Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Top 10 Songs With Misheard Lyrics
I'm not having much luck with Top 10 topics lately, but I'm hanging in there! Make sure to check out Kate's and Tiff's blogs to see their Top 10's for the week.
One of the first things I have always done when I bought an album/cassette/CD is open the jacket and read the lyrics. With the digital age and downloadable songs, I just go to one of the myriad of online lyric sites and do the same. It's just part of my process. If the album was important enough for me to buy, then I make it a point to make sure I know the lyrics beforehand. The bands I prefer are all pretty good at enunciating, so I'm not bad about understand lyrics, but rather misinterpreting them.
Most of the music I prefer is pretty cryptic in the first place, so lyrical meaning is open to interpretation and, if the artist isn't clear on what they meant (and most of them can't pinpoint specifics anyway), then the song is open to personal interpretation, or thus is my opinion. So I'm not really going to do a Top 10 of misheard lyrics, but rather a list of songs who's meaning I've either screwed up or the rest of the world has. And warning, it's probably going to be Duran-centric because that's pretty much the only music I ever listen to anyway.
LOVE WILL TEAR US APART - JOY DIVISION
I absolutely love this song, but honestly, can anybody understand the lyrics without intervention? This is one of those rare "can't understand a bloody word" type songs.
THE REFLEX - DURAN DURAN
OK, I was 14 when this song came out and incredibly immature, so I would have never guessed that this song was about Simon's peen, but that's not the first thing that comes to mind with this song. The lyric "I sold the Renoir and the TV set" was my Achilles heel when it came to this song, so much so that I had to ask my mother what a "Renoir" was. She explained that it was a "kind of painting" and I was OK with that answer. This was obviously before my art years really took off, but hey, I'm more of the Monet type anyway.
SUBCULTURE - NEW ORDER
I guess I never really thought too much about it until Justine pointed it out to me, I just thought the one lyric "you'll realize you can't shaft without someone else" was just a throw in and not the whole theme of the song. It has always been a song about the dangers of isolating yourself too much and being lonely to me. The song meaning still hasn't changed for me, but now I find that my eyebrow raises a bit more when I get to that lyric!
BIG THING - DURAN DURAN
Simon Le Bon has this way of making everything sound sexual even when it's not and this song kind of epitomizes that. It's one of their more suggestive tunes but, according to the lyric master himself, it's not a sexual song but rather about the "corporate monster". You be the judge:
THE END OF THE WORLD - REM
Again, like Love Will Tear Us Apart, this is one of those songs where printed lyrical intervention is a necessity. Seriously, have they ever performed this song live and, if so, did Michael just randomly make up new lyrics? I'm not even sure I've seen the lyrics printed the same twice in a row!
MICHAEL, YOU'VE GOT A LOT TO ANSWER FOR - DURAN DURAN
This song was written before Michael Hutchence died, but it became an anthem for him after the fact. Most people don't know that he and Simon Le Bon were best friends, especially in the years leading up to Michael's death, which just adds to the irony of the song for me. I found a very interesting fan video for this song.
JUST LIKE HEAVEN - THE CURE
For some reason, a lot of people don't understand most of the lyrics of this song, although I've never had any trouble with it. Since it's my favorite song ever (in the non-Duran category, of course), then I figured I should include it.
I DON'T WANT YOU LOVE - DURAN DURAN
Since Simon does all the writing, finding out that this song was supposed to be from John Taylor to one of his many exes was a bit of a shocker. Simon was still credited as the lyric writer, but I wonder how the initial lyrical conversation about this song ever started in the first place!
THE UNION OF THE SNAKE - DURAN DURAN
I've read comment after comment by Simon about what this song is actually about, but none of them still make sense. He can wax poetical quite a bit anyway, but this one just defies explanation for me. It's a great video though, so does it really matter?
ELECTION DAY - ARCADIA
Obviously, when Duran temporarily split in 85, I went the way of Simon and preferred Arcadia to The Power Station (and still do to this day because it sounds like goth Duran). One of my favorite songs from the So Red The Rose album was Election Day, but honestly, what does the song mean? I've heard Simon's explanation, but I'm not buying it. But oh well, the video shows my absolute favorite Simon look incarnation, so I don't care that much.
To be honest, I could probably come up with another dozen or so Duran songs, but I'll stop here. I also (yet again), screwed up this week's theme, but I figure it's better that I participate and modify the topic versus not participate at all, right?