Off the Wall

Well . . . we can’t have all this nostalgia this week — all this resistance to change — and not acknowledge the death of Michael Jackson.

I had his long-playing record album Thriller. It sold 65 million copies, so I suspect you did too. I think it’s okay for us to admit it. It was before he completely lost it. My life motto is “At least we know we’re crazy.” I don’t think he knew.

Anyway, let’s enjoy a classic song from that recording. Read the lyrics passionately out loud, perhaps grabbing a cucumber* for emphasis during that last chorus and do a little moon walk.

* Update: I meant for the “You’re a vegetable” part, not for his trademark (ahem) grab.

Wanna Be Starting Somethin
Michael Jackson

I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)

I took my baby to the doctor
With a fever, but nothing he found
By the time this hit the street
They said she had a breakdown
Someone’s always tryin’ to start my baby cryin’
Talkin’, squealin’, lyin’
Sayin’ you just wanna be startin’ somethin’

I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)

You love to pretend that you’re good
When you’re always up to no good
You really can’t make him hate her
So your tongue became a razor
Someone’s always tryin’ to keep my baby cryin’
Treacherous, cunnin’, declinin’
You got my baby cryin’

I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
You’re a vegetable, you’re a vegetable
Still they hate you, you’re a vegetable
You’re just a buffet, you’re a vegetable
They eat off of you, you’re a vegetable

Billie Jean is always talkin’
When nobody else is talkin’
Tellin’ lies and rubbin’ shoulders
So they called her mouth a motor
Someone’s always tryin’ to start my baby cryin’
Talkin’, squealin’, spyin’
Sayin’ you just wanna be startin’ somethin’

I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
You’re a vegetable, you’re a vegetable
Still they hate you, you’re a vegetable
You’re just a buffet, you’re a vegetable
They eat off of you, you’re a vegetable

If you can’t feed your baby (yeah, yeah)
Then don’t have a baby (yeah, yeah)
And don’t think maybe (yeah, yeah)
If you can’t feed your baby (yeah, yeah)
You’ll be always tryin’
To stop that child from cryin’
Hustlin’, stealin’, lyin’
Now baby’s slowly dyin’

I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (yeah, yeah)
Too low to get under (yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (yeah, yeah)

Lift your head up high
And scream out to the world
I know I am someone
And let the truth unfurl
No one can hurt you now
Because you know what’s true
Yes, I believe in me
So you believe in you
Help me sing it, ma ma se,
Ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa,
Ma ma coo sa

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