They Are About Sex, Oral Sex, Masturbation Or Naughty Thoughts. Did You Know About The True Meaning Of These Popular Hits?
What are Rihanna, Ariana Grande or Harry Styles singing about?
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Maybe you sang them as a child or teenager in your room without knowing the meaning of their lyrics. Maybe you don't speak English and you've never guessed what your favorite artists are actually singing about. Or you thought these songs were about something else entirely.
We have selected some well-known and successful hits by world-renowned musicians, which cleverly play with metaphors or symbols and are full of ambiguities. Some are surprisingly literal and quite perverse. A couple of them won Grammys.
1. Bryan Adams - Summer Of 69
This ageless rock burner from 1984 is still heard frequently on all radio stations today, and whether you're a Brian Adams fan or not, you'll definitely be able to sing at least the chorus. Summer Of 69 is not only a nostalgic memory of youth and a broken band, it also talks about passionate summer love. Well, not just of any kind.
"Standin' on your mama's porch, You told me that you'd wait forever, Oh, and when you held my hand, I knew that it was now or never, Those were the best days of my life, Oh, yeah, Back in the summer of '69 sings" Adams, and as he revealed to Loudersound, people often misinterpret the song.
“People think this song is about 1969, but it's not. The reason why I chose the number 69 is the sexual position," explained the singer. He misled fans more than once and zoomed in on the background of the song even on stage during concerts. Whatever summer it was, it looks like it was definitely wild, unforgettable and full of discovery.
2. Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself
She is not only a talented and convincing Hollywood actress (she has already been nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe or a BAFTA award), but also a skilled copywriter. She likes to play with words and double meanings. Her 2015 debut single Love Myself is actually more literal than it first appears.
“When I get chills at night, I feel it deep inside, Without you, yeah (hey!), Know how to satisfy, keepin' that tempo right, Without you, yeah (hey!)... I'm gonna touch the pain away (hey!), I know how to scream my own name, Scream my name," sings the 25-year-old star of Marvel's Hawkeye in this feminist anthem.
I take it nice and slow, feeling good on my own, Without you, yeah (hey!), ... I'm gonna put my body first, And love me so hard 'til it hurts (hey!)," she continues. These verses already clearly indicate that Steinfeld is not singing about how she will talk to herself in front of the mirror. It is literally an ode to masturbation, which she obviously has no problem (and actually has no reason to have a problem) admitting to the whole world.
3. Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj - Side to Side
In the sexy music video for this song, Ariana Grande is riding a stationary bike with other dancers, but in reality she is singing about riding something else. She admitted as much to MTV News, and the verse "Ride dick bicycle" might tell you exactly what she's talking about. "I've been here all night... And boy, got me walkin' side to side" sings the 29-year-old, two-time Grammy Award-winning pop diva.
“I'm comin' at ya, 'Cause I know you got a bad reputation, Doesn't matter, 'cause you give me temptation" the singer adds, adding that she'll get in trouble for it and is aware that she's making a deal with the devil. So it is a seduction game. But what is its end?
It seems that the full meaning of the song was very correctly revealed by Girls TV series creator Lena Dunham, or her husband, on Twitter. "My husband just explained to me that Side by Side is about sex where a woman can't walk straight," she wrote in the status.
4. Rihanna - Birthday Cake
If you thought until now that this song was about the beautiful and sweet multi-tiered birthday cake that all birthday parties get from their significant other, family or friends, you were wrong. The Barbadian singer only used the cake as a metaphor for her body, namely the lower part, and with the lyrics she gives the listener clear clues to decipher her double meanings.
With the song Birthday Cake, Rihanna refers to oral sex. "It's not even my birthday, But he want to lick the icing off...I know you wanna bite this, It's so enticin', Nothin' else like this, I'mma make you my bitch," she sings confidently and makes it clear that she is not one of the submissive partners.
5. Foo Fighters - All My Life
The legendary charismatic Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman wrote this song apparently for the woman he's been looking for all his life. However, it is not a classic romantic ballad full of sweet words. As Grohl revealed in an interview with Kerrang magazine, he also included a part in the song which, according to him, is "about licking pussy". The phrase "I love it, but I hate the taste" says it all.
6. The Pointer Sisters - I'm So Excited
The immortal classic from 1982 by the American female trio is able to excite the listener with an energetic and catchy chorus even after forty years. But did you realize that the whole song is actually about how the author of the text wants to enjoy sex in the evening and how excited she is?
We don't know who was her intended object of interest on the fateful day, but he must have had a wild night that he will remember until his death. “Tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen, Tonight, we'll put all other things aside... I want to love you, feel you, Wrap myself around you, I want to squeeze you, please you, I just can't get enough, And if you move real slow, I'll let it go,” she sings passionately.
7. Dave Matthews Band - Crash Into Me
This pop hit with a catchy chorus from 1996 may even have been merrily sung to you as a child or teenager. But did you know that this is quite a perverse confession? In the song, Dave Matthews goes back to his teenage years, and the whole time he sings about how he secretly stares at a girl with his hard-on and dreams about them having sex.
“Hike up your skirt a little more, And show the world to me, In a boys dream, Oh I watch you there, Through the window, And I stare at you" Matthews writes in the lyrics, with the ambiguous refrain easily interpreted as "I'm into you." The song was even nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rock Performance category.
8. Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Although Matthews did not manage to turn the nomination into a golden gramophone, Lady Gaga did succeed in 2010. Poker Face won a Grammy for Best Dance Song, and was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The obscure, slightly cryptic lyrics discuss sex with a man, but the singer explained the true meaning of the song during a private concert in London in 2013, according to The List magazine.
“This song is actually about how I made love to a guy I used to date... I thought about girls every time we had sex. I didn't want him to find out because I felt so bad at the time. But I don't feel bad anymore, because I wrote a song about it," said the singer, who today, in addition to thirteen Grammy awards, also holds an Oscar for the best original song Shallow from the movie A Star Is Born.
9. Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar
A song that makes all women melt and men jealous. It is no coincidence that the charismatic Briton won the most valuable music statuette for this piece. This is one of the best summer pop hits ever composed. And even though there are juicy melons in the clip of the singer and actor together with other performers, this song is really not about melons.
As Glamour magazine writes, Styles revealed that he was simply inspired by how sweet life can be. However, he then added with a sly smile that the song is also about a female orgasm. From the line "Tastes like strawberries" you can guess how the former member of One Direction achieved it. After all, he showed very clearly how much he loves oral sex in the mysterious thriller Don't Worry Darling.
10. Los Del Rio - Macarena
While hundreds of thousands of listeners around the world were learning how to properly dance to this hit when the Bayside Boys Remix was released, few translated the lyrics from the original Spanish version. The initially cheerful song, which was widely played at discotheques, elementary schools and is still played by various DJs at weddings, has a rather dark background.
It is far from being as positivist as it seems after the first hearing. According to HuffPost, the song is about a certain Macarena who cheats on her boyfriend with two other men while he is serving in the army. The chorus sings: “Give your body some joy, Macarena. Your body needs to be given a little joy." What kind of joy did the Spanish duo have in mind?
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