Wordplay – Deciphering the Coded Melody Behind the Upbeat Tune


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Jason Mraz's Wordplay at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Unwrapping the Sophomore Slump: Anxiety & Expectation
  5. The Charms of a Linguistic Magician
  6. The Single and the Cynicism Behind It
  7. Navigating the Stream of Consciousness
  8. The Hidden Meaning Behind the Bop

Lyrics

I’ve been all around the world
I’ve been a new sensation
But it doesn’t really matter
In this generation
The sophomore slump is an uphill battle
And someone said that in my scene
‘Cause they need a new song
Like a new religion
Music for the television
I can’t do the long division
Someone do the math
For the record label puts me on the shelf up in the freezer
Got to find another way to live the life of leisure
So I drop my top
Mix and I mingle
Is everybody ready for the single and it goes

[Chorus]
Ha La La La La
Now listen closer to the verse I lay
(Ha La La La La)
It’s all about the wordplay
(Ha La La La Love)
The wonderful thing it does
Because, because
I am the wizard of ooh’s and ah’s and fa-la-la’s
Yeah the Mister A-Z
They say I’m all about the wordplay

And it’s time to get ill I got your remedy
For those who don’t remember me
Well let me introduce you to my style
I try to keep a jumble
And the lyrics never mumble
When the music’s makin’ people tongue-tied
You want a new song
Like a new religion
Music for the television
I can’t do the long division
Someone do the math
For the poeple write me off like I’m a one-hit wonder
Got to find another way to keep from goin’ under
Pull out the stops
Got your attention
I guess it’s time again for me to mention
The wordplay

[Chorus]

I built a bridge across the stream of consciousness
It always seems to be a flowin’
But I don’t which way my brain is goin’
Oh the ryhmin’ and the timin’
Keeps the melodies inside me
And they’re comin’
Til I’m running out of air
Are you prepared to take a dive into the deep end of my head
Are you listening to a single word I’ve said

Listen closer to the words I say
We’re sticken’ to the wordplay
Ha La La La Love
The wonderful thing it does
Because, because
I am the wizard of ooh’s and ah’s and fa-la-la’s
Yeah the Mister A-Z
They say I’m all about the wordplay

I’m all about the wordplay
Stickin’ with the wordplay
Ha La La La Love
I love the wonderful thing it does
Because, because
The oh’s and ah’s and fa-la-la’s fall back in love
For the Mister A-Z they say
Is all about the wordplay

Full Lyrics

Jason Mraz’s ‘Wordplay’ is more than just a lively tune with a catchy chorus. It’s a smart and self-aware examination of the music industry’s machinations, an artist’s struggle for authenticity, and the power of language. On the surface, it’s rhythm and rhyme that gets your foot tapping, but beneath beats the heart of a trickster-poet, commenting on the very act of songwriting and stardom.

Let’s dive into the meat of the lyrics, peering through the whimsical facade to uncover the hidden depths of ‘Wordplay.’ This song peels back the curtain on the hit-making process, revealing the sometimes absurd balancing act between art and commerce. We will look into how Mraz’s playful demeanor serves as both a tool for critique and a unique selling proposition.

Unwrapping the Sophomore Slump: Anxiety & Expectation

The specter of the ‘sophomore slump’ haunts the second verse of ‘Wordplay,’ laying bare the pressures that come with following up a successful debut. Mraz portrays the music industry as unforgiving, where record labels shelve artists who fail to perform to expectations. It’s a world where musicians must continuously find new ways to remain relevant or risk being discarded.

With an upbeat tempo, Mraz masks the underlying anxiety with charm, creating a juxtaposition between the tune and its themes. He is critiquing the disposability of music in ‘this generation,’ hinting at the transient appetites of both listeners and labels.

The Charms of a Linguistic Magician

Calling himself ‘the wizard of ooh’s and ah’s and fa-la-la’s,’ Mraz is self-aware of his lyrical dexterity. He sees wordplay as his defining trait, a craft he’s mastered. But this isn’t just self-aggrandizing; it’s a commentary on how the artist is pegged in the industry, praised for surface-level qualities that overshadow deeper musicianship.

Mraz positions himself as an entertainer obliged to keep the masses enthralled with his verbal magic tricks. Yet, he suggests there’s more to his songs than catchy phrases – a hidden depth waiting for those willing to ‘listen closer to the words’ he lays.

The Single and the Cynicism Behind It

Mraz reveals the manufacturing behind creating a ‘single.’ It’s a glossy, radio-friendly unit designed for mass consumption. The mix, the mingle, the drop of the top – these are all part of the calculated cocktail that makes up mainstream music. He acknowledges his role in this game, the theatrics involved in getting ‘everybody ready for the single.’

However, there’s a hint of cynicism here. The infectious ‘Ha La La La La’ of the chorus is both an ironic nod to nonsensical lyrics that find success and a genuine celebration of joyful sound. Mraz’s awareness of what’s expected in a hit churns with his desire to innovate within those confines.

Navigating the Stream of Consciousness

Mraz sings of constructing a bridge across the ‘stream of consciousness,’ playing with the idea of his thoughts being fluid and directionless. It’s a metaphor for the creative process, unpredictable and often messy. This bridge represents his attempt to connect with listeners through the chaos, crafting melodies that resonate on a personal level.

This part of the song acknowledges the complexity of musical creation, turning the abstract into something tangible that can reach others. It speaks to the artist’s struggle to articulate thoughts that are inherently elusive and to be understood amid the cacophony of societal noise.

The Hidden Meaning Behind the Bop

Diving beyond the peppy beats, ‘Wordplay’ serves as a layered vignette of Mraz’s consciousness as an artist. It’s a declaration that while he’s been categorized as ‘all about the wordplay,’ there’s substance beneath his signature style. He’s not merely the showman but also the craftsman, acutely aware of his industry’s superficial expectations.

The song is a clever commentary on not only the songwriter’s process but also on the reception of his art. Mraz points out that while he might be expected to churn out hits one after the other, keeping him ‘stickin’ with the wordplay,’ he desires a deeper connection with his audience, through the oh’s and ah’s and fa-la-la’s.

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