I think that’s what great about a song. Everybody has their own perception about it. (Brian May, asked about the meaning of Bohemian Rhapsody)
There are three qualities in songs that I always try to examine everytime I found an interesting song (not necessarily good) : music, lyrics, and video.
Sometimes I like a song, just because it has an exceptional music video, e.g. No Surprise from Radiohead. Or exceptional lyrics/story, e.g Space Oddity from David Bowie. But, often, it begins with same thing: the music. If I found the music quite good, I tried to read the lyrics and watch the music video.
I like to find the meaning of a song based on its lyric or music video. I really like an ambigous or confusing one: it makes me think it has a not-so clear message, and I deserve to have my own perception about that song.
For instance, I didn’t catch what this part means in Everybody’s Changing from Keane.
Everybody’s changing, and I don’t feel the same.
Which situation do you think represented by that part?
A. Everybody, including myself, is changing. Hence, I don’t feel the same (like the way I used to).
B. Everybody else is changing. But I don’t. (And I’m asking WHY?)
I don’t know the right answer (I like to think there isn’t!), but most people I’ve asked told me it’s an A situation, based on the full lyric.
I chose to believe it’s a B situation. I feel like the way Keane sing it, they feel confused. The music video is only a collection of concert, so it’s not helping.
Other instance I found, is With or Without You by U2. At first, I thought this song is about love. I thought the “I can’t live with or without you” is a common phrase to tell somebody how important he/she is to you.
But, I found a quite deep-perception by someone on quora (and somehow I agreed with him!):
It’s about everything you love, but destroying you. Drug addiction, abusive lover, your beliefs about God, etc.
Whoa. This is just another level.
Final instance, Yellow from Coldplay. What do you think represented by Yellow?
Me and my friends have some perceptions. It may represent a beautiful sunset, so the song basically compare how beautiful a woman, just like that beautiful scenery. It may represent Asian girl. Or, It may represent whatever Yellow colors represent.
I have reviewed some exciting song to discuss (at least for me). However there are some instances where I tend not to like the song because how straight forward or cliche the lyric is.
Whenever you will go by The Calling is one of them. First time I listened the song, I really like the music, but once I read the lyrics, I felt it’s a plain song. Still good for karaoke though.
Do you have a unique perception about particular song or song that you’ll never know the meaning?