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-   -   Weekend Rock List: Hidden Meanings (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=28094)

snopes 29 March 2008 03:34 AM

Weekend Rock List: Hidden Meanings
 
Eagle-eyed Paul McCartney fans realized that Macca’s new song “Mister Bellamy” was (possibly an intentional) anagram of “Mills betray me,” making reference to McCartney’s now-ex-wife Heather Mills. Thus, we examine those songs that a true (or untrue) hidden meaning or an urban legend behind it. Here’s a couple of our favorites (complete with their backstories).

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdail...dden-meanings/

Floater 31 March 2008 10:46 AM

Paul McCartney, isn't he dead?

jw 31 March 2008 12:06 PM

Quote:

Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight” – The urban legend goes Collins witnessed a drowning in which a man could have helped the victim but didn’t.
I don't know how many times I'd heard that before this web site put me straight.

jw 31 March 2008 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floater (Post 562456)
Paul McCartney, isn't he dead?

Yes. He died in 1966 and was replaced with a look-a-like.

ganzfeld 31 March 2008 12:18 PM

Quote:

Peter, Paul and Mary – “Puff the Magic Dragon” – May or may not be about smoking a joint.
Or it could be about exactly what they've said it was about every time they're asked. I can just see the three of them sighing and rolling their eyes if they even notice this one being mentioned again.

damian 01 April 2008 05:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floater (Post 562456)
Paul McCartney, isn't he dead?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jw (Post 562473)
Yes. He died in 1966 and was replaced with a look-a-like.

You're thinking of Steve Gutenberg.

I have heard that The Vapors' "Turning Japanese" and Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" are about the same subject.

TrishDaDish 11 April 2008 05:20 PM

My favorite quote in the comments:

Quote:

“Mississippi” by Bob Dylan was written as a tribute to Jeff Buckley (it’s true, I saw it online) http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Mississippi_(Bob_Dylan_s ong)
I'm not sure which I find funnier - the fact that if you see it online, it's true, or the fact that they think wikipedia never has errors written in it's entries.

Thebobo 26 April 2008 10:27 PM

I always thought "Youre So Vain" By Carly Simon was about Warren Beatty and not mere specualtion. I find it odd that some would think it was about Mick Jagger considering he does back up vocals through a portion of the song!

snopes 27 April 2008 01:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thebobo (Post 592449)
I find it odd that some would think it was about Mick Jagger considering he does back up vocals through a portion of the song!

Why is that odd? It fits perfectly with the theme of the song -- he's so vain that he agrees to sing on it even though he thinks it's about him (or so cluelessly vain that he allows himself to be tricked into singing on it).

- snopes

katdixo 28 April 2008 03:38 PM

Here's the latest from Carly Simon about "You're So Vain":

[As part of a charity auction a few years ago, Simon told the winning bidder, television executive Dick Ebersol, whom "You're So Vain" is about.] Is it time to let someone besides Dick Ebersol know?

Oh God, please don't make me go through this. . . . The thing is now, if I wanted to have fun with it, I could say it's just about anybody.

Did you tell Ebersol the truth?

Yes, I did. And there were people with him, too, and I didn't like that he brought people with him [to the auction]. But I said, listen, you absolutely have to go along with this: If I ever hear this come back to me, I am going to say it's not true.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...042500924.html

Johnny Slick 28 April 2008 04:10 PM

How could they stick American Pie in with this big list of "OMG this one might be about a celebrity!!!" songs? American Pie really *is* a coded reference to several events in rock history, including but not limited to the Buddy Holly/Richie Valens plane crash, Bob Dylan's motorcycle crash ("the jester was in a sideline in a cast" line), and Altamont.

On the other hand, they should have but did not include Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know", which is supposedly about Full House star Dave Coulet.

musicgeek 28 April 2008 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Slick (Post 593810)
How could they stick American Pie in with this big list of "OMG this one might be about a celebrity!!!" songs? American Pie really *is* a coded reference to several events in rock history, including but not limited to the Buddy Holly/Richie Valens plane crash, Bob Dylan's motorcycle crash ("the jester was in a sideline in a cast" line), and Altamont.

On the other hand, they should have but did not include Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know", which is supposedly about Full House star Dave Coulet.

Nitpick - Dave Coulier (I hate myself for knowing that!)

Richard W 28 April 2008 04:56 PM

I've never understood why it's supposed to be vain for the subject of the song to think the song is about them, when it is about them... Paranoid might seem more reasonable perhaps.

Tarquin Farquart 28 April 2008 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard W (Post 593882)
I've never understood why it's supposed to be vain for the subject of the song to think the song is about them, when it is about them... Paranoid might seem more reasonable perhaps.

You're so paranoid, you probably think this song is about you
And you're right...

snopes 28 April 2008 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard W (Post 593882)
I've never understood why it's supposed to be vain for the subject of the song to think the song is about them, when it is about them

I think that's the "secret" to the song. It wasn't really *about* any one particular person; it was inspired by several people, all of whom are now left (vainly) wondering if the song was about them.

- snopes

Chloe 28 April 2008 06:04 PM

It's not really accurate to call Mary Whitehouse a "Tipper Gore." Tipper Gore campaigned for labelling, not for the removing of material deemed objectionable.

Richard W 28 April 2008 07:31 PM

And it's not very accurate to call that one a hidden meaning either, given that Mary Whitehouse is actually named in the lyrics, unlike Thatcher. (Well, "Whitehouse" anyway, but it's obvious who they mean from the context and when it was released.)


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