Sunday, June 9, 2013

Song Meaning: Beat It by Michael Jackson

Artist: Micheal Jackson | Album: Thriller | Released: 1983


"Beat It" was the third single from Michael Jackson's best selling Thriller album. Much of the album's success can be attributed to this song as it was staple on classic rock and pop radio stations. It was also a highlight on MTV. As a matter of fact, the elements of the music video accompanied the song transcend generations! The red jacket, sun glasses, shining socks were iconic in the 1908s. There wasn't a person without a red jacket on the street. The song is also recognized as Jackson's second most successful single, after Billie Jean.

Few other interesting aspect of the song include the featuring of Eddie Van Halen's iconic guitar solo. It's now recognized as a classic. It looks like Eddie saved the best for Michael, not his own band! Moreover, the music video featured actual street gang members to add some "realism" the video. There was also the infamous reference by Ronald Reagen when Micheal visited the White House. President Reagen said, "just beat it," referring to his campaign against drinking and driving.

Central theme of the song is about discouraging community violence. Micheal repeated to says, "Just beat it" in the chorus to give up rebellious activities. The 1980s was seen as a period of extensive violent activities in the US. At the end of the decade, it was speculate that people would be living in houses with six-foot high walls. However, to everybody's surprise, violence dramatically dropped at the beginning of 1990s. A possible ( and good ) explanation for this occurrence is the legalization of abortion, but that's beside the point of this song. I thought it was interesting, and should share it.

From what I understand, the lyrics pertain a teenager who'd like to be a gangster just like his older friends. But he was rejected by the rest, and no reason is given in the lyrics. "You Wanna Be Tough, Better Do What You Can" states Micheal's message of encouraging the youth do the right thing, not the "cool" thing, that is, becoming a gangster. In many ways, this songs reflects the themes of the movie, Goodfellas (1990). If you haven't seen that movie, I highly recommend you watch it. Let me know what you think of the song.


They Told Him Don't You Ever Come Around Here
Don't Wanna See Your Face, You Better Disappear
The Fire's In Their Eyes And Their Words Are Really Clear
So Beat It, Just Beat It

[2nd Verse]
You Better Run, You Better Do What You Can
Don't Wanna See No Blood, Don't Be A Macho Man
You Wanna Be Tough, Better Do What You Can
So Beat It, But You Wanna Be Bad

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right
Just Beat It, Beat It
Just Beat It, Beat It
Just Beat It, Beat It
Just Beat It, Beat It

[3rd Verse]
They're Out To Get You, Better Leave While You Can
Don't Wanna Be A Boy, You Wanna Be A Man
You Wanna Stay Alive, Better Do What You Can
So Beat It, Just Beat It

[4th Verse]
You Have To Show Them That You're Really Not Scared
You're Playin' With Your Life, This Ain't No Truth Or Dare
They'll Kick You, Then They Beat You,
Then They'll Tell You It's Fair
So Beat It, But You Wanna Be Bad

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It

[Chorus]
Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Who's Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin' How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right
Just Beat It, Beat It
Beat It, Beat It, Beat It

Lyrics from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/michaeljackson/beatit.html

2 comments:

All comments will be automatically reviewed by the system, and by the author afterwards. So follow the guidelines listed below; failure to do so will result in your comment being removed.

- Keep comments nice and clean
- Don't include commercials/links to products
- You may include a link to your website if it's relevant

Rock N' Roll Posts: