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Lyriscope - Katy Perry

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Fraser McAlpine | 19:42 UK time, Tuesday, 9 September 2008

LyriscopeA short while ago, a friendly ChartBlog reader suggested that we apply our scientific skills to measuring some of the levels of lyrical truth which are contained within the song 'I Kissed A Boy' by Katy Perry. The device we use to measure this is called the Lyriscope, and its job is to measure how feasible it is to live the words to any popular song you might care to name. All you need is a willing subject (hiya!) an actual Lyriscope (click on the pic for a full-size version) and a song.

NOTE: This is not a frivolous undertaking, so if it seems as though there has been a long delay in between the request and the delivery, well, that can't be helped. As you will see when you read on, living the Katy Perry dream is a risky endeavour. I mean, what if I don't like cherry chapstick?


Lyric: "This was never the way I planned. Not my intention"

Not the best place to start, really. The first sentence leads you down a dead-end, from a Lyriscope perspective. It's a twisted car-crash of tenses and grammar. If Katy meant "kissing a lady was not what I had planned to do", then those are the words she should have chosen to use. As it is, "this was never the way I planned" just means that she used to plan for the future in a certain way, and now she doesn't. She might as well have said "I have just bought a new calendar" or "I am colouring the dates in my diary in pink". As a way of leading into a discussion of the merits or otherwise of a same-sex snog, this leaves a lot to be desired.

Of course, now that I have changed the font on my Outlook Calendar, the Lyriscope is going crackers, so it's a win for me.

Lyriscope Reading: 4.9


Lyric: "I got so brave, drink in hand"

Holding a drink in your hand is very hard, it's true. You have to really press your fingers together to stop it leaking out, and then slurp like crazy before it all spills on the floor. And if the drink in question is tea, coffee or hot chocolate, you also have to deal with the possibility of scalding yourself.

Do not ask how I know this, or how I am still able to type, come to that, but let's just say that ANYONE who can hold a drink in their hand deserves a medal for bravery.

Lyriscope Reading: 4.2


Lyric: "Just wanna try you on. I'm curious for you. Caught my attention"

OK, so, bandages on, painkillers necked, let's SHOP!

SOME TIME LATER: People really don't like it when you talk to clothes. Even if they are in your size. Shoppers don't like it, shop-keepers don't like it. Hell, even the people who are employed just to say hello as you enter their shop don't like it. And if the item of clothing you wish to try on is a pair of strong leather gloves and you happen to be wearing sopping wet, stained bandages (it's surprisingly hard to wash Slush Puppie and ketchup off, especially when your fingers are too sore to turn the taps), well, you get escorted out of the shopping centre and told to buck your ideas up.

At least, I think they said buck.

Lyriscope Reading: 1.2


Lyric: "I kissed a girl and I liked it"

This was not the easiest of Lyriscope tasks to fulfil. Having set up a kissing booth with a big 'GIRLS ONLY' sign on the top, I sat for a miserable hour-and-a-half in the drizzle outside a pub, being constantly mocked, harassed and ignored, before anything happened. And the anything that DID happen was a small dog came over, and licked my bandages.

"I'm so sorry, mate", called the dog's owner, seeing my poor hands, "I should have kept a closer eye on her"

"Oh? Her?", I replied, "she's a girl?"

"Yes", said the owner, looking a little puzzled. This grew to outright anger, and actual violence when I bent over and kissed the dog, full on the lips, and received a lightning fast lick on the nose in return. That plus an even quicker punch to the nose.

I can't say I liked any of it, truth be told.

Lyriscope Reading: 2.3


Lyric: "The taste of her cherry chapstick..."

...is cherry. What is all the fuss about?

Lyriscope Reading: 4.3


Lyric: "I kissed a girl just to try it. I hope my boyfriend don't mind it"

I won't bore you with the lengths I had to go to, just to get this Lyriscope reading. Suffice to say it took me ages to even get a boyfriend, even longer to build up trust and start developing proper feelings for each other...and now it turns out he DOES mind that I kissed a girl just to try it.

Apparently his mother was "off-limits", whatever THAT means...

Lyriscope Reading: 3.2


Lyric: "It felt so wrong. It felt so right"

*Reads out loud*
One of these boxes contains a soothing massage for your scalded fingers, the other, a rabid porcupine with the squits. See if you can tell which is which by touch alone. Are you ready? Steady? One, two...YAAARGH!

Lyriscope Reading: 2.8


Lyric: "I don't even know your name. It doesn't matter"

Quite how Katy Perry managed to get ANYONE to kiss her with a chat-up line like this is beyond me. I certainly do not have what it takes to carry it off, so to get the truest Lyriscope reading possible, I went to the nearest branch of an electrical retailers, and started chatting to the staff. In each conversation, I would try as hard as possible to avoid looking at their name-tag, and then suddenly steal a glance at it, just to see if it mattered. I can exclusively reveal that I did not know any of their names, and that, once I did, it only changed my opinion of the person in one case, and that was because their name tag read 'Seymour Balls'. Success!

Lyriscope Reading: 4.5


Lyric: "It's not what good girls do. Not how they should behave"

In hindsight, it wasn't the best idea to go to a primary school in a grotty lab-coat, bruised face and dirty bandages, waving an electronic device around and asking a lot of questions about good girls, and what they do, what they don't do, and how they should behave. Of course, I didn't fully realise this was such a bad idea until one or two of the parents took the time to explain it to me, via the medium of shouting. Then the man with the dog came by and the whole thing escalated into a bit of a brawl. Thankfully a good scientist always has his wits about him, and I got a really good Lyriscope reading before someone tried to knock my face off with a flying satchel.

Lyriscope Reading: 2.2


Lyric: "My head gets so confused. Hard to obey"

That will be the beatings from the handbags and the boyfriends and the truncheons and...dammit, I've dropped the Lyriscope. I've...I've prodded the Scylirope...I've popped the periscope...Ow!...Zzzz

Lyriscope Reading: 4.5


Lyric: "Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain't no big deal, it's innocent"

The question of innocence, Ms. Perry, is for a court of law to decide. And they will, one day. Until then, it's just me, these four walls, and my three homicidal cell-mates. Bye!

Lyriscope Reading: 2.3



Conclusion: It's true what they say. Katy Perry is a controversial, taboo-breaking artist, challenging the very nature of society in a provocative and thoughtful way. She can do things which are impossible for most of us to even think about trying, and we should bear this in mind before attempting to copy any of her amazing feats.

Mind you, I can't wait to get the Lyriscope fired up for 'UR So Gay'...


Previous Lyriscope Readings

Dizzee Rascal - 'Dance Wiv Me'
Mariah Carey - 'Touch My Body'
Nickelback - 'Rock Star'
Justin Timberlake - 'Lovestoned'
Kate Nash - 'Foundations'
Fergie - 'Big Girls Don't Cry'



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