boys standing at that <altar>

Utah777

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, I have a question about phrase appeared in the lyrics of "Rude" by MAGIC!. I know that some lyrics don't make sense at all, but this one doesn't seem like so. If you don't mind please help me comprehend what they want to convey through this song.

"Love me or hate me, we will be boys standing at that altar."

According to OALD, altar is a holy table in a church or temple. But what does it mean here? I have no idea what this means and how this is related to the song.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    If anybody wants to have a look at them, here are the lyrics. *

    * metrolyrics: "Rude" by Magic

    Earlier in the song, Utah777, the lyrics say "I'm gonna marry her anyway. Marry that girl, no matter what you say." So the "altar" should refer to the altar in a church where this wedding takes place.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I didn't understand that part, Utah777. At one point in the song, it sounds as though one person wanted to marry the girl. Then they are singing about "boys" at the altar.

    Perhaps the singer thinks of himself as part of some group of rude people. That might account for the use of "we" and "boys" in that part of the song.
     
    Last edited:

    Utah777

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Well, I can see a whole picture of this song. Is it possible to refer to him and his fiance with the word "boys"?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I suppose it could be if he and his fiance were both men. That doesn't seem likely after the declaration "I'm gonna marry her anyway, marry that girl no matter what you say."
     

    Utah777

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you for your comment. The more I try to understand the context, the more I get confused. Because I don't believe in any religions, I have no idea of American marriage. However, in the song it says, "we'll be boys standing at that altar." I don't think it's acceptable to stand on such a holy thing. So I assume this has some idiomatic connotation to it? I am so sorry to write such a long reply.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    There's nothing wrong with standing at an altar, Utah777. "At" in the sentence means "directly in front of the altar".

    It doesn't mean that these boys are standing on an altar. I agree that it would be an inappropriate thing to do. :)

    Try not to be too disappointed if you fail to follow the logic of the lyrics in that song. So did I, and I've been speaking English for a long time. Most songs are more about rhyme and meter than they are about logic.
     

    Utah777

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you for your clarification. I am grateful to you for making me aware of a big difference between two prepositions. Just as I try to make my students, who learn English for their exams, interested in English language itself, I have been seeking a good song to achieve this. I will keep trying! Thank you again!
     

    Wellie

    New Member
    Dutch
    It´s "both",

    Hi, I have a question about phrase appeared in the lyrics of "Rude" by MAGIC!. I know that some lyrics don't make sense at all, but this one doesn't seem like so. If you don't mind please help me comprehend what they want to convey through this song.

    "Love me or hate me, we will be boys standing at that altar."

    According to OALD, altar is a holy table in a church or temple. But what does it mean here? I have no idea what this means and how this is related to the song.

    Thanks in advance.
    I know there is a video with the lyrics that says "boys", but the maker of the video (which is great by the way) made the same mistake as more listeners.
    ;)
     

    Cristhen

    New Member
    Portuguese
    Hi, I have a question about phrase appeared in the lyrics of "Rude" by MAGIC!. I know that some lyrics don't make sense at all, but this one doesn't seem like so. If you don't mind please help me comprehend what they want to convey through this song.

    "Love me or hate me, we will be boys standing at that altar."

    According to OALD, altar is a holy table in a church or temple. But what does it mean here? I have no idea what this means and how this is related to the song.

    Thanks in advance.
    Hi!
    I think the "boys" will be the singer, and the girl's father in the Church for the wedding.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I've just listened to a clip, and it sounds much more like "both" than "boys" to me;).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I've heard several other authorized versions (people who must have gotten permission and therefore (I assume) access to the actual lyrics) and they pronounce the sibilant sound even more than the original singer.
     

    Utah777

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you all for your replies! Well, I still have difficulty distinguishing the sound between "s" and "th." Therefore, I am not sure whether it's boys or both. But In terms of lyrics or logics, it must be both so that it makes sense.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    To my ear it definitely sounds like BOTH; the love-struck boy asks the girl's dad for his daughter's hand in marriage, dad says 'no' so the boy tells him, ..."you leave me no choice, we're both (the girl and I) going to be standing at that altar (to get married)" and he continues..."or we'll run away to another galaxy (they'll 'elope').

    Bic.
     

    Font7

    New Member
    English
    In tradition, a groom stands at the alter awaiting the bride to walk down the isle with her father. Her father, giving her away. If the father is refusing to give his blessing, he also won't be walking her down the isle. If she isn't being escorted, she isn't taking the traditional feminine role, therefore they are both "be boys standing at that alter."

    Adding this text so late after the thread has been dead for a while, as this is the top response in a google search trying to understand what this meaning is about. This thread helped me get to this realization, and I didn't see anyone wording it this way.
     
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