Lyrics: Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' » Ziptras
                   
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Lyrics: Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

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As the opening song and fourth single of Thriller, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” picks up where Off the Wall left off and begins the new phenomenon of Thriller. According to Epic Records notes, the song was written in part by Michael for his sister LaToya as a response to negative reports about her relationship with her sisters, but Michael recorded it himself. Released on its own on May 8, 1983, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” went #1 in Canada and the Netherlands and cracked in the Top 40 in 13 regions. It charted again in Denmark, Italy and Switzerland in 2008 following the release of its successful remix for Thriller 25, and at #25 in America following Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009.

The iconic outro of the song, repeating the Cameroonian phrase “Mama Se, Mama Sa, Ma Makusa” has never been outright defined. A lawsuit decided that Jackson (and Rihanna, who sampled the song for “Don’t Stop the Music”) had illegally sampled “Soul Makossa” by Manu DiBango, released in 1972 that was popular in the underground New York disco scene.

When Thriller opens, those 100 million sales feel just. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” is pure confused, shocked teenage rush. So there’s another theory: Thriller is the best-selling record ever because it’s the best record ever. That one holds up for six minutes and two seconds, during which Jackson and Quincy Jones mix the tension of rock’n’roll with the rapture of disco and hit perfection.

[Chorus]
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)

[Verse 1]
I took my baby to the doctor with a fever
But nothin’ he found
By the time this hit the street
They said she had a breakdown
Someone’s always tryin’
To start my baby cryin’
Talkin’, squealin’, lyin’
Sayin’ you just want to be startin’ somethin’

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[Chorus]
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)

[Verse 2]
You love to pretend that you’re good
When you’re always up to no good
You really can’t make him hate her
So your tongue became a razor
Someone’s always tryin’
To keep my baby cryin’
Treacherous, cunnin’, declinin’
You got my baby cryin’ (Hee)

[Chorus]
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)

[Bridge]
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
Still they hate you (Still they hate you)
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
You’re just a buffet (You’re just a buffet) (You’re a vegetable)
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
They eat off of you (They eat off of you) (You’re a vegetable)
You’re a vegetable, aaow!

[Verse 3]
Billie Jean is always talkin’ when nobody else is talkin’
Tellin’ lies and rubbin’ shoulders
So they called her mouth a motor
Someone’s always tryin’
To start my baby cryin’
Talkin’, squealin’, spyin’
Sayin’ you just want to be startin’ somethin’

[Chorus]
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)

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[Bridge]
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
Still they hate you (Still they hate you)
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
You’re just a buffet (You’re just a buffet) (You’re a vegetable)
You’re a vegetable (You’re a vegetable)
They eat off of you (They eat off of you) (You’re a vegetable)
You’re a vegetable, aaow!

[Instrumental Interlude]
Aaow!
Hee-haw! (Ooh!)

[Verse 4]
If you can’t feed your baby (Yeah, yeah)
Then don’t have a baby (Yeah, yeah)
And don’t think maybe (Yeah, yeah)
If you can’t feed your baby (Yeah, yeah)
You’ll be always tryin’
To stop that child from cryin’
Hustlin’, stealin’, lyin’
Now baby’s slowly dyin’

[Chorus]
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
I said you wanna be startin’ somethin’
You got to be startin’ somethin’
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)
It’s too high to get over (Yeah, yeah)
You’re too low to get under (Yeah, yeah)
You’re stuck in the middle (Yeah, yeah)
And the pain is thunder (Yeah, yeah)

[Bridge]
Lift your head up high and scream out to the world
“I know I am someone,” and let the truth unfurl (Hee-haw!)
No one can hurt you now because you know what’s true
Yes, I believe in me, so do believe in you

[Outro]
Help me sing it
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hoo-hoo!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Help me sing it, babe)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Yeah, sing it to the world, sing it out loud, hoo-hoo!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Help me sing it)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hoo-hoo!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Help me sing it)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hoo-hoo!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Sing it to the world)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hoo-hoo!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Help me sing it, babe)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Hee-hee-hee!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Yeah, sing it to the world, sing it out loud, hoo-hoo!)
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa
(Help me sing it)

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