Dissecting Shakira's Whenever, Wherever

By Maddie

Who could forget Shakira's chart-topping classic Whenever, Wherever? Apparently me, because it had escaped my memory until today when I was watching Fugees videos on YouTube (Fugees → Wycelf Jean → "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira ft Wycelf → "Whenever, Wherever"). If I hadn't stumbled upon this song, I wouldn't have been reminded of one of the greatest songs of 2001 - which is saying a lot for a year that produced Butterfly, I Hope You Dance AND the Space Between. Let's not get too caught up in what-ifs though. I did stumble upon it, and that's all that matters. Join me as I dissect "Whenever, Wherever" - a real, as the French would say, "tour de force."


Lucky you were born that far away so
We could both make fun of distance
Lucky that I love a foreign land for
The lucky fact of your existence


Note to all songwriters: the best way to start your song is with something that makes absolutely no sense. Also, you may think using the word "lucky" three times in four lines is a bit excessive, but you're the one sitting on the Internet reading a dissection of "Whenever, Wherever," while Shakira is the one burning the money she made off of it (literally) and laughing in your face (figuratively). I think it's safe to say she knows what she's doing.

Baby I would climb the Andes solely
To count the freckles on your body
Never could imagine there were only
Ten million ways to love somebody


Whew, something I can work with! Kira says she would climb the Andes, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world, to count the freckles on her lover's body. I assume this is because he is fair skinned and new freckles could be a warning sign for skin cancer. No one wants their loved ones to die, especially of cancer, and ESPECIALLY of skin cancer, which is relatively harmless if caught early. On top of that, Kira is surprised to hear that there are only ten million ways to love someone. Frankly, I am too, and I have to respectfully disagree. I could list way more than ten million ways I love Ryan Cabrera, but I'll save that for next week ("All the Ways I Love Ryan Cabrera;" parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7).

Le ro lo le lo le, Le ro lo le lo le
Can't you see
I'm at your feet

I took four years of Spanish and have spent time in several Spanish speaking countries. I don't recall hearing the phrase "le ro lo le lo le" anywhere, so I can't really offer any insight as to what's going on there. I can tell you that Kira is sitting/kneeling/lying at her lover's feet, which is a sign that they are in a very healthy relationship.

Whenever, wherever
We're meant to be together
I'll be there and you'll be near
And that's the deal my dear
Thereover, hereunder
You'll never have to wonder
We can always play by ear
But that's the deal my dear


Kira makes a deal with her man: they will be together whenever and wherever because, well, they're meant to be! I'm not really sure how that's a deal, but with hips like hers, who needs coherency? She then tells her man that he will never have to wonder. About what? Who knows. She is so elusive, which I once read is a mark of true genius. I do know, however, that she is not going to be an uptight bitch and make him conform - they'll live their lives "playing by ear," which is a colloquial term for spontaneously.

Lucky that my lips not only mumble
They spill kisses like a fountain
Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don't confuse them with mountains


Shakira is not only blessed with great conversational skills, but also with a mouth that overflows, quite literally, with kisses. She is also blessed with small breasts, the envy of women everywhere. This is a good thing because, as Kira states and we all know, big breasts are often mistaken for mountains - the Andes in particular.

Lucky I have strong legs like my mother
To run for cover when I need it
And these two eyes that for no other
The day you leave will cry a river


The last two things Kira is thankful for are two more reminders of her healthy relationship: strong legs for when she needs to run for cover and eyes that will flood with tears the day her man leaves her. Say what you want about Shakira, but at least she knows how to plan ahead!

14 comments:

  1. ugh, the goat voice! i despise shakira!

    and i always wondered what she meant when she sang "lucky that my breasts are small and humble." thank god you explained it!

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  2. i do a mean Shakira impression.

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  3. by mean I mean both literally and figuratively speaking

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  4. the only thing worse than shakira is a mean shakira.

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  5. Wow! I never realized that song contained so much nonsense, I was too mesmerized by the pan flute. Thanks for the dissecting! Keep it up*(& And yea, Gary does a great mean Shakira.

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  6. "MY HIPS DONT LIE" WAS MY JAM BETWEEN JULY 2006 AND DECEMBER 2008.

    Also, Shakira is 4'11", and her songs, when sung in Spanish, make more sense my Spanish speaking friends tell me.

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  7. W8, SHAKIRA SPEAKS SPANISH?!?/ and n8 you shouldn't admit to "my hips don't lie" being your jam on the internet for everyone to see. that's something you embarrassingly admit to close friends when you're drunk.

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  8. This was great. I always liked Shakira and many of the other singers that came out during the Spanish music boom of the early 2000s. When I get back to Hammond I'm going to watch every Enrique Iglasias video on youtube.

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  9. I really don't remember Shakira or this song, but I appreciate the work you've done to bring it back into our public sphere.

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  10. This article reminded me how much I miss spending time reading this blog in the off chance that I'm around a computer. Thank Shakira I'll be getting Internet and July and I can sit on this site all day with wonders like you, Maddie.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. AMP said to link to the youtube video. I agree, AMP, even if you deleted the comment.

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  13. i did link to the youtube video! why did AMP delete that? is AMP alice??

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  14. AMP is the spokesperson for the popular energy drink.

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