’90s Alternative Song Lyrics Updated for 2014


The ’90s are back! Except they’re looking a bit worse for the wear, 20 years later, aren’t they? Specifically, the lyrics to some of our favorite alt-rock radio hits of the era have begun to sound painfully dated, with their references to phone booths and physical media, and their insistence on a gender binary even in songs that embrace sexual fluidity. So Flavorwire has done its loyal readers the favor of updating beloved tracks by Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Radiohead, and more. Be sure to show your appreciation by adding your own fixes in the comments.

“Was she asking for it? Did she ask you nice? She was asking for it She was a woman writing cultural criticism on the Internet” — Hole, “Asking for It”

“Looking for Girls who are boys Who like boys to be girls Who do boys like they’re girls Who do girls like they’re boys (And other pansexual configurations that fall outside the gender binary) Always should be someone you really love” — Blur, “Girls & Boys”

“A friend in need’s a friend indeed My Japanese is better And when she’s pressed she will undress But not in like a rape-y or Orientalist way or anything” — Placebo, “Pure Morning”

“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right I hope you got so much out of this unpaid internship” — Green Day, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”

“I wanna live like common people I wanna do whatever common people do I wanna sleep with common people But everyone else I meet in Williamsburg seems to be a wealthy European, too” — Pulp, “Common People”

“She looks like the real thing She tastes like the real thing But it’s Tinder, so who can fucking tell?” — Radiohead, “Fake Plastic Trees”

“Shakedown, 1979 Born then? Now you’re 35” — Smashing Pumpkins, “1979”

“I want to fuck you like an animal I want to feel you from the inside But it’s a weeknight And I have to get up early to go to the gym Sorry” — Nine Inch Nails, “Closer”

“Fuck you, I won’t queue when you tell me” — Rage Against the Machine, “Killing In the Name”

“Been caught stealing Once, when I was five And I was consigned to the oubliette of the prison-industrial complex, from which I will never emerge” — Jane’s Addiction, “Been Caught Stealing”

“MTV still makes me want to smoke crack” — Beck, “MTV Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack”

“Hey, how you doing? Sorry you can’t get through But for the love of god Just send me a text message” — De La Soul, “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)”

“And all I can do is just tweet to stay awake And it rips my life away, but it’s a great escape” — Blind Melon, “No Rain”

“What’s the frequency, Kenneth? And more to the point Can I just stream it?” — REM, “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”

“And if you complain once more You will meet an army of my Twitter followers Who will harass you and post nude pics on 4chan So there” — Björk, “Army of Me”

“Everybody’s someone else’s [thinkpiece]” — Marilyn Manson, “Irresponsible Hate Anthem”