Gwen Stefani
Hollaback Girl

NOTES: The drums and horns on this song are like the music played by marching bands at American football games. For a general introduction to this music style, see the 2002 movie Drumline.

Click on underlined words for more information on additional meanings and cultural background.

Original Translation of Slang

Spoken by Stefani in the video as she takes a picture of her backup dancers:

"Get in really close.
Aww, super kawaii"

Spoken by Stefani in the video as she takes a picture of her backup dancers:

"Get really close together.
Aww, super cute!"

Uh huh, this my shit
All the girls stomp your feet like this

CHORUS
A few times I've been around that track
So it's not just gonna happen like that
Cause I ain't no hollaback girl
I ain't no hollaback girl
(repeat)

Oooh, this my shit, this my shit (repeat four times)

Yes, this is what I have to say
All the girls stomp your feet like this

CHORUS
I've had this situation happen a few times
So I'm not going to let it happen again
Because I am not the kind of girl you say I am
I am not the kind of girl you say I am
(repeat)

Yes, this is what I have to say (repeat four times)

I heard that you were talking shit
And you didn't think that I would hear it
People hear you talking like that, getting everybody fired up
So I'm ready to attack, gonna lead the pack
Gonna get a touchdown, gonna take you out
That's right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up

CHORUS

 

I heard that you were saying bad things about me
And you didn't think that I would hear it
People hear you talking like that, and everyone is excited about your lies
So I'm ready to attack, I am going to be at the head of a group of attackers
I will win, I'm going to defeat you
That's right, put your pom-poms down, I'm going to get everyone excited about this

CHORUS

So that's right dude, meet me at the bleachers
No principals, no student-teachers
Both of us want to be the winner, but there can only be one
So I'm gonna fight, gonna give it my all
Gonna make you fall, gonna sock it to you
That's right, I'm the last one standing, another one bites the dust

CHORUS

Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
This shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
Again, the shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
This shit is bananas
B-A-N-A-N-A-S

CHORUS

 

So that's right girl, meet me at the bleachers
There won't be anyone to protect you, such as a principal or teacher in training
Both of us want to be the winner, but there can only be one
So I'm going to fight, I'm going to give it my full effort
I'm going to make you fall, I'm going to hit you very hard
That's right, I'm going to be the last one standing, and you will be defeated and lying on the ground

CHORUS

Let me hear you say, this is crazy
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
This is crazy
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
Again, this is crazy
B-A-N-A-N-A-S
This is crazy
B-A-N-A-N-A-S

CHORUS

 

kawaii Japanese word for "cute." Stefani is a big fan of alternative Japanese popular culture, especially of the crazily dressed teenage girls from the area near Harajuku station in Tokyo. She has four Asian-American dancers in her show and videos that represent that style.

this my shit (more usual form: This is my shit) This can also mean "These are my belongings." However, the words do not reference any objects in the song.

hollaback girl This use of holla back appears to have been invented by Stefani for this song. Normally, it means "call me back." Here, it is obviously an insult, possibly meaning that she is easily sexually available, though this has not been substantiated by Stefani or by other similar uses of the word. In the Boston Herald, Stefani was quoted as saying "The song came about after somebody once called me a cheerleader in a negative light. So I said, 'Well, (expletive) you, I am a cheerleader, watch me onstage. I'm gonna make a big cheerleader song and you can (expletive) off.' '' She didn't say what the negative sense of cheerleader was, but typical negative stereotypes of American cheerleaders include stupidity and sexual promiscuity.

touchdown In American football, getting six points for moving the ball across the goal line.

pom-poms Balls made of strips of plastic or paper waved by (primarily female) cheerleaders at American sporting events.

dude Normally, this is a word that describes men. However, the previous line instructing her opponent to put her pom-poms down suggests that she will fight a woman.

bleachers Uncovered seats for the fans at an outdoor stadium or the similar seats for an indoor sports facility that can be folded back to the wall. Since there is often an empty space below them that is hidden from view, it is a good location for a fight.

Another one bites the dust reference to 1980 Queen song, the chorus of which is often played at American football games to celebrate a failure on the other team's part. "To bite the dust" is an idiom meaning to die or be defeated.

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