Questions tagged [song-lyrics]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
1answer
134 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

How does this song lyric “Simple and Clean” scan?

From the English version of "Simple and Clean" by Utada Hikaru: When you walk away You don't hear me say Please, O baby, don't go Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 of ...
2
votes
0answers
21 views

Why did Raymond Williams always take the best ones?

In "Sever" from the Karate album Unsolved (2000), we can hear the following lines: Because in my life there was only asbestos And Raymond Williams, you always took the best ones Now, like ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Summer Wine: what was the 'unfamiliar line' with which the girl reassured her lover?

The song "Summer Wine", written by Lee Hazlewood, describes a girl seducing a man with her 'summer wine'. At some point the man tells us "She reassured me with an unfamiliar line". What can it ...
4
votes
0answers
59 views

Is “and if I'm flying solo” a pun in “Defying Gravity”?

In the song "Defying Gravity", part of the musical Wicked, there's this section: So if you care to find me Look to the western sky As someone told me lately "Ev'ryone deserves the chance to ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

What does the “with eyes so dark” line of Halsey's “Graveyard” mean?

In the song "Graveyard" by Halsey, there's one line that goes like this: You look at me With eyes so dark, don't know how you even see You push right through me The song overall is about ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Why does Belle mean in this part in “A Change in Me”

In the musical Beauty and the Beast (composed by the legend Alan Menken himself), Belle sings the song "A Change in Me" after she returns to her father when the Beast lets her go. She tells (or rather ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

What does the “Tell the neighbors I'm not sorry” line in “Girls Like Girls” mean?

One of the lines in Hayley Kiyoko's "Girls Like Girls" song (which, as you may have guessed from the title, is very lesbian) goes like this: Tell the neighbors I'm not sorry if I'm breaking walls ...
7
votes
0answers
585 views

In “Bullet the Blue Sky”, what is the symbolism of Jacob and the angel?

U2's song "Bullet the Blue Sky" was inspired by Bono's trip to El Salvadore in 1986, and America's role on the Salvadoran Civil War. As Bono said in an interview, And it upset me as a person who ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Why does the Phantom call both Christina and himself “Angel of Music?”

In the 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Phantom seems to frequently refer to both himself and Christina as "Angel of Music". For example, in "The Mirror/Angel of Music ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

What does “all your ties are bending, breaking” mean in “I Can't Save the World If I'm Not Happy”?

CW: mentions of self-harm. Eliza Grace's song "I Can't Save the World If I'm Not Happy" is quite obviously a song about depression; there are several mentions of self-harm ("you can't calm your ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

In what way would windows appease or calm us?

Alain Bashung's song Sur un trapèze, with lyrics by Gaëtan Roussel (see the Wikipedia article about the album Bleu pétrole, released in 2008), begins with the following lines (emphasis and links ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Meaning of “rose” and “bleu” in Alain Bashung's “Résidents de la république ”

Alain Bashung's song “Résidents de la république” (part of the album Bleu pétrole, 2008) contains the following lines: Résidents, résidents de la république Où le rose a des reflets bleus The ...
-1
votes
3answers
185 views

Did the recipient receive twelve partridges or just one?

In the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, did the recipient receive a single partridge or did they receive one partridge each day for twelve days? Here are the relevant lyrics: On the First day of ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

What is the reference to Kennedy in “Tomorrow Wendy” by Concrete Blonde meant for?

From the song "Tomorrow Wendy" by Concrete Blonde (link to full lyrics): Underneath the chilly gray November sky We can make believe that Kennedy is still alive And we're shooting for the moon ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Explanation of the line 'But you don't really care for music, do you' in “Hallelujah”

In the first verse of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", there are these lines: Now, I've heard there was a secret chord That David played and it pleased the Lord But you don't really care for music,...
5
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

The meaning of the line “and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah” in “Hallelujah”

"Hallelujah" contains a mix of Biblical themes. The first stanza mentions (King) David by name, and the first three lines of the second seem to refer to one of King David's stories (II Samuel 11). The ...
5
votes
3answers
474 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

What, exactly, is the “Perfect Beast”?

The song Building the Perfect Beast by Don Henley repeats the following phrases several times: Soon he will be released Glory hallelujah! We're building the perfect beast Why does this include ...
1
vote
0answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

“to give a bloody for someone”? what does that mean?

There is a song: Fare Three Well (Dink's Song) performed by Marcus Mumford & Oscar Isaac for the movie ''Inside Llewyn Davis'' (...) If I had wings like Noah's dove I'd fly the ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

What are the thousand churches in “In your eyes”?

In your eyes by Peter Gabriel contains the following verse: in your eyes the light the heat in your eyes I am complete in your eyes I see the doorway (in your eyes) to a thousand churches ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

Is “Africa” by Toto focused on the woman referred to in the beginning of the song, or on Africa itself?

The song "Africa" by Toto is at least nominally about the narrator's relationship with a woman: I hear the drums echoing tonight But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation She's ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Who or what is the subject of Andrea Bocelli's “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 ...
3
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Is the central relationship in “Life in the Fast Lane” coercive?

He was a hard-headed man he was brutally handsome And she was terminally pretty She held him up and he held her for ransom In the heart of the cold, cold city He had a nasty reputation as a ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Who is the speaker in Leonard Cohen's song, “Avalanche”?

I understand that some of Cohen's songs have religious context, so when I heard the lyrics of this song that stated, "You strike my side by accident," I thought it could be symbolism of Jesus being ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

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 your face ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
365 views

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'...
7
votes
3answers
666 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
224 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
348 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How does the line 'your faith was strong but you needed proof' match the rest of the verse in “Hallelujah”?

The second verse of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen goes like: Your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you She tied you ...
7
votes
1answer
796 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
109 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/...
7
votes
1answer
414 views

What does Nuvoletta's disappearance signify in Finnegans Wake?

I am studying Samuel Barber's art song "Nuvoletta", whose text is adapted from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. I have not studied Finnegans Wake. The music is very beautiful. As I understand it, ...
4
votes
1answer
823 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

How did “Songs of Innocence and Experience” inspire “Airbag” by Radiohead?

Apparently, some of the lyrics to Radiohead's "Airbag" were found written in the margins of a volume of Songs of Innocence and Experience. Was this song inspired or influenced by Songs of Innocence ...
2
votes
0answers
557 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 ...