Popular songs with darker meanings

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: An upbeat tempo or flashy video is all that it takes to get you moving along to the beat or playing a song on repeat. So much so, you tend to ignore the lyrics. Though you might not want to do that! Here are some of the most popular songs that have some very dark meanings behind them! Don’t believe us? Read on to find out just what we mean!

‘Pumped up kicks’ – Foster the People

With its catchy tune and indie vibe, it came as no surprise that ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ shot to fame and had practically everyone singing along to it. But what most people did not realize is just how dark the song is! The song is written from the point of view of a troubled youth who finds his father’s gun and goes on to commit a school shooting which earns a place on the list of dark popular songs!

Lyrics: All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run faster than my bullet.

‘Every breath you take’ – The Police

Ironically, this song was and is still considered to be one of the most romantic songs of all times. Which mortified the singer Sting because it’s actually quite the opposite. The song is about an ex lover who cannot get over his old flame and so begins stalking her! Hardly an appropriate wedding song!

Lyrics: Every breath you take and every move you make. Every bond you break, every step you take,  I’ll be watching you.

‘I took a pill in Ibiza’ – Mike Posner

It took Mike Posner six years to come back with yet another hit after ‘Cooler Than Me’ but it was worth the wait because ‘I took a pill in Ibiza’ blew up over night. But between its upbeat tempo and techno vibe, people didn’t really focus on the lyrics and missed out on how sad the song actually is. It speaks of Posner’s grief of not being able to live up to the success of his first song and so he found solace in drugs. Our favorite party song is actually about the lowest point in the singer’s life!

Lyrics: I’m just a singer who already blew his shot. I get along with old timers ’cause my name’s a reminder of a pop song people forgot.

‘Chandelier’ – Sia

When ‘Chandelier’ first came out, it became everyone’s go-to weekend vibe. Everyone knew the lyrics and we all sang along to it. But we also ignored the meaning behind the song which is anything but happy. The song is reminiscent to Sia’s struggles with drug and alcohol addiction during a very difficult time in her life and how she used her addiction to escape reality. 

Lyrics: Help me, I’m holding on for dear life. Won’t look down, won’t open my eyes. Keep my glass full until morning light ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight.

‘You are my sunshine’ – Johnny Cash

‘You are my sunshine’ is every parent’s favorite lullaby to sing to their children. The lyrics are super sweet and full of love. Well, the first verse at least. People tend to ignore the rest of the song which is actually quite heartbreaking. The song is actually about a man expressing his grief and heartbreak over a lover who left him completely broken. Want to rethink that lullaby now?

Lyrics: As I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms. When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken. So I hung my head and I cried.

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