Songs you finally understand

Just put “Can’t Stop Loving You” by Phil Collins on my iPod. Listened carefully, realized it a break-up song! :smack:

I sometimes marvel at how many songs there are that I like, but am pretty much clueless about all but a few words of the lyrics.

And every few years, I’ll find out I was even wrong about the few words.

Usually when I find out the real meaning of a song it’s because I heard it from someone else.

Pearl Jam “Jeremy” - Didn’t figure out on my own that it was about a kid who shoots himself (based on a real story no less).

Amy Grant (anybody remember her?) “Baby baby” - Had to be told that it was literally about her baby.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Under the Bridge” - One of the many songs that turns out to be about drug abuse, but I heard it from other people instead of figuring it out myself.

Knights in white satin…never reaching the end…

I finally did realize after many decades that it was not “knights” dressed in white satin riding on horses on a never ending quest.

I’ve said this in other threads, but what the hell. After reaching adulthood I realized, on my own, that Hall & Oats “One on One” was about sex.

I actually have a tenuous connection to that video. At the very beginning of the video, there are newspaper headlines that show in a rapid form (video here). At the 7-second mark, you can see part of a headline (the visible part is “Girls in Torture[…]wn in Indiana.”).

In 1992, in a small town on the Ohio River called New Albany (the town where I grew up), a 12-year old girl named Shanda Sharer was coaxed out of her house by schoolmates (4 teenage girls), kidnapped, beaten and sodomized with a tire iron, and finally set on fire while she was still alive. The amount of torment and torture that this girl went through is unimaginable.

One of the girls involved in the incident had a friend named Kary. Kary was best friends with my brother’s then-girlfriend, and wanted to go out with me. I’d also met the mastermind, Melinda Loveless, on a few occasions, as we had a mutual friend. I’m 2 years older than Loveless, and 6 years older than Sharer. I’d never met Sharer.

Like I said, it’s a tenuous connection.

The girl’s name was Loveless???

I MAY be wrong about this… but I finally last year understood the song “You’re So Vain”

I could never reconcile why a VAIN person would ever think a song bashing them was about them, so why would she say “you probably think this song is about you, don’t you?” A vain person isn’t going to believe a song saying bad things about someone is about them.

Then one day it hit me. The song is about HER. Yes, she talks about all the wrong stuff he did, blah blah blah, but at the end of the day, she’s singing about her thoughts, feelings and emotions, and the guy probably isn’t getting ANY of that. He’s just hearing the song being about him.

Anyone else agree with this interpretation?

I see this all left a very deep impression on you. I guess it would on me too.

It took me longer than it should have to realize the reason “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was because he died.

I’ve never thought about it, but that makes too much sense to be wrong.

I rather like the story behind that one - she heard the tune and wanted to buy the rights to it for her next album, and the composer wanted the title to be ‘Baby Baby’ even though he hadn’t written words for it. Amy actually thought that the title was foolish, but went along with it, and struggled for a while to find something to write to that title that wouldn’t be cliche until the obvious occurred to her.

Or so I remember reading, at least.

I never knew all that. It is kind of interesting.

For me it was a pair of Kenny Rogers songs. I did not know until I grew up how much darker they were:

Lucille - He was going to take her back to the hotel and screw her but the words from her HUSBAND kept playing over and over in his mind and he couldn’t do it… I had always thought she left him.

Ruby - He was a disabled Vet laying in bed unable to move. He even says if he could reach his gun he would shoot her. Watching her get ready to go out on the town… he is pleading with her to stay- “I wont be around much longer”.

Not a whole song, but there is a line in “Holiday in Cambodia” that goes:

You’re a star-bellied sneech, you suck like a leach.
You want everyone to act like you.

I never knew what that meant until I had a kid and started reading Dr. Seuss to him.

I always thought Angel by Sarah McLachlan was about finding release from suffering by dying. What I didn’t know was that it was specifically about the Smashing Pumpkin’s keyboardist who overdosed on heroin. Which makes heroin an angel.

For most of my life I never heard of roundabouts. A few years after hearing the term it dawned on me that’s what Jon is singing about in the YES song “Roundabout” :smack:. Of course knowing that doesn’t give the song any meaning, because it makes no sense.

That’s an interesting interpretation. There has been considerable speculation as to who the subject of that song is. Carly Simon has claimed that the subject in the song is a real person, possibly a composite of several people. She even revealed who it was to someone who won the privilege at a charity auction. But there are two people implied in the song: the person who’s “vain,” and the person the song is actually about. I’ve never heard anyone speculate as to who the latter person was, and your explanation makes perfect sense.

I always wondered if Roxy Music’s 1974 song Three And Nine was in some kind of code. A while back I heard it again and realized that it definitely was.

The last line is, “Six and two threes now, more I cannot say.” Substituting letters for numbers gives you “FCC”, suggesting that the real meaning of the song had to be encoded to avoid censorship by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

I’ve not been able to decode it any further, but there is a line that includes, “Three and nine to forty-five”, which gives the somewhat suggestive “CIDE”. But I can’t see how the previous lyrics could be read as “SUI”.

Clearly further study is needed–the next time it comes up on shuffle.

I didn’t know that Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” (“all that she wants…is another baby…she’s gone tomorrow, boy”) was about her actually wanting to have a baby. My opinion of “her” dropped by a mile when I found out.