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Waterfalls – Revisiting The 90’s

“Waterfalls” , the hit 1994 Grammy nominated single was TLC’s hard hitting portrayal of how people chase intangible dreams without sparing a thought to the consequences of their actions. The words remain true even today.

Lisa-Lopes

A lonely mother gazing out of the window
Staring at her son that she just can’t touch
If at any time he’s in a jam, she’ll be by his side
But he doesn’t realize he hurts her so much
But all the praying just ain’t helping at all
Cause he can’t seem to keep his self out of trouble
So he goes out and he makes his money the best way he knows how
Another body laying cold in the gutter
Listen to me

The first verse of the song describes an inner city mother & son relationship. The mother knows he is chasing “waterfalls” (money and respect by dealing drugs), but worries for him because she is all too aware that the actions of his son cannot end well. She tries praying it all away but to no avail and so the helpless mother is in a painful place.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast

Little precious has a natural obsession for temptation
But he just can’t see
She gives him loving that his body can’t handle
But all he can say is, “Baby it’s good to me”
One day he goes and take a glimpse in the mirror
But he doesn’t recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn’t know why
Three letters took him to his final resting place
Y’all, don’t hear me

The second verse depicts a man’s relationship with a woman. His “waterfall” is casual sex – he has a “natural obsession for temptation.” This could mean he is cheating on someone or the woman he is seeing is cheating on someone. Either way, he contracts HIV and dies (“three letters took him to his final resting place”). As a matter of fact, TLC were big on AIDS awareness – Left Eye would often wear condoms attached to her clothes and in her glasses to promote safe sex.

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