Inside a Meth Lab

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hidden or Misunderstood Meanings in Songs

I was watching Channel [V] this morning when up comes The Script's new hit 'Nothing'. I've heard it on the radio, liked it, so I stayed on the channel to continue watching...
...Images give strong meaning to lyrics that you don't think much about.
What do I see? Well, instead of a heart-wrenching tale of a difficult break up, I see a guy trying to jump into a lake to commit suicide, and his mates trying to convince him not to. Wow.
Anyway, this lead me to think about what others songs had hidden and misunderstood meanings that others and myself weren't getting?
I've done a bit of research and have compiled a list of some of the most intriguing and now blatantly obvious ones that I have never realised before.

1. The Script - Nothing
I'll start with the one that made me come to realise the world is a twisted and mangled web of lies and profanities.
YOU/I think it's about a hard break up and his mates just trying to console him and take him out to get his mind over it all, as good mates do.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT... the protagonist contemplating suicide after being dumped and not being taken back despite his best efforts. Over-the-top much?
This guy in his late 20's gets dumped and his instinct is to first write a song about it, and then go jump in a lake, or smash his head in with a hammer, or give himself an enema with a chainsaw... That last one's an exaggeration, but that's the feeling portayed by the song. That much pain.
..."Am I better off dead? Am I better off a quitter?"
That's part of the chorus, so you know this shit is serious cause it gets repeated several times throughout the song.
..."Only I can see where this is gonna end, but they all think I'm crazy but to me it's prefect sense"
This guy needs to relax just a tad. You got your heart broken, it's sad, sure. The answer is not death (unbeknown to the cheerful main man) however, but rather alcohol and a few notches on your bedpost from some hood rats.

2. Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock
YOU/I think it's about dancing in a jail in the 50's (Cause, apparently, if you weren't alive in the 50's [as I wasn't], that's what Elvis told us they did. Just danced. In jail's. Sounds fun really.)
Sure, this song does have a type of dancing subtext to it, but not the type we thought it was.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT... SEX! in jail. So when I refer to dancing, I mean the 'it takes two to tango' sense.
Don't give all the credit to Elvis though, he didn't write the lyrics. He only made rape into a cool dance poorly replicated around the world. Two men (presumably gay) named Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced these lyrics (also presumably mid-way through a 'Jailhouse Rock' session in the boudoir) We should have realised the meaning to this song anyway. Sex is a lot more likely to happen in jail than dancing anyway.
"...Cutest jailbird he ever did see" and "I sure would be delighted with your company."
Nothing too sinister there.
"[The warden encouraged the guy to] use a wooden chair [if he couldn't] find a partner"
...Wait, what?!

3. The Police - Every Breath You Take
YOU/I think it's about romance and dedication to that certain someone due to the depths of love. Once again, we are close to the money, but in a wrong way.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT... apparently Sting's favourite past time; stalking. Now, even though the song is about stalking, it doesn't suggest he actually catches her or steals her or anything sinister like that. But it's the way that every single line, and I mean EVERY SINGLE LINE starts with the word 'every'... He's like a shadow, with an amazing voice. That unfortunate girl can't escape him and she doesn't even know he's there. He's there for every breath she takes. Every move she makes. Every bond she breaks. Every game she plays. Every step she takes. Every smile she fakes... Sting is creepy!

4. 5ive - Baby When the Lights Go Out
YOU/I think it's pop sensation 5ive and their super-cool teeny-popper grooves about innocent crushes and kissing secretively and playfully in the dark. Well, get ready to have a part of your childhood crushed when I reveal that...
IT'S REALLY ABOUT... Rape! Yes! Rape! 5ive deliver this perverse song in a way that makes rape seem almost innocent.
..."Babe I swear you will come with me, so babe come to me"
Enticing invitation to all the sluts out there, good move 5ive. Not convinced?... Ok then. How about...
..."I ain't fooled by your thin disguise, I can see I'm getting through babe"
She's trying to hide from this groups' vicious sex ways under a sheet, but she's not hidden very well. They can smell fear. And they can see her. Still not convinced? Ok. One more line then.
..."I wanna knock your socks off, knock your block off girl"
Yeah, blackmail. Smooth stuff 5ive. Either she takes her socks (and the rest of her kit) off, or they knock her block off and do it whilst she's unconscious.
Filthy 5ive, filthy. That's the last time I wait four hours in line to buy tickets to one of your show.

5. Jason Mraz - Butterfly
YOU/I think Jason is a cool, calm, collected guy who likes to wear the same hat everyday of the year, can strum a pretty neat few bars on his guitar to make it feel like Summer all year round, and he sings about the innocence of love and women. Too bad we all didn't know that Jason Mraz is also a PERVERT! Yes.
In this song, Jason Mraz has taken double-meanings, entendre's and subtextual vagina-name-calling to a new level.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT... Sex! and Vagina's! And Jason's names for sex! and vagina's! We can easily establish the view point that this song is about physical romance up first listening, but it's so much more vulgar and depraved than that. Just check out the list of meanings and sayings he uses to describe getting some.
'Kiss me with your eyelashes' - eyelashes = pubic hair; 'Let me feel you upside down, slide in, slide out' - self explanatory; 'You're an open-minded lady' - open-minded = open-legged (You might call that clutching at straws, I call it obvious considering the lyrics listed previous); 'Curl your upper lip up and let me look around... ride my tongue along your bottom lip then bite down' - Lips = Vaginal lips.... I think you get the point.
That's naughty Jason Mraz, naughty!

6. Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
Yes, there is a theme here, but it just goes to show just how people think, even famous, well off role models. So, we can feel better about ourselves.
YOU/I think this song is about a girl realising that she actually likes this guy after he's liked her for a while and that they are going to start dating. However, Baby Spice takes her promiscuity to the new level of 'sluttier than Posh Spice' when she sings the majority of this song ahead of the other Spice Sluts, including lyrics like these.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT... "I need some lover like I've never needed love before", "Set your spirit (meaning penis, semen, animal-side, etc.) free, it's the only way to be", "Be a little wiser baby, put it on, put it on" (this one made me laugh because it seems they've started but now she suggests we should probably use as condom... Think ahead next time, or the reason you'll be called Baby Spice is because you'll have had a baby, and not acting like a ditsy 10-year-old), and "Come a little closer baby, get it on, get it on" (Not so perverse, but still, evidence of her vagina-directed career).

There's plenty more to be deducted out there, but these were some key ones that I didn't click about until I researched. I feel a little disheartened now because all these songs are made and played to make the listener feel love and sadness and hope, but really, it's about penis in vagina. It's making me re-think all the other so called 'love songs', and even other song in general.
Is Fergilicious not really about promoting self-confidence? Is The Bloodhound Gang's Discovery Channel not really about the proper and thorough study of animals to create hypothesis and studies about our past and future development as just another species? And is Britney Spears' If You Seek Amy not a desperate plea to find a lost Amy? Whoever she may be.
...I really hope she finds Amy.


  1. Matty! It's so interesting to se your take on these songs! There's definitely a lot to think about in regards to pop songs. I mean, I work at a place that's full of hipsters who poo poo all over mainstream pop. They don't realise just how much depth there can be to that tune that's overplayed a bazillion times on the radio. Keep up the work man.
    P.S the bloodhound gang song is called the bad touch. nothing to do with animals :P

  2. I know, but it's most commonly known as 'discovery channel', so I thought I'd do it for the readers lol

  3. Ur a genius bro, not many ppl can think outside the box. Im yo new friend, maybe u can be mine too ? =D

  4. I always assumed that "Every Breath You Take" was about stalking. I mean... He says I'll Be Watching You. That's not normal.

    All the other ones, though. Yeah. Most songs that are about romance on the surface are about sex when you read between the lines.

  5. hee hee. man, I thought I was the only one who did this.

  6. @Doku Every Breath You Take IS about stalking! haha, I agree on every aspect. So is Muse's Hysteria. the chick who is the subject of a stalker turns the man on so much he is in a state of hysteria.
    Kings Of Leon's Sex on Fire is about herpes or STIs in general. I get the feeling everytime I tell someone that, it blows their mind, but I thought it was so obvious!
    And just for something different, The Lonely Island's new track, I Just had sex, is actually about having sex! Who would've thunk it!