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Who let the dogs out

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 29, 2006

In Reply to: Who let the dogs out posted by isaac on July 29, 2006

: : : : : : : There is a song titled Who let the dogs out.What's the meaning? Anyone can tell me? Thanks!

: : : : : : I'm not ready to ascribe a "meaning" to the song, made popular by the Baha Men. So I'll just copy the lyrics. It's just a raucous party song, but some one may care to provide an explication. Keep it clean, if you can.

: : : : : : Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men) Lyrics

: : : : : : Who let the dogs out
: : : : : : (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : When the party was nice, the party was jumpin' (Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo)
: : : : : : And everybody havin' a ball (Hah, ho, Yippie Yi Yo)
: : : : : : I tell the fellas "start the name callin'" (Yippie Yi Yo)
: : : : : : And the girls report to the call
: : : : : : The poor-dog show down

: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : I see ya' little speed boat head up our coast
: : : : : : She really want to skip town
: : : : : : Get back off me, beast off me
: : : : : : Get back you flea-infested mongrel

: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : I'm gonna tell {Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo}
: : : : : : To any girls calling them canine {Yippie, Yi, Yo}
: : : : : : Tell the dummy "Hey Man, It's part of the Party!" {Yippie Yi, Yo}
: : : : : : You fetch a woman in front and her man's behind {Yippie, Yi, Yo}
: : : : : : Her bone runs out now

: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : Say, A doggy is nuttin' if he don't have a bone All doggy hold ya' bone, all doggy hold it
: : : : : : A doggy is nuttin' if he don't have a bone All doggy hold ya' bone, all doggy hold it

: : : : : : Wait for y'all my dogs, the party is on
: : : : : : I gotta get my girl I got my my mind on
: : : : : : Do you see the rays comin' from my eye
: : : : : : What could you be friend
: : : : : : That Benji man that's breakin' them down?
: : : : : : Me and My white short shorts
: : : : : : And I can't seek a lot, any canine will do
: : : : : : I'm figurin' that's why they call me faithful
: : : : : : 'Cause I'm the man of the land
: : : : : : When they see me they doah-ooooo(howl)

: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)
: : : : : : Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof)

: : : : : : -------

: : : : : : Several commentators (Maureen Dowd included) have associated the title of the song with Bush foreign-policy, equating "Let the dogs out" with "Let slip the dogs of war," as in Marc Antony's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caessr:

: : : : : : And Ca esar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
: : : : : : With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
: : : : : : Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
: : : : : : Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
: : : : : : That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
: : : : : : With c arrion men, groaning for burial.

: : : : : : SS
: : : : : : Ate was a Greek female mythological character devoted to evil and mischief.

: : : : : This song caused a sexual harrassment complaint at my workplace. Trainers who teach some of the students to measure noise levels and test hearing protection use pop songs as the sound. This song was considered by our admin staff to be extremely sexist, since they said it was about men aggressively complaining about ugly women arriving at a party, when they wanted good looking ones. (It wasn't helped by the mysogynsist video clip, which had women in very short skirts kicking at a camera which was low on the ground). I was the final word on whether it was banned or not. I must confess that, in making this decision, I never considered foreign policy or "the dogs of war" so - and may the Baha Men forgive me if I'm wrong - I agreed that it was about sex and ugly women, if only because that was what the trainer who chose it as the song told me it was about the first time he played it, despite his subsequent accusation that "I read too much into things". Right or wrong, that's the common interpretation. Pamela

: : : : SS: I'm surprised that either you or the trainer in question could make out a clear enough sense from this song to call it sexist. After reading your comments, I can see the possibility that the author could be using dog in the sense of bad date/ugly woman; or at least that some feminist has so interpreted it. (See "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.") I encountered that meaning of dog in college. At a few parties I heard boys commenting that "My date is a dog." I'm not sure that looks were the only criterion for being a dog, but perhaps so. I've heard the song in question only once, performed live at a wedding reception. If the song denigrates women, that seemed not to be evident to any of the women there, including a few who were hair-triggered feminists, nor to any of the men.

: : : : Is it really sexist to acknowledge that there is such a thing as an ugly woman? There is a Calypso song with the refrain: "So take an ugly woman for to be your wife, You'll be a happy man for the rest of your life."
: : : : SS

: : : I played this song on the P.A. system at one of my son's Little League games this season. I thought it was about dogs, and nobody complained. It was very popular at sports stadiums across the U.S. when it first came out around the turn of the century, and was featured on an anthology show of one-hit wonders on the VH1 cable channel. Nobody ever mentioned any sexist overtones or undertones, but I suppose that in the workplace you can't just change the channel.

: : I think this discussion (from my perspective at least) has less to do with feminism and more to do with American culture sometimes appearing a little alien to Australians. I think (and thought at the time) that the "dogs" in the song were the type of American dogs that Randy (the judge on American Idol) talks about when he says "Yo, dog, you're the bomb", that is, men with street credibility (males = "dogs", females = (the seemingly much less polite) "bitches"). In this sense, my money-down vote would be that it about about men partying and unleasing the doggy (and not necessarily sexist) side of their nature. (The dogs in the song are clearly male). No, Brian, I never thought the song was about canines, although this may be because I have heard it so many, many, many times and do have a tendency towards interpretation. Or, to be blunter - it's certainly not actually about yer actual dogs. here, in Australian slang "dogs" always means "ugly or boring women" (Collins) to everybody (except for a few to whom it also means "dobbers" i.e. those who report other people to the police). That's how everybody in the workplace saw it, s o the arguement was really about whether the song was sexist or not according to that interpretation. So, Sm okey's point is the rub - whether it is sexist to "acknowledge that there is such a thing as an ugly woman?" and of course it isn't or we'd have to criticise a great many feminist writers as well as Balzac, Atwood, Collette and Plath. As a pragmatist in these matters, I simply concluded that since it had caused offence to the admin staff (and they would certainly not describe themselves as feminists) it was likely to cause offence to some of the female students as well. So, out it went. (To be replaced, if memory serves me correctly, by a terrible Huston ballad, so it all serves me right). As I said, the panty up-skirt video clip didn't help the matter (US standards are much more permissive in this matter than ours). Pamela
: The reason why I asked the question is that the other day I saw a short video on . It was about the Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the White House where he was heckled by a group of protesters. And the background music in the video is Baha Men's song- Who Let The Dogs Out. Because in Chinese the pronunciation of President Hu's surname is nearly the same as that of the word "who" in English,there flashed on the screen the song's name with the word "Who" substituted by the the President's surname "Hu". Since I'm not a native English speaker, I do not quite understand the meaning or the undertone under that specific circumstance. I'm sorry for not making it clear when I asked the question. Thanks again!

Perhaps I ought never to have mentioned any of the non-canine uses of "dog". I just can't help myself. Isaac refers to the locution "Yo, dog," used as a salutation among young bucks wishing to demonstrate their superior cool (or street cred, as Isaac says). I don't know that "dawg" as an appellation for a male friend is specifically related to the unseemly habit of referring to women as "bitches." On a recent episode of "Without a Trace" (American TV, missing persons), a high school boy goes missing after being hugely humiliated for his completely misguided efforts to be cool. He hears the "cool" guys in the locker room calling each other dawg. So he subsequently greets a girl he likes with, "Hey, dog." She is bewildered, but assumes this is a deliberate insult. And so they journey down the road to adolescent hell. The problem with this story is that boys trying to be cool are generally cautious about using cool expressions without knowing how they are to be used, and would never assume that an expression used among males could safely be used with females. No one is that naive.

What was the underlying meaning or subtext of the protesters against President Hu? Not being one of them, I can't be sure. I think it was just the combination of the pun on Hu along with the sinister tone of "who let the dogs out?"

Now that we've used up all that cyberspace, I agree that virtually everyone but Australian administrators and bureaucrats would hear the song as being about letting the dogs out--woof woof woof!

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