The pompatus of love

It’s funny, isn’t it, how songs we’ve heard a thousand times, songs we’ve sung along to, songs we’ve heard performed in concert, have lyrics that include words we don’t fully understand, but we sing along with them anyway.

There are plenty of examples of songs with lyrics we “mis-hear” — we think they’re singing A when in fact they’re singing B — but I’m talking about lyrics that include words we simply don’t know.  They’re unusual, esoteric, rare, maybe even made-up.  But they’re right there in the chorus of a #1 song, so we just go along with them. Not until the late ’60s did artists start including lyrics on the album sleeve, and many bands simply couldn’t be bothered, or wouldn’t pay the fee required to reprint them.  So we simply weren’t sure what we were hearing.  And there was no Google or Internet to check to find out exactly what the words were.

Today, students, we’re going to delve into the etymology — the origin — of some of the more recognizable examples of words that appear in hugely popular songs, but we have no idea what they mean.  Until now.

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