Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Phenomena

Have you ever heard a song that sounds like it means one thing or perhaps reminds you of something or makes you think of something that turns out, has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual song? Lyrically or musically? This happens to me a lot. Maybe it's because I'm deaf and therefor make snap judgments in my head about songs based on bass and tempo -- the only part I can hear without earbuds or obscene levels of volume. Or maybe it's because I'm autistic and certain things just send my brain to certain places. I don't know. Either way I'm curious to know if it happens to you guys.

"What the hell are you talking about Inari?" Fair. It's early and I'm still fighting off the holiday's sleep deprivation. Let me try to explain.

I'm not talking about misheard lyrics, though those can be comedy gold. I'm talking about when you hear a song for the first time. Your very first impression of that song before you take into account what it may actually be about. You may come to this judgment before you know the name of the song, the song has even gotten to the point of words, the tempo, or maybe even the ambiguous lyrics during the chorus. The key part of this is that once considered or looked into, you discover that the meaning of the song is in actuality totally opposite what you thought. You were in effect, completely wrong and/or off base.

That upbeat song from the radio last week you thought was happy-go-lucky? Actually about depression. That song from your friend's party you thought was about the innocence of youth? Actually about prostitution. Etc., etc.

So what are some personal examples? The most recent is Perfect, by Guster. It makes me think of baby tortoise eating a tomato. It's actually about heroine addiction. Even though I'm aware of that now, I still imagine baby tortoise eating a tomato instead. It cannot be un-thought even though I know better.

Semi Charmed Life, by Third Eye Blind makes me think of silly summer romance between middle schoolers. You know, the kind where you date and hold hands but still think kissing is icky? Yeah, that. It's actually a song about meth. I was thinking perhaps my view of this song was colored by my age at the time of its release, but no. I didn't even actually hear this song until I was well into high school because it wasn't really my kind of music (:hardcoreface:). I think it's more related to all the, "Doo doo doos," at the beginning.

Mr. Tambourine Man
, by Bob Dylan I always thought was about a guy who just really liked happy tambourines. Who doesn't? But no, it's also about drug addiction which seems to be the case a lot of the time. To be fair, in the 60's writing openly about narcotics in songs wasn't allowed. So the vague misleading lyrics were a necessity. I never expected the Tambourine Man to be a shifty drug dealer though.

Cherry Lips, by Garbage always seemed like a song about a powerful, sassy young woman. It's actually about a sassy young drag queen. It is also somewhat about child abuse. As it turns out though, I guess it is a song about a sassy woman, even if unintentionally, since it was based on a story allegedly written by a drag queen who was later revealed to be a middle aged house wife. Perhaps my mistake was actually prophetic.

I'm sure there are others, but I didn't put much forethought into this before sitting to write it out. Not that I dedicate much time to brainstorming to begin with. I kind of just come up with an idea and then run with it. That right there is a plan for success. amirite?

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