SIX AFRICAN AMERICAN SONGS THAT MENTION ASTROLOGY

Oct
31

Crossposted from http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/10/six-african-american-records-tha...

Edited by Azizi Powell
10/31/2011 with update on 11/1/2011

You can find just about anything on the internet, but I've looked and haven't found a list of African American R&B, Hip Hop, or Pop songs that mention astrology. This post partially fills that gap. However, this is not meant to be a comprehensive lists of songs which mention astrology that were recorded by African Americans. I've only featured "clean songs" (meaning songs with no profanity & sexual references, or songs with what I consider to be mild profanity and minimum sexual references).

Most of the songs on this list are from R&B/Hip-Hop genres. A few of these songs would probably be considered Rock and Roll, or Pop. There were/are recorded songs that mention astrology by non-African Americans and people from other nations. However, those songs aren't the focus of this post. No disrespect or qualitative judgement is intended by this focus.

These featured songs aren't presented in ranking order but in chronological order, with the oldest song provided first. The year that the song was first recorded is given in parenthesis. Excerpts of song lyrics, video links, and/or videos are presented for the songs on this list. This post also includes brief editorial comments about astrology, and about the featured songs. Source links, and some related links are also provided.

This post is provided for its entertainment, aesthetic, sociological, historical, and folkloric value.

A BRIEF STATEMENT ABOUT SUN SIGN ASTROLOGY
Without any scientific research to back up this contention, it seems to me that the mid 1980s were the heyday of songs that mention astrology which were recorded by African Americans. It also seems to me that mention of astrology in those 1980s songs reflected Americans' interest in sun sign astrology. And because astrology was mentioned in those African American dance songs-and in earlier African American dance songs-references to astrology are also found in certain African American children's playground rhymes & cheers which were based on those songs or were influenced by those songs. I'll share more about that later.

It's important to note that, besides for the Fifth Dimension's hit song Aquarius, all of the African American recorded songs that mention astrology, focus on sun sign astrology. Here's some information for those who aren't hip to what "sun sign astrology" means:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_sign_astrology:

Sun sign astrology is the form of astrology most commonly found in many newspaper and magazine columns. It is a simplified system of astrology which considers only the position of the Sun, which is said to be placed within one of the twelve zodiac signs depending on the month of birth. This sign is then called the sun sign or star sign of the person born that month.

-snip-

For the record, I was born on December 16th of a certain year. That means that my Sun sign is Sagittarius (Yeah Sagittarius!!). According to the Western astrology, most people born on November 23 to December 21 of any year have their sun sign in Sagittarius. So when people ask me what sign I am, I'd say that I'm a Sag. However, since I've been informally studying astrology for almost forty years, I know that I have planetary placements that help shape who I am and who I was. For the record, my natal (birth placement of) Mercury & Jupiter are also in Sagittarius, and my natal Moon is in Aquarius. And there are other natal planetary placements that can tell me (& others) more about how & why I do the things I do, and feel the things I feel. So I'd agree if you said that I'm "in to" astrology. But whether you're interested in astrology or not, you might be interested in the following list of songs that mention astrology.

SONG LIST

1. The Fifth Dimensions - Aquarius (1969)

The Fifth Dimension - Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (1969)

Uploaded by ViniBassMan on Mar 21, 2009

Editor: This song is a classic. And unlike the other songs on the list, there's mention of other astrological placements besides sun signs.

From http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/forrestgump/medleyaquariusletthesunshinei... :

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

-snip-

What do those words really mean? Well, I still haven't quite figured it out. I just know we're not there yet.

Also, unlike the other songs on this list, "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In" isn't really a dance song, or at least I can't figure out what type of dance to do to it.

2. Diana Ross & Supremes - No Matter What Sign You
Are (1969)

Diana Ross & Supremes - No Matter What Sign You Are

Uploaded by MusicMike2 on Sep 4, 2010

Uploaded by MusicMike2 on Sep 4, 2010

"This Was Slated To Be The Last Single Release By Diana Ross And The Supremes...Just Before Diana Was Going To Leave The Group And Go Solo. Barry Gordy Didn't Think It Was Strong Enough To Close Things Out, So The last Single Actually Became "Someday We'll Be Together". Nonetheless, "No Matter What Sign You Are" Is One The Best Supremes Tunes.....That Rarely Ever Gets Any radio Airplay...Even Though It Made It To #31 In 1969."

-snip-

I admit that I had no knowledge of this song until I started researching this post. Of all the songs listed here, this is the only one that explicitly mentions astrology charts.

Excerpt from
http://www.lyricstime.com/diana-ross-and-the-supremes-no-matter-what-sig... :

No matter what sign you are,
You're gonna be mine, you are
Can't let astrology (baby baby)
Chart our destiny (baby baby)
No matter what sign you are,
Ooh, you're gonna be mine, you are
The beat of the heart, my love (baby baby)
Is stronger than the chart, my love

(Ooooooh-ooh, good vibration
Ooooooh-ooh, good combination)

3. The Boogie Boys - "Fly Girl" (1985)

Excerpt from http://www.mp3lyrics.org/b/boogie-boys/a-fly-girl/ :

My name is Boogie Knight and yes I'm a Capricorn
I like the fly girls who know that they're on
To my experience the girls who please
Are Geminis, Scorpio, and yes Pisces
I'm not prejudiced but I'll tell you right now
I don't like the girl who eats the Puppy Chow
I don't like the girl with mud in her toes
and feet that smell like anything goes
Dirty nails are what I hate most
But the gold fingernails are high post
I like pretty hair but I also know
Girls look fly in Kangols
I must say this if you like it or not
I can't stand fluorescent socks
But let me shut up in our bow bow world
My name is Boogie Knight and I've got a fly girl
girl-GIRL, girl-GIRL girl-GIRL, girl-GIRL
girl-GIRL, girl-GIRL girl-GIRL, girl-GIRL
A flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy girl
A flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy girl

-snip-
A YouTube sound file for The Boogie Boys' song "Fly Girl" can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEfg6XU9tdQ

In what may now be retired African American slang, the term "fly girl" means/meant a female who is hip (street wise), sophisticated, sexy, and always wearing the latest "street" clothing (and hair) fashions. Note that this isn't exactly what "fly girl" means in that entire old school Hip-Hop song.

The Boogie Boy's recording of "Fly Girl" was the source of an African American foot stomping cheer which was also entitled "Fly Girl." "Foot stomping cheers" is my term for an African American orginated category of playground rhymes/cheers that emphasize the creation of bass sounding foot stomps while reciting a specific type of chant. The only version of the "Fly Girl" cheer that I've collected to date (from my daughter & her girl friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, mid 1980s) contains no astrology references. However, I have collected other foot stomping cheers that include references to sun sign astrology. Click http://www.cocojams.com/content/foot-stomping-cheers-0 for information about foot stomping cheers and text examples of cheers which mention astrology. Among the examples on that page of foot stomping cheers which mention astrology that are presented on that page are "Check"; Cheerleader (Version #2); "Hollywood Goes Swinging"; "L.O.V.E"; and "Hula Hula".

4. Luke (Luther Campbell)-It’s Your Birthday” (1994)

Excerpt from http://www.allenrothschild.com/blog/2011/07/lyrics-to-its-your-birthday-...

Ah, ah, ah, say, Say, Say
Say what’s that birthday month out there?
I said, what’s that birthday month out there?
Is it December?
Is it March?
Is it January?
Is it April?
Go Sheila, it’s your birthday (x2)
Go Freddie, it’s your birthday (x2)
Go Annette, it’s your birthday (x2)
Go Derrick, it’s your birthday (x2)

...Before I go I want to know
What’s that number one birthday month?
I said, what’s that number one birthday month?
Now this time use your zodiac sign
What’s your sign?
Now what’s your sign?

Go Virgos, it’s your birthday
Go Leos
It’s your birthday (x5)
Go Virgos, go, go (x2)
Go Libras, go Twins
It’s your birthday (x3)

-snip-

-snip-

It's obvious that some of the lyrics to rapper 50 cent's 2003 Billboard #1 song "In Da Club" were patterned after lyrics to Luke Campbell's It’s Your Birthday.”

Here is an excerpt of "In Da Club"*
Go, go, go, go
Go, go, go shawty**
It's your birthday
We gon' party like it's yo birthday
We gon' sip Bacardi like it's your birthday...

* da-a purposely used contemporary African American form of "the"

** shawty="shorty", an affectionate African American originated referent for a person, regardless of age or gender, although it is not usually applied to teen or adult males.

[Warning: This song includes profanity.]

50 cent's "In Da Club" has fundamentally changed the way that many African American children, teens, and adults celebrate their and other African Americans' birthday -at least when it comes to singing the "Happy Birthday To You". [And, as a reader reminded me, it's not just African Americans who sing this song for birthdays. An update that includes a video ciip is found at end of this entire post.] Although "Happy Birthday" may still be sung the traditional way, afterwards, someone is bound to sing "Go ___ (birthday celebrant's name)/it's your birthday/we gonna party/ cause it's your birthday".

Here's a link to a YouTube video of Luke Campbell's "It's Your Birthday": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvNDimHIfws

Although it contains no profanity, this video may not be suitable for children.

5. Prince - Kiss (1986)
This song references sun signs without mentioning them by name:

This song mentions astrological signs without actually naming any.

Excerpt from http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/kiss-lyrics-prince/a903a9f2be9d24...

U don’t have 2 be rich
2 be my girl
U don’t have 2 be cool
2 rule my world
Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your Kiss

-snip-

Editor: I'm sorry that I can't include a link to a video as Prince doesn't believe in YouTube or other public video sharing sites.

6. Beyonce- Signs (2003)

Uploaded by mstweetybaby on Jul 27, 2007

Excerpt from http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Signs-lyrics-Beyonce-Knowles/C233... :

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer oh!
Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius
I love all y’all
Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer oh!
Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius
I love all y’all

-snip-

[By the way, this isn't the correct order of astrological sun signs, but maybe it wasn't supposed to be.]

Update 11/1/2011 sent in by a blog reader:

A blog reader sent in a link to a YouTube clip of a girl singing 50 Cents' "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday" song that I mentioned in my comments about Luke Campbell's "It's Your Birthday". These comments are an introduction to that video which I'll share below. As a reminder, the song "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday" doesn't contain any references to astrology. However, I think that song is pertinent to this post since the "In Da Club"/"Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday" song so obviously echoes the astrological references in Luke Campbell's "It's Your Birthday" song.

Also, although the original version of "In Da Club"(also known as "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday") contains profanity, YouTube contains a number of "clean" (no profanity) renditions of the entire song or the repeated "Go Shorty" lines from that song. Among those clean versions is a video of "The Chipmunks" singing that song, and this clip of a little girl singing those repeated lines:

Go shorty it's your birthday.. go shorty

Uploaded by bluebyrd007 on Nov 26, 2009

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Do you know any "clean" African Amrican songs that mention astrology? Please add to this list.

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