Today, inspired by nothing more than a promise to you, I have decided to analyse more lyrical masterpieces on a semi-regular basis (read: when I can think of one)…
Up first is the classic No Limits, written by the lyrical genius of Dutch prodigies 2 Unlimited. Strap yourself in, they simply don’t write ’em like this these days:
Lemme hear ya say yeah! (yeah!)
Lemme hear ya say yeah! (yeah!)
Clearly designed for the medium of live shows, this act of acknowledgement to the audience only serves to endear 2 Unlimited to us all, it also makes sure that everyone is suitably ready to rock out (possibly with their cock out, it’s too early to tell)
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no ,no, no there’s no limit!
no, no, no ,no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no there’s no limit!
It’s amazing when a band decides to hit you with such power and poignancy from the start…most bands like to build to their message, lull you with calming sounds and dance around the issues. Not 2 Unlimited, they know their audience, they understand that people get them. Clearly they are asking people to open their minds and not constrain themselves with the little things….such as talent.
No no limits, we’ll reach for the sky!
No valley to deep
No mountain too high
No no limits, won’t give up the fight!
We do what we want and we do it with pride
There we go you see, throw off the shackles of conformity and medocrity, reach as high as you can possibly go. With deep valleys and high mountains, they are clearly trying to prepare you for the journey of life and need you to understand what trials and tribulations you may face. Such strength of meaning, so often missing from todays music.
In the last part of this verse, they begin dealing with how you have to be strong in your own convictions, fight for your beliefs and rights and always, always remember to be proud of yourself and whatever you do. Do what you want, do what you feel…let noone stand in your way. You are powerful, you are amazing, you are a WINNER!
Lemme hear ya say yeah! (yeah!)
Now, you could be forgiven for wondering why they would repeat such the powerful statement from the beginning of the song here, but you would be wrong to do so. Using this again is genius. You have to remember that following that initial rendition of the chorus, most of the audience may well be weeping and/or away in their own thoughts. To ensure that they come back to be able to fully appreciate the rest of this powerful song, 2 Unlimited choose to provide a lyrical slap around the face to bring the people back to reality..specifically so that they can do it to them again. Not being content with strong lyrics and an up tempo beat, 2 Unlimited are masters of the eclectic and like to surprise their audience. I present to you the first rap of the song:
Hard to the core, I feel the floor
When I’m on stage, yo, ya answer more
I’m on the edge, I know the ledge, I work real hard to collect my cash!
Tick tick ticka tick take your time, when I’m goin’ I’m goin’ for mine
Open your ears and you will hear it
I tell you this ’cause there’s no limit!
It is here that they really begin to relate to us, the normal people. Feeling the floor is clearly representative that, despite there being no theoretical limits to what we can achieve (or indeed what 2 Unlimited have achieved), it is important to stay grounded. They show a real connection to the audience when referring to getting answers from “ya” (obviously maintaining their cool street vibe). Staying grounded means dedication and hard work and the possibility of failure is something to be aware of (hence the ledge). I am sure that they have been on many a ledge with people yelling jump…these people are naysayers and the fact that 2 Unlimited overcame this and managed to work hard, taking their time to achieve perfection and eventually recieved their just rewards for such perseverence. The cash referred to here is clearly a metaphor for spiritual salvation, simply translated into something that we, the normal people, could relate to better. It would have been too obvious and possibly even a little clich??d for them to ask you to open your mind so, 2 Unlimited recognising this, ask you to open your ears…listening is such an important skill. Of course finally, they remind you of the purpose for delivering this message.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no ,no, no, no, no there’s no limit!
Again, they are really driving home this valuable message to us all. There are no limits, never forget that.
I won’t focus on the chorus again, it will be difficult to pull you back from your own thoughts, hopes and dreams were I to do so, and I couldn’t be held responsible for you not receiving the rest of this message.
Ow! Hey yay yeah hey hey! Now, now, hey yeah yeh hey hey! Hoo!
Ok, so here…they…umm, well.. clearly this is…joyful exuberance, yeah..joyful exuberance. Unable to contain themselves, they take a leaf (albeit non-religious) out of the Gospel singers book and simply release their joy. Got it? Good. I am glad you can follow as they move back into the medium of rap for the next verse.
No limits allowed
Cause there’s much crowd
Microphone check as I choose my route
I’m playing on the road
I’ve got no fear, the south from my mouth is on record here
There never will be no mountain too high
Reach the top, touch the sky!
They tried to diss me cause I sell out
I’m making techno and I am proud!
You see now, what they did..is.. arse..I mean…well they sort of spin this whole thing on its head don’t they. Not only are there no limits as to what you can do, now they are saying that there are no actual limits allowed. Sort of setting a limit on limits if you will. It is this kind of paradoxical genius that sets 2 Unlimited apart. The reason for limiting limits on limits? Because there is much crowd apparently. Much crowd meaning that…possibly….anyway, fuck it…moving on.
Microphone check as they choose their route and playing on the road is clearly a clever paraphrase on the “All the world’s a stage and the men and women merely players” quote. There aren’t many lyricists that could so eloquently utilise the very words of Shakespeare himself and maintain a catchy beat. I must confess to clearly being a philistine and of such small intellect that I am unable to penetrate the meaning of the rest of it. I have consulted many texts and volumes of the worlds books and foremost literary genius, yet can find nothing that adequately allows me to understand the levels of spiritual enlightenment.
I simply allow the words to roll over me and feel the….. oh for fucks sake, it’s bollocks isn’t it. It’s all bollocks.
What is it with this stupid fucking chorus? God I hate this song….aaaaaAAAAAARRRRRRGH
Next time, something by either Robbie Williams or The Wengaboyz….or you could make a suggestion in the comments I suppose.