The Shins: New Slang

My nephew and my brother like the Shins and they’ve turned me on to them. “New Slang” is a melodious oldie from 2001.

Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth.
Only, I don’t know how they got out, dear.
Turn me back into the pet that I was when we met.
I was happier then with no mind-set.

And if you’d ‘a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, I’d ‘a jumped from my tree
And I’d ‘a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would ‘a fared well.

New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries.
Hope it’s right when you die, old and bony.
Dawn breaks like a bull through the hall,
Never should have called
But my head’s to the wall and I’m lonely.

And if you’d ‘a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, I’d ‘a jumped from my tree
And I’d ‘a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would ‘a fared well.

God speed all the bakers at dawn may they all cut their thumbs,
And bleed into their buns ’till they melt away.

I’m looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find.
Without a trust or flaming fields am I too dumb to refine?
And if you’d ‘a took to me like
Well I’d ‘a danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would ‘a fared well.

  • “I’d ‘a jumped” is “I would have jumped” and “I’d a danced” is “I would have danced”.
  • “If you’d ‘a took to me” is “If you’d have taken to me” – wenn ich dir gefallen hätte. (In colloquial American English “If you would have” is just fine, but the British don’t use “if” and “would” together.)
  • “I’d ‘a fared well” is short for “I would have fared well” – es wäre mir gut gegangen.
  • an eyesore is something that is unpleasant to look at, like an ugly building

song of the week :-) englisch lernen mit liedern

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

2 thoughts on “The Shins: New Slang”

  1. Thanks for the post Anne. Nice post on slang and ‘shortcuts.’

    It reminds me of the phrase:
    Shoulda, coulda, woulda

    A: I should have (shoulda) studied harder and school. Then I could have (coulda) gotten a better job. And I would have (woulda) made more money.

    B: Oh, Should, coulda, woulda

    It seems we like to shorten things and make shortcuts in our language. That’s why we use Twitter right?

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