There's music that really gets you right in the gut, there's music that gets you right in the heart, and then there's music that pretends to do both, using a clever little trick called profundis moronis (I made that up myself). Basically, there's a lot of songs out there masquerading around tricking people into thinking they're super deep and meaningful, when they're actually as profound as a pile of rocks with googly eyes.
Anyway, here's a few. Don't hate me!
1. Come Together - The Beatles
People have thought this tune is a rousing call to the world at large. They've thought it's about unity, and a literal coming together of the different races, genders and people of the world. The more crass of the lot, such as me, have considered that it could be about a certain ideal sexual situation. In truth, it was a lot more spur of the moment.
Counter culture kingpin Timothy Leary desperately needed a campaign song, and asked Lennon to compose one along the lines of his campaign slogan, which was, you guessed it, 'Come Together, Join The Party'. Lennon tried and failed to compose something politics worthy but failed. According to him, "It's gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn't come up with one."
2. Every Rose Has its Thorn - Poison
When you think cheese, this song is right up there next to Amul (sorry). I mean sure, if someone's spinning it in the car, I'll sing along. But for a lot of people, this song means business, it means heartbreak and passion and love and experience. It sure as fuck sounds like it means business, until you take a slightly closer look at the lyrics and realise ki bhai, kuch bhi ho raha hai BC. Check it -
Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has it's dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn.
Firstly, chheee. And secondly, that part about the cowboys makes no fucking sense. It's just something that fit and that they threw in cos' it sounds kind of deep. Fuck that, and fuck power ballads in general. Seriously, they all suck guys.
3. Rock You Like A hurricane - Scorpion
This tune might fill you with a deep yearning to punch a few walls and do that work-out you've been meaning to and generally just achieve all your life goals , but take a look at these lyrics first-
The bitch is hungry, she needs to tell
So give her inches and feed her well
As motivational as this song sounds, it's actually mostly about being horny and generally just wanting to get laid and doing a competent and virile job of it.
4. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road your on.
Like that line up there, the rest of this seminal song is also full of inconsistent lyricism that only seem to cancel each other out constantly. Sure, it's a good song and the lyrics seem profound at first, but there's not much actual coherence, to be honest. Plant himself has said that the lyrics came to him in a flash, and they penned it down then and there. I'm not doubting the creativity of lyrics that magically erupt in your brain, I'm just doubting their meaning. I leave you to ponder this excerpt below.
There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for
5. A-Ha - Take On Me
This falsetto-embracing tune is one of those songs that are so 80s you almost automatically grow shoulder pads and start banging stadium snares. It sounds like a song about love, lost and found, or something along those (extremely cheesy) lines. Well the song was originally called The Juicy Fruit Song, so that automatically discredits it from really being deep or meaningful in any way. I honestly wish they'd kept that name, cos' at least something about it would've been fun.
6. Got To Get You Into My Life - The Beatles
At face value, this colourful song saw a slight change from pop-norm of The Beatles, but lyrically it sounds like it's about yearning for a lover. It's actually a tribute to cannabis. No joke, McCartney himself said, "It's actually an ode to pot." Well, mystery solved, and even though it's not a revelation of epic proportions, it's still somehow pretty satisfying.
7. Bed of Roses - Bon Jovi
A bed of roses, what could be more evocative. It's a sexual, surreal, exciting image, and if you don't pay close attention to the lyrics, you might just assume the song is actually about all those things. It's really about Jon Bon Jovi feeling that very familiar feeling of being hungover, that part-painful, part-nauseous no man's land that we all know and hate so well.
8. Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
Regardless of how magnificently epic the song might feel, Chris Cornell has repeatedly said that there's not much actual meaning to the song, and he was just "playing with words for words' sake."
Thanks a lot!
9. A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procol Harum
People have thought this song is about everything ranging from a cocaine overdose to The Canterbury Tales. In reality, it's just a simple girl-leaving-boy story, like a gazillion other songs are as well. According to the songwriters, it's about a kind of drunken sexual seduction. Keith Reid apparently got the name of the song at a party, when he overheard someone saying to a woman, "You've turned a whiter shade of pale."
10. Sound of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel
Even though it's thought to be about the JFK assassination, Paul simon actually wrote it before that whole tragedy, when he was 21, so that theory's bust. He's plainly also stated that he wrote it while in a bathroom in the dark, hence the words, "hello darkness my old friend." It was originally supposed to be "Aloha darkness, my old friend."
I know, I'm as shocked as you are.
11. Na Na Hey Hey - Steam
Ok, so this one's a little complicated. The chorus is usually sung without the bright instrumentation and bells, and it's usually sung at certain kinds of funerals. While that'd obviously mean it's a sombre, deep song, the original tune was actually written in a mad rush, as the band needed a B-side track for their LP, and they just came up with this catchy tune on the fly.
Designs by Vineet Kumar.