Your Favorite 15 Songs And The Crazy Messages Behind Them
When a song is catchy, you probably don't even listen to the lyrics. Perhaps we should stop and pay attention a little more because when you do really listen, you realize that many of your favorite songs are actually filled with horrible messages! Music is a form of art, and a way for artists to express their ideas and opinions, so we suppose that you can't always blame a singer for releasing a song that touches an uncomfortable subject. But having said that, there are some songs that cross the line from uncomfortable to just plain wrong, and others that you wouldn't want to sing along to if you knew what you were really singing. Some of the tunes on this list are more playful than others, but that doesn't mean we agree with what they're saying, even if they were written in jest! Here are 15 songs that might be catchy, but are lyrically awful.
15 “Work From Home” - Fifth Harmony
Fifth Harmony's major track from their album 7/27 was huge when it first came out. We definitely agree that it's easy to sing along to! But when you listen to the lyrics, they don't really resonate. In the first verse, Camilla sings about sitting at home, wearing “nada”, waiting for her man to finish putting “in them hours”. She even gets so bored that she sends him sexy pictures in the hopes that he loses his job. Yikes! For starters, it's not a great idea to reinforce the message that men should do all the work and women should wait at home in the buff. That sucks for both parties and is so not economically feasible in today's economy. The chorus tells him that he doesn't have to go to work but he has to stay home and sleep with her, which isn't a great message either. Where are these people getting their income from?!
14 “Before He Cheats” - Carrie Underwood
This breaks our heart because we love this song to death! We know that it probably wasn't intended to be taken literally, but it isn't a great message regardless. This song is all about getting revenge on a cheater so next time he's too afraid to cheat. Carrie sings, “I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats. I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, I slashed a hole in all four tires. Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.” We honestly get the temptation of doing that to someone who broke your heart, but realistically, violence is never the answer. Not only is it wrong, but you never know when you're dealing with a psycho who's going to come and stab you because you slashed his tires and put holes in his seats. Just please don't key anybody's car.
13 “Love The Way You Lie” - Eminem feat. Rihanna
Here's another song that on first listen, sounds like it was sent from the heavens. We know that this song is about domestic violence thanks to the music video and Rihanna's emotional appearance after being a victim of domestic violence herself. However, if you dissect the lyrics, it's clear that the message actually suggests staying in a harmful relationship because leaving is too difficult. Eminem raps, “I'm tired of the games, I just want her back, I know I'm a liar. If she ever tries to f*@king leave again, I'ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.” The whole song is extremely passionate, and though he does rap about watching her leave, the theme of the song is being addicted to the pain of the relationship because you love somebody so much, and it ultimately ends with the threat of death if she does leave. Not exactly sound advice!
12 “It Wasn't Me” - Shaggy
Shaggy's “It Wasn't Me” is insanely catchy, and the verses are sung so quickly that you don't understand what's being said straight away. This song is all about a guy getting caught cheating on his partner, and then lying so she stays with him because his ultimate goal is to be a player. “Honey came in and she caught me red-handed, creeping with the girl next door,” goes the chorus. “Picture this we were both butt-naked, banging on the bathroom floor.” In the verses, Shaggy sings about the importance of lying your way out of any consequences for your actions, saying, “To be a true player you have to know how to play. If she say a night, convince her say a day.” It is a fun song, but also upsetting if you've ever been cheated on. The bridge is about coming clean, but then it just goes right back to the chorus…
11 “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” - Katy Perry
This song was definitely written with a carefree spirit, and we do feel like the fun-police while we criticize it. The truth is that artists are entitled to say whatever they like and let loose when they want to. Life is there to be lived, after all! However, the actual message in “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” isn't great, no matter how old you are when you're listening to it. We aren't going to condemn Katy Perry for having some fun while singing a DGAF song, but we'll point out that it isn't solid advice! The message of this song is that it's fun to get totally wasted to the point where you don't remember a thing, are covered in marks that may be hickies and may be bruises, and have embarrassing photos of yourself show up online. “Oh well, it's a blacked out blur, but I'm pretty sure it ruled,” she sings. Fun, perhaps, but not smart.
10 “Can't Feel My Face” - The Weeknd
People are still singing along to The Weeknd's “Can't Feel My Face”, which is a testament to how appealing this tune is. You probably have listened to the lyrics to this one, and have assumed that he's singing about his infatuation with a woman. With lyrics like, “And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb, and she'll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come, but at least we'll both be beautiful and stay forever young,” it's easy to think so! However, The Weeknd is actually talking about taking an illegal substance, and not being able to feel his face thanks to its effects. So quite literally, this is a song about taking drugs and loving it. He uses the pronoun “she” to personify the drug and maybe fool people into thinking he's talking about a girlfriend, but we know what's up!
9 “We Can't Stop” - Miley Cyrus
Sorry, but we have to be the fun-police again! “We Can't Stop” by Miley Cyrus is all about letting loose and partying, and we don't think that people should be shamed out of partying. Sometimes you need to let your hair down. It's just that we don't agree with the message that Miley sends in this song, which implies that taking Molly is a great idea. She sings, “Remember only God can judge ya, forget the haters 'cause somebody loves ya. And everyone in line in the bathroom, trying to get a line in the bathroom, we all so turned up here, getting turned up, yeah, yeah. So la da di da di, we like to party, dancing with Molly, doing whatever we want.” It makes taking Molly seem cool, when in reality you're actually taking the powder form of a chemical used to produce E, which can be extremely dangerous.
8 “Pumped Up Kicks” - Foster the People
“Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People is such an upbeat song with such a happy melody that you probably just assumed it was about something joyful. But if you actually stop and listen to the lyrics, you'll find out that it's actually about a kid who takes his dad's gun and goes on a shooting rampage at his school. “Robert's got a quick hand, he'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan,” the band sings. “He's got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth, he's a cowboy kid. Yeah found a six shooter gun, in his dad's closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don't even know what, but he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you.” Obviously the message isn't to encourage school shootings, but it tells the story of an isolated teenager losing control and causing destruction. That's a pretty disturbing subject, even if it doesn't glorify it.
7 “Gentleman” - The Saturdays
We get that “Gentleman” by British girl group The Saturdays was intended as a female anthem about not accepting less than you deserve, and we agree with that concept. But an analysis of the lyrics sends a bit of a different message! There's a lot of shaming going on, with lyrics like, “You're not a lady if you're always on your knees,” but that isn't the main problem. Basically, this song generalizes all men as being unfaithful, unloving players who just “hit it and quit it,” and also generalizes women by saying, “Most girls ain't perfect angels.” After battering both women and men, the bridge lists all the men that are good enough for The Saturdays, including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Lamar Odom, and Larry King… Huh? The central message is that you can't find a good guy these days because all the good ones were left in the 1990s, and women don't deserve them anyway.
6 “Every Breath You Take” - The Police
You have to understand the context of this song to see how disturbing and creepy it really is. Often thought of as one of the greatest love songs of all time, “Every Breath You Take” by the Police isn't as sweet as it would seem. Most people think that lyrics like, “Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you,” are a true testament to love and about being with someone every step of the journey. In reality, Sting wrote this song when he was paranoid about his ex-wife cheating on him. So it's not really saying that he'll be there for her to lean on; it's saying that he'll be there to stalk her, wherever she decides to go. Pretty intense and horrible! Cheating isn't okay, but neither is aggressive stalking that tracks a person's every breath, move and step.
5 “Dear Future Husband” - Meghan Trainor
Here's another song that was intended as an inspirational female anthem and girl-power hit, but whose lyrical content we so don't agree with! There are some fair calls made in “Dear Future Husband”, like demanding to be treated right and letting a guy know that you also work 9-5 so it isn't fair to expect you to do all the housework on top of that. But we feel like Meghan takes her demands a little too far and ends up sounding entitled: “After every fight, just apologize, and maybe then I'll let you try and rock my body right. Even if I was wrong, you know I'm never wrong, why disagree? Why, why disagree?” If it were a guy making those requests, we'd send him packing, so it isn't right to treat him in a way we wouldn't accept ourselves. This isn't the best female anthem, even though it's catchy AF!
4 “Break Apart Her Heart” - Good Charlotte
Some believe that being a nice guy guarantees bad treatment from a girl. As a bunch of girls, we can confirm that that's not true for every girl, though it does happen sometimes. Because it's not true for every girl, it's totally problematic (and ridiculous) to send guys the message that they have to treat her badly if they want to get any respect back. That's exactly what Good Charlotte does in the song “Break Apart Her Heart”: There's something I don't wanna understand, the only way a woman is gonna want a man, the only way you'll ever keep her in your hands, is breaking apart her heart, don't tell her she is the reason that you live, don't give her everything that you got to give, if you want to keep the girl for as long as you live, just break it apart her heart.” There's only one word for this song: No.
3 "U.O.E.N.O." - Rocko Featuring Rick Ross and Future
And now we cross the line from silly messages into terrible ones that are upsetting and damaging. In the song U.O.E.N.O." by Rocko feat. Rick Ross and Future, there are a number of disturbing lyrics that perpetuate the idea that it's okay to sleep with people without their consent. Many lyrics in hip hop are degrading to women, although you have to analyze them to see their true meaning. These lyrics, however, are blunt and literally get to the point of what they mean. This message is wrong on every level, and it's problematic that there are people, who are looked highly upon in our society, who are glorifying behavior as disgusting as this. Rightfully, this song ignited some intense controversy and backlash, so hopefully more people will speak up about not accepting this kind of BS.
2 “Hotel California” - The Eagles
Most people gather that “Hotel California” by The Eagles isn't really about a hotel. Rather, the song is actually social commentary on the excessive greed present within the music industry. “Welcome to the Hotel California, such a lovely place (such a lovely place), such a lovely face,” they sing in the chorus. This signifies arriving at a place that seems amazing, the way Hollywood and fame do in the early years. The eerie tone lets you know that something isn't quite right, though. The lyrics shift soon enough, saying things like, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." This song reinforces that once you get sucked into the greed that consumes the entertainment industry, you won't be able to escape it, even if you pack your bags; you'll be a prisoner in your own mind. It really makes one think twice about seeking out fame and fortune!
1 “Blurred Lines” - Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams and T.I.
We have no tolerance for songs that send harmful messages and make criminal acts seem okay, so Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines” is on the top of our list. Like Rocko's song, this track has received much backlash over its degrading attitude toward women. Check out these sophisticated lyrics: “Okay, now he was close, tried to domesticate ya, but you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature.” Well, someone's an animal! The title “Blurred Lines” has been criticized as trying to send the message that even though a girl says no, she doesn't really mean no because she secretly wants to say yes, and so the lines are blurred. It doesn't help that in the explicit version of the video, the female models are naked and cuddling baby animals while the men are dancing around fully dressed. No quite literally means no, Robin and friends, so this song should never have been written.