“Something Better” by Softengine is somewhat predictable and inoffensive, though not unpleasant. However, it does stand out for its frankly puzzling English lyrics.
Finns usually speak excellent English (indeed often more grammatically correct than that spoken by native English speakers). But with Softengine’s ditty, there is a definite impression that something got lost in translation.
Just consider the opening lines:
“Even human bound / People rolling dice / Image on the ground / Such a novel life”
This got me thinking... Maybe the true meaning of the song could be reverse-engineered.
So I put the lyrics into Google Translate to get their Finnish “equivalent”, then translated them back into English using the same tool.
This double-translation method has a long history of producing interesting results, including the probably apocryphal (but definitely excellent) transformation of the expression “out of sight, out of mind” into “blind, insane”.
Not surprisingly, the result of the English-Finnish-English translation of “Something Better” proved to be fairly inconclusive.
Maybe Softengine translated their lyrics from Swedish? Again, Google-translating to Swedish and back did not improve clarity. So then I went all out and tried double-translating via various languages.
What I hoped would be “Something [Even] Better” ended up being just as odd and meaningless as the original:
Even human bound
|Even the man tied to the|
People rolling dice
|People rolling dice|
Image on the ground
|Preview on earth|
Such a novel life
|This new life|
He thought while knowing nothing at all
|He thought as he knew, no one does anything|
Every option noted
|Each option to rate|
Or tendency made
|Trend or fact|
They will carry on until the perfect day
|Takes a full day on the border|
She said while knowing nothing at all
|He said , knowing nothing|
So that turned out to be quite a pointless exercise really (was it ever going to be otherwise?). Clearly, Softengine’s lyrics were meant to be enjoyed as unfathomable, and inadvertently amusing as they are.
What's your favourite weird song lyric(s)? Do share!