Upon entering the world of K-Pop, one should be prepared for several things: large groups, catchy dances, auto-tune, pretty boys, provocative under-aged dancing, “chocolate” abs, odd attire, and the like. Of course K-Pop would not be complete without the handsome amount of Engrish.
Engrish has had a long partnership with K-Pop since the existence of groups like H.O.T. and Shinhwa (late 1990s), and is still very much alive today as many (nearly most) pop songs have bits of Engrish sprinkled on top for an adorning touch.
We have good English in songs such as Big Bang’s “Lies,” Park Bom’s “You and I,” and Wonder Girl’s “Nobody.” Songs from YG and JYP Entertainment usually have better English due to their writers’ English background.
But with the good comes the bad, and so here is my pick of the top five recent songs as the champions of Engrish.
5. Rainbow – A
This is definitely an upgrade from their debut song “Gossip Girl” which received a lot of backlash for their concept and pronunciation. The opening lines “Just your collection line, easy access line” and repetition of “a” don’t make much sense (at all…), but that doesn’t stop the song from being fun.
4. BEAST – Shock
The beginning of the song starts off with “Every I Just cant control, every night the loneliness is my love”, but then it goes into strange rhymes mixed with Korean. “Can’t breathe, like freeze…hey dear, stay here”.
Good song, good musical composition, but I never understood what it meant to “shock” in “Every day I shock, every night I shock.” The Engrish brings back fond memories from their performance at Hollywood Bowl 2010 where the fan chants “Every day I shock (shock) Every night I shock (shock)” were truly phenomenal ^_^!
3. Kara – Pretty Girl
I really like Kara and this song is quite cute and fun, but the Engrish makes me cringe ><~! “If you wanna pretty, every wanna pretty” boggles my mind because it makes it sound as if “pretty” were a verb. And “every” who wants to pretty? I feel like I have been gypped by the incomplete lyrics.
2. ZE:A – Mazeltov
I think this candidate is self-explanatory. It was a very close contender for the #1 spot, but in this case I wouldn’t say it’s an Engrish issue because the words and phrases make sense. However there is no context whatsoever for the English x_x! The “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…” could be helpful for learning the days of the week. “Latin girl, Mexican girl, Korean girl, Japan girl” also puzzles me.
1. SHINee – Ring Ding Dong
SHINee has been my favorite male group since their debut, but this song will forever give me second-hand embarrassment. I once went to karaoke with a K-Pop friend who brought her friends who didn’t listen to Asian music. My friend busted out “Ring Ding Dong” and her friends had a good LMAO moment especially during the “ring diggy ding diggy ding ding ding.” SM has succeeded in brainwashing Engrish in me: there have been too many occasions where I reply “elastic” when I hear “fantastic.” SM has continued to use made up rhymes as they prove to be a crowd pleaser. Please refer to BoA’s “supersonic bionic energy,” SHINee’s “loverholic, robotronic,” and f(x)’s “mysteric, hysteric.”
Honorary mention: Micky’s solo track “My Girlfriend” (1:19)
“The day you gave me a blue tumbler like a puppy lover
Yeah~ with this coffee sweet imagine our future marriage and gettin associated.
So girl listen to my heart won’t change.
Maybe my love is bigger than Ginger bread man’s vitality”
As a disclaimer, this list based on my opinion of recent K-Pop tracks. Do not take this too seriously and just enjoy some downtime in the K-Pop world :) check out this hilarious thread here for more funny lyrics. I actually think the earlier K-Pop generations had more ridiculous lyrics that make you go “huh did I really just hear that?” Also please share your suggestions of lol-worthy Engrish songs ^^!
Please look forward to the next selection of Soompi’s list series!
cr: iAznSamManMV, AznSamManMV, CollabCovers, gossipwhatever @ youtube