Harlem Shake Translation Possibly Controversial

4 Mar

How aware are you of the messages in your music? The most recent You-Tube craze is dancing to the song “Harlem shake.” Many listeners of the song don’t even know the first line.



By Patrick Malowski
Oswego- If in English, the opening line to the Harlem Shake would raise a few ears, but because of the language barrier, English speaking listeners won’t pick up on the Spanish lyric “con los terroristas” before they get all their friends together, turn on a camera, and make a Harlem Shake video of their own.

The Harlem Shake videos consist of a person dancing alone until the song kicks in. Then all of a sudden a crowd of people appears suddenly on the screen freestyle dancing. Oswego state students have made up their own opinions on the craze.

“I don’t really get the point of it or why it’s such a big thing,” Ceridwen Mahardy said.

Multiple organizations on the Oswego state campus have made their own Harlem Shake videos. Resident Assistant in Scales Hall, Elliot Altland, thought it was a great way to bring his residents of scales hall together.

“It’s so popular right now.” Altland said. “All the videos are getting tons of hits, I just want to create one of our own, and it got a really big crowd downstairs.”

When asked what the line “con los terroristas” really translates to many students will say they don’t know. According to Oswego state Spanish professor Zoraida (zor-raid-a) Lopez the lyric translates to “with the terrorists”.

“Oh wow oh! So that’s the song we’re dancing to?” Altland said when he first found out about the translation. “That’s really weird. I don’t know how I feel about that.”

While Altland was shocked by the translation, other students on campus like Mahardy weren’t as shocked.

“The lyrics, I don’t think it has any big meaning,” Mahardy said. Fellow Oswego State student Cory Nichols agreed with Mahardy.

“It’s just a beat and you’re dancing to it and it’s a fad so it doesn’t really mean much,” Nichols said.

It seems that some people don’t mind what the lyrics translate to and will continue to make their own Harlem Shake videos.

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