Why the song ‘What’s Up?’ by 4 Non-Blondes is the greatest song of all time

Why the song ‘What’s Up?’ by 4 Non-Blondes is the greatest song of all time

Every week, Verbal Discharge produces upwards of an hour of audio goodness. Most of the time, we turn up with enough content prepared to fill about eighteen minutes. Sometimes, however, we have stuff that doesn’t make the grain. Sometimes stuff hits the cutting room floor, or gets bumped for time reasons, or it just doesn’t make it on air because Ben’s microphone wasn’t worknig and we had to cut the segment short. What you are about to read was due to appear on Episode #40 of Verbal Discharge, and appears in part, but was largely cut for one of the three reasons you just read. It is one of the greatest speeches in the history of mankind. And it is now reproduced here, in all it’s glory…


Recorded in 1992 and released in also 1992, the song What’s Up? by 4 Non-Blondes is possibly the greatest single in the history of the music, and that is a quote from Oscar and Grammy-winning cool cucumber, Jamie Foxx. But of course Jamie Foxx’s real name is Eric Bishop, so who even cares about that guy. What really matters is the opinion of me, James Bosson/Ben Knight/Jordan Reynolds (Delete where applicable), and my opininion is that the song What’s Up? by 4 Non-Blondes is possibly the greatest single in the history of the music.

But what is great about the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes? Well one thing that is great about the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes is that it is a song. By which I mean, it is either a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung or the musical phrases uttered by some birds, whales, and insects, typically forming a recognizable and repeated sequence and used chiefly for territorial defence or for attracting mates. Without being a song, the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes cannot possibly be possibly the greatest single in the history of music, because in the music business, ‘single’ is just another word for song. This is why Beyoncé sung ‘All the single ladies’, because she was talking to all her fellow women who can do songs.

The lyrics (Words) to the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes is my particular favourite bit of the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes. The lyrics to the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes go “And I said” which is clever and meta because she is literally saying what she’s about to say. It’s a bit like if Charlie Kaufman wrote a song and it was about knowing what’s going on. The lyrics then say, as she promised, “Heyyy heyyy yeeyyyy yeyyyayyyyayayyy,” which many people think ae just noises, but it is actually a succinct breakdown of the unstable CDO system that caused the housing bubble and lead to the 2007 financial collapse. The lead singer from the band 4-Non-Blondes then says “I said hey, what’s going on”. This is a very human sentence, as we all want to know what is going on, right deep down inside us.

The true genius of the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes is that it is really really repetitive. It just says those few words over and over again. This is a reflection of the way that our lives are really really repetitive. They just go on and on. We wake up, we think about eating breakfast, we get changed, we forget to brush our teeth. We go in and record a radio show. It’s nonsense and probably a bit crap, but we hope the audience won’t notice. We go home. We sit and wait for the thing to come out as a podcast as if by magic, because that’s how it happens. One week later, we do the whole thing over and over again. 39 times. 39 times. And only once have we got to speak to a major political leader. It’s barely even worth it. But yeah, that song? It’s pretty neat.

Many people know the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes for some stupid He-Man video on the popular internet website YouTube. This tube is not a physical tube, but a metaphor for videos. In the He-Man video, it totally destroys the beauty of the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes. It is insulting to my intelligence. Yet people seem to have forgotten 4-Non-Blondes and the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes, as if because they weren’t very good. But it is. The song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes is the best song ever done by a woman, and probably by a man too, but I’ve never really paid attention to songs by men, because men are not worthy of creating art because they are too hard and cynical and don’t cry enough.

In conclusion, the song What’s Up? by 4-Non-Blondes is really, really good.



BONUS! Whilst going through content I cut from shows, I came across a speed round in the ‘Did a film director say this about his favourite film or did he not say this?’ quiz from episode 38! And here it is! They’re all true! Definitely! These are all things moviepeople said! I’ve even written some more so it feels like I’ve put some effort in to today’s blog output!

Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher, Moneyball) on Dragons Den
“Peter is my hero, man”

Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) on Drive In Saturday by David Bowie
“It was released in 1973”

Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mood Indigo) on the Red Arrow bus link from Nottingham to Derby
“It feels more like a coach trip than a bus ride, really.”

Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) on his favourite colour

Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused, Boyhood) on religion
“I’m not a Catholic”

Jonathan Glazer (Under The Skin, Sexy Beast) on Cadbury’s Cream Eggs

“I was never a fan”

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, Squid and the Whale) on his favourite ride at LEGOLAND Windsor

“The Dragon, without a doubt. The Jungle Coaster is the biggest and scariest, but The Dragon hits the sweet spot between child-like wonder and proper rollercoaster thrills.”

Paulo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, Youth) on himself

“I am both of the titles of my most famous films, and that is why I have lots of nice lady friends.”


Sorry I haven’t tried particularly hard this week. I honestly am. You don’t care. But I do. I have standards. The others don’t. Just look at their posts. But I’ve let myself down. All because that article about Mark Wahlberg’s favourite jumpers was taking too long to write. Anyway! There’ll be another podcast on Friday. That’ll make up for it. Until then. Ta-rah.


Nick Clegg apologist.

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