Popular songs With Shocking Lyrics You Never Realized Were Troubling | 22 Words

If you are singing loudly and confidently, sometimes it's hard to really interpret a song. Lyrics can be fun but when you catch yourself shouting inside your car about a cheating scandal or someone getting killed in a bar, you can start to question your taste in music.

Many songs have such catchy tunes that often we don't even pay attention to what is being said, so we sing mindlessly along to our favorite bops and never question what the song is about.

After a little research and a long Reddit thread, here's a list of pretty popular songs that have shocking lyrics and it's guaranteed to make you think twice before singing loudly to your favorite song if you don't know the meaning of it.

Loud and proud

We all know a loud singer that sings confidently, no matter if they know the words or not. Or maybe you are that friend– that's okay too. If you do know the lyrics, it can be very easy for you to sing along without really realizing what you are saying out loud.

Ruin a good thing

I know ignorance may be bliss but you need to know the real meaning behind some of these classic songs. A thread on Reddit proved that there is much more to many popular songs that we have never really known before.

Time to face the truth

Sorry to break the news, but a lot of your favorite songs or the classic ones we hear at weddings or parties are a bit messed up.

"Only The Good Die Young"

Billy Joel really messed us up with this one. It's a song about convincing a Catholic virgin to sleep with him.

He really went there...

Come out Virginia, don't let me wait. You Catholic girls start much too late.  "Virginia" is the Catholic school girl that Billy Joel is trying to get with. A pure, religious virgin that Billy Joel is trying to convince to come out of the church and play with the bad boys because you know, only the good die young.

Lord, forgive me!

One YouTuber commented and said "I sang this song once for a church song contest... I was banned from the competition." Well, now we can cross this song off of the church playlist.

"My Sharona"

This song was released in 1979 by the iconic band The Knack. It's such a fun song and it's easy to sing along to, but it's really about a grown man showing off his teenage girlfriend.

My bad...

Never gonna stop, give it up such a dirty mind, always get it up for the touch of the younger kind. I've sung this song at the top of my lungs before but I guess I'm the fool for not seeing this earlier.

"La Macarena"

This is a national anthem for every wedding reception you've ever been to. It's an easy dance and a really fun song, but once you translate the words you'll see that the song is about cheating on your boyfriend with two different dudes.

Welp, I'm never doing that dance again.

But don't you worry about my boyfriend, he's a boy whose name is Victorino I don't want him. Couldn't stand him He was no good so now come on, what was I supposed to do? He was out of town and his two friends were so fine.
Well, good thing I don't know how to sing the actual words to this song. I had no idea what I was saying all this time.

Should we tell them?

I think I'll let this one go for awhile.

"You Are My Sunshine"

Everyone knows this song and it's often a cute lullaby people sing to their children. But have you heard the full song with all the lyrics? It's honestly heart breaking.

No more sunshine...

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping I dreamed I held you in my arms But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken So I hung my head and I cried. Is this not the saddest thing you've ever heard? Why did I think this was the happiest, cutest song ever before! I will not be singing this song to my children, it's far too sad.

"99 Red Balloons"

The original song was released in the '80s and was sung by a German band called Nena. It's been translated and remade into more of an upbeat rock anthem in the early 2000s. But that doesn't take away from the fact that it's about a nuclear war.

That's dark.

Back at base, bugs in the software, flash the message, something's out there, floating in the summer sky, ninety-nine red balloons go by.  This song is easy to scream along to but it is actually pretty dark. It's about innocent children and how the world around them is corrupted and controlled by war.

But wait, there's more.

Some people have deduced that the song is specifically about the Germans and the Americans. It was supposed to be an anti-war anthem regarding the Berlin Wall.

"Escape (The Piña Colada Song)"

We've all sung this song, even more so now that it was featured in Guardians of the Galaxy where the oh, so perfect Chris Pratt makes quite the escape, looking absolutely sexy while he does it. It's also \ so fun and who doesn't like Piña Coladas? But the story behind the lyrics is different than what I thought.

The perfect scandal...

So I waited with high hopes, then she walked in the place I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face It was my own lovely lady, and she said, "Oh, it´s you" And we laughed for a moment, and I said, "I never knew" Basically, this guy is tired of wife, tries to cheat on her with a woman who wrote an ad in the paper and then he finds out it was his wife, who was also trying to cheat on him. I guess they do deserve each other.

"Can't Feel My Face"

The Weeknd isn't talking about being numb from love, but from drugs. And he is not afraid to sing it over and over again.

Not a kids choice...

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 So this song is about cocaine. Might seem pretty obvious, but not to Nickelodeon. It was nominated for a Kids' Choice Award in 2016 and it's a little troubling to think that a song about getting high could really be a kids' choice.

Well, that's a good joke...

He referenced how ridiculous this was in his song "Reminder" saying I just won a new award for a kids show, Talking 'bout a face-numbing off a bag of blow/I'm like...I am not a Teen Choice. At least he knows his audience.

"Build Me Up Buttercup"

This song, released in 1968 was and is a smash. I mean, I sang it in my middle school choir. It's catchy and cute and easy to sing along with friends. But it's also pretty sad when you take away the fun melody.

A let-down...

Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby Just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around And then worst of all (worst of all) you never call, baby When you say you will (say you will) but I love you still. Okay, whoever they are singing about sucks because they are flakey and fake. You shouldn't have to wait around for someone who never calls and isn't at the door when they say they will be. Ain't nobody got time for this and that sure does not sound like a buttercup to me.

"A Team"

Ed Sheeran's first single swept people off of their feet with his whimsical voice. But it's a pretty dark story attached to it and the music video really shows what it's about.

Angels die.

We're all under the upper hand, and go mad for a couple of grams. She don't want to go outside tonight. And in a pipe, she flies to the Motherland or sells love to another man. This song is about a girl who gets into drugs and prostitution, which eventually leads to her death. Beautiful voice, but tragic lyrics.

"Mr. Brightside"

A great karaoke song at your favorite dive bar and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It's fun, loud and easy to sing along to. But it's a little troubling when you start to understand what it's about.

It was only a kiss!

Now I'm falling asleep and she's calling a cab. While he's having a smoke and she's taking a drag. Now they're going to bed and my stomach is sick, and it's all in my head, but she's touching his chest now, he takes off her dress now.  This is about being him being paranoid and worried that his girlfriend is cheating on him. He can't even begin to imagine of her being with someone else but that's exactly what is happening, well that's what he thinks anyways.

"Every Breath You Take"

The Police released this bop in 1983 and people were all over it. It felt like a romantic ballad at first, but a quick second look and you realize it's undeniably creepy.

Always watching.

Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break every step you take, I'll be watching you. I'm almost positive this is the definition of being a stalker. Ladies if he does this, you might need to look into a restraining order.

"Pumped Up Kicks"

Foster the People made this epic single that played on every radio every day in 2011 and beyond. It's a fun song to sing along to but its meaning is very dark.

A disturbing tale...

Yeah, he found a six-shooter gun, In his dad's closet, in the box of fun things. I don't even know what, but he's coming for you, yeah, he's coming for you. You better run because this song is about a kid bringing a gun to school and shooting his friends who have better shoes than him. In an interview with Rolling Stones, the lead singer said he was "trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid."

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

A Christmas classic, that's actually downright messed up.

I've got to go!

So really I'd better scurry (beautiful please don't hurry). But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour). The neighbors might think (baby, it's bad out there) Say what's in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)
Girl, you better check your drink! This guy sounds a little assertive. Even it's snowing you grab your purse and get the heck out of there. If there's no cab, you better call an Uber.

"Come on Eileen"

Okay, this is one of the catchiest songs ever and the music video is hilarious. Everyone is wearing overalls and someone has a banjo. But the singer is saying he's not going to take no for an answer.

Eileen you better watch out

Come on Eileen oh I swear (what he means). Ah come on lets, take off everything. That pretty red dress, Eileen (tell him yes). This guy brought all his friends to put the pressure on poor Eileen to give into his desires.

"Don't Stand So Close To Me"

Fun, classic 80's song. Great chorus, but the message is pretty clear in this song and it feels inappropriate singing it so loudly.

Better back up...

Temptation, frustration, so bad it makes him cry. Wet bus stop, she's waiting, His car is warm and dry. This teacher is fighting off a tempting school girl and it makes everyone feel a little uncomfortable. What a weird thing to want to write a song about. It's a classic though.


Barry Manilow made this smash that had everyone on their feet, swaying and dancing all around. But there are a few weird lyrics that ever so briefly talk about murder, and that's pretty troubling.

Wait, somebody died?

And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two There was blood and a single gunshot. But just who shot who? So now we have a murder mystery on our hands. This song has a confession in it but no one can resist its' catchy tunes.

Do your research!

Before screaming your favorite song in any public place, make sure you do a little research. You want to double check you aren't singing about a murder in front of your parents or anything like that. Share this article with your fellow music lovers and see if they were as shocked as we were about these lyrics.