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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 was the “cyclops' smoky band” to which Ewan MacColl's father belonged?

Ewan MacColl's song "My Old Man" contains the lyrics: My old man was a good old man Skilled in the moulding trade In the stinking heat of the iron foundry My old man was made Down on his ...
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What is meant by “strength” in Anathema's “One Last Goodbye”?

The second stanza of Anathema's "One Last Goodbye" goes as follows: I know you didn't want to leave Your heart yearned to stay But the strength I always loved in you Finally gave way ...
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What do Public Enemy mean by the rap lyrics of Mind Terrorist?

The lyrics to the rap Mind Terrorist by Public Enemy is as follows: Take that, ha ha, yeah boy Best for your face Take that, ha ha, yeah boy Best for your face Take that, best, best for ...
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What do the first two lines of this rap by Public Enemy mean?

The rap group "Public Enemy", in their first album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (released in 1988), had a track titled Don't Believe the Hype. Its first stanza is: Back Caught ...
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Who or what is the subject of “Gloria the Gift of Life”?

"Gloria the Gift of Life" is a song by Andrea Bocelli. It's beautiful, but I can't quite figure out what it's about. It seems like it could be God. Gloria is a traditional Catholic exaltation to God ...
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Meaning of “I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I couldn't do”

From Christina Aguilera - "Hurt": I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I couldn't do. What does it mean? I'm sorry for blaming you and I'm also sorry for everything I couldn't do or I'...
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“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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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, ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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471 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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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462 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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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) ...
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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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177 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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“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 ...
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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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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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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 ...