We Corrected the Grammar of 10 Classic Songs—And Made Them Way Worse

Actually, Janis, I think you mean, "Bobby McGee and I."

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'I Feel Good' by James Brown

'I Feel Good' by James Brownv
Corrected: "I Feel Well"  

'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' by U2

'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' by U2Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "I Still Haven't Found for What I'm Looking"  

'Rocket Man' by Elton John

'Rocket Man' by Elton JohnEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "Rocket Person" (our gender-sensitive choice)  

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'Me and Bobby McGee' by Janis Joplin

'Me and Bobby McGee' by Janis JoplinEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "Bobby McGee and I"  

'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' by The Rolling Stones

'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' by The Rolling StonesEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "I Can't Get Any Satisfaction"  

'Who You Gonna Call? (Ghostbusters)' by Ray Parker, Jr.

'Who You Gonna Call? (Ghostbusters)' by Ray Parker, Jr. Emma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "Whom Are You Going to Call? (Ghostbusters)"  

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'Ain't No Sunshine' by Bill Withers

'Ain't No Sunshine' by Bill WithersEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "There Is No Sunshine"  

'Who Do You Love?' by Bo Diddley

'Who Do You Love?' by Bo DiddleyEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "Whom Do You Love?"  

'What's Love Got To Do With It?' by Tina Turner

'What's Love Got To Do With It?' by Tina TurnerEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "What's Love Have to Do with It?"  

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'Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On' by Jerry Lee Lewis

'Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On' by Jerry Lee LewisEmma Kapotes/Rd.com, iStock/Ratana21
Corrected: "A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On"  

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14 thoughts on “We Corrected the Grammar of 10 Classic Songs—And Made Them Way Worse

  1. “I feel good” functions as a subject, linking verb, and predicate adjective. Therefore, the adjective “good” is modifying the subject “I.” So, the grammar in “I feel good!” is actually already correct. Changing it to “I feel well” would imply that the singer is good at feeling things, physically touching things.

  2. Number six actually correctly uses “who”. Whom is only used following a preposition. For example, “for whom” or “to whom”.

    1. No, in the Ghostbusters lyric, “whom” would be correct, as in “You are going to call whom?” It’s a receiver of action; therefore, the objective form is used.

      But i agree with those who say this article is awful. Most of the “errors” aren’t errors at all. But even if they were, no one expects popular music to use formal grammar, right?

  3. I’m an ESL teacher, and all of your “supposed” corrections are completely wrong. Pick up a grammar usage guide and correct yourself!

  4. Number three isn’t bad grammar, it’s political correctness. But since the writers are so interested in cultural sensitivity, here’s some other songs that need to be changed:

    Barbara Streisand: Person in Love

    Donna Fargo: Happiest Person in the Whole USA

    Ray Charles: I’ve Got A Person

    And the Doobie Brothers’ Black Water is insensitive. It should be African-American Water

  5. Actually, “I Feel Good” is correct because James Brown was referring to his emotional state as being “good”, not his physical state of being “well”.
    You could make the comparison with the phrase, “I feel bad”. You wouldn’t say badly, the adverb, because “good” and “bad” are both modifiers of “I”, not “feel”.

  6. I’m actually mad at myself for taking the time to scroll through this slideshow. Made it half way through.

  7. 2 is correct – there is no rule against ending a sentence in a preposition unless you’re speaking Latin.
    3 is correct – political incorrectness does not constitute a grammatical error
    4 is correct – the correction presented is actually an overcorrection. ‘Me’ is the correct form for the first person to take when it’s an object. Try “This isn’t very good for me.” vs. “This isn’t very good for I.” ‘Me’ is clearly correct. Adding another object doesn’t change the case.
    9 is correct – The apostrophe-s is a stand in for has, as in “What has love got to do…”. The ‘got’ is a filler word with no specific function, but is not ungrammatical. The proposed correction is “What has love have to do…”, which doesn’t make sense. “What does love have to do…” would make sense, but ‘What’ and ‘does’ do not contract.

    1. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Especially #3. For a second there I thought I was going to have to start calling Spider-Man Spider-Person ! :P

  8. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or, as McCartney’s dad tried to get him to sing, yes, yes, yes.

  9. 2, 3, 4, and 9 are not ungrammatical, and most of the others are either dialectical or trivial. This is nothing.

  10. Actual correct grammar on the Janis Joplin song would be “Good enough for my Bobby McGee and me” :) But who’s nitpicking? LOL

    1. I… was actually thinking the same thing but was doubting myself for a minute there. Pretty sure “I” should only be used if you take out the other person and would STILL use I. If you take out the other person and use me, I think “me” is correct. In this case, it’s “good enough for Bobby Mcgee and me”. “Good enough for I” doesn’t seem right.

      But yeah, who’s nitpicking? lol

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