Explanation: If I Could Bottle This Up

One of our cuers played the song If I Could Bottle This Up by George Jones & Shelby Lynn for a round dance a couple of weeks ago.

When I first heard the title of the song, I wasn’t really sure what the meaning was. “Bottle this up” has (at least) two meanings. If you bottle something up inside you, it means that you keep it to yourself and don’t tell anyone. But the nuance of this meaning is not positive. If you bottle things up inside you, it is likely to make you unhappy. You should share your problems with your friends — not bottle them up inside you — so you can find solutions.

The second meaning is more literal: to put something in a bottle. This is the meaning that is used in this song. The song is about the idea that the two singers (this is a duet) love each other so much that they want to put their love for each other in a bottle and try to sell it. If they could do that, they could make a million dollars, because everyone would want to buy a bottle of such pure love. If you bought some of their bottled-up love and drank it, it would “put a smile on your face” and put “a song in your heart after one little taste”. Everybody would buy this bottle of love and the singers would become millionaires.

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Lyrics: If I Could Bottle This Up

If I Could Bottle This Up
by George Jones & Shelby Lynn

See: explanation

If I could bottle this up I’d make a million
If I could tell everybody in town what I’ve been feelin’
It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face
A song in your heart after one little taste
A man could make a million bucks if I could bottle this up.

Oh, if I could take a fist and twist it into liquid form
And mix it with the way I melt there in your arms
Sprinkle and a twinkle or two from your eyes
And a dab of this feeling inside
Folks would just eat it up if I could bottle this up.

Oh, If I could bottle this up I’d make a million
If I could tell everybody around what I’ve been feelin’
It’s guaranteed to put a smile on you face
A song in your heart after one little taste
Well, I could make a milloin bucks if I could bottle this up.

I can see me now, people knocking down my door
Till I could get it on the shelf of the local department store
And I can see it now going right to the top
I’ll bet it would sell to the very last drop
Folks couldn’t get enough if I could bottle this up.

If we could bottle this up we’d make a million
If we could tell everybody in town what we’ve been feelin’
It’s guaranteed to put a smile on you face
A song in your heart after one little taste
The world couldn’t get enough, you know they’d just eat it up
And we could make a milloin bucks if we could bottle this up…

Lyrics: American Pie

The song “American Pie” was used in a “singing” call at our class tonight. This song is very famous and also VERY, VERY long, so I won’t try to explain all of it (especially because I don’t understand all of it myself), but I thought that I would give our members a quick summary of the song so that they can think about it the next time they dance to it.


American Pie by Don McLean

Summary: This song is about how much the world changed between the 1950s and the late 1960s, especially in the United States. The songwriter, Don McLean grew up during that time (he was born in 1945), so the song follows his path from youth to adulthood — going from the bright innocence of the 1950s to the darker disillusionment of the late 1960s. The song includes many references to people/bands that were famous during those years, including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, and the Byrds — and these bands are used to help McLean tell the story of what it was like to grow up during that time. The song is like a musical history of the era.

The day the music died” refers to February 3, 1959. On this day, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper all died in a plane crash.

Miss American Pie” can either mean Marilyn Monroe (and he is saying “bye bye” to her because she died on August 5, 1962) or it can mean “the girl next door”, which is an expression that usually refers to a young girl who lived in your neighbourhood while you were growing up.

This’ll be the day that I die” is probably referring to the song “That’ll be the day” by Buddy Holly.

If you want to know more, please read the detailed analysis of this song’s lyrics by Bob Dearborn, who was a DJ in Chicago when the song was released (1971).


Watch Don McLean perform “American Pie” on October 31, 1991:

Lyrics: Except for Monday

We mainly use English music at our weekly meetings, but I think that some of the songs are difficult for non-native English speakers to understand. At our meeting tonight (March 1), one of the members said that it was hard to understand the lyrics for the song “Except for Monday”. I will try to explain them in easier English.


Except For Monday by Morgan Lorrie

Summary: This song is about a woman who has broken up with her boyfriend/husband. I think that the man left her. In the song, she saying that he might think that she is still upset that he left, but that is not true. She is fine now EXCEPT FOR on Mondays — because Mondays are hard anyway (because you have to go back to work after a fun weekend).

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Verse 1
You look surprised
You didn’t think you’d see me
Kicking up my heels
Painting up this town
When you said goodbye
Learned a couple new dances
Cast a couple of glances
I’m on a big roll now…

==> The scenario could be that the woman and the man are meeting unexpectedly at a bar after they broke up with each other. The man broke up with the woman, so he might expect her to be sad and upset, but she is saying that after they broke up, she started having fun. She learned some new dances (maybe line dances) and she started flirting with men (this is what she means by “cast a couple of glances”) and she has recovered from breaking up with the man. When she says “I’m on a big roll now” it means she is feeling quite lucky and she is heading towards being completely recovered (and maybe she already has a new boyfriend).

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Chorus
Except for Monday which was never good anyway
Tuesday I get a little sideways
Wednesday I feel better just for spite
Thursday and Friday take too long
Before I knew it,Saturday’s gone
But it’s Sunday now you can bet that I’m alright

==> So, she feels much better now BUT she doesn’t really feel that great on Mondays; however, that is mainly because nobody likes Mondays (the weekend is over and you have to go back to work). I am not sure what “I get a little sideways” means. Maybe it means she starts to feel better. On Wednesday, though, she makes an active decision to feel better because if she feels better then maybe it will hurt the man (because it means that she was able to get over him quickly). Thursday and Friday take a long time to pass because she is waiting for the weekend to come (so she can have fun). Saturday finally comes and she finally gets to have fun, but it is over so quickly. She feels much better on Sundays because she has just had a great weekend.

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Verse 2
Don’t get me wrong
It wasn’t always this easy
Getting over you
Got a little rough on me
But it didn’t take too long
Before I got it together
And everyday I thank my lucky stars that you set me free

==> At first, she was very upset that he left. It wasn’t easy to get over him. But after a short while, she was able to move on and forget about him. Once she did that, she looked back at the relationship and realized that she was lucky that he broke up with her because now she has her freedom. She is better off without him.