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There is a song with the title/text "Everybody Have a Good Time".

In the refrain the text goes like:

Everybody have a good time
Everybody have a crush, alright
Everybody have a good time
For tonight may be our last, alright

For me two things seem to be wrong:

  1. Everybody is singular, not plural.
  2. Present Continous should be used ("is having"), not Simple Present.

Am I wrong? If not: what is the reason for these ungrammatical use?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on the mistaken assumption that song lyrics and titles must be grammatical. Songs are like poetry, and songwriters are free to use whatever language they want.
    – Andrew
    Nov 11 '17 at 17:06
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    @Andrew But I still would like to know if I'm wrong or not. Besides of that, songs and poetry are part of a language corpus and therefore never off-topic in a language learning context. At the end, this is an English Language Learners site, not an English Prosa Language Learners site. Nov 11 '17 at 17:16
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    @Andrew It's not ungrammatical: it's an imperative. Nov 11 '17 at 17:18
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    @Min-SooPipefeet you misunderstand me. Your question asks "Why is this song ungrammatical?", and my answer is "Song lyrics don't have to be grammatical". If you instead meant to ask "what do these lyrics mean?" then please edit your question.
    – Andrew
    Nov 11 '17 at 18:04
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    @StoneyB sure, but OP didn't ask the question "why does the songwriter use 'have' instead of 'has'?" OP instead asks, "Why are these song lyrics wrong?" to which I think the most useful answer is "Your assumption (that song lyrics must be grammatical) is incorrect."
    – Andrew
    Nov 11 '17 at 18:06
8

Have in this case is an imperative, expressed with the same plain form as the infinitive: the singer is not saying that everybody is having a good time but calling on everybody to have a good time.

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I won't consider it to be grammatical either. One clue, would be that this sentence confuses all of us. I think the missing element is an adequate punctuation: Everybody! Have a good time!

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    Or “Everybody: have a good time”, in the form of an instruction.
    – Tim
    Nov 12 '17 at 4:38
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    @ Tim: In this choice of punctuation, "Everybody: have a good time" to me implies: " We're off, have a good one"
    – Specialist
    Nov 12 '17 at 5:49

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