What's a song you really like even though you hate the message?


Music & Audio

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Scarab Sages

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Andostre wrote:
Intent (what the artist meant) and effect (how it affects the audience) are both valid measures of what a piece of art is about. Someone saying "this is what this song means to me" doesn't overwrite the artist saying "this is what I was trying to convey with this song." They are concurrent.

That's fair - as long as a distinction is recognized.

Andostre wrote:
It gets a little fuzzy when the audience says "this is what I think the artist meant," but if the audience applies that meaning to a piece of art--and especially if that becomes true at a cultural level, then that meaning is added to what the art is about.

This I'm not so sure about - I'd say this is when the "ship-of-Theseus" factor sets in. Once someone else changes the meaning, descent can be claimed from the original, but the new thing is a new thing, a demiurge, if you will, of the original (see also "Riker, Will VS Tom").


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Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon.
Ooh wah ooh ooh ooh
Just don't ask what he did to little Suzy.


lisamarlene wrote:

Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon.

Ooh wah ooh ooh ooh
Just don't ask what he did to little Suzy.

Though that is different from at least some of the others in that the message isn't really bad, though the events described are.

I do have a fondness for upbeat peppy songs with really dark lyrics.


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thejeff wrote:
lisamarlene wrote:

Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon.

Ooh wah ooh ooh ooh
Just don't ask what he did to little Suzy.

Though that is different from at least some of the others in that the message isn't really bad, though the events described are.

I do have a fondness for upbeat peppy songs with really dark lyrics.

It came to mind today because I have a student who has been stealing things from his classmates, taking them home, and telling his mom that the other children gave him the items as gifts.

His mother's excuse is that he does it out of love, "like people breaking off a piece of the pyramids or the Great Wall to take home with them", and it's because society "doesn't teach boys what to do with feelings of love".

All I could think of was, "Gee, in that case, it's a good thing he's too young to start dating."


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Unless he has some developmental disability the kid is a thief and a liar and is being enabled by his parents. There, I said it.


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Well, parent-teacher conferences tomorrow are going to be very interesting.


OH, yeah. I'm sure.


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As a Christian, I disagree with "Heaven Nor Hell" by Volbeat and pretty much every song by Ghost, but I like them as songs.

Also, politically, I am on the border between libertarian and conservative, so a lot of politically-charged rock songs fall in this category for me.

As mentioned above, Police songs like "I'll Be Watching You," Theory of a Deadman songs like "But the B Came Back," and the like are catchy but with bad and/or disturbing lyrics.


I don't find Ghost to be all that entertaining. I saw them in concert in 2017, opening for Iron Maiden. Just 80s "Satanic metal" put in a new package.

Shadow Lodge

Eh, I stand by my statement. If it's not an issue of nonfiction disagreeing with historical fact, anyway. If it's an artistic statement, the only opinion about its meaning that matters IMO is the creator's.

You're welcome to have your own interpretation, its not like you can really be stopped, but it matters as little as My Immortal matters to the Potterverse canon.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed a post and its reply. Ensure to keep profanity and vulgar language out of your comments. Always behave respectfully toward your fellow posters, even if you don't agree with their philosophies and ideas.


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I still think Blue Oyster Cult songs need more cowbells...

Shadow Lodge

Sam Phelan wrote:
Removed a post and its reply. Ensure to keep profanity and vulgar language out of your comments.

O.o

I've apparently been away from the forums too long. Is this a new policy?


I think it's been around a while.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, not counting Postmodern Jukebox takes on truly atrocious pop tunes... an a bunch of good rock tunes that just encourage what I'll generously call short-sighted behavior... and stuff that's already been mentioned... and the fact that most love songs that aren't about how wonderful the person is are about how miserably painful the experience is... and any and all cool villains songs...

"Break it to me Gently" by Brenda Lee. I've been in the "oh crud, you're done with this relationship and I'm not" boat, and lemme tell ya, had the lady broken it to me gently, we both would have been unhappy for a lot longer.

"Be Like the Kettle and Sing." Friggin' wartime propaganda is what that tune is, but I really, really like it...

"Suicide is Painless." Better known to most in its purely-instrumental form, since M.A.S.H. was on the air forever.

"The Wanderer," by Dion. Try a little fidelity, you swine!


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PMJ makes everything better.


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I prefer Leo Moracchioli for rock (well, metal) takes on pop (as well as rap, country, softer rock, etc.) songs


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The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.

Sovereign Court

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"The Rake Song" by The Decemberist. Discontent man kills his children after his wife dies to be rid of responsibility for them. Doesnt bother him either.


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The Prodigy- Smack my (censored) up (self explanatory, although I've heard a bunch of people say that phrase is actually slang for doing heroin, which I guess is better?)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

"Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones (1971)
(Misogynist AND racist!)

"I Will Possess Your Heart" by Death Cab For Cutie (2008)
(Protagonist of the song is a super-creepy stalker.)

"Rock and Roll N***er" by The Patti Smith Group (1978)
(The message is well-intentioned but misguided. Smith attempted to redefine the N-word to mean "a creative outsider shunned by society." But as a white woman, it wasn't her word to reclaim, and she had no business making the effort inilaterally.)

"Santeria" by Sublime (1996)
(Catchy song about a gang-banger hunting down the man who 'stole his woman'.)

"Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood (2005)
(A woman vandalizes her man's truck because she thinks he's going to dump her for someone else.)

The album L'Histiore de Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg (1971)
(Echoes of the novel Lolita, about an older man who has a year-long love affair with a 15-year-old girl.)


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Tacticslion wrote:

Depending on what's meant, The Hounds, by the Protomen.

I mean, it's a villain song in the vein of classic Disney (except, you know, more... Protomen), so... it's not exactly condoning his actions. And his actions are a liiiiiiiiiiittle vague, in the sense that it doesn't quite admit to villainy (though it's pretty obvious).

But, essentially, the song is about celebrating how he murdered a woman and blamed his best friend (manipulating public opinion so as to call for death for such a heinous crime), thereby silencing his most valid public opponents, and thus ensuring that people agree to "buy in" to his Orwellian dystopia. And succeeding.

So...

I'm just glad someone else knows who the Protomen are.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Depending on what's meant, The Hounds, by the Protomen.

I mean, it's a villain song in the vein of classic Disney (except, you know, more... Protomen), so... it's not exactly condoning his actions. And his actions are a liiiiiiiiiiittle vague, in the sense that it doesn't quite admit to villainy (though it's pretty obvious).

But, essentially, the song is about celebrating how he murdered a woman and blamed his best friend (manipulating public opinion so as to call for death for such a heinous crime), thereby silencing his most valid public opponents, and thus ensuring that people agree to "buy in" to his Orwellian dystopia. And succeeding.

So...

I'm just glad someone else knows who the Protomen are.

They really are great!


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I just had to comment on the idea upthread that REM didn't want to be celebrities.

They say that, but when you sign a record deal, WTF do you think is the desired result? If the record sells, and you make money, do you think obscurity is the result?

Personally I think that's bullcrap they fed the media for the sake of their image. Being a rock star is cool. Caring about being a rock star wasn't cool in the early 90s. And not caring in general sold albums back then. Look at Nirvana.


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As for the thread title, anything from Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral. Especially "Hurt".

That album is beautiful...gorgeous even, but so depressing. It's sad because I relate to all of it, even in many ways "Heresy" (and I'm Christian), because they all remind me of various low points in my life. That's why the message is razor's edge; to me, it's dangerously relevant, and I don't want to go back there.

But holy s!+$ is it aesthetic purity.


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Downward spiral is like there best album. My favorite anyways, but yeah its a bit depressing.


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Benny Mardonez "Into the Night". It's almost a theme song for statutory rape.

Into the Night


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Thought of another. Tool's Stinkfist

Seriously, that song is gross. It's about what you think it's about.

...but it's freakin' Tool! They're sooooooo good. Everything else about that song: the instrumentalism, the singing, even the writing about being desensitized to life and dead inside...but I can't get over the fact it ends with "shoulder deep within the borderline, relax, turn around and take my hand" - *shudder* Gross. I get that it's a metaphor, but it's a really nasty one.

Liberty's Edge

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MageHunter wrote:

There's Escape, by Rupert Holmes. (The Pina Coladas song)

It's about a man attempting to cheat on his wife by putting out a want ad, and his wife simultaneously attempting to cheat on him by responding to it.

But damn...

If you like Pina Coladas!

I have no conflict about that song. I straight up can't stand it.

Liberty's Edge

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Vanykrye wrote:

There's quite a few country songs that have terrible messages. Most of the ones I've heard on the radio (when I've been forced to listen to country) have absolutely awful messages.

Broad strokes, I know.

Always play country music songs backwards. You quit drinking, you get out of jail, your wife comes back, you get a job....


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

"Back in Black" by AC/DC (1980)
(A violent criminal was either released or escaped from prison, and is looking to exact revenge on those who sent him there.)

"Black Mountain Killer" by Blitzen Trapper (2008)
(First-person account of a serial killer's murder spree.)

"Friend of the Devil" by The Grateful Dead (1970)
(A drifter who was married to two different women at the same time is on the run from the law.)

"Cocaine" by Eric Clapton (1976)
(Clapton claims it was an anti-cocaine song, but, c'mon!)

"Cat Scratch Fever" by Ted Nugent (1977)
(A double-entendre metaphor for repeatedly catching STIs from prostitutes. Mainly on this list because while I like this song, I also hate Ted Nugent and everything he stands for.)

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day (2004)
(Nihilistic and depressing.)


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Yeah, I was a big fan of Ted Nugent before he began spouting *redacted*. I still listen to the old records I have of him, but personally he can go gargle sewage.


Not one I HATE per se but whose lyrics I find kind of disturbing (I couldn't make out any of the lyrics for a long time till I looked it up so I didn't know what it was about at first) The Cure- Icing Sugar (link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiTGfhSWQ6c) lyrics are listed in the first post.

Sovereign Court

Snoop dog "aint no fun, if the homies cant get none"

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ex's and Oh's by Elle King.
Love the music, hate the words.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, here are some more...

Large chunks of Emilie Autumn's catalogue. By no means a majority, but... enough.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Mine is in honor of the film The Dirt, the film adaptation of Motley Crue's biography, recently being released on Netflix. While I certainly don't approve of the actions in the Girls, Girls, Girls B-side power ballad You're All I Need, I can't deny my appreciation for the art form known as lyrical dissonance.

The title is reminiscent of soap opera star Jack Wagner's soft rock hit All I Need, as Crue bassist and chief songwriter Nixxi Sixx suspected his girlfriend of cheating on him with Wagner. Meanwhile, Sixx was cheating on her with twenty other women, but the hypocrisy failed to register in his drug-addled mind. Vince Neil's soaring upbeat vocals stood in sharp contrast to the tragic tale of the murder of a lover so that the heartbroken narrator could keep her all to himself.

Sixx showcased his dark humor most prominently in the verse-ending line, "But we finally made the news," evoking nostalgia of a time in which securing a headline could be considered relationship goals, long before the era of tweets and hashtags. While this tune would possibly be barred from mainstream airwaves in the modern climate, You're All I Need will remain in the hearts of classic headbangers as one of the all-time great ballads. (OK, maybe not. Home Sweet Home is a far more popular example of a slow pretty song from the leather-and-umlaut clad bad boys.)

Liberty's Edge

"Don't worry be happy." By Bobby McFerrin.

Tells you to ignore life's problems and not deal with anything.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

"Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet. Catchy as hell, but the lyrics aren't telling a good story.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Yeah, I was a big fan of Ted Nugent before he began spouting *redacted*. I still listen to the old records I have of him, but personally he can go gargle sewage.

I'm not a big fan of Ted Nugent's music or his politics, but without his public abstinence from drugs and alcohol, we wouldn't have Flex Your Head, DC Hardcore, or Straight Edge in general. I haven't been part of the SXE scene in years, but the music still holds up. Also, apparently, in person, Nugent is less of a cartoon character-- I've heard he's still friends with noted liberal rocker Henry Rollins and noted drug user Joe Rogan, for what it's worth.


Yqatuba wrote:

I have a couple

1. Jamiroquai- Virtual Insanity: Since it seems to be saying technology is evil
2. Local H - Bound For The Floor: Not so much because I disagree with the lyrics but rather because the kind of person they describe really annoys me.

"Bodies"by the Sex Pistols,Lydon at his reactionary and prudish worst


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Yqatuba wrote:

I have a couple

1. Jamiroquai- Virtual Insanity: Since it seems to be saying technology is evil
2. Local H - Bound For The Floor: Not so much because I disagree with the lyrics but rather because the kind of person they describe really annoys me.

"Bodies"by the Sex Pistols,Lydon at his reactionary and prudish worst

"Rocking in the Free World' by Neil Young, not so much the actual song,but how right wingers tried to co-opt it,I cant see how anyone could think its a conservative song. It savages American cultural materialism and gun culture and praises Jesse Jackson.

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