Listen Closely and You’ll See These 5 Songs Are a Lot Creepier Than You Thought

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The intent behind any writer’s work is a subject of intense debate, from highly ranking academic circles, to drunken nights on kitchen floors. In the end, the only people who know what they truly meant are the writers themselves, and even then sometimes their intentions escape them. However, there are some instances where the lyrics are simply veils for a deeper, weirder, message. Most of the time, we, the listeners, don’t notice. But every once in a while our ear catches something, and we go “what?!”. These five songs are exemplary in their ability to make us forget about what we’re actually hearing, and slide in some thinly veiled euphemisms to unmentionable things.

5 Ice Cream Man – Tom Waits

Tom Waits officially ruined one of the most cherished childhood memories of summer. Almost any American kid can tell you stories of hearing that god awful Mister Softee jingle and getting unbearably excited for the sweet relief that was the ice cream man coming around your block. Unless your ice cream man is Tom Waits. In that case, all he wants to do is ‘slip you a cherry popsicle’. His ‘big stick mamma will blow your mind’; it’s enough to ruin any childhood memory of Klondike bars and chipwiches. Sure, the older we got the more we saw the phallic nature of popsicles, but never had it been so blatantly euphemistically implied before. What’s more, the song incorporates a jingle into the music, making it feel childlike, light-hearted, and friendly, setting up unsuspecting ears to be horrified. But, then again, this is Tom Waits we’re talking about. It should have been expected.

4 Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

One of the most prolific and talented bands of the 20th and 21st centuries, The Rolling Stones define, and redefine, rock n’ roll. Start Me Up is one of their great more pop-oriented songs. It is undeniably dance-y and just plain fun. It is obviously about getting aroused, we have all come (pun intended) to understand that. While it could also be used as a cautionary-Viagra-tale (I mean, never stopping does constitute more than four hours, right?), what’s creepier about the song is what happens at the very end. As the song fades out, you can distinctly hear Mick Jagger, in his slew of compliments to girl X, telling her that “she can make a dead man come.” WHAT?! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there’s anyone on this earth sexy enough to cause that. And anyway, it is really, really creepy to think about.

3 Needles and Pins – The Ramones

Initially, Needles and Pins seems like your typical punk rock love song. Boy sees girl, boy loves girl, boy can’t have girl because girl won’t give him, uh, oral pleasure. If you search a little deeper in the very surface lyrics, you find that The Ramones just want her to “see just how to say please/and get down on her knees”. If that isn’t a euphemism for fellatio I don’t know what is. Of course, boy is still very upset that he isn’t with girl, and seeing her again apparently breaks his heart. But all of that does not excuse the fact that the song blatantly references said act, and no one seems to notice. Instead, it’s seen as some sort of divine pleading, or begging for forgiveness or happiness. Nope, sorry.

2 Give It Up – Lee Dorsey

Okay, so maybe the title makes this one a bit obvious. But if you’ve never heard the song before, you might think it’s about giving up on an argument, or perhaps giving up a bad habit. There are plenty of things we ‘give up’ throughout our lives – and our virginity is one of them. Apparently, Lee Dorsey’s girlfriend wasn’t too keen on giving it up to him. What makes the song super creepy is that it’s really freaking good. There is no way to sit still when it comes on the stereo, and if you know the words you’re inclined to sing along at the top of your lungs. Unfortunately, the lyrics are a rather misogynistic. Between “do what you’re supposed to do,” “come on you’re about to blow my mind,” and “I’m gonna get it and bring it home,” you actually have to wonder how Give it Up got any radio air play. But it did. And we’re glad, because the song is just too much fun.

1 Every Breath You Take – The Police

Widely accepted as a beautiful love song, Every Breath You Take is one of the most popular and well-known love-lost ballads of modern rock. Every Breath You Take feels reassuring and comforting. Take a closer look, and you’ll realize that no dead person is ever clearly mentioned. Really, someone who is alive is stalking someone else… who is also alive. Basically it’s a song about stalking. Really intense stalking. Apparently Sting wrote it after his divorce, which only makes it even creepier. Way to go Sting for making us think that a song about potentially violating restraining orders is actually one of the most beautiful love songs of all time.

All of these songs seem, on the surface, to be something other than they are. That double, sometimes triple, entendre can be crafted into approximately three minutes of music is mind-boggling. Yet, these five artists managed to craft songs that were not offensively raunchy on first listen. They worm their way into your heart with their charm, and it’s only when you really examine them that you feel, well, like you need to take a shower… and then you listen to them again.
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