Grammatically correct song lyrics #7

double negative

noun

  1. a syntactic construction, often considered ungrammatical in standard Modern English, in which two negative words are used where one is needed

Definition from Dictionary.com


“Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)”, Pink Floyd

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone

 

Original lyrics sourced here.

 

As above, the double negatives reverse the intended meaning, i.e. “We do not need no education” becomes “We need an education”, and “We do not need no thought control” becomes “We need thought control”.

I chuckle at the irony of the first line.


“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, The Rolling Stones

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

Original lyrics sourced here.

 

 

Same as above. “I cannot get no satisfaction” becomes “I can get satisfaction”, reversing the intended meaning.


“Hound Dog”, Elvis Presley

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.

Original lyrics sourced here.

 

Again, same as above, where the double negative reverses the intended meaning. “You are not nothing but a hound dog” becomes “You are everything but a hound dog” and “you have not never caught a rabbit” becomes “you have caught a rabbit”.


 

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