One of my favorite netweb sites is songmeanings.com. It's kind of like Yahoo(!) Answers but for music, where you can easily stumble upon some laughable crackpot theory about what a song is or isn't about.

I was driving "the in shadow of Mount Rainier" earlier today and heard "Physical" (ahem, released in 1981) by Olivia Newton John. I've heard this song was quite controversial when it was released, but today I finally realized that it's about a woman going on a date with a deaf person. At first she doesn't know they're deaf, but then she realizes and then starts talking in sign language and then everything works out for the best.


(Warning: fucking awesome bass solo at 4:30)

Here's a lyrical break-down:

I'm sayin' all the things that I know you'll like
Making good conversation I gotta handle you just right, you know what I mean

In these lines, Olivia Newton John realizes that her date is deaf. At first she's surprised that the person is not responding to the things that she's saying, because she knows that they like them. How this is the case, I'm not sure. It is probably a blind date, but it's not like I'm going to examine the situation too much. She discovers the obstacle, and she's able to handle it because she already knows sign language. Olivia Newton John probably learned sign language at an Australian summer camp. They teach that there, you know!

I took you to an intimate restaurant, then to a suggestive movie
There's nothing left to talk about 'less it's horizontally

Who needs to talk when you can eat? After that, a movie with subtitles. Olivia Newton John is really considerate. Oh, she also wants to have a nap, or continue signing language while laying down. Perhaps they had turkey at dinner? That stuff has tryptophan! It'll knock you right out! Also, since this song came out in 1981, they probably went to see the movie Chariots of Fire, which was pretty fucking boring. IMHO! LMFAO!

Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk, let me hear your body talk
Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk, let me hear your body talk

The chorus of this song is a celebration of sign language and not needing to talk with words. A talking body is the literal meaning of sign language. Or mime. Mime is money!

I've been patient, I've been good, try'n to keep my hands on the table
It's gettin' hard this holdin' back, you know what I mean
I'm sure you'll understand my point of view, we know each other mentally
You've gotta know that you're bringin' out the animal in me

Here it seems that maybe an argument is brewing. In the world of sign language, keeping your hands on the table is obviously the silent treatment. She seems to want to talk, but she needs to really prove her point. Then there's the introduction of some sort of ESP into the song. Perhaps now they're having a séance and they've called up the spirit of Higgins, the first dog to play Benji, who died in 1975. The dog is going to come out of Olivia Newton John and she knows it! That's gross, this song is dumb (no pun intended!)

Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk, let me hear your body talk
Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk, let me hear your body talk

Oh let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk, let me hear your body talk
Let's get animal, animal, I wanna get animal, let's get into animal
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk, let me hear your body talk
Let me hear your body talk, let me hear your body talk

Here's just two more choruses. Oh, except for the part where she changes from 'physical' to 'animal' at the very end. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT EVEN SUPPOSED TO MEAN? I want to get animal on this fried egg sandwich that I just made. It has basil and mayo and a giant block of mozzarella cheese. My arteries can take a leap, as far as I'm concerned.

This brilliant song first rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in America in November 1981 and stayed there for 10 weeks. The ears of the world were hopelessly devoted to it. Now I know why people put their heads in ovens.