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They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Episode B-Side: Lisa Stansfield

On this B-Side episode we're discussing Lisa Stansfield's 1989 hit "All Around the World." We break down the lyrics and talk about what's REALLY going on in the song. We also talk about how the song gets taken to another level when the legendary Barry White adds his touch to the remix.



Miguel: Hi kids. Do you like fun?

Christina: Yeah!

Miguel: And bookmarking a bunch of articles you'll probably never read? We're starting a monthly newsletter called Liner Notes. We'll be sharing what we're watching, what we're listening to, throwback YouTube videos, updates on our upcoming projects, random shit you may have missed on the internet, you know, stuff like that. The link is in the show notes or you can go to Do it.

Christina: Now.

Miguel: It's good for you.

Christina: It'll make your teeth whiter.

Miguel: [Laughs] And back to the show.

Christina: Welcome back to the B-Side. I'm Christina.

Miguel: And I'm Miguel. This time we are talking about a song that popped up when we were driving down the street one day.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: And we actually decided to listen to the lyrics of the song.

Christina: And it's a song we both know very well.

Miguel: Yeah. It's a song that we know, it's a song that you know. But it's one of those songs where you just sing along with it blindly.

Christina: Mm-hmm.

Miguel: And then once you start listening to it, it's like, oh my God what's actually going on here? The song is Lisa Stansfield's "All Around the World."

Christina: "All Around the World?"

Miguel: "All Around the World."

Christina: Doesn't she say—wait a minute, I thought it was been around the world?

Miguel: She says "been around the world" in the song but nowhere in the song does she say "All Around the World."

Christina: So why they call it "All Around the World?"

Miguel: I don't know.

Christina: See? I didn't even notice that.

Miguel: The song is on some bullshit—

Christina: It's "Been Around the World."

Miguel: From the very beginning.

Christina: From the song title to the chorus.

Miguel: Yes, from the song title to the content of the song and everything in between.

Christina: Well it starts—I can't remember if this is the very first lyric or it's near the beginning, but it starts with her saying, "We had a quarrel." And I was like, what? We had a quarrel?

Miguel: Well, before we even get to that.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Let's give a little background on the song.

Christina: All right, all right, all right.

Miguel: Just in case people don't know it I'm gonna set the stage for the greatness of this song and then I'm gonna tear it down.

Christina: Okay. [laughs]

Miguel: But you'll still like it at the end though.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: So, "All Around the World" is a song from English singer Lisa Stansfield from her debut album Affection released in 1989. Inspired by the songs of Barry White with the deep voice spoken word intro, the instrumentation and the strings, and the content. She says she was just playing around with "been around the world and I, I, I," and everybody laughed in the studio except one dude who saw the vision. That song went to number three on Billboard Hot 100. Number one on the Hot Dance/Club charts. Number one R&B/Hip-Hop song.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: She was the first white woman to top the R&B charts in the U.K.

Christina: What?

Miguel: Yep.

Christina: Okay Lisa.

Miguel: And the first to top it in the U.S. since Tina Marie's "Ooh La La La" in 1988. Now we can get into the lyrics.

Christina: She's setting records for the white women.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: [laughs]

Miguel: So, she's got this dramatic ass intro...

Christina: Mm-hmm.

Miguel: Where she's just talking about "I don't know where my baby is, but I'll find him. Somewhere, somehow, I've got to let him know how much I care. I'll never give up looking for my baby."

Christina: So I'm gonna just stop you right there.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: See I remember bits and pieces of it, so, I don't know if this is maybe a double standard too with her being a woman. But I think I'm not alone to say you just assume that, you know, she's going through a breakup and she—

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: She misses him.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: And that's basically like, ugh, I've been around the world looking for my baby cause I'm heartbroken.

Miguel: Yeah. Something happened. Y'all broke up and now you want him back.

Christina: And you miss him.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: But—

Miguel: We get into the hook after this. It goes straight into the hook.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: "Been around the world and I,I,I. I can't find my baby..." You know the song. So she just sets this whole thing up as if he left for no reason. She starts getting into the song. She starts telling us exactly what happened.

Christina: She sure did.

Miguel: And that's where this shit falls apart for me.

Christina: She sure did.

Miguel: First line. "We had a quarrel—"

Christina: First of all, just talk about having a quarrel.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: Like, I swear that was the first time I ever heard that line. I was like, "We had a quarrel?"

Miguel: [laughs]

Christina: I don't know if this is a British thing, but, who says quarrel in a song?

Miguel: I'm gonna say that it's the Brits.

Christina: All right, so "We had a quarrel."

Miguel: "And I let myself go. I said so many things, things he didn't know. And I was oh, oh, so bad. And I don't think he's coming back."

So we've set the standard that she said some shit during a fight to make him leave. But previously in the hook she's like, "I don't know when, I don't know why. Why he's gone away." You know.

Christina: And we come to find out, she knows.

Miguel: Yeah. So continuing the first verse. "He gave the reasons that he should go. He said things to me that he hadn't said before, and he was oh, oh, oh, so mad. I don't think he's coming back."

Christina: See? You hear that part and you're like, oh, he did some shit.

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: Because you know, could be double standard. We're trained to think—

Miguel: Yes, that he did something.

Christina: He did some shit.

Miguel: But still, I want him back because I love him.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: Wrong. "I did too much lying."

Christina: "I did too much lying."

Miguel: "Wasted too much time. Now I'm here and crying I, I, I." That's not what I thought this song was about this entire time.

Christina: Nope. "I did too much lying."

Miguel: What have you been lying about, Lisa?

Christina: And "wasting time!"

Miguel: "Wasting time."

Christina: What was she doing to waste time? She wasting his time? She's—I need to know what that means.

Miguel: She's definitely wasting his time. Well I'm glad you wanna know what it means because in the second verse she tells us what it means. "So open-hearted. He never did me wrong. I was the one, the weakest one of all. And now I'm oh, oh, oh sad. And I don't think he's coming back."

Like, wait a minute. You telling us this man is a saint. But you the one who was out here fucking around? Uh, come on now. But 30 years I've been thinking that she was the one that was done wrong.

Christina: All this time I thought she was just heartbroken over some man who left her.

Miguel: Nope. She gaslighting us to get on her side, when in actuality she was the one who was out here messing up.

Christina: Well, I think Barry White knew.

Miguel: He did.

Christina: I don't know if you're ready to get into the Barry White version.[1]

Miguel: Yes. Because, I didn't realize that there was a Barry White remix.

Christina: I did not either until yesterday.

Miguel: [laughs] Yeah, she remade it with Barry White, two years later?

Christina: The video made me uncomfortable.

Miguel: The video is hilarious to me.

Christina: The reason why that it made me a little uncomfortable and also why I think Barry White listened to the lyrics of the song because throughout the song he kept saying, "you've been a bad girl, Lisa."

Miguel: [laughs] Yes.

Christina: "Bad girl, Lisa." And he's just chuckling.

Miguel: "You did a bad, bad thing."

Christina: [laughs] And she's just like, giggling and stuff. And they're just standing like, real close to each other. And just like, giving each other little eyes.

Miguel: Yeah. It sounds really good. If you haven't heard it he's basically singing the hook so it sounds good. But it's very creepy.

Christina: It is. With his little whispers of, "you're a bad girl, Lisa." [laughs]

Miguel: "Oh you was doing bad, bad things." [laughs]

Christina: So he knows she fucked up. [laughs]

Miguel: Yeah. So yeah that's my beef with this song.

Christina: And also it is very stalkerish. Because...

Miguel: It is.

Christina: Because—

Miguel: She says she gonna follow this nigga around the world.

Christina: Around the world.

Miguel: Until I find the one that I chased away. He don't wanna be found.

Christina: I'm gonna find him. It's like The Wedding Singer. "I'm gon' find you."

Miguel: No that's, uh, Wedding Crashers.

Christina: Wedding Crashers. One of the wedding movies.

Miguel: Yeah. He don't want to be found Lisa. He left you for a reason and that's because you were cheating on him.

Christina: Wasting time.

Miguel: "Wasting too much time."

Christina: She didn't say cheat, she said wasting time. [laughs]

Miguel: No, she—she basically said that she cheated. Let me pull up the line again.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: "He never did me wrong. I was the one. The weakest one of all." She knows she was running around with his mans.

Christina: All right, all right. Okay, what is up with these like, these U.K. white women soul singers? I'm gonna go on a small tangent because one of my other faves Amy Winehouse talking about "Love is Blind.

Miguel: [laughs]

Christina: "You know what? I'm gonna save that for another episode.

Miguel: Yeah we can do that song a little bit later. I think that song is actually not as bad as this one. Because Amy just came out and said what she was doing.

Christina: True.

Miguel: Whereas this, Lisa's gaslighting us into thinking that she was the one that was done wrong when it's actually the opposite.

Christina: And I have another tangent I do love these like soulful U.K. singers. I don't understand why they seem to do it better over there in terms of like the white pop singers tend to be a little more soulful?

Miguel: I don't know. I have no idea. Maybe one of our U.K. listeners can fill us in on that.

Christina: Yeah. Maybe we'll have to do a B-Side or an episode on these U.K. soul singers.

Miguel: I'm not opposed to that.

Christina: ‘Cause pretty much all your—all the faves, they're mostly British.

Miguel: That's true.

Christina: Like um, another fan favorite Phil Collins.

Miguel: You love Phil Collins, running around singing "Easy Lover" earlier this morning.

Christina: I don't know why that was stuck in my head. And Simply Red.

Miguel: Of all songs. You just singing "Easy Lover."

Christina: "Easy Lover." I don't even know why it's in my head. Simply Red. And who else? There's just a bunch.

Miguel: Yeah. A lot that we are fans of that are U.K. based soul singers.

Christina: Interesting.

Miguel: All right. You got anything else you want to add about Lisa?

Christina: No because I've already gone off on a tangent on an episode that's supposed to be about tangents.

[both laugh]

Christina: But yeah that's pretty much all I got to say about Ms Lisa Stansfield.

Miguel: Yeah. Petty ass Lisa. Gaslighter. She's a gaslighter. Gaslight Hall of Famer.

Christina: Do you think she ever found him?

Miguel: Of course not. She never found that man. He made sure that he's never been found.

Christina: He might have come back for more.

Miguel: I doubt it.

Christina: It happens.

Miguel: I doubt it. I doubt it.

Christina: All right. On that note.

Miguel: Bye.

Christina: Bye.