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My name's Clifford Stumme, and I explain the deeper meanings of popular songs. Let's have a conversation about what you think about the songs and go deeper together. Feel free to email me at clifford@popsongprofessor.com with questions or ideas!

10 Worst Lines in Katy Perry's Witness Album

10 Worst Lines in Katy Perry's Witness Album

The sound of Katy Perry's Witness album is pretty awesome. It's custom-made for club dance floors, and several songs may even make the Top 10 (apart from "Chained to the Rhythm," which already has).

But that doesn't negate the fact that several lines in the album are just plain awful. The worst offenses?

Mixed metaphors. Mixed metaphors everywhere. 

And cliches! Lots and lots of cliches. 

For some reason, Witness depends on cliches and abstract metaphors quite heavily. Sometimes it makes the album more applicable to a wider audience, and sometimes it makes it makes individual songs' message vague or pointless, but in several cases, the lines make no sense whatsoever. Let me show you what I mean.

1. Witness

If shit hit the fan, grenades got thrown
Would you still show, oh?
Could you go down with me to the mat?

Mixed metaphors are the crime here. Why would you need to go down to a mat if shit had just hit the fan? It'd be better to run out of the room or get an umbrella. 

2. Hey Hey Hey

Marylin Monroe in a monster truck

Perry is trying to explain that she may look pretty and petit, but she's actually tough and capable. Interestingly, in this line, she switches the image and has the toughness on the outside with the prettiness on the inside, but more importantly, it's a really weird picture and seems contrived. 

3. Swish Swish

You're 'bout cute as
An old coupon expired

Wait, what? I'm sure this means Katy Perry had a bad experience with an expired coupon, but isn't there anything better she could have compared her enemy (likely Taylor Swift) to? 

4. Deja Vu

When you’re drunk, you say I’m the one
Then you wake up
You suck my hope up in a vacuum

Is the guy she's talking to cleaning the house? This would make more sense if she were talking about the vacuum of space, but how hard would it be to pry your hope out of a vacuum? Also how do you vacuum up hope? So weird...

5. Mind Maze

Caught in a cage
A complex cage
Am I a car on fire?
Will I be devoured?

Why does being confused about life suggest being "a car on fire"? What in the world? How do you make that leap?

6. Miss You More

Saw a balloon floating away
I thought, "did someone let go, or did they lose it?"

This reminds me of high school fiction writing. The teacher asks, "What's the saddest thing you can think of? And can you be pretentious about?" The student says, "I'll try," puts on reading glasses, and starts reading young adult romance novels for inspiration. 

7. Chained to the Rhythm

Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Come on, turn it up, keep it on repeat
Stumbling around like a wasted zombie

First of all, the word "zombie" is hugely unattractive and doesn't make any sense poetically but then to call her audience zombies for listening to her song . . . Seems like an odd choice to me anyway.

8. Bon Appetit 

You could use some sugar
'Cause your levels ain't right

In an album where Katy Perry has seemed so afraid of being specific, it's odd to me that she all of a sudden wants to make very clear that she's dating a diabetic. 

9. Bigger Than Me

If I'm not evolving, I'm just another robot taking up oxygen

Robots don't breath oxygen. Duh. 

10. Into Me You See

I built a wall so high, no one could reach
A life of locks, I swallowed all the keys

Why would you swallow the keys? And don't you know that you're going to see them again in less than 24 hours? Hardly the most permanent locking away of yourself. 


Click here for my podcast about Katy Perry's Witness! It's coming out soon!

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