It started, like most memes, with a random clip of video from a few years ago. In a scene from the comedy show “Little Britain” where a reporter interviews people parodying Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones, the singers talk about the celebrities they know.
They get into a discussion of the James Bond theme songs they have made (Bassey wrote three of them). “What do you think of the more recent efforts?,” the reporter asks. “‘Goldeneye?'” Shirley asks. “I love Tina [Turner], but she doesn’t have the range. I’m sorry, Tina. I love you. You know I adore you. But you don’t have the range!“
The interviewer asks about more Bond theme songs. He likes Garbage’s “The World is Not Enough.” Does Bassey? “She doesn’t have the range!” Sheryl Crow? “She doesn’t have the range.” Gladys Knight? “She doesn’t have the range.” Paul McCartney? “She doesn’t have the range.”
Shirley Bassey herself? “She doesn’t have the range. I’m sorry, Shirley. I love her to bits. But she doesn’t have the range.”
“But that’s you,” the interviewer responds.
“I don’t care. I don’t have the range.”
On June 20, someone tweeted part of the clip, as spotted by Select All:
And thus, a meme was born. “She doesn’t have the range” is a way to dismiss people who don’t live up to your standards. In a music context specifically, it’s a backhanded compliment. “Katy Perry is a good singer, but she doesn’t have the range.”
The meme really took off when @KingBeyonceStan (it means he likes Beyonce) employed the line against a string of singers.
Now before you write me off as bias I’m going to start out with one of my all time favourites. Like, I love her.
— vodka lemonade (@KingBeyonceStan) June 21, 2016
-The first white woman I ever loved.
-Hauntingly beautiful timbre
-the saviour pop
-not Quintanilla (who in fact had the range)
-King of fraudulent bulge pics
-hates black people lowkey
-the most awkward girl group in history
-lipsyncing since the first Bush adm.
-a god send to the pop girls
-Respek for breaking away from the whites
-faked having the range in Evita
-embarrassed Prince in Heaven
-Master of whispers (Varys who?)
-a scammer who loves robbery and fraud
Lana Del Rey:
-Percocet & exploited AARP funds can’t make up for the fact that
-great, uh, gowns beautiful gowns
-bops and blunts
-senior undersecretary of the lightskins
-has a legion of dull clones
-a master manipulator
-everyone thinks she has the range.
-ruined 6 Inch
-is cocaine goals
-fucked riff raff
-hates Royals by Lorde
-calmed down & became a tolerable white woman
-hated by Robyn gays with a passion
-a pay-per-view homosexual
-gayest right before album releases
-a myth at this point
-not a soprano
-takes what she wants
-Mariah Carey no la conoce
And now it’s everywhere.
-literally always screaming
-refuses to get a job
-missing a leg like a chump
Writes books about sad white children
– go back to linguistics
me: *tries to run more than 2 miles*
my knees: she doesn’t have the range
— ✨ (@tsargaryen) June 22, 2016
-hey remember rock n roll?
-sensitive sad boys only!
Here’s the full 9-minute original clip:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.