Lyrical nitpicking

instantdeath999instantdeath999 Washed Up
edited February 2009 in History of Rock
I, personally, enjoy reading lyrics on songs and digging through them to see if there is anything deeper, intentional or not.

One I recently had is with the Beatles "Norwegian Wood".

I love lyric nitpicking.

"I wanted a girl
Or should I say, she wanted
She showed me her room
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

She asked my to stay and told me sit anywhere
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair

I sat on a rug, biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two, and then she said:
"It's time for bed,"

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn't, and crawled off to sleep in the back

And when I awoke, I was alone
This bird has flown
So I lit a fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?"

Apparently, he burnt down her house in anger. That's something I never wouldn't gotten without reading the lyrics.

There are many others that I might post later, but this is the most recent one.

What seemingly simple songs have a nice little double meaning to you?

Comments

  • QuinarvyQuinarvy Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    I think Holy Diver is about how religion is a deception. I don't know though.

    I'm just listening to it right now :D
  • supernova1324supernova1324 Headliner
    edited February 2009
    Nirvana's lyrics can be interpreted tons of different ways.
  • RunesmithRunesmith Headliner
    edited February 2009
    supernova1324;2002839 said:
    Nirvana's lyrics can be interpreted tons of different ways.
    Lyrical ambiguity is one of the reasons why I love Nirvana, The Smiths, and They Might Be Giants so much.
  • instantdeath999instantdeath999 Washed Up
    edited February 2009
    supernova1324;2002839 said:
    Nirvana's lyrics can be interpreted tons of different ways.
    Oh yeah, I have a lot of fun interpreting his lyrics... I often get the feeling he had no idea what they meant, either.
  • warthogdbwarthogdb Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    instantdeath999;2002880 said:
    Oh yeah, I have a lot of fun interpreting his lyrics... I often get the feeling he had no idea what they meant, either.
    I think that a lot of artist choose lyrics because they sound cool and fit well into the rhythm and melody. Even folks like Dylan admit that many lyrics don't really have a meaning. He even joked about how people would interpret them. Of course folks like us who frequent these forums are all too ready to give things a lot more weight and meaning than they probably deserve.
  • instantdeath999instantdeath999 Washed Up
    edited February 2009
    warthogdb;2002971 said:
    I think that a lot of artist choose lyrics because they sound cool and fit well into the rhythm and melody. Even folks like Dylan admit that many lyrics don't really have a meaning. He even joked about how people would interpret them. Of course folks like us who frequent these forums are all too ready to give things a lot more weight and meaning than they probably deserve.
    Which I don't think is a bad thing. There's a term that refers to interpreting something different than an artists original intention, which I think is perfectly fine. Many novels can be interpreted in off the wall ways that the author may have never thought of as well.
  • warthogdbwarthogdb Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    instantdeath999;2002974 said:
    Which I don't think is a bad thing. There's a term that refers to interpreting something different than an artists original intention, which I think is perfectly fine. Many novels can be interpreted in off the wall ways that the author may have never thought of as well.
    Point well taken. I just get tired of the way critics and the music snobs at large try to elevate the content or apply some meaning or message that probably wasn't intended by the artist to make themselves feel more important. Of course I also get frustrated with folks who don't dig in and try to connect in some way. All that should really should matter is if it has some personal meaning and moves the listener in some way. "I know it's only rock and roll but I like it."
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    instantdeath999;2002749 said:
    I, personally, enjoy reading lyrics on songs and digging through them to see if there is anything deeper, intentional or not.

    One I recently had is with the Beatles "Norwegian Wood".
    Huh huh huh huh you said wood.
  • SquaretrianglesSquaretriangles Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    "'Cause in this ever-changing world in which we live in...."

    Makes me cringe every time. :rolleyes:
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Personally I'm sick of the rather modern differentiation between 'poetry' and 'lyrics'. I mean the name lyric comes from a poetic form...
    People need to respect that a lot more.
  • Alright_ComputerAlright_Computer Butt Neck
    edited February 2009
    I don't think songwriters should rely on rhymes too much (when you're relying on terribad rhymes to keep your song going) but good rhymes can be a beautiful thing. In general, though, if I can't think of a rhyme, I won't rhyme that line and I'll just continue on with the song. Yay for flexibility?
  • RunesmithRunesmith Headliner
    edited February 2009
    Alright_Computer;2006006 said:
    I don't think songwriters should rely on rhymes too much (when you're relying on terribad rhymes to keep your song going) but good rhymes can be a beautiful thing. In general, though, if I can't think of a rhyme, I won't rhyme that line and I'll just continue on with the song. Yay for flexibility?
    I'm guessing you are not a fan of RHCP? Only Anthony Kiedis would attempt to rhyme "johnson" with "Wisconsin".
  • Alright_ComputerAlright_Computer Butt Neck
    edited February 2009
    Runesmith;2006035 said:
    I'm guessing you are not a fan of RHCP? Only Anthony Kiedis would attempt to rhyme "johnson" with "Wisconsin".
    Well, humorous lyrics are my favorite kind, hell, I have a Beck avatar. Only Beck would rhyme "ambulance drivers" with "hypnotizers" and "vitamin D" with "loveseat". It's more the more forced, cheesy rhymes, like rhyming "life" with "strife" or something terribad like that.

    Edit with examples! From MMMBop:

    You have so many relationships in this life,
    But only one or two will last.
    You go through all the pain and strife,
    Then you turn your back and they're gone so fast.

    Oh, so hold on to the ones who really care,
    In the end they'll be the only ones there.
    When you get old and start losing your hair,
    Can you tell me who will still care?

    Plant a seed, plant a flower, Plant a rose,
    You can plant any one of those.
    Keep planting to find out which one grows.
    It's a secret no one knows.

    I have a whole notebook of lyrics like this from when I was about 13 or so. It made me facepalm when I realized how terrible my lyrics actually were.
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Rhyme is the adjunct of a barbaric Christian tradition, it is horrible in all forms of poetry.
  • instantdeath999instantdeath999 Washed Up
    edited February 2009
    Lolicat;2010559 said:
    Rhyme is the adjunct of a barbaric Christian tradition, it is horrible in all forms of poetry.
    I don't think rhyme is a bad thing at all, if done cleverly, but I agree that when it's forced it's pretty bad.

    I've only written a few songs, but I can say it is difficult to rhyme cleverly, so I mostly avoid it.

    That said, I do hate when rhyming is considered an element to poetry.
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    instantdeath999;2010641 said:
    I don't think rhyme is a bad thing at all, if done cleverly, but I agree that when it's forced it's pretty bad.

    I've only written a few songs, but I can say it is difficult to rhyme cleverly, so I mostly avoid it.

    That said, I do hate when rhyming is considered an element to poetry.
    Rhyme is only ok as a deviation now and then, a rhyme structure greatly inhibits poetry, at least to my ears.
  • Alright_ComputerAlright_Computer Butt Neck
    edited February 2009
    Lolicat;2010662 said:
    Rhyme is only ok as a deviation now and then, a rhyme structure greatly inhibits poetry, at least to my ears.
    This.
  • RainbowMistRainbowMist Rising Star
    edited February 2009
    Alright_Computer;2006057 said:


    I have a whole notebook of lyrics like this from when I was about 13 or so. It made me facepalm when I realized how terrible my lyrics actually were.
    Well to be fair the members of Hanson were also around 13 when those lyrics were written (although I'm not trying to argue that makes them good)

    Anyway, as a rule if I'm hearing a song on the radio for the first time and I can guess the next line, it gets filed under "bad song"
  • Alright_ComputerAlright_Computer Butt Neck
    edited February 2009
    RainbowMist;2012805 said:
    Well to be fair the members of Hanson were also around 13 when those lyrics were written (although I'm not trying to argue that makes them good)

    Anyway, as a rule if I'm hearing a song on the radio for the first time and I can guess the next line, it gets filed under "bad song"
    I realize that. I also realize that they have better lyrics (still not very good though). I was just using them as an example.

    More on-topic: Ambiguous lyrics FTW. If your song has a clear meaning, then it doesn't provoke thought, and lyrics IMO are supposed to provoke thought, even if they're really about something trivial as so many of my lyrics are.
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