Songs with Clever/Darker/Unsuspecting Lyrics - Patrick Bateman: You like Huey Lewis and the News?

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Cardenio

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I really get a kick out of hearing a pop song that I've heard countless times, and then realizing the song lyrics have a far deeper theme/meaning and that most casual listeners will never notice. On occasions when these songs do get played I'll sometimes mention it casually to others and many seem to not realize it. When I pick up clever lyrics that makes the song all the more enjoyable to me. I often develop far greater appreciation for the songs when I find the lyrics to be as memorable as the instrumentals itself. I also get bored of songs that have fairly lame lyrics QUEEN was a great sounding band but jeez Freddy Mercury was a mediocre songwriter Here's a few examples:

Hey Ya - Outkast
Outkast in my humble opinion was the greatest hip-hop act. Their songs were insanely catchy, they made incredible music videos which still meant something back then even if MTV by then had stopped playing them. And splitting lead vocals between Andre 3000's harmonies and Big Boi's rap was just a brilliant move. Hey Ya was their biggest and without a doubt most Bubblegum Pop song. The duo clearly knew they had a earworm hit on their hands which is why they the lyrics about a ill-fated relationship take the background. It makes me laugh that a song little kids were dancing to in the 2000s contained the lyrics "Don't want to meet your Momma, just want to make you cum-a." Andre even says "Ya'll don't want to hear me, you just wanna dance." admitting that the infectious beat of the song overrides any attempt to make a serious statement about relationships where people stay together out of sheer convenience.

Jenny (867-5309) - Tommy Tutone
A jukebox staple, and it's such a happy song I think the majority of people are unaware of what the true hilarious meaning of the song. Why would Jenny's phone number be on a wall? "For a good time call?" Obviously Jenny is a hooker and the song is about a guy getting the confidence he needs to just pay a hooker for sex. The band went on to deny this and I'm certain they only did as to avoid it getting removed from Airplay in more conservative regions of America. I still remember this dumb Cingular commercial 2 decades later as if anyone would want random calls throughout the day of bored people wondering what happens if you call the title of the song.

Pearl of the Quarter - Steely Dan
And here's the real reason I've made this thread, so I have a place to sperg out on Steely Dan songs. The perfectionist duo and their ensemble band of session musicians made the very best of Yacht Rock music. Just the brilliant Jazz-Rock alone would have made the band great but Donald Fagen & Walter Becker (RIP) backed their music up with brilliant lyrics. Growing up my parents played Steely Dan in the car on loop and I've heard these songs all throughout my life. And yet even today I'll hear them again and come to realize the true meaning of the song. For me Pearl of the Quarter was simply a song of a poor sap singing his heart out to a girl who's not interested. Perhaps some French lessons (vous-voulez = you want?) would have helped me to realize that the titular "Pearl" like "Jenny" is a hooker. The visual imagery of the narrator giving candy & trying to woo her with million dollar words is now just insanely hilarious to me and yet the song still maintains a sad beauty behind it.
 
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Grub

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I heard this song on the radio the other day for the first time in a long time. It got stuck in my head so I learned how to play it on guitar. I'd never really paid attention to the lyrics before. It's a pretty bleak song about a nigger repeating the cycle of niggerishness and ending up in a shitty nigger life despite best efforts.
 

Cardenio

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I heard this song on the radio the other day for the first time in a long time. It got stuck in my head so I learned how to play it on guitar. I'd never really paid attention to the lyrics before. It's a pretty bleak song about a nigger repeating the cycle of niggerishness and ending up in a shitty nigger life despite best efforts.
It seriously fucks with my head that vocalist Tracy Chapman is a woman. Her singing voice is so deep. I had to find an interview and when in normal conversation she sounds like an ordinary woman.
Also she's smart, fuck social media.
 
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Apochrypha

𝖈𝖊𝖗𝖙𝖎𝖋𝖎𝖊𝖉 𝖆𝖚𝖙𝖎𝖘𝖙
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It seriously fucks with my head that vocalist Tracy Chapman us a woman. Her singing voice is so deep. I had to find an interview and when in normal conversation she sounds like an ordinary woman.
Also she's smart, fuck social media.
I remember being a kid and listening to a Tracy Chapman CD my mother had put in and going, "That's a woman??"

I thought I was going crazy.
 

CWCissey

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Bye Bye Badman-The Stone Roses is my go to.

A jaunty jangly song that's about students getting beaten up by the police in 1968 Paris.
 

GooglePuppet

You will never be women.
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I can give you an example of the opposite: Simon & Garfunkel's Cecilia.

Everyone thinks this song is about a guy getting cucked by a cheating slut, but it's actually about the creative writing process and trying to find inspiration. Cecilia is a symbol of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, and Cecilia's love is meant to represent being in a creative stride.
 

sadbird

I cry every time
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Probably Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden. Overall it's just so upbeat. But it's about the artist losing their gf to a car accident where she hit a lemon tree, and all the mixed emotions that come with grief. Listening to it enough times though you start to get it, and it's interesting how music can change your idea of what sadness is rhythmically.
 

Least Concern

Pretend I have a Cryptoland pfp like everyone else
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I'm pretty sure I've ranted about this on the Farms before, but John Lennon's Imagine strikes me as a song about imagining how there's peace on Earth because all of the elements of human civilization no longer exist. Humanity is in harmony because they are no longer identifiable individuals but identical entities working together for a universal goal, as we see ants in an anthill.

And mark me up as another person who didn't know Tracy Chapman was a woman before today.
 

Sea Urchin

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I'm pretty sure I've ranted about this on the Farms before, but John Lennon's Imagine strikes me as a song about imagining how there's peace on Earth because all of the elements of human civilization no longer exist. Humanity is in harmony because they are no longer identifiable individuals but identical entities working together for a universal goal, as we see ants in an anthill.
That would be pretty smart and make the song much more intriguing, but I'm pretty sure the lyrics are just John Lennon being a dirty hippie man of his time.

Also, it took me way too long to realize that Nirvana's Territorial Pissings is probably about Illegal Immigration from the POV of a border hopper.
 

R00T

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I really like this song from defunct Manhattan ska band The Homecoming Queens because it’s about a man taking his chances at romance or getting cold feet. The song itself is sort of blatant in terms of lyrics
“Taking the Lexington Local Line downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge. All 13.4 miles, why waste your time?”
I mean what else do you do at a bridge? But what really sells it is the saxophone solo in the breakdown which highlights the emotion of the song. It continues to repeat the solo while every other instrument begins to break out with new expressive solos while the saxophone just stays in the same place. While all the other horns drop out the sax gets this melancholy tag at the end, reflecting the turmoil someone feels at the indecisiveness in taking that chance. It’s one of those songs that definitely hits me on another level.
 

General Disarray

The world is a curse it will kill if you let it
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I'd say the entirety of Cheap Trick's first album qualifies. They touch on child molesters (Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School), incel-styled violence (Ballad of TV Violence), and being a paid escort (He's A Whore). On later albums a notable and fantastic song is "This House is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems)" - the title says it all.

LOVE this band, so underrated.

 

Agent Abe Caprine

Still peacocking your mom.
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Jump by Van Halen is about committing suicide. Suicide Solution by Ozzy Osbourne is actually not about suicide, it's about Bon Scott's alcoholism.