I just ruined two songs for my wife

So we were in the car listening to some music and How Soon Is Now? and this lyric came on:

“There’s a club if you’d like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die.”

So I said, "That’s got to be one of the most depressing things ever written, even for The Smiths and she laughed and said yeah and then I said, “Especially since the whole song is about a guy who has resigned himself to the fact he will never find love, never be loved.” And she got this shocked look on her face and said, “Ohmigod! That is so sad, I never really paid attention to the song, it’s just so cool…and see here he is whistling, he must be happy! (said facetiously).”

So that song ends and the next song that comes on is “Human” by the Human League and I say “Great, another depressing song about relationships from the 80’s.” “Really?” and I said, "Yeah, it’s all about a guy who is begging forgiveness from his girl after he cheated on her. This lyric:

"I wouldn’t ever try to hurt you
I just needed someone to hold me
To fill the void while you were gone
To fill this space of emptiness "

And she’s changes the channel and says, “Stop ruining songs I like!”

Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

P.S. If she had held and listened to the entire song she would have found out that the girl also cheated, so you know, everything is a-ok.

She’s one of those people who doesn’t listen to lyrics. Lyrics are just human mouth noise. The words of the song don’t register, just the overall sound of everything.

Don’t tell her that **Every Breath You Take **really shouldn’t be played at weddings…

My husband made me a romantic Playlist that included the excellent song ''Glow" by Alien Ant Farm. It’s a catchy little song. About adultery.

I had to explain it to him.

Finally we have turned into strangers
It’s gotten so bad that there’s no more anger
And now it seems that we can’t get no further
I can’t believe I’ll be bright for another

It’s not like the lyrics are difficult to hear or anything!

Yes, people who don’t listen to lyrics baffle me. I remember sharing a Tori Amos CD with my Aunt once, and the song ‘‘Mother’’ came on. I told her the lyrics made the music that much more powerful. She said, ‘‘I can’t enjoy the music if I have to listen to the lyrics.’’


Oh god yes. Please play The Stalker Song

To me, the vocals are just another instrument. It takes a while for me to hear it as words instead of just sounds. It helps me enjoy songs in languages that I don’t understand.

Mrs. Gangster Octopus, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you regarding R.E.M.'s The One I Love.

Personally I love depressing lyrics. A lot of They Might be Giants songs are depressing lyrics hidden behind a happy-sounding tune. It’s great!

Or I Will Always Love You.

And you shouldn’t recommend Springstein’s Born to Run as the New Jersey State Song, as was proposed at one point, and which comedian Robert Wuhl effectively commented on.

My husband is like this. It seems so bizarre to me. I can’t listen to a song if I don’t know what it’s about!

I like happy songs with sad lyrics too. I started enjoying Hey Ya when I realized it was a catchy dance tune with a fun video covering up lyrics about how relationships are doomed to fail:

We get together
Oh, we get together
But separate’s always better when there’s feelings involved
Know what they say, ts:
Nothing lasts forever!
Then what makes love the exception?
Why, oh, why, oh, why
Are we still in denial when we know we’re not happy here?

Kenny Rogers’ upbeat, lilting little ditty Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town is a great example of a peppy song where the song type and lyrics just don’t match - I love that. :slight_smile:

My wife was singing along with Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” in the car until I pointed out the connotations of being down on the muffin and young bleeders.

For me, it depends on the music. There’s music where the lyrics are central to me, music where I love the songs despite the lyrics, music where the lyrics are just abstract images and evocative sounds, and music where I haven’t the faintest clue about what the artist is singing about, where the vocals are just another instrument. It’s all good to me, but I tend to be a person who takes in the feeling of the song and the sounds of the lyrics, without necessarily paying explicit attention to what is being sung.

For example, this My Bloody Valentine song (“Only Shallow”) is one of my favorite songs of the last thirty years. If you asked me, I couldn’t even tell you what any of the lyrics are. According to that YouTube link, it starts “Sleep like a pillow.” Despite it being one of my favorite songs, I never felt the need to look up the lyrics and this is quite literally the first time I found out what the opening words are to that song.

I present to you “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine” by Miss Gale Garnett, from olden days. Such a nice, laid back, lazy song. I imagine being strolling down a country lane on a summer day, through a field of sunflowers. Dressed in jeans and a gingham blouse, holding hands with my beau - who I’m going to leave after one year, because my father told me the cost of love’s too dear!

Monsters and Men have a song out called Little Talks, with a nice catchy beat and cheerful "Hey!"s punctuating it. I’ve heard it in several commercials already.

Yeah, don’t let your wife learn those lyrics either. It’s about a husband losing his wife of many years to disease.

I liked it. However, I notice that the title isn’t anywhere in the lyrics. When you think of this song, do you think of it by name, or do you just start hearing it in your head?

Well, when I think of music, I usually don’t have to call up the name first, I just hear the music in my head. But if someone said “Only Shallow” to me, those snare hits that start the song would immediately jump to mind. As someone who came musically of age in the 90s, mostly in the alternative/college rock scene, songs whose title does not appear as a lyric in the song are more than common.

My SO wants to play “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks at our wedding. I’m pretty sure the song is about a woman whose life has gone to shit and is trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces. Not exactly “first dance” material.

It’s one of the problems I have with Pandora - I tend to somewhat classify songs by what the songs are about. Pandora’s algorithm doesn’t seem to. The information about the algorithm says that it considers lyrical content, but either that’s less important than other attributes in the algorithm or the person(s) who classify songs failed Poetry 101.