Questions tagged [song-lyrics]

Questions about the literary meaning or significance of the lyrics of a song or the literary devices used in them. Should be used with either the song-writer or the band in lieu of the author tag.

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3
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1answer
113 views

In the song “Whiskey in the Jar”, would Captain Farrell have been British or Irish?

In the song "Whiskey in the Jar", would Captain Farrell have been British or Irish? What was the historical setting and context of the song's tale?
3
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2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the Gaelic lines in the song “Tír na nÓg”?

The song "Tír na nÓg", like many of the Celtic Woman songs, is partly in English and partly in Irish Gaelic. Unlike many of those Celtic Woman songs, this one doesn't seem to be based on a ...
7
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5answers
23k 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 ...
2
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1answer
827 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 ...
6
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1answer
309 views

What's the symbolism in The Twelve Days of Christmas?

The popular Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has many different versions, but they're usually something along the lines of the following (final verse, which includes all the others): ...
5
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1answer
199 views

What does “steal my crown” mean in Kacey Musgraves's Butterflies?

I was enjoying a song "Butterflies" by Kacey Musgraves and in the lyrics there is "Stealing my heart 'stead of stealing my crown". What does "steal my crown" mean? I am ...
1
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1answer
24 views

In Adam Lambert's “There I Said It”, what does he actually say?

The chorus of Adam Lambert's "There I Said It" goes like this: So there, I said it And I won't apologize to you anymore 'Cause I'm a grown ass man And I won't live again And I'm sick and ...
1
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1answer
40 views

Why is the narrator the one leaving in “Streets of Gold”?

The song Streets of Gold by Needtobreathe contains the following lyrics: I want you to know I'm leaving to let you go And someday we'll walk upon The streets of gold I don't remember seeing fear in ...
4
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1answer
321 views

Name of this lyrical device comparing oneself to something that's described by the same word, but in another sense of the word?

Warning: The examples contain some offensive words, but I believe that is not against the rules here? Lately I've been listening a lot to a certain hip-hop album, in which almost every track uses a ...
4
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3answers
13k 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 ...
4
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1answer
189 views

Who classified Rabindranath Tagore's lyrics into the six standard categories?

The standard edition of Rabindranath Tagore's song lyrics, গীতবিতান / giitabitaan, "A Canopy of Songs", classifies the lyrics under six headings: পূজা / puujaa, "Worship" স্বদেশ / ...
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0answers
38 views

What is the relationship between Tagore's poems and his song lyrics?

Rabindranath Tagore composed and wrote the lyrics for approximately 2,200 songs, collectively known as Rabindra Sangeet, "Rabindra music". These songs remain immensely popular in India and ...
7
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2answers
4k 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 ...
3
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0answers
738 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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0answers
22 views

Why does “City of Blinding Lights” say that blessings go to both those who pray and those who steal?

The song City of Blinding Lights by U2 contains the following verse: In the city of blinding lights, The more you know The less you feel Some pray for, others steal Blessings not just for the ones ...
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0answers
37 views

How do the lyrics of “上を向いて歩こう” relate to its English title “Sukiyaki”?

The English title of the Japanese song 上を向いて歩こう is a head scratcher. The lyrics: 上を向いて歩こう 涙がこぼれないように 思い出す 春の日 一人ぽっちの夜 上を向いて歩こう にじんだ星をかぞえて 思い出す 夏の日 一人ぽっちの夜 幸せは 雲の上に 幸せは 空の上に 上を向いて歩こう 涙がこぼれないように 泣きながら ...
3
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1answer
58 views

What are the “garment thin” and the “prize” in the song “The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come”?

From the song "The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come" (lyrics link): Triangular is the piece of pie I eat to ease my sorrow Triangular is the hatchet blade I plan to hide tomorrow ...
0
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1answer
83 views

Meaning of lines about the lamb in the Enigma song Rivers of Belief

A sentence in the Enigma song Rivers of Belief goes as follows: And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, Silence covered the sky. There is a Biblical reference here. But I would like to know, what ...
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0answers
20 views

What does the line “and who will bear the consequences” mean in Ishay Ribo's “Keter Melucha”?

In Ishay Ribo's song "Keter Melucha / כתר מלוכה" (Royal Crown), a song written about, essentially, COVID and lockdown, there's a stanza that goes like this: בין תצווה לכי תישא אסתר פורים ...
2
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1answer
44 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 ...
16
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4answers
3k 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,...
2
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0answers
41 views

What's with the “I'ma tell 'em” in Normani's “Motivation”?

In Normani's song "Motivation" (video slightly NSFW), there's a stanza that goes like this: You got a bad one, baby, don't you? Got a bad one, baby, don't you And we both know there's no ...
6
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1answer
142 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 "Everyone deserves the ...
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0answers
60 views

Meaning of this verse from “Someday”

So I was rereading through some of the songs from the Disney animated/live musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and there's a verse in "Someday" which goes, "Till then, on days when ...
2
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1answer
100 views

What does “let me be your motivation” mean in Normani's “Motivation”?

In Normani's song "Motivation" (video slightly NSFW), there's a repeated line that goes "I'ma break you off, let me be your motivation". For instance, the first stanza / chorus ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Why is the birthday slightly different in Ishay Ribo's “Keter Melucha”?

In Ishay Ribo's "Keter Melucha / כתר מלוכה" (a song written in early 2020 about lockdown in Israel), the opening stanza goes like this: בין תרומה לתצווה יום הולדת קצת משונה הכל רגיל כאן ...
2
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1answer
51 views

What does the line about the Tower of Babel mean in Ishay Ribo's “Keter Melucha”?

In Ishay Ribo's song "Keter Melucha / כתר מלוכה" (Royal Crown), a song written about, essentially, COVID and lockdown, there's a stanza that goes like this: בין ויקהל לפקודי אין איש בעיר ...
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0answers
32 views

What does the line “I know every reason why” mean in “Wild and Wicked World”?

In Hayley Kiyoko's song "Wild and Wicked World", the second verse goes like this: Take me to the moon Where I can sleep 'til noon Living my today I don't care what you say I scream and ...
2
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1answer
30 views

Is there a contrast between “straight” and “late” in this example?

King Crimson's song "I talk to the wind" starts with: Said the straight man to the late man Where have you been? I'm pretty sure that the songwriter is creating a contrast (e.g., an ...
2
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0answers
58 views

What are the blue pills referred to in Halsey's “Colors”?

The chorus of Halsey's song "Colors" goes like this: Everything is blue His pills, his hands, his jeans And now I'm covered in the colors pulled apart at the seams And it's blue And it's ...
8
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1answer
494 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, ...
10
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3answers
893 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 ...
7
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3answers
465 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Why is the Star of the County Down referred to as Colleen?

While listening to the Irish Rovers version of the traditional Irish song "Star of the County Down", I noticed an apparent discrepancy in her name: Near Banbridge town, in the County Down ...
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0answers
48 views

Meaning of the line “Sometimes it takes the strength of a woman” (The Carpenters)

William Shakespeare wrote a a play titled Taming of the shrew. I think this conversely likens to a Carpenters song "Strength of a woman", which contains the line "Sometimes it takes the ...
7
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1answer
655 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 ...
4
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1answer
179 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, ...
6
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1answer
227 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 ...
2
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0answers
23 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
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3answers
613 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 ...
2
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1answer
87 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 ...
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1answer
151 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 ...
8
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0answers
670 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
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0answers
30 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
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1answer
47 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 ...
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0answers
28 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
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1answer
76 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 ...
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3answers
190 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 ...
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0answers
20 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 ...
5
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1answer
97 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 ...