long-distance boyfriend, Plain White T, had a one-night stand with rhythm. And don’t assume it was some isolated moment because Rhythm is also a…
5) … HUSSY!
Girl’s Got Rhythm – AC/DC
“You know she moves like sin
and when she lets me in
it’s like liquid love.
No doubt about it, can’t live without it.
You know she really got the rhythm,
she’s got the backseat rhythm.”
Well, rhythm, you’ve earned yourself quite a reputation. Have you no shame?
6) … HEART ATTACK!
Rhythm of My Heart – Rod Stewart
“Oh, I’ve got lightning in my veins
shifting like the handle of a slot machine.
Love may still exist in another place.
I’m just yanking back the handle,
no expression on my face.
Ah, the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum.”
It’s not just mind control, rhythm will also mess with your circulatory system. Ever since letting rhythm into his heart (love had to move elsewhere, apparently), Rod Stewart appears to have a looming cardiac arrest.
7) … VENGEFUL MENACE!
Don’t Upset the Rhythm – Noisettes
“Don’t upset the rhythm, though.
Don’t upset the rhythm.
Don’t upset the rhythm, don’t you dare.
I told you, don’t upset the rhythm.”
If the Noisettes know one thing, it’s this: don’t piss off rhythm. Given that they sing this message repeatedly throughout the song, it seems like they have firsthand experience with getting on rhythm’s bad side. You don’t even want to know what rhythm is capable of!
8) … VIOLENT SOCIALIST UPRISING!
Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson
“People of the world unite.
Strength in numbers, we can get it right.
We are part of the rhythm nation.”
Spitting in the face of democracy, Janet is calling for radical political upheaval. How many must die in the name of rhythm? What leads us to believe we can trust this new overlord? Rhythm strikes me as a tyrant.
9) … ROOFIE!
Rhythm Divine – Enrique Iglesias
“You fall under my spell.
I will catch you in my arms now.
Where the night will take us, no one can tell.
All I need is the rhythm divine.
Lost in the music, your heart will be mine.”
At first listen the song might sound romantic, but the whole “all I have to do is slip you some ‘rhythm’ and then I’ll have my way with you” sounds pretty nefarious to me. I especially like the part where she falls, presumably unconscious, into his arms. I’m sure he was a gentleman and took her straight home.
10) … PSYCHOTIC KILLER!
Rhythm Is Gonna Get You – Gloria Estefan
“At night when you turn off all the lights,
there’s no place you can hide.
Oh no, the rhythm is gonna get you.”
While you’ve probably already decided to stay clear of rhythm by this point, good luck with that. As Gloria Estefan points out, rhythm is also a creepy night stalker. Rhythm will break into your home and violently murder you. Many suspect that rhythm was the intruder in Antoine Dodson’s home. Go ahead, try to hide ya kids, hide ya wife, but as Estefan threatens: rhythm IS gonna get you.