The worst lyrics thread got me thinking about how different people interpret songs in their own unique ways. I would never say anyone was wrong in their interpretations, just different from mine.
My son tells me that Outkast’s Bombs Over Baghdad is about safe sex. Don’t pull the trigger unless you plan to bang
Don’t even bang unless you plan to hit something. means don’t have unprotected sex unless you want a baby. And the repeated line Bob your head, ragtop.
Bob your head, ragtop
is a call for all guys to wear condoms.
My son, however, got nothing for Bible music and electric revival though.
I had a friend who was convinced Love Her Madly by The Doors was about anal sex. Don’t you love her as she’s walking out the door really means “do her in her backdoor.”
I’ve got a song theory too. I don’t really think Chuck Berry is singing about silver bells on a string.
I must’ve fallen off of a turnip truck. I just found out that Melanie’s Brand New Key isn’t entirely about roller skating and John Lennon probably had something rather specific in mind when he wrote Please Please Me.
I always prefer to interpret Lou Reed’s Waiting for the Man as a gay song about a guy waiting for his (male) date. Because heroin is just depressing to think about, mmkay. I like the song much better when I can think that the “26 dollars, in my hand” is for him to take his sweetheart out to dinner, maybe a movie? And that’s also the reason he denys he’s chasing the women around.
It works if I don’t pay too much attention to the lyrics.
Ah, I miss old Petrucchi lyrics. I really don’t know how many hours I’ve spent attempting to visualise his fuzzy-claused mixed similic metaphors and bizarre imagery.
…I miss all of DT’s old lyrics. Take this short section of Metropolis Pt.1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (Images and Words, 1992).
The night shed a tear
To tell her her fear and her sorrow and pain
She’ll never outgrow
It has inverted syntax (I believe that’s the right term) and, apart from the last word, amphibrachal meter. And the music changes direction halfway through a line as well…
Compare with the first verse of Honor Thy Father (Train of Thought, 2003).
We’re taught unconditional love
That blood is thicker than water
That a parent’s world would revolve
Always around their son or their daughter
That is not a proper lyric! If I can punctuate it into standard, literary English*, then it is not a lyric. It is… well, I can’t think of the proper term right now and I don’t know what to whack into Google, but it’s just not cricket.