Sometimes life can get the best of us. One minute we’re focusing hard on a task, and the next we’re scrolling down a complete stranger’s social media page drooling over their hot pics. This is part of the spirit behind this fun and poppy song, today’s subject under study! “Crush” is a song from Tessa Violet’s 2019 album Bad Ideas. Below are the lyrics with some explanations for English learners, helping to clarify some of the confusing grammar, slang, expressions, and cultural points.
For lyrics without my explanations:
For better practice: 1) Listen to the song will reading the lyrics simultaneously; 2) Read through the lyrics and explanations with no music; 3) Listen to the song (and watch the video!) without reading the lyrics and check for understanding.
- Common Terms / Expressions: Being “on notice” is the same as being alert, paying attention to something like a guard on watch. She’s being careful. By “run,” she means that she hopes the person doesn’t run away.
- Figurative Speech: “Tepid” means lacking passion, enthusiasm, or interest. In more literal contexts, it has to do with the temperature of something being not hot but not cold. Another word for this is “lukewarm.” Basically, this person thinks that Tessa is not that interesting, or maybe she doesn’t seem interested in them. Still, she’s “misdiagnosed,” so the person’s assumption is wrong!
- Grammar: *”Because I’m a stalker, I have (I’ve) seen all of your posts …”
- Vocabulary: You probably know this one, but a “stalker” is someone who follows another person in an obsessive and secretive way. In pop culture, it’s often used in the sense of following someone’s posts and pictures obsessively on social media, usually without that person knowing.
- Informal Speech: *”And I’m just trying to play …”
- Slang: To “play it cool” is to try to stay calm, maintain self-composure, and act as if you don’t want something even when you really do.
- Informal Speech: *”What I want to do now …”
- Voice: The way Tessa voices this “Mhm” sound is a funny way to signify that you agree with or acknowledge what someone says.
- Figurative Speech: This probably means she is “blushing” or gets embarrassed, shy, etc.
- Figurative Speech / Expressions: A “rush” is a feeling of intense emotions, usually a mix of excitement and nervousness all wrapped into one.
- Clarifying: She is thinking, “I wish you were here.”
- Popular Vocabulary: I think we all know what a “crush” is. Someone that we like or are attracted to but we haven’t told them yet. You can also “have a crush on” someone.
- Casual Expressions: “Throw you for a rush” just means that she wants to make him feel that rush of emotions we talked about earlier.
- Culture / Society: Tessa repeats “like” a lot in the lyrics. This is similar to how English speakers, mostly younger generations, tend to repeat “like” as a filler word when they speak. She could be trying to represent herself as a silly young woman who’s losing her thoughts thinking about her “crush”.
- Grammar: *”I have (I’ve) been thinking about your touch, like …”
- Grammar: *”I have (I’ve) got a fascination …” Also, “I have a fascination …”
- Figurative Speech: With his physical appearance, dress style.
- Other Meanings: This “Sorry” here shows how awkward and weird she can get when thinking about her crush. In the song, she says it in kind of a nerdy way, on purpose.
- Common Expression: To “keep from” something is to stay away from it, not interact with it.
- Informal Speech: *”And I’m pretending that you haven’t been …”
- Expressions: To “take an interest” is to start being interested in something. Another way to say this is to “take up an interest.”
- Other Meanings: Funny, usually when saying “right” at the end of a sentence, it is formed like a question, as if the speaker is asking to confirm something, “Right?” Here, she doesn’t say it like a question. It’s as if she is confirming this information for us. “Yeah, I am a bit intense. It’s true.”
- Idioms: To be “on the fence” or be “kept on the fence” is to be in the middle of two decisions. Basically, she is undecided, not sure what to do next.
- Familiar Speech: This “like” at the end reminds me of how some people use it. “He was walking, real quiet-like.” The “like” doesn’t have a real meaning in this sense, it just adds a bit of emphasis to “quiet,” or “on the fence” in the case of our lyrics. This way of speaking is more old-fashioned but you still hear it in cartoons or for stereotyped movie characters.
- Other Meanings: The “like?” as a question could also mean that she is waiting for an answer. “I waited for your call and you never did, like?”
You might also like:
Tennis Court Lorde; Habits (Stay High) Tove Lo; Day ‘N’ Nite (Nightmare) Kid Cudi; Dani California Red Hot Chili Peppers; Tighten Up The Black Keys; Carnies Martina Topley-Bird; Colorado Kota the Friend; Don’t Start Dua Lipa; Cameo Lover Kimbra; The Ghost Who Walks Karen Elson; Child Lights; i like the devil Purity Ring; Pleasure Feist; After the Storm Kali Uchis
Then the lyrics repeat.
What do you think of this song and the music video? Was this the first time you heard of Tessa Violet, or are you a certified fan? Do you stalk your crush online too? Let us know what you think (just don’t get too personal :D).
Thank you for coming and I hope you enjoyed reading and listening. Take care out there. Spread some love. Peace!
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