The Crazy Meanings Behind Your Favorite Top 40 Songs

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“Lady Marmalade,” Christina Aguilera, P!nk, Mya, & Lil’ Kim

Crazy Song Meanings


“Lady Marmalade” was popularized by Baz Luhrman‘s hit jukebox movie-musical (which is now also a hit musical-musical), Moulin Rouge, but the song’s real meaning was a mystery even from its original chanteuse, Patti LaBelle. Patti told JET Magazine she had no idea the titular Lady was a sex worker. In her own words, Patti first thought she’d done something wrong, but then remembered that “hookers are people too” and “love is what it’s all about.” Now, if only more Americans would come to that realization. Oh, and the seemingly gibberish hook also has its roots in the OG version, which drew from creole slang. Genius translates that “Gitchie” means “get your,” “ya-ya” refers to the New Orleans “Gumbo Ya-Ya,” which is a rollicking party, and “dada” means an older woman. Altogether, it roughly means “Get your party woman/ Get your party here.”

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