Decoding Song Lyrics

You know that song? The one you’ve figured out the deeper meaning to, but no one else seems to know what it’s about? Let’s enlighten the masses! Don’t worry about people thinking your interpretation is absurd, you know that you’re right, and that’s all that really matters.

I would like to offer our first selection: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-go” by Wham!

This is not a song about dancing, no matter how the cheerful lyrics try to lure you into believing that. All becomes clear when you understand how they carefully used codewords to get the real meaning past the censors.

  1. dance/dancing = sex
  2. high = orgasm
  3. go-go = masturbation

Now, once you know that these substitutions have been made, the real heartbreak of the song becomes clear; the singer in this song is lamenting about his partner’s tendency to selfishly turn to self-gratification rather than include the singer in an act of intimacy. The entire chorus is there to beg his SO to break that habit. See?

Wake me up before you go-go
(please don’t masturbate while I’m sleeping)
Don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo
(I need gratification too!)
Wake me up before you go-go
(please don’t masturbate while I’m sleeping)
I don’t want to miss it when you hit that high
(as your significant other, I think I should also experience your orgasm)
Wake me up before you go-go
(please don’t masturbate while I’m sleeping)
‘Cause I’m not plannin’ on going solo
(I’m not selfishly withholding intimacy like you)
Wake me up before you go-go
(please don’t masturbate while I’m sleeping)
Take me dancing tonight
(let’s have sex)
I wanna hit that high
(stop being selfish, if we have sex we both achieve orgasm)

Later in the song there’s a heartrending set of lines where the singer is trying to compromise with his significant other. Here he tells his SO that it’s okay if they don’t reach the level of intimacy that he craves immediately, and that they can try again the next day. Yet the last line shows a sort of wistful longing to be doing what everyone else is.

Cuddle up, baby, move in tight
We’ll go dancing tomorrow night
It’s cold out there, but it’s warm in bed
They can dance, we’ll stay home instead

It’s sad that the situation is left unresolved, but songs are often just a brief snapshot.

Don’t be shy. Tell us what songs are really about.

It’s not just me. At least one other person interprets it this way, since someone said so at It could just be the two of us, though

That’s pretty clever, I like it! Now I will feel smarter when listening to Wham.

When I was in college we had to read Moby Dick in our English class. The Radiohead album OK Computer had just come out, and I was absolutely obsessed with the album.

I was, and still am, completely convinced that the song “Paranoid Android” is a direct rip of Moby Dick, in short song form. I wrote my final paper on the topic, actually. I found passages in the book that matched up exactly with words from the song. Even the rise and fall of the music matched the rise and fall of Ishmael’s journey.

Unfortunately I no longer have the paper. I posted it on the Internet but that was the 1998 version of the Internet so it is no longer around. I’ve always wondered what kind of response I’d get to the paper now in today’s “commentary style” Internet.

You may be on to something there, elfkin!

I was very proud of myself when I first figured out that I Love The Night by Blue Oyster Cult was about a guy getting bitten by a vampire. Seems pretty obvious now, I’ll admit.

I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight by the Cutting Crew: I’ve always called this one The Impotence Song. Convince me it’s not about that!

The next time someone asks me about my achivements, I think making someone feel smarter while listening to Wham! has to be on the list. I bet it’s a singular achievement! :smiley:

Come on, people. Put on the tinfoil and tell us about the lyrics. We’re waiting.

I once proved that Stairway to Heaven was about the Protestant Reformation. The stairway that the woman was buying was obviously an indulgence, the songbird was the monk Tetzel, but people had misgivings about Tetzel and the indulgences. The piper was Martin Luther, who would lead us to reason (ie, the “true religion.”) Rings of smoke in the trees meant the religious warfare in the centuries that followed and looking to the west meant people fleeing to North America to escape the chaos. Bustle in the hedgerow meant you were a Catholic who had doubts, but you had a chance to change the road you were on and find the “true faith.” The Lady refused to convert, believing her gold would get her into Heaven, but the others, even if they had some doubts (“our shadows taller than our souls”) decided to stick with their new faith (“to be a rock and not to roll”).

Of course I made up this interpretation strictly as a joke. And I’ve interpreted Stairway as being an anti-nuke song (the woman shines white light–radiation poisoning) and a prediction of the Cerro Grande fire that burned Los Alamos in 2000.

“Cheatnut Mare” by the Byrds is clearly about sex (with a woman, not a horse).

Consider the refrain:

And we’ll be friends for life
She’ll be just like a wife

Just like a wife? Among everything else, a wife is a man’s sex partner.

Now, consider these lines:

Oh, I’d catch a glimpse of her every once in a while
Takin her meal, or bathin’
A fine lady.

Sounds like he’s talking about a woman, doesn’t it?

I take this chance and I jump up on her
Damned if I don’t land right on top of her.

On top of her?

Something spooked her
It’s a sidewinder, all coiled and ready to strike

A snake. Symbolic of anything?

then she jumps off the edge
Me holding on.

Off the edge? Holding on?

[images of flying]

The metaphor of flying for sex is pretty common.

We hit and we splashed it dry

Referring to a puddle of water, but splashing it dry can certainly refer to other thing.

That’s when I lost my hold

Just after he splashed it dry.

It’s no stretch to see this, and I’m convinced it was intentional.

Someone once asked Peter Gabriel about his song “Kiss that Frog” and he replied that it was about a sex act.

Sweet little princess, let me introduce his frogness
(I want to show you my penis)
You alone can get him singing, he’s all puffed up wanna be your king
(I’d like to yodel in your cave…see?)

I don’t think I really need to type this out, do I?

I guess the old advice about girls having to kiss a lot of frogs, well, you know :stuck_out_tongue: