The song "Rude" by the band MAGIC! is annoying and stupid. It's annoying and stupid for a few reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that the band stylizes their name as "MAGIC!," which makes my job as an editor difficult, because I have to insert a stupid exclamation point in the middle of a sentence for no reason.
More importantly, though, lyricist Nasri Atweh doesn't seem to understand what being rude actually entails. If you're confused or haven't had access to a radio in the last few months, here's the idiotic earworm of which I'm speaking:
To be fair, part of why this song is so irritating is the fact that's grossly overplayed, and that has more to do with radio payola and record labels than it does with the band MAGIC!. (Again, how the Hell am I supposed to punctuate that? That's rude.)
But the message of the song is worse. The lyrics describe the Atweh going to visit his girlfriend's father, while wearing his best suit, to ask for her hand in marriage, but that doesn't go as well as Atweh would have liked:
"Saturday morning jumped out of bed and put on my best suit / Got in my car and raced like a jet, all the way to you / Knocked on your door with heart in my hand / To ask you a question / 'Cause I know that you're an old fashioned man yeah yeah."
There's Atweh's first problem. If you want to appeal to someone, don't call them old-fashioned, even if they are. Call them "traditional."
"Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes / 'Cause I need to know."
Here's Atweh's second problem. He sounds overeager, like a four-year-old begging for candy or a 14-year-old begging for Justin Bieber tickets or me begging for Chris Hemsworth to lift the restraining order. The guy knows what answer you want, you don't need to spell it out for him. That's insulting to his traditional nature as well as to his intelligence. Remain calm and poised and you'd be more likely to impress this dude.
"You say I'll never get your blessing till the day I die / Tough luck my friend but the answer is no! / Why you gotta be so rude? / Don't you know I'm human too / Why you gotta be so rude / I'm gonna marry her anyway / Marry that girl / Marry her anyway / Marry that girl / Yeah no matter what you say."
Here's the thing. The dad's message is harsh, sure, but is it actually rude? He could've been like, "Get off my lawn and off my little girl, asshole!" And he didn't. Instead he just delivered a really firm message, and Atweh responds by acting like a petulant child: "I'm gonna marry her anyway!" Great. That's great. Then just do it, big boy. That'd be more respectable than standing on her dad's front steps essentially sticking out your tongue and whining, "Nyah nyah nyah." Just because you don't like an answer doesn't make it rude.
"Marry that girl / And we'll be a family."
Oh, that's awesome. Just outright disrespect the guy, then tell him you'll be bros. That'll warm him up.
"Why you gotta be so rude?"
Because, Atweh, you do not listen, nor do you follow instructions. And he gets worse:
"I hate to do this, you leave no choice / Can't live without her."
Then you need counseling, good sir, because you're in an overly dependent relationship and possibly suicidal (and definitely a stage five clinger). Get help, then go back to pops when you're rational and psychologically sound. (Also, thank your lucky stars that your girlfriend doesn't have any real daddy issues and that she hasn't kicked your whiny ass to the curb already.)
"Love me or hate me we will be boys / Standing at that altar."
Oh, that'll work. Disrespect him and bring him down to your level, instead of respecting him as an elder. Chances are he's going to hate you, if he even shows up. And if he trips you heading up to that altar, you've earned it.
"Or we will run away / To another galaxy you know."
Now that's just bullshit. If you were Buzz Aldrin or had Lance Bass' wannabe astronaut money, this dad would approve of you right away.
"You know she's in love with me / She will go anywhere I go."
Okay, Charles Manson. No father will approve of a guy who clearly can't take no for answer and who has about as firm a grasp on the word "rude" as Alanis Morissette did on the word "ironic." It's time to take a seat and get the Hell off his lawn. And my radio.
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Photo: RCA Records