As shown with my last top 5 list, I’ve got a bit of a penchant for things that aren’t as they seem. So, going on from that, here’s my top five most cheerfully creepy songs. Enjoy!!
Honourable mention: MMMbop – Hanson
This is the one that keeps coming up on lists like this so I’m pretty sure there’s now not a person who was alive in the 90’s who doesn’t know this song is about the futility of life. (If this was news to you, then SURPRISE!! All along, Hanson were trying to tell you that you will inevitably grow old and die, and most things you do are meaningless. OKAAAY YEAAAAH MMMMBOP!!! 😀 😀 )
- Keep Awake – 100 Monkeys
Creepiest Lyric: I will kill you when you’re sleeping so you’d better try, try and keep awake
In terms of ‘creepy stalker’ songs, my immediate thought was Every Breath You Take by the Police, which a bizarre amount of people still think is a lovely, romantic song. (These are probably the same people who think that 50 Shades of Grey is an example of a “healthy” relationship too…) However, I decided to go with a lesser-known song which starts off innocently enough but the second the lyrics kick in, you immediately realise something is very wrong. When this song was performed live, the band would use it as their last song and would introduce it as a “lullaby,” before proceeding to sing it with the creepiest smiles on their faces as they made and held eye contact with various audience members throughout.
- Panty Shot – Mindless Self Indulgence
Creepiest Lyric: Panty shot in my brain, my life has meaning when she spreads her legs…
It’s probably cheating to put anything by MSI on here because this is a band who have made their entire career by being as offensive as possible whilst simultaneously taking the piss out themselves. I like this one though because it plays with your expectations of just how low things can go – initially, you think it’s just about some skeezeball who’s looking up women’s skirts… but then you realise that the inaudible screaming in the chorus is actually talking about a five-year-old.
Yup. This is a song that’s not just about a paedophile but actually told from their point of view with their own justifications on why it’s ok – because according to the protagonist of the song, “I didn’t even touch her so I can’t be blamed.”
Bonus points for the band throwing in a John Wayne Gacy reference too just to make the song all the more horrible – see if you can spot it! 😛
- 7 Minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen) – Fall Out Boy
Creepiest Lyric: I’m not going home alone because I don’t do too well on my own.
A song about a suicide attempt disguised as a typical emo pining-love song. The upbeat medley and major chords hide the desperation behind the lyrics; it really captures the sense of trying to pull yourself together whilst knowing that something is seriously going wrong inside your head but to make matters worse, no one around you seems to be picking up on it.
Also, fun fact about this song that I only just discovered today when I was double-checking the lyrics – Brendon Urie from Panic!At The Disco is alternating the vocals on the “I keep telling myself” lines! 😀
- 99 Red Balloons – Nena
Creepiest Lyrics: This is what we’ve waited for, this is it boys, this is war.
Come on, let’s face it – we all thought this was just some happy silly 80’s pop song about red balloons, especially when it turned up on an episode of Scrubs with J.D dancing happily in a room of balloons (see said clip here — https://youtu.be/cg-vUGFz9Jk ).
NOPE! It’s actually about someone lets off a bunch of red balloons which get mistaken for an air attack and accidentally sets off nuclear war. Whoops.
- Pumped up Kicks – Foster the People
Creepiest Lyrics: Yeah found a six shooter gun / In his dad’s closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don’t even know what /But he’s coming for you, yeah he’s coming for you
The general thought process from the initial hearing of this song to discovering the truth is normally somewhere along these lines –
Ahh, yeah, this song is so infectiously catchy and I just love that bassline!! It’s so upbeat and awesome, and the video is just the band being happy and goofing off on tour and in the studio and aww, look, they’re surfing now! Aww, what a lovely song, it’s so perfect for my “summer chill out” playlist, although I can’t quite make out what the singer is saying… I might just look up the lyrics—
SWEET BUTTERY CHRIST THIS SONG IS ABOUT A KID WHO’S ABOUT TO DO A HIGH-SCHOOL SHOOTING D: D: D:
At least when My Chemical Romance did a song about psychotic teenagers (they scare the living shit out of me), they made it a little bit more obvious what they were implying in the video – this song straight-up goes out of its way to hide the horrifically dark lyrics with the most relentlessly cheerful nature of everything else around it. It certainly does get you thinking though and that’s kinda the point.
So, that’s my top 5. What about you? Any recommendations for songs that have hidden meanings behind their initial cheer?