Songs that Have the Strangest Meanings and Origins

Although it's probably not given much thought by anybody, there are some songs out there with bizarre and unexpected meanings or double-meanings

The Top Ten

1 The Final Countdown - Europe The Final Countdown - Europe Cover Art

I think this is your best list under the music category. I would never have thought the Final Countdown is a song about Armageddon, basically. The title could be better, though. "Songs That Have Different Meanings Than You Think" doesn't have a great ring to it, but is probably more fitting. Also, I don't know if it's actually possible to be impressed with something but disappointed at the same time, but that's kind of what I'm thinking about the lack of Bon Jovi. Weird.

The lack of Bon Jovi was intentional. I mean, yes, there's a lot to pick from- Burning Bridges, Livin' On a Prayer, Always and lots more fit the description, and I wouldn't mind if you submitted those, as long as you spelled out why they fit the list, but I wanted to start without Bon Jovi for once.

The Final Countdown has a double meaning. It both is about the launch of a rocket ship and the coming of the Apocalypse. I don't think there's anything online the emphasizes this, but if you play it on Spotify, you get some facts about the song.

2 Layla - Derek & The Dominos Layla - Derek & The Dominos Cover Art

You probably didn't know this, but Layla isn't her actual name. This classic rock song is actually about Pattie Boyd. George Harrison's wife. Layla is basically Eric Clapton's code name for Boyd. The funny thing is Eric Clapton actually eventually married Pattie Boyd.

3 Every Breath You Take - The Police Every Breath You Take - The Police Cover Art

A classic love song, right? No. Not really, much like the song Always, by Bon Jovi, Every Breath You Take is about some ruthless stalker. You might figure that out given the chorus is about some dude watching some chick.

4 Slide - The Goo Goo Dolls Slide - The Goo Goo Dolls Cover Art

Yet another song that sounds like your typical love song, Slide is anything but so. Slide is actually about a teenage girl, raised in a Catholic environment, who has become pregnant. The girl and her boyfriend are debating about having an abortion or getting married.

This is such a romantic thing to talk about right. This would be an absolutely perfect topic to bring up on a first date. I'm sure your potential girlfriend would really approve of this...

5 Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day Cover Art

The video for this song made many people believe it had hidden connotations about some war. Actually, however, the song was written in memory of lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong's father, who died when he was a child.

6 Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind Cover Art

Even though this is a pretty upbeat song, and you probably think it's some song about some lucky dude or something, this song has lyrics that hint to crystal meth addiction:
"The sky was gold, it was rose
I was taking sips of it through my nose
And I wish I could get back there, someplace back there
Smiling in the pictures you would take
Doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break."

I wouldn't call it a hint if it actually mentions crystal meth explicitly.

7 I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats Cover Art

If you take the song based on the title most of us would agree Mondays suck. But, I Don't Like Mondays is actually about a teenager named Brenda Ann Spencer, who went on a shooting spree at an elementary school in San Diego in 1979. The lines "I want to shoot the whole day down, down, down" kind of blew the cover.

Well there is actually a deep meaning behind this song

8 Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams Cover Art

Even though much like I Don't Like Mondays, Summer of '69 has a misleading title that is a timestamp, this song is actually about sex. Bryan Adams admitted it. The funny thing is if you do the math, Bryan Adams was 10 in '69

I’ll never be able to look at this song the same after seeing... and it does have “69” in it so that says more.

9 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles Cover Art

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is kind of like the inverse of "semi-charmed life." Lots of people infer that it was about LSD (which kind of makes sense because if you take away the words "in", "the" and "with" it'd be an acronym for LSD,) but Lennon said Lucy In the Sky was about a painting his son Julian made featuring his friend Lucy...in the sky with diamonds. Go figure.

10 Hotel California - Eagles Hotel California - Eagles Cover Art

This one may seem like a song about travelers checking into a luxurious hotel, but it's actually about greed in the music industry. Another go figure.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave...

The Contenders

11 Leaving Heaven - Eminem Leaving Heaven - Eminem Cover Art

In this song Eminem reflects on how his success has affected him as a person and also brings up his father who abandoned him as a child not my first pick for an Eminem song but I guess it kind of fits?

12 Sign of the Times - Harry Styles Sign of the Times - Harry Styles Cover Art

I already included this song on a list like this one. Harry Styles said it was from the perspective of a mother dying in childbirth.

This is quite the understatement, but that's messed up, to say the least. Who makes a song about a stillbirth?

I don't know but this song isn't about a still birth it's about the mother dying not the baby.

That's what a stillbirth is. (I might be thinking of a miscarriage. I really don't know and have more pressing things to do than check that out.)

13 Perfect - Selena Gomez Perfect - Selena Gomez Cover Art

A song where Selena is cheated on and begins to fantasize about her lovers mistress. I guess it doesn't quite fit with the pattern of the other songs given that the meaning is not hidden or anything but I feel like it still belongs on this list? Also that title is so unfitting given the subject.

Yeah, it still fits the list. (I REALLY wish she did some more brainstorming in regards to the album cover though...)

14 Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi Cover Art

Okay, time to bring in the classic rock. If you take this song for its tone, it's the cheery trademark song of Bon Jovi, but it's actually about Desmond Child (I think,) and his wife, going through desperate times.

Sorry but unfortunately I don't think Bon Jovi are technically counted as classic rock. (I hate that term though).

15 August 7, 4:15 - Jon Bon Jovi August 7, 4:15 - Jon Bon Jovi Cover Art

August 7, 4:15 is easily the song with the most messed up origin ever. It's a good song, but its origin is the murder mystery of Jon's tour manager's daughter's mysterious and abrupt death. It doesn't have a "hidden" meaning, although it's hard to figure this song out of you don't know its story. The words "death," "dead," "murder," and so on are actually never used.

16 Centerfold - J. Geils Band Centerfold - J. Geils Band Cover Art

A song about a guy seeing that his once high school crush is now in playboy magazine and wonders whether to buy it or just let his fantasies be.

17 Blown Away - Carrie Underwood Blown Away - Carrie Underwood Cover Art

This makes me wonder what Carrie Underwood did to earn her spot on "Music Artists Who are Terrible People." (I'm sure I got that list's title wrong, but you know which one I'm talking about.)

I suspect probably nothing substantial. On a side note is is it hypocritical that I hate "Before he Cheats" because it's about trashing her boyfriends car but I like this song?

About a girl who poisons her abusive father (hidden by by a tornado metaphor).

18 Always - Bon Jovi Always - Bon Jovi Cover Art

I doubt this one is unknown but as I said under Every Breath You Take, Always is about a stalker.

19 Funhouse - Pink Funhouse - Pink Cover Art

A song about not fitting into a box and trying to get out I would not have added this honestly there are so many songs about similar topics that’s not to say this one is bad though.

20 Downtown - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Downtown - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Cover Art

I wanted to have at least one song that was weird without being messed up. This in a way is actually not strange at all it's kind of a brag song like far too much hip hop. The thing is it's about buying a used moped. Not exactly a very typical topic.

21 The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga Cover Art

About her grandfather dying. This honestly is not as bad as sounds though it's more about the realization of how great his life had been and how he died happy.

22 Video Games - Lana Del Rey Video Games - Lana Del Rey Cover Art

It sounds like an ode to them but it's more sad about her boyfriend seems to love video games more than he loves her.

23 Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men Cover Art

A conversation between a mourning woman and her lovers ghost (I guess it's more the framing that is unusual you could be more general and just say it's a song about missing someone.)

24 Some Nights - Fun. Some Nights - Fun. Cover Art

From the perspective of a soldier missing home and possibly starting to lose his mind.

25 Come with Me Now - Kongos Come with Me Now - Kongos Cover Art

It's kind of hard to say what it's about but to me it seems to be about the narrator being possessed by a demon. At least the lyrics "I tried to sell my soul last night..." and "far away I heard him say Come with Me Now" give me that idea.

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