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Questions tagged [song-lyrics]

For questions about the literary meaning or significance of the lyrics of a song.

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What is meant by 'dancing on this'?

Move fast baby, don't be slow Step aside, reload, time to go I can't seem to control All this rage that's inside me Hold it fast, they've been dancing on this Branded by fire ...
2
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1answer
254 views

“I've seen your flag on the marble arch”

From Leonard Cohen's "Halleluj'ah": Baby, I've been here before -- I know this room, I've walked this floor: I used to live alone before I knew you. I've seen your flag on the ...
4
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1answer
105 views

What's the meaning of a pink carnation, as mentioned in these songs?

Several songs mention pink carnations. "A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)" by Marty Robbins A white sport coat and a pink carnation I'm all dressed up for the dance A white sport coat ...
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Who are the people referenced in “You Don't Belong” by Bad Religion?

The song "You Don't Belong" by Bad Religion obviously references the SoCal punk scene they were a part of. In it, a number of people are mentioned by name. Missy was a teen blue video star, Tom ...
3
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1answer
56 views

What's the meaning of the line “9 Parts of Desire” in this song?

There is a partially Hindi (there is only a couple of lines in Hindi; rest is in English) song titled as "9 Parts of Desire". Here is the YouTube link to that song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
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28 views

Why is the folk song Cutty Wren included in Arnold Wesker's play Chips With Everything?

Arnold Wesker's play Chips with Everything is an examination of class attitudes in Britain through the window of the armed forces. In one scene a group of conscripts sing the peculiar English folk ...
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220 views

Is “Fitter Happier” by Radiohead referring to the perceived futility and “entrapment” of the middle-class suburbia lifestyle?

"Fitter Happier" by Radiohead has the following lyrics: Fitter, happier More productive Comfortable Not drinking too much Regular exercise at the gym, three days a week Getting on better ...
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0answers
237 views

What does 'gonna send a flood' mean in “This Is Me”?

I was recently listening to the One Voice Children's Choir's cover of "This Is Me" by Keala Settle: https://youtube.com/watch?v=uhzi7Shi2H0 Part of the chorus goes like this: When the sharpest ...
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Why did the main character in “Hand of Fate” by the Rolling Stones believe that he was going to prison?

In The Hand of Fate by The Rolling Stones, the main character gets in a gunfight with a man over his ex-wife. He killed the guy, claiming that he was just defending his girlfriend against her violent, ...
3
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1answer
81 views

Why did Bob Dylan choose Highway 61 for “Highway 61 Revisited”?

Highway 61 is an actual highway that goes north from New Orleans and ends up in Minnesota. Why did Dylan choose this particular highway, and how does it affect how we understand the song lyrics?
2
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1answer
276 views

Why does Cat Stevens's Moonshadow talk about losing legs and eyes?

Cat Stevens's Moonshadow talks about losing body parts: And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land Oh if I ever lose my hands, oh if.... I won’t have to work no more And if ...
6
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2answers
114 views

Does Rush's “Tom Sawyer” promote an anti-religious view?

Rush's Tom Sawyer includes the following line: No, his mind is not for rent To any God or government Always hopeful yet discontent He knows changes aren't permanent But change is Is this ...
7
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3answers
220 views

What are the 'holy' and 'broken' Hallelujahs?

The third verse of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen goes like this: You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name But if I did well really what's it to you There's a blaze of light ...
4
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1answer
300 views

Why are the U2 CDs named after “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience” by William Blake?

U2 has an album named "Songs of Innocence" and a second, more recent album named "Songs of Experience". These appear to at least be named after the William Blake poetry. What is the relationship ...
7
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1answer
229 views

In “Close Every Door”, why does 'for I know I shall find' change to the plural the second time?

In perhaps the most famous song of the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, "Close Every Door", we see these lyrics: Close every door to me Keep those I love from me Children of Israel ...
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96 views

Meaning of “trente-six à soixante-huit chandelles” in Jean Ferrat's Ma France

The French singer-songwriter Jean Ferrat (1930 – 2010) wrote a number of controversial songs. One of his most beautiful songs, Ma France (1969), was banned from the radio for two years. It's last ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Why is Kroc spelt with a K in Mark Knopfler's “Boom Like That”?

The song "Boom Like That" contains the following verse: Or my name is not Kroc, it's Kroc with a K Like crocodile but not spelt that way now (The lyrics are available online). Why is Kroc spelt ...
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0answers
57 views

What is the meaning of “Won't Tell” by Babes in Toyland?

Babes In Toyland has long been one of my favorite rock bands for the raw power of the music and vocals, but I've always felt as though there is a complexity to the lyrics of "Won't Tell", compared to, ...
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1answer
51 views

Why is the narrator “free falling”?

Why is the narrator of "Free fallin'" by Tom Petty free falling? Yeah I'm free, free fallin' Why is the narrator "free falling"? Does "free falling" imply some form of destructive freedom or loss ...
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1answer
94 views

How is the narrator “learning to fly” without wings?

The chorus to Learning to Fly by Tom Petty is as follows: I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings Coming down is the hardest thing In what sense is the narrator "learning to fly" without ...
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1answer
56 views

Why does pressure “put people on streets”?

Pressure pushing down on me Pressing down on you no man ask for Under pressure that brings a building down Splits a family in two Puts people on streets In what sense does pressure "put ...
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3answers
219 views

Does this phrase deliberately sound like “blackjack”?

The third verse and chorus of "Do It Again" by Steely Dan is as follows: Now you swear and kick and beg us that you're not a gamblin' man; Then you find you're back in Vegas with a handle in your ...
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3answers
2k views

What does Jack do again in the Steely Dan song?

"Do it again" by Steely Dan starts with the following verse: In the mornin' you go gunnin' for the man who stole your water And you fire till he is done in but they catch you at the border And ...
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1answer
240 views

Why did Robert Plant call “Stairway to Heaven” a “song of hope”?

In some live performances (e.g. from the album "The Song Remains the Same", which was recorded live in 1973), Robert Plant stated that "I think that [Stairway to Heaven] is a song of hope." Why did he ...
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1answer
84 views

Why the breathing in Snowgoons Get Off the Ground

At around 3:10 in Snowgoons Get Off the Ground (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yih_bMc5B7o), Ruste Juxx starts rapping. Why is his portion accompanied by heavy breathing? Here are the associated ...
3
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2answers
60 views

What does “I'm with the Switzerland wolves we bout to spit some jewels” mean?

In Snowgoons "Get Off the Ground" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yih_bMc5B7o) there's the following line: I'm with the Switzerland wolves we bout to spit some jewels What does that mean?
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1answer
40 views

Why does the narrator ask to “give me some time” in “Brand New Day” by Ryan Star?

From Brand New Day by Ryan Star contains the following lyrics: I stayed in one place for too long Gotta get on the run again I saw the one thing that I want Hell bent, get outta bed I'm ...
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0answers
86 views

When was young Cosette's bedtime?

While the song "Come to Me" was probably not intended as a treatise on astronomical timekeeping or 19th-century French child-rearing, some of Fantine's lines (taken at face value) fit together for a ...
4
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2answers
182 views

What is the nature of the friendship in Don Henley's “My Thanksgiving”?

The first verse My Thanksgiving by Don Henley (from Inside Job) reads as follows: A lot of things have happened Since the last time we spoke Some of them are funny Some of 'em ain't no joke ...
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1answer
1k views

What's the joke with “Best of Queen” in Good Omens?

A recurring joke in Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens is that all the music tapes in Crowley's car are songs from Queen, which is apparently a British rock band. From near the start of the book: ...
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103 views

What does the chorus of “Generations” by Shalsheles have to do with the first verse?

In "Generations", from Shalsheles V (and released as a single), the first verse is about a Holocaust survivor with his great grandson. It's Friday night, peace descends Shalom Aleichem, their ...
1
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1answer
361 views

Why does “Ode to Joy”/Beethoven's Symphony #9 start with a reference to Greek mythology and only mention God towards the end?

The text of Beethoven's 9th Symphony was largely "borrowed" from the poem "Ode to Joy" by Friedrich Schiller. The text of the first verse of the poem (second verse of Beethoven's 9th symphony) is as ...
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74 views

Why did they meet the “ghost of Caesar” or go on the “road to Mandalay” in “Long Road out of Eden”?

The lyrics to Long Road out of Eden by the Eagles are as follows: Moon shinin' down through the palms Shadows movin' on the sand Somebody whisperin' the twenty-third psalm Dusty rifle in his ...
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0answers
238 views

What does “Rebirth of Slick” mean when it quotes “On the Subway”?

Digable Planets' Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like That) ("Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)," 1993, track 06, released as a single in 1992) (genius.com link) quotes the "blink blink" passages ...
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54 views

What's all the blinking about?

On the Subway ("The Last Poets," 1970, track 02) (genius.com link) concludes with shouting the word "blink" a lot, and I'm not sure what it means. On the surface level, I figure it might be ...
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62 views

Why does “Nighttime Birds” associate night with warmth?

The lyrics to Nighttime Birds, the title track from the album of the same name by The Gathering, are as follows: Their ways are open they spread as their wings they want to be certain of a ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Why is “On Most Surfaces” titled the way that it is given that only one surface appears in the song itself?

Loosely related: Are there two separate narrators in "On Most Surfaces" by The Gathering? The song On Most Surfaces by The Gathering (on their Nighttime Birds album) has the following ...
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1answer
80 views

Are there two separate narrators in “On Most Surfaces” by The Gathering?

On Most Surfaces By The Gathering (from their Nighttime Birds album) has the following lyrics: The frost hits me in the eye and wakes me These are blurry winters and I cannot see I walk into ...
3
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1answer
139 views

Does Hotel California imply that people aren't capable of changing?

I've heard a variety of interpretations of Hotel California by The Eagles: the "high life" in Los Angeles, a journey from innocence to experience, greed in the music industry, drug addiction. (...
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1answer
172 views

Why are “Heaven” and “Las Vegas” contrasted in “Heaven or Las Vegas”?

While the Cocteau Twins are known for their mumbled lyrics (to the point that there's sometimes debate about exactly what's being sung), the song Heaven or Las Vegas (from the album of the same name) ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Is Don Henley equating himself with upper-middle-class suburbia in “The Boys of Summer”?

The Boys of Summer by Don Henley contains the following lyrics: Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac A little voice inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never ...
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1answer
132 views

What are the “hands of love” in Exit?

The song Exit (from The Joshua Tree by U2) repeatedly refers to "the hands of love." The full lyrics are below: You know he got the cure But then he went astray He used to stay awake To drive ...
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1answer
96 views

“Hat full of napalm” or “Heart full of napalm”?

Here is a youtube link the song in question Search and Destroy, released by the Stooges on the album Raw Power. The web tells me the line is: I'm a streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of ...
4
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1answer
722 views

What is the Myth of Fingerprints?

In Paul Simon's album Graceland there is a song All Around the World. This song has a repeating theme in the verses: This is always some variation of: There was no doubt about it, It was the myth ...
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0answers
161 views

What motivated the choice of those folk songs for the soundtrack of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”? [closed]

While writing the answer for What existing songs, if any, was the soundtrack of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” based on? on SFF, I learned that the songs that had any lyrics were mostly (if not all of ...
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5answers
4k views

What is the significance of the words of the prophets being written on the subway wall?

The fifth verse of "The Sound of Silence" runs thusly: And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming And ...
6
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1answer
428 views

Is the song “Mabel Grey” by Brown Bird an allusion to a real ship?

The song Mabel Grey, by Brown Bird contains peculiar lyrics. The lyrics are awfully specific about what happened to this ship, which is a common pattern I see when a song is referent to a real-life ...
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2answers
660 views

What was the original “The Sound of Silence” about?

I've had this version, by the Maccabeats, of the classic song "The Sound of Silence" stuck in my head for a while. (because @Shokhet linked me to it.... -_-) This version, by Jew in the City and the ...
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0answers
50 views

Is “Listen Nations” referring to any incident in particular?

"Listen Nations" is one of the songs on the album Miami Meets Toronto, in which the Miami Boys Choir and the Toronto Boys Choir (both started by Yerachmiel Begun) sing together. The song is about the ...
4
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1answer
336 views

On the use of the word “thief” in Imagine Dragons' “Thief”

The chorus of Imagine Dragons' "Thief" (from the deluxe version of the album Smoke + Mirrors), written by Clare Reynolds and Natalie Maree Dunn, goes like this: So take me back When I believed ...