Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" Is About Rape and Seven Other Songs You Misunderstood
Robin Thicke is making a ton of money off his collaboration with Pharrell and T.I. titled "Blurred Lines," but have you ever bothered to consider what that song is about?
Well, the more we think about it, the more we think he's talking about date rape. "Just let me liberate you," Thicke coos, as if some woman telling him "no" isn't really what she wants. He knows you want it, so why are you fighting him?
That, added with the fact that the music video is completely misogynist, objectifying naked women while fully-clothed men walk around a bunch of balloons that tell us Thicke has a big dick. It's no wonder the Daily Beast, Wall Street Journal, and more were outraged enough to write whole editorials on rape culture and our totally "Blurred Lines" of acceptance.
But this isn't really a new issue. America is always falling in love with songs without ever having an idea what they're about. Don't believe us? See if you knew what these other seven songs were about all along. We'll bet a couple will surprise you.
Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole"
Everyone seems to think this is the ultimate ode to sado-masochistic relationships, but if you listen to the lyrics, you start to wonder how anyone came to that conclusion at all. "God money, I'll do anything for you ... God money, let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised ... No, you can't take that away from me." This song is about corporate greed, so get your mind out of the gutter.
Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks"
We're not really sure what Middle America thinks this song is about, but they certainly thought it was a perfect summer jam, because Foster the People's catchy-vibe was effing everywhere in 2011. It was especially hysterical, considering "Pumped Up Kicks" is about gun violence among America's youth. "All the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run better run, outrun my gun/All the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run better run, faster than my bullet." Hey, man, some people do die over shoes in this country.
Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."
This song initially seems to be the most patriotic song imaginable. Springsteen, in his white t-shirt and blue jeans, is the absolutely picture of a down-home good old boy, but this song is actually one of the most scathing tongue-in-cheek, anti-war protest songs ever written. "Born down in a dead man's town/The first kick I took was when I hit the ground/You end up like a dog that's been beat too much/Till you spend half your life just covering up." Damn, telling it like it is. No wonder Reagan looked ridiculous using this as his campaign song in 1984.
Ed Sheeran's "The A Team"
This is another giant hit with a sinister meaning most people slept on. Y'all keep getting caught up in the pretty melodies, but if you dig deeper, you'll find this song is about a poor girl who had it all but lost it to her struggle with methamphetamine. Sheeran even sings about her prostituting herself. "'Cause we're just under the upper hand/And go mad for a couple grams/And she don't want to go outside tonight/And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland/Or sells love to another man/It's too cold outside/For angels to fly." Yup, that her face that's "crumbling like pastries." Faces of meth, everybody.
Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life"
Speaking of meth, remember this song about drug abuse from the '90s? Oh, you didn't realize it was about that? There's also some frisky lyrics about giving head and "cumming over you." Guess it's frontman Stephan Jenkins' funky vocal delivery that led radio stations to not even bleep out the offending content. But here it is: "The sky was gold, it was rose/I was taking sips of it through my nose/And I wish I could get back there, someplace back there/Smiling in the pictures you would take/Doing crystal meth, will lift you up until you break/It won't stop, I won't come down/I keep stock with the tick-tock rhythm, I bump for the drop/And then I bumped up, I took the hit that I was given/Then I bumped again, then I bumped again."
Everything by Led Zepplin
The Zep is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. Back in its day, the band was totally shrouded in dark mystery. Everyone was pretty convinced Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and crew were conjuring demons with their songs. If you played their shit backward, you might die, or something. But no, actually, we realize now they were just obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. C'mon, "Battle of Evermore"? "Misty Mountain Hop"? In "Ramble On," there's that whole awesome segment about "Mine's a tale that can't be told, my freedom I hold dear/How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air/'T was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair/But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her."
The White Stripes's "The Big Three Killed My Baby"
Given Jack White's penchant for Delta blues, you might think this song is some kind of sad song about a lost lover. In reality, it's about the death of the electric car at the hands of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler in the early 2000s. They're the "Big Three" of Detroit. "The motors runnin' on tuckers blood/Don/t let them tell you the future's electric/'Cause gasoline's not measured in metric?30,000 wheels are spinnin'/And oil company faces are grinnin'/Now my hands are turnin' red/And I found out my baby is dead." At least now, Tesla has resurrected the e-car and given it a chance at a comeback.
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