How often have you been singing along with a song before you realize what you're singing? Recently someone asked for examples of songs with lyrics that people miss their meanings.
Several people shared examples of songs that sound like one thing but are talking about something else.
1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears (1985)
“‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World' by Tears For Fears. Yeah, another sing-a-long dystopian song about the Cold War. It took me a long time to realize this, and I was around when it was first released.”
Another said, “It wasn't until Lorde did an edgy cover for the Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie that people started to realize the original song was dystopian.”
“‘Even while we sleep. We will find you. Acting on your best behavior. Turn your back on mother nature.'”
2. Rooster by Alice In Chains (2009)
“‘Rooster' by Alice In Chains,” stated one. “This!! I always liked the song, but when I got older and listened and thought about what I heard. Man, it's gut-wrenching. My uncle told me stories of being spit on when he came home from Vietnam. It's heartbreaking.”
A third added, “If there were a Vietnam War Playlist, Rooster would be on there.”
3. One by Metallica (1988)
“‘One' by Metallica,” shared one. “Even though the lyrics are mostly audible, it's a song that rips hard, and then you realize it's about war and PTSD.”
“Yes, about a guy who lost both arms and legs in the war and can't move or communicate.”
“Not only his arms and legs, but he also lost his sight, speech, and hearing. He has to lay there and suffer as they keep him alive. Based on the movie Johnny Got His Gun (1971). Pretty heavy stuff.”
4. The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve (1997)
“‘The Drugs Don't Work' by The Verve. It was about the singer coping with his father's passing. After watching my father die of cancer after months of chemo and treatments, the song resonates with me. One of the saddest songs of all time,” shared one user.
Another confessed, “Oh yeah. I thought this song was about addiction for the longest time, but finding it's about chemo treatment was gut-wrenching since I watched one of my best friends die from cancer at age 27. Everything she tried just made her hurt more with no progress.”
5. The Kids Aren’t Alright by The Offspring (1998)
“‘The Kids Aren't Alright' by The Offspring. The beat hit me so hard that it wasn't until much later that a close friend commented on how sad the song was. After that, the music wasn't as upbeat as I made it out to be,” admitted one.
6. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson (1988)
“‘Smooth Criminal' by Michael Jackson.” Someone asked, “Remember the time Michael Jackson sang a song about a woman getting brutally murdered in her home?”
“‘As he came into the window was a sound of a crescendo. He came into her apartment and left bloodstains on the carpet. She ran underneath the table. He could see she was unable, so she ran into the bedroom. She was struck down. It was her doom. Annie, are you ok, are you ok Annie?'”
7. Possession by Sarah McLachlan (1993)
“‘Possession' by Sarah McLachlan,” one stated. “Once I listened to the lyrics, the song went from easy listening to heartbreaking sadness faster than lies in social media. Of course, it doesn't help that Sarah's angelic voice made the song hit harder than it should.”
“Interesting bits about this one are that it was based on letters from a stalker, who then sued her for using his words and died before going to court. The cover song by Evans Blue is a much better tone for the lyrics.”
8. Jeremy by Pearl Jam (1991)
“‘Jeremy' by Pearl Jam. I enjoyed it, and I still do,” shared one. “But now I can't listen to it without thinking about how disturbing the lyrics are. It's about a real 15-year-old named Jeremy Wade Delle, who, after struggling with depression, decided to blow his brains out in front of his English class at Richardson High School in Texas.”
Another added, “The thing that hits hard to me is it's sung from the perspective of one of the students who witnessed it happen, and to them, the highlight was that Jeremy spoke in class, not that he shot himself. It's honestly haunting how nonchalant and matter-of-fact a statement it is.”
9. The Hook by Blues Traveler (1994)
“‘The Hook'- Blues Traveler,” said one. Another confessed, “Can't believe I had to scroll this long to find the correct answer. It's basically a super cynical take on how easy it is to write a popular song if you want to. All you have to do is pick a popular chord progression, sing with inflection, and then come up with a memorable hook.”
10. MMMBop by Hanson (1997)
“‘MMMBop' by Hanson is about losing friends as you get older,” someone shared. “‘You have so many relationships in this life. Only one or two will last. You go through all the pain and strife. Then you turn your back, and they're gone so fast.'”
“‘Oh yeah, And they're gone so fast, yeah. Oh, so hold on, the ones who really care. In the end, they'll be the only ones there, And when you get old and start losing your hair, Can you tell me who will still care? Can you tell me who will still care?' — I thought it was just happy catchy sounding nonsense until I read the lyrics.”
This thread inspired this article.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.