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Lyrics and Life


By Caitlin Ward

Uptown Funk
By Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

This hit, that ice cold
Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold
This one, for them hood girls
Them good girls
Straight masterpieces 
Stylin,’ whilin’
Livin’ it up in the city
Got Chucks on with Saint Laurent
Got kiss myself I’m so pretty

I’m too hot (hot damn)
Called a police and a fireman
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Say my name you know who I am
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Am I bad ‘bout that money
Break it down

Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo) (x3)

‘Cause Uptown Funk gon’ give it to you (x3)

Saturday night and we in the spot
Don’t believe me just watch (come on)
Don’t believe me just watch (x5)

Stop, wait a minute
Fill my cup put some liquor in it
Take a sip, sign a cheque
Julio! Get the stretch!
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood, Jackson, Mississippi
If we show up, we gon’ show out
Smoother than a fresh jar of skippy


Before we leave
Imma tell y’all a lil’ something
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (etc. . . .)

Come on, dance
Jump on it
If you sexy than flaunt it
If you freaky than own it
Don’t brag about it, come show me
Come on, dance
Jump on it
If you sexy than flaunt it


Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (say whaa?!)
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up

Writer(s): Jeff Bhasker, Bruno Mars, Devon Gallaspy, Philip Martin Ii Lawrence Copyright: Way Above Music, BMG Gold Songs, Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Northside Independent Music Publishing LLC, Thou Art The Hunger, Mars Force Music, Zzr Music LLC, Sony/ATV Ballad

Once, many years ago, I crashed the web server of an international magazine.

Before anyone gets on the phone to — well, the people who get upset about these sorts of things, I guess — I should specify that it wasn’t on purpose. I’m not confessing to criminal activity; just to a particular kind of obsessive nature and a relatively good understanding of how the Internet and computers work.

You see, this particular magazine was having a competition, and they were asking people to vote to make a shortlist for the coolest musician. Or it might have been the hottest musician. I’m pretty sure temperature was involved somehow. We were meant to rate musicians on a scale of one to 10 when their names came up randomly. You couldn’t choose who you rated, and nor could you rate people multiple times. I think the magazine’s webmasters believed they’d managed to prevent people from disproportionately rating one musician.

The webmasters were wrong. There was a relatively easy workaround to employ once you noticed it, and as long as you had a reasonable Internet connection and a computer with a goodly amount of RAM, you could cheat that system like nobody’s business. I rigged three computers to vote for one musician 120 times every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day.

I was not the only one who noticed this workaround. Every second mildly computer-literate music fan got in on the action within a matter of days. What was probably meant to be a fun, crowd-sourced competition about who the music’s readership thought was cool (or hot) turned into a grudge match between various factions (I still have a residual antipathy toward Muse fans). The website was overloaded, its substantial bandwidth was exceeded, and it went down overnight. In the end, it went back up, and the shortlist was eventually completed. My guy had been a long shot, but I got him into the top five. The guy who came first was an even longer shot, though, and when the magazine interviewed him, he was incredibly confused.

I haven’t checked recently, but last I heard, that magazine doesn’t let people vote like that anymore.

The funny thing about this, in retrospect, is that I didn’t even like that magazine; I had very little respect for their opinions on music or musicians. The only exception to that rule was one of their columnists, who had a very Scottish name and a rather sour disposition. I didn’t buy the magazine with any regularity, and going on their website usually irritated me so much I couldn’t spend more than 10 minutes reading it. What that magazine thought about anything I liked genuinely did not matter to me. And yet, I cared enough about their competition to crash their server.

The behaviour probably seems a bit strange to those who were not embroiled in the online music community in the mid-2000s, but the tendency from which it springs is less so. At the time, I was a music journalist, and how I felt about music and musicians was a massive part of my identity. What I knew about them was equally important. I was on my way to knowing the entire history of 20th century English-language music, and I prided myself on being a bit of an encyclopedia on the subject. You couldn’t tell me anything about music; I already knew. Also, you’ve never heard of the bands I like. Or if you have, I liked them first.

At some point I stopped caring quite so much. I can’t pinpoint when it was, but I realized recently how much my temperament had changed. When I was in conversation with a friend recently, I said something about a comedian that must’ve been a bit obscure. My friend asked if I was a comedy nerd. My immediate reaction was a very strong pushback. I said “no” before he’d properly finished the question.

Having been a music nerd, I knew that defining myself as a comedy nerd would be setting myself up for all sorts of grief. I would have to know everything, and I would have to watch everything, lest the nerd gods find me wanting. As a woman, it’s doubly the case, because as a woman, you’re never really a citizen of nerd culture. At best, you’re a resident alien who must prove her right to be there over and over again. It can be nerve-wracking, and it’s exhausting. In nerd culture, your self-worth is connected to what you know (trivia), and what you have (all the b-sides. ALL OF THEM. ON VINYL).

This need to know everything is a particular byproduct of nerd culture, but it’s amazing how arbitrary the things we hang our identity and self-worth on can be: what we know, what we don’t know, what people say about us, what we look like, which sports team we support and how committed to them we are, whether or not we can put make up on with any skill (no, really — there’s a whole subculture of women who pride themselves on being incapable of putting on mascara). On some level, these are probably all about our need to belong, or conversely, our need to stand out. On another level, they’re a bit futile.

And on a third level, they’re hard to escape. One of the reasons I’ve been thinking about that time I crashed that server is because of who the musician I liked was. At the time, he was a relatively obscure hip hop DJ turned music producer who was only just starting to get any sort of public profile. Now, he has a No. 1 single in the United States and he was on the Ellen Show. As I’m sure you guessed, I’m talking about Mark Ronson. And, because I’m an adult, I have not allowed myself to tell anyone that I knew all about him before they did.

Oh, but I’ve wanted to so badly.

Ward is a Saskatoon-based freelance writer who spends her days (and most nights) working at a small Catholic college. Her less eloquent thoughts can be found at