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Phonetics with M-E
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For some people this song is all about sex, for others it's about not wasting your time, and for many more, it doesn't make any sense! but if you don't like it much, wait, it's catchy, after a few listenings you'll get it into your head (you've been warned). You can watch a video of Justin talking about this song: Justin on Ellen.

         (Timbaland:)
I'm outta time and all I got is 4 minutes (x8)

Here girl
Come on
Yeah
Break down
Come on

          (Justin:)
Hey, Huh, Come on. Madonna.

          (Madonna:)
Come on boy
I've been waiting for somebody
To pick up my stroll

          (Justin:)
Well don't waste time
Give me the sign
Tell me how you wanna roll

          (Madonna:)
I want somebody to speed it up for me
Then take it down slow
There's enough room for both

          (Justin:)
Well, I can handle that
You just gotta show me where it's at
Are you ready to go?
(Are you ready to go?)

          (Madonna & Justin:)
If you want it
You already got it
If you thought it
It better be what you want
If you feel it
It must be real just
say the word
and I'ma give you what you want

          (Madonna & Justin:)
Time is waiting
We only got 4 minutes to save the world
No hesitating
Grab a boy
Grab a girl
Time is waiting
We only got 4 minutes to save the world
No hesitating
We only got 4 minutes, 4 minutes

          (Madonna & Justin:)
Keep it up, keep it up, don't be a pri, hey
Madonna, uh
You gotta get `em all hop
Tick tock tick tock tick tock
That's right, keep it up, keep it up, don't be a pri, hey
Madonna, uh
You gotta get `em all hop
Tick tock tick tock tick tock

          (Madonna:)
Sometimes I think what I need is a you intervention, yeah

          (Justin:)
And you know I can tell that you like it
And that it's good, by the way that you move, ooh, hey

          (Madonna:)
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, yeah

          (Justin:)
But if I die tonight
At least I can say I did what I wanted to do
Tell me, how 'bout you?

          (Madonna & Justin:)
If you want it
you already got it
If you thought it
It better be what you want
If you feel it
It must be real just
Say the word and I'ma give you what you want

          (Madonna & Justin:)
Time is waiting
We only got 4 minutes to save the world
No hesitating
Grab a boy
Grab a girl
Time is waiting
We only got 4 minutes to save the world
No hesitating
We only got 4 minutes, 4 minutes

          (Madonna & Justin:)
Keep it up, keep it up, don't be a pri, hey
Madonna, uh
You gotta get `em all hop
Tick tock tick tock tick tock
That's right, keep it up, keep it up, don't be a pri, hey
Madonna, uh
You gotta get `em all hop
Tick tock tick tock tick tock

          (Timbaland:)
Break down
Yeah
(tick tock tick tock tick tock)
Yeah, uh huh
(tick tock tick tock tick tock)
I only got 4, minutes to save the world

I’M OUTTA TIME= I’m out of time = I don’t have any time left, I don’t have more time. The preposition OF is sometimes pronounced as SCHWA (see the section of phonetics) in conversational English, without the consonant, and it may be spelled as –A (added at the end of the previous word), so CUPPA TEA= cup of tea.

ALL I GOT= all I’ve got, the only thing I have.

BREAK DOWN= to separate something into its parts to make it easier to understand. It is also used with the meaning "to sing it in rap". And it may also mean "to change people’s idea about something". Of course, the most common meaning is when a machine stops working, but that meaning doesn’t apply here.

STROLL= to go for a stroll=to go for a walk. A stroll is "a walk". "To pick up my stroll" means, "keep pace with me", that is, walk as fast as I do (metaphorically speaking, of course)

WANNA= want to

TO ROLL= to see life, to behave. It’s a word used to describe a particular person's behaviour or idiosyncrasies so "tell me how you wanna roll" means "tell me how you are", probably implying "so I can roll with you" (so I can keep pace with you, live life the way you do)

TO SPEED IT UP FOR ME= to make things go faster for me

TAKE IT DOWN SLOW= make things go slower

THERE’S ENOUGH ROOM FOR BOTH= both things are possible (room= space)

I CAN HANDLE THAT= I can do it, I can cope with it, I can manage the situation, I can deal with it, that’s no problem for me.

YOU GOTTA= you’ve got to, you have to (you must)

YOU GOT IT= you’ve got it, you have it

IT BETTER BE= the complete expression (not so much used when speaking) is "it had better be"= it should be, it must be

I’MA GIVE YOU= I’m going to give you. ‘MA is an abbreviation of "am going to", and it’s getting quite a popular way of expressing future with the pronoun I.

HESITATE= doubt, not know exactly what to do

GRAB= to take something suddenly and roughly

KEEP IT UP= to continue with the same pace, to continue working or trying as hard as you have in the past.

DON’T BE A PRI= This is quite controversial. Most people understand "a pri", but some people understand "afraid". If it is "don’t be afraid", then it needs no explanation, but, personally, I think he says "don’t be a pri", so what does PRI mean?. Well, nothing really, there are different opinions about it:
- Some people say he’s using "pri" as a short form of "prick". "A prick" is someone who is irritating (not probable anyway).
- Other people (including myself) think the sentence "don’t be a pri, (hey) Madonna" is a pun which actually means: "don’t be a Prima Donna". A prima donna is the most important female singer at the Opera, and they are reputed to be temperamental and conceited (in other words, a real prick)

‘EM= them (this colloquial pronunciation is quite common both in BrE & AmE)

YOU GOTTA GET ‘EM ALL HOP= you’ve got to get them all hop. I believe this sentence is a coll. AmE expression meaning "you have to catch them all on the hop", which means: you have to surprise them by doing something they don’t expect, by being different in some way. "To hop" means "to jump". But, again, there are different versions of this sentence:
- Some people hear "get ‘em a heart" (I don’t think so, especially considering Madonna’s got a strong American accent)
- Some people think they say "give ‘em a hop". In this case, the meaning could be the same as we commented, since "to give them a hop" might be "to fright them" (to make them jump out of fright).
- Some other people think it is "you gotta get in line, hop". Definitely no, whatever they say, one syllable is /ma/ (/M+º/), so this version is ruled out.

TICK TOCK= the sound a clock makes (to remind us that our time is finishing)

WHAT I NEED= the thing I need

I CAN TELL THAT YOU LIKE IT (...) BY THE WAY THAT YOU MOVE= I know that you like it because the way you move (how you move) is showing that you like it.

THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS= this is a common traditional English proverb meaning: a good intention is not enough, you need to take action. If you have good intentions but you don’t carry them out (you don’t do them), then it’s worthless, no good. For example, you need my help, and I want to help you (I have a good intention), but I never find the time or the right moment to do it, so I have the good intention of helping you but I don’t help you. As a result, my intention is good but my action (my non-action in this case) is bad, so many people with only good intentions are, in practice, bad people because they don’t do what they have to (that’s why going to heaven you’ll find lots of good actions, but going to hell you may find lots of good intentions that were only that: intentions but no action)

HOW ‘BOUT YOU?= what about you? (=and you?)

Whatever this song is about, it's urging you to take action and do what you really want to do, because in a little time (4 minutes) it may be too late (Carpe Diem). the metaphor on this video is represented by a black moving background which is devouring people and things (much like "the Nothing" in "the Neverending Story") and chasing Madonna and Justin. Maybe they really want to be together, but they take too long: when they're finally going to kiss the background catches them from both sides and they begin to dissolve. Hurry up or it will catch you too; you've only got 4 minutes to save your world.

4:06            
 
 

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