Sometimes, you listen to some songs, and the lyrics go entirely over your head because the beat is too good; it makes you want to dance or enjoy your time listening. As such, we miss the real meaning of certain songs altogether until we take a closer look at what the lyrics say. In other words, songs are more than what meets the ear.
1. “Every Breath You Take” by the Police
With a title like that, it’s a wonder no one realized this sooner. “Every Breath You Take” is a song from a stalker’s perspective, watching their victim from afar. They’re watching every breath and move their victim makes. Just take this song literally, and it will be a nightmare.
With that said, please stop playing this creepy song at your weddings. There are better love songs out there.
2. “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen
There is a true irony to be had with this one, as countless politicians have used this song over the years to tout their traditional values and ideologies. “Born in The USA” talks about the mistreatment of veterans and the misguided wars they have to fight. It is a far cry from the whole “America is great” ideology that these politicians try to enforce.
Just watch the music video and read the lyrics to the song to understand that it’s about the condemnation of the war in Vietnam that ended in a whole lot of bloodshed.
3. “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
Seeing how far this song evolved from its original meaning isn’t very comfortable. But that is because this song has over 80 different verses, with 12 or 13 verses recorded by its original singer and the rest considered “lost.”
“Hallelujah” is widely regarded as a religious or spiritual song due to its numerous references to characters in the Bible. However, it is actually about love gone wrong—specifically, a betrayal of love and a toxic relationship.
4. “Blackbird” by the Beatles
This song has a ton of symbolism, so it isn’t all that surprising that its meaning completely goes over everyone’s head. “Blackbird” is a commentary on the Civil Rights Movement occurring in America at the time, noting the struggle of African Americans. Sir Paul mentioned this in a college station radio interview.
Interestingly, such a delicate song could be about something impactful.
5. “Chandelier” by Sia
A popular song with solid emotions, “Chandelier” is not what you think it is. It is not just about partying or getting drunk. The song is about alcohol abuse and the depressed girl who’s on the road to self-destruction by getting drunk and numbing the pain. She distracts herself from the pain and acts as if she will only live as if tomorrow does not exist.
Hence, the whole swinging from a chandelier thing is born.
6. “Lust For Life” by Iggy Pop
This upbeat song, typically used by entertainment and cruise companies to showcase the greatness of life, is actually about drugs. If you pay closer attention to the lyrics, it’s all written right there. However, its upbeat tune and Iggy’s unclear pronunciation have everyone dancing around without a care.
7. “All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You” by Heart
It starts fine, like your typical passionate love song after a night together. But then you get to one verse where she says she used him to get pregnant, and the entire meaning changes. She admits that she baby-trapped him because her husband is infertile, and all she wants is a child.
In a way, it is still a song about love, just a different kind.
8. “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp
Like “Born in the USA,” “Pink Houses” describes an all-American Dream fantasy that is all just a lie. It’s a sarcastic song that gets played at a lot of political campaigns, prompting the singer to tell them to stop. If you listen closely to its lyrics, it is a critique of America rather than a celebration of its values.
9. “Hey Ya” by Outkast
Here’s another song mistaken for a love song, but in actuality, it is more about the ending of a relationship or one going through a rough patch close to its end. Considering that it repeats its chorus continuously throughout the song, it is easy to see why the actual lyrics fly over everyone’s heads.
10. “White Wedding” by Billy Idol
Contrary to its title, “White Wedding” is as anti-wedding as possible. It is evident if you watch his music video, controversial as it is. The lyrics depict a shotgun wedding, which means that the bride is pregnant and they are hastily getting married. Billy’s sister having a shotgun wedding is said to inspire this sarcastic song.
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