A lesson in lyrics: El Taxi

They say that listening to music is a great way to improve your language skills. In my case, where my learning preference is visual rather than aural, this just doesn’t work unless I have the lyrics in front of me.

At the party after the baptism, we got to hear the ‘El Taxi’ song by Pitbull twice, with the kiddie entertainers leading a choreographed dance. I quite like this song, simply because it’s catchy, and obviously the kids like it too.

I was convinced that during the chorus it was:
“JoJo dar me por el taxi” which I was translating as “JoJo give me the taxi fare”.
This got cleared up by my colleagues this week when it was played in the office.

Correct lyrics are:
“Yo, yo le paré el taxi” which means “I stopped the taxi”.
My colleagues thought my mistake was pretty funny.

Reading over the rest of the lyrics I was shocked to read all the dirty double entendre which causes me pain for liking a tune against my better judgement of the nature of the lyrics. I could go on here about how I despise a lot of reggaeton and champeta music, and the accompanying dance moves, for their objectification of women as sex objects and make the same kinds of correlations they do between video games and violence with these songs and teenage pregnancies and sexual assault, but I won’t say anymore because it’s depressing and the best I can do is teach my stepson to be respectful of women and girls.

I just hope that these meanings are way beyond the kids’ grasp because here the kids start dancing as soon as they can stand up and there isn’t really much of a children’s music sector here so they dance to whatever the adults listen to – not age-appropriate Wiggles-type songs or the Peter Coombes “Brush your teeth with orange juice” kind of songs that I grew up with.

Here you can see just how much the kids enjoy El Taxi.


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