Picture this, a hot summer day and you`re cruising in your car bumping your latest favorite tune. It instantly puts you in an amazing mood and you crank up the volume. These are the songs that you share on social media and you tell all of your friends about how good they are. They are the type of songs that you can play over and over and not really get sick of.
Usually, the unique beat and instrumentals draw us in, but we can never forget about the lyrics. When we think of upbeat songs, they are usually fast pace sounding emitting a positive energy through the sound waves.
Do we always really take the time to think about or really hear the lyrics that go along with these fist pumping, foot stomping, head banging, soul shaking tunes? A lot of these songs can actually be kind of intense, honest and sad when examining the lyrics. Let`s tune into 15 catchy songs that are actually sad…
15. Pumped Up Kicks- Foster the People
This was the tune of the year when it came out in 2010. Everyone would sing it in a bubbly manner and not even think about what the lyrics actually were. The song is about a troubled teen contemplating shooting up his school and killing everybody. ‘Better run, better run, out run by gun…faster than my bullet’ is an example lyric and sets the tone of the song, despite the up beat tempo. The writers were inspired by the growing amount of mental illness in youth and the devastation it can cause in relation to harming others.
14. Paper Planes- M.I.A
This song was quite controversial and actually ended up getting banned in Sri Lanka. The lyrics reference the atrocities that the army and government can instill, especially when it comes to immigrants. MIA has said in regards to the song she feels: ‘What I wanna do is come and get your money. People don’t really feel like immigrants or refugees contribute to culture in any way. That they’re just leeches that suck from whatever. So in the song I say ‘All I wanna do is [sound of gun shooting and reloading, cash register opening] and take your money.’ I did it in sound effects. It’s up to you how you want to interpret. America is so obsessed with money, I’m sure they’ll get it.’
13. Swimming Pools- Kendrick Lamar
This chart topper blasted from radios, televisions and in the club. Everyone loves this artist for his unique style, impressive lyrics and the fact that his songs actually have deep meanings. Behind this hit was the face of alcoholism. He speaks of how people hide behind booze instead of fixing their problems. How getting wasted can be idolized and become the norm. It is about not succumbing to the peer pressure of constantly being inebriated and rising above the demons that come along with drinking heavily.
12. Copacabana- Barry Manilow
The lyrics in this song allow you to easily picture the scene because it is so descriptive. It takes place in Cuba and emphasizes the inequality there is between people in power and the civilians living there. Elements of greed and anarchy surround the story within this song. The mob had control over all the country, especially over the club scene and it was unfair. Although it has an upbeat tune, the reality of the song reminds us of the club shooting scene in Scarface.
11. MMMBop- Hanson
This song took the world by storm and the three brothers instantly became famous. Everything about it seemed so wholesome, from the artists to the videos, it just emitting innocence. The lyrics are from that though, it is actually a pretty deep song, ironically enough. It embodies taking in the moment and hanging on to things that actually matter. Things come to an end, and all the things that you cherish will eventually disappear. `You have so many relationships in this life, only one or two will last, you go through all the pain and strife, then you turn your back and they’re gone so fast.`
10. I’m gonna live until I die- Frank Sinatra
This song is not too too depressing in comparison to so many others out there. The most downer part would be the fact that we all know that we are going to die. There is a sense we all need to really feel like we are living. Every day must count and be the best and we must live fully because of the inevitable death that we are all going to face at one point. There is a sense of fear in this tune that extreme living must be met in order to be fulfilled before death comes knocking and ends our lives.
9. I can’t feel my face- The Weeknd
This song is clearly about the use of cocaine and the effects it can have. The first lyrics of the song is: `And I know she’ll be the death of me, at least we’ll both be numb.` He feels that he is caught in this negative fate where she (cocaine) will take over him. When he is with her (cocaine) he feels great and wonderful, but in the long run it will kill him. Staying on these drugs help to keep him worry free, even though he knows the truth deep down.
8. Gangnam Style-Psy
This song talks about the unfortunate realities of today`s shallow societies. Seoul in South Korea is a really trendy area and the song speaks of a lady who knows when to be crazy and wild and when to be tame. It pretty much talks about the wealthy part of town and flaunts that wealthy aspect. It pokes fun at people who try to be something that they are not. This relates posers trying to act like they are trendy and wealthy just to impress other people.
7. Slide- Goo Goo Dolls
This song is about sex and abortions and the entire process of this happening. It speaks of a girl who gets pregnant and decides to have an abortion and gets sent away from her strict Catholic parents. The man responsible for impregnating her wants to run away with her, because he is madly in love and he wants to be together. The situation is sad, but is something that occurs all the time, every day, it just goes to show the feelings that come long term with hard decisions that need to be made.
6. Blackbird- The Beatles
One of the most famous bands in the world created one of the most talked about and famous songs to this date. This song is highly recognized as speaking about the plight of African Americans and the struggle they must face in order to obtain equality. It was confirmed by Paul McCartney that it is about the civil rights movement. `Blackbird singing in the dead of night take these sunken eyes and learn to see, all your life you were only waiting for this moment to be free.`
5. Waterfalls- TLC
To this day, this song is always still on the radio. It speaks of scenarios that can deeply affect lives like drug dealing and unsafe sex for example. Gaining pleasure from immoral ways results negatively. The song insists on doing good and avoid the risky, even if it means not having all the flash. It is very realistic and shows the dark side to making immoral choices.
4. I don’t like Mondays- The Boomtown Rats
This song is just really disturbing and freaky because it embodies something that is so realistic and ever present in our society today. The song was written after Brenda Ann Spencer committed a mass shooting at Georgia State University. She killed two adults and injured eight young children and one police officer. Spencer`s response when asked why she murdered was: `I don`t like Mondays`.
3. Love on the brain- Rihanna
Many speculate that this song is about her ex boyfriend Chris Brown, who she shared a tumultuous relationship with over the years. He was punished for physically beating her and the story went very public. `It beats me black and blue, but f*cks me so good, and I can`t get enough` The song is about being addicted to someone and not being able to get away, despite things not being good. It is very honest and very real when it comes to staying in bad relationships for whatever reason they may be.
2. Brown Sugar- The Rolling Stones
This song is actually about black slaves and they way they were treated when sold. The song sounds fun and can seem like it`s an exciting interracial sexual relationship between a white man and African woman. It is one of their most controversial songs and regarded as highly racist and vulgar. Jagger has later said, after years of it being released that he would never write a song like that now and that he would have to censor himself.
1. Polly- Nirvana
This song is about a girl being kidnapped in 1987 and is based on a true story. The girl was taken coming home from a concert by Gerald Friend. The girl was horribly raped and tortured and eventually was able to flee from her capture. The positive of this is that Nirvana played a lot of concerts in order to raise awareness for rape victims as well as raise money for women`s self-defense organizations.