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Monday, October 31, 2011

Six African American Records That Mention Astrology

Edited by Azizi Powell

Updated October 15, 2014

This post features a short list of African American R&B, Hip Hop, or Pop songs that mention astrology.

DISCLAIMER: This list isn't meant to be a comprehensive compilation of African Americans songs that include lyrics that mention astrology. 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.

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

All copyrigts remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in this post and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

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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."

For the record (no pun intended), 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'm aware that I have other planetary placements that help shape who I am and who I was.
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.

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FEATURED SONGS
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.

1. THE 5th DIMENSION - Aquarius & Let The Sun Shine In (2007) [song originally recorded in (1969)]



uraass2utube, Published on Jun 29, 2012

Editor: Unlike the other songs on the list, there's mention of other astrological placements besides sun signs.

From http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/forrestgump/medleyaquariusletthesunshinein.htm:

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)



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 wasn't aware 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-sign-you-are-lyrics.html:

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. A Fly Girl - The Boogie Boys (1985)



DJ Buddy Love - The Roots Of Rap, uploaded on Apr 25, 2011

The Boogie Boys were an American old school hip-hop group from Harlem, New York. They scored one big hit in 1985 with "A Fly Girl", from the album "City Life", that peaked at number six on the R&B charts. William 'Boogie Knight' Stroman, Joe 'Romeo J.D.' Malloy, and Rudy 'Lil Rahiem' Sheriff comprised the group. But things went downhill after that promising start, and by 1988 Sheriff had left the group, and they soon disbanded....
-snip-
Lyric 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-
The African American orginated slang term "fly girl" isn't used as often as it once was, but it still may be found in some Hip-Hop recordss. A "fly girl" is 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 term "fly boy" wasn't and still isn't as frequently used as the term "fly girl".

The Boogie Boy's recording of "A Fly Girl" is 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)

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

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

Excerpt from http://www.allenrothschild.com/blog/2011/07/lyrics-to-its-your-birthday-by-luke-luther-campbell-finally-hit-the-web/:

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-
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"* (Also known as "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday")

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".

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

Excerpt from http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/kiss-lyrics-prince/a903a9f2be9d246c4825689000326094:

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/C23331FFE8BD788B48256D48002FB1A4 :
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-
This song doesn't list the correct order of astrological sun signs, but maybe it wasn't supposed to be.

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Update 11/1/2011
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". Unfortunately, that video is no longer available.

As a reminder, the song "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday" doesn't contain any references to astrology. The original version of "In Da Club"(also known as "Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday") contains profanity and references to getting drunk that aren't suitable for children. That said, the repeated lines "Go shorty, it's your birthday" and the next line "We're gonna party cause it's your birthday" are quite catchy. Those lines are still chanted at some African American birthday parties, including some children's parties.
-snip-
"Shorty" is a mildly affectionate term from African American Vernacular English for "child" or "a young person".

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1 comment:

  1. thanks for a fascinating article.. really loved it
    Regards
    Zodiac power ring
    astrological signs

    ReplyDelete