Oxford Comma lyrics by Vampire Weekend, 13 meanings, official 2019 song lyrics | LyricsMode.com
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Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma lyrics
Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?
I've seen those English dramas too
They're cruel
So if there's any other way
To spell the word
It's fine with me, with me

Why would you speak to me that way
Especially when I always said that I
Haven't got the words for you
All your diction dripping with disdain
Through the pain
I always tell the truth

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford climber?
I climbed to Dharamsala too
I did
I met the highest lama
His accent sounded fine
To me, to me

Check your handbook
It's no trick
Take the chapstick
Put it on your lips
Crack a smile
Adjust my tie
Know your boyfriend, unlike other guys

Why would you lie about how much coal you have?
Why would you lie about something dumb like that?
Why would you lie about anything at all?
First the window, then it's to the wall
Lil' Jon, he always tells the truth

Check your passport
It's no trick
Take the chapstick
Put it on your lips
Crack a smile
Adjust my tie
Know your butler, unlike other guys
Why would you lie about how much coal you have?
Why would you lie about something dumb like that?
Why would you lie about anything at all?
First the window, then it's through the wall
Why would you tape my conversations?
Show your paintings
At the United Nations
Lil' Jon, he always tells the truth
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Lyrics taken from /lyrics/v/vampire_weekend/oxford_comma.html

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Corrected by hobalt

Oxford Comma meanings Post my meaning

  • m
    + 9
    MaeStone
    I can't believe I signed up just to explain this. An Oxford Comma is the optional comma before the word 'and' in a list. Many people care about this stuff (trust me, I'm friends with many of them). Actually people argue about weather or not an Oxford Comma should be present. Many people are strongly opinionated. He's saying "Who gives a fuck...?" The whole song is about how people are too focused on stupid things. Ironically we're all sitting here debating about the stupid things he was talking about. The 'Oxford Comma' and the 'Oxford Climber' represent all the stupid things people care too much about (like the meaning of the song--who cares? Just enjoy the song).
    Add your reply
  • m
    + 2
    michelleydelly
    On 28 January 2008, Michael Hogan of Vanity Fair interviewed Ezra Koenig regarding the title of the song and its relevance to the song's meaning. Koenig said that he first encountered the Oxford comma (an optional comma before the word "and" at the end of a list) when a group of Columbia University students had created a group titled "Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma", which prompted the idea of the song several months later while sitting at a piano in his parents' house. He began "writing the song and the first thing that came out was 'Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?'". He stated that the song "is more about not giving a fuck than about Oxford commas." [1].
    Add your reply
  • U
    + 1
    Unregistered
    I think the overall meaning of the song is to not worry so much about the little things in life that don't matter. You don't need to lie to impress people 'why would you lie about how much coal you have? '. Its also saying instead of caring about the insignificant things, you should take care over the things that actually do matter in life 'know your boyfriend, unlike other guys\'.
    Add your reply
  • a
    + 1
    ader
    From wikipedia.
    On 28 January, Michael Hogan of Vanity Fair interviewed Ezra Koenig, regarding the title of the song and its relevance to the song's meaning. Koenig said that he first encountered the Oxford comma when a group of Columbia University students had created a group titled "Students for the Preservation of the Oxford Comma", which prompted the idea of the song several months later whilst sitting at a piano in his parent's house. He began "writing the song and the first thing that came out was 'Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?'". He stated that the song "is more about not giving a fuck than about Oxford commas."
    Add your reply
  • m
    0
    marigoldcoal
    In response to Kollar.
    Just so you know, this song has nothing to do with the school oxford and whether or not the people from there are pretentious. It's about the use of a comma splice that can change the meaning of a sentence, and how the guys insists that nitpicking meaning is useless, when we all understand the gist of things.
    Also, the guys in the band didn't go to oxford. They went to columbia university.
    Only a group of columbia kids could think of such witty lyrics to match a contagious beat =)
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  • l
    0
    liddiloop
    Dharamsala is a village in Northern India which has been, since the early 1960s, the capital-in-exile for Tibetan refugees fleeing persecution in Chinese-occupied Tibet, and yes, the Dalai Lama lives there, and is the 'highest Lama' referred to in the song. He is known for his idiosyncratic english which is far from fluent, but loved by many - so I reckon the singer is pointing out that you don't need to be word perfect in order to get meaning across.
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  • t
    - 1
    Thomas Strauß
    Hello - what's the meaning of the song "Oxford Comma?". My interpretation was as follows: Take the chapstick, put it on your lips = take the peter, put it on your lips (sexual abuse). (I) crack a smile, adjust my tie (I know your dirty, little secret!).
    First the window, then it's to the wall (skeeting against the window, the wall). OK, my dirty fantasy...
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  • war3hol3
    - 2
    war3hol3
    One more word about "how much coal you have?"
    English and German are quite similar (they belong to the same family of Germanic languages, after all). In particular, English "coal" is very similar to German "Kohle". And in German, "coal" is the second word for "money", E. G. "Have you got any coal?", "His life is nothing but coal making", etc.
    So, when I saw the lyrics for the first time, I immediately thought to myself "Oh, I didn't know it's exactly the same in English!". Well, not quite.
    On the other hand side, Ezra bears a German name (Koenig means King), so maybe for him the association was as obvious as for me. And, the song is (among other important things) about mixing up the languages. But, of course, these are only my own theories.
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  • w
    - 2
    willow86
    The lines "First the window, then it's through the wall" and "Lil' Jon, he always tells the truth" are references to the lil john song "Get Low" where he says "To the window, to the wall, to the sweat drop down my balls, to all these b*s crawl. There can be no ambiguity because there is no 'and' for an oxford comma to precede. Hence lil john always tell the truth.
    The chapstick thing just sounds like a play on words because you can have cracked lips or you can crack a smile maybe.
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  • c
    - 3
    coallies
    This song is about givin out about a pretentious nd vain person. . The person caring about the use of an "oxford comma"(serial comma)again wit "all ur diction dripping wit disdain" meaning sum1 talking condescendingly about grammar then the reference to the dalai lama nd those who hav criticised his english & the references to "check ur passport" nd applying chapstick is again about vanity lyk check ur passport photo nd cover cracked lips nd again wit "adjust my tie" as in the person is thinking about presentability nd slightly neurotic. . Nd finally wit show ur paintings at the un is again about bragging nd vanity. . Anyone agree?
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  • a
    - 3
    annahnah
    The coal! I think it means you're a bad person! Santa gave you coal for christmas, there's no point in bragging about it.
    To answer you liddiloop I think the paintings (expression of oneself) being shown to the un (an institution that thinks very highly of itself) is showing this person's a sellout/ they want other's approval.
    Along the same lines with the tape thing- he doesn't want to be taped and displayed, just expressed.
    I like what you said willow86. :]
    I don't like lil' jon though. Haha.
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  • t
    - 3
    TwstdLogic0519
    After reading its lyrics, it seems the inspiration behind this song may have been an argument the writer had, possibly with a girlfriend, about the importance of an oxford comma. I cite three pieces of evidence to support my claim: the line "know your boyfriend, unlike other guys;" the entirety of the second verse; and the use of the word "fuck" at the beginnig of the first and third verses. I say "third" and "second" verse cautiously only becuause of the ambiguity of the second verse: it shares the same candence as the chorus, but has different lyrics. Sorry, I digress. Back to my argument. I point out the line, "know your boyfriend, unlike other guys," only because it supports my "boyfriend-girlfriend argument" claim. Secondly, the entire second verse reads as if the writer is reacting to the cruel words of his girlfriend, who could have instigated the argument over the presence or the lack thereof of an oxford comma in the title or script of an English drama -- a claim supported by the lyrics at the end of the first verse. Lastly, the use of the word "fuck" reflects the anger the writer felt towards his girlfriend's pedantics. The rest of the song is a series of clever examples that the writer of Oxford Comma could have used to rebuke his gf's arguments. Thus, in essence, the song Oxford Comma may be a brilliantly composed rebuttle to a nagging gf's persistent cries over the use of an oxford comma in a British drama. Or it could be me reading too far into it, and my repressed disdain towards loudmouthed girls bubbling to the surface.
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  • k
    - 5
    Kollar
    Personally I believe the song is referring to people who brag about Oxford University and show off everything thing they have. I think "coal" is representing money. I also believe that when they say "check your handbook it's no trick", it's saying that you don't need to go to a prestigious school like Oxford to get an education. I will also bring up that all of the members went to Oxford.
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    Top meanings Post my meaning

    • m
      + 9
      MaeStone
      I can't believe I signed up just to explain this. An Oxford Comma is the optional comma before the... Read more →
    • m
      + 2
      michelleydelly
      On 28 January 2008, Michael Hogan of Vanity Fair interviewed Ezra Koenig regarding the title of the... Read more →

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