Sound Warning: Songs with Creepy Undertones/Meanings

Word to the Wise

Every few years there's a song that you hear and think, hey that's somewhat cool. And then after a few listens, you think hey wait a minute! This person sounds a little to dramatic in talking about their unrequited/lost love. So in honor of those tunes that make us a little nervous, here goes nothing.

Anything for You

There's no doubt about Gloria Estefan and her impact on music. Her voice and her style has influenced pop music the world over for nearly thirty years. While there are some songs that stir us, "Coming Out of the Dark," make us move "Conga," or proclaim our crush, "Bad Boy," there is one that's a tad creepy.

"Anything for You" seems to begin as the requisite post-break up, still in love type ditty but then after a couple of lines, we find out the truth.

I'd still do anything for you
I'll play your game
You hurt me through and through
But you can have your way

This is blurring the lines of friendship and just plain obsession. If someone did you this bad, should you really cling to them? Um, I don't know about you but that's not my thing. And besides if you do anything for someone that's setting yourself up for a lifetime of crime, heartache, and therapy.

No matter how much Gloria Estefan convinces us in song, it's best to say you'll do anything, wait, and then stop calling if they ask you to their laundry for the 50th time.

Here I Am

Anyone who says "Here I Am" can only be one of two things, cute or cocky. I know that sounds like an over-generalization but if you think about it, it's true. And as much as we'd like to change music or history, this applies to one of the South's premier soul singers, Al Green.

It always ends up this way,
me begging you every day.
A love that I cannot have,
you broke my heart into half.

If a situation always ends in heartache for you, I think that's a sign. As much as everyone would like a happy ending with the person we fall for, it doesn't work that way. And when it doesn't work that way, you can't continue to pester them to fall at your feet. It's just the way the cookie crumbles.

However, as much as it is hard to face reality that doesn't mean we can't all be Al sometimes and sing our sorrows away. And besides what better voice to capture the struggle of heartache?


Lady Gaga has spent the last few years giving us the prescribed amount of controversial pop star through her costumes, lyrics, videos, and performances. Sometimes she captures our interest and a lot of times she solicits our scowls. Either way, her songs are purposefully meant to do something to your emotions rather it be positive and inspiring or negative and daunting.

"Paparazzi" is no different. The third single and accompanying video further proves she wants to change the conversation in pop music from the obvious love/lust subject matter to the darker undertones of life in the spotlight and how that can be compared to a relationship.

I'm your biggest fan
I'll follow you until you love me, Papa-paparazzi

This reminds me of the obsessive teenage girl you think of on a Justin Bieber fan site except that instead of LOL after her posts, she's entirely serious. And then you start to worry. While Gaga herself explained that the concept of the song and video is based on the tragedy of Princess Diana's demise.

So while this song is steeped in real-life controversy, it only exaggerates the depth of the lyrics.

Just My Imagination

One of the creepiest things about some relationships is that some people go from zero to sixty way too fast. It's one thing if you're dating and thinking about commitment down the line, but what if you've never even met the person?

The Temptations probably had the first stalker megahit with "Just My Imagination." It fools us all into thinking that guys are romantic but then eventually we learn the truth: dude doesn't even know the girl he's singing about. Say What?

Soon we'll be married and raise a family (Oh yeah)
A cozy little home out in the country with two children maybe three.
I tell you I can visualize it all

In theory, this guy sounds too good to be true and our suspicions are only validated at the end of the song. But looking and listening back to the song, it probably is a good thing this guy isn't real because we'd spend a lifetime living too high in the clouds to be hit with reality if he was.

Pretty Baby

While this next song may not seem familiar to most of you, I'm sure the artist is less familiar. If anyone remembers the fabled anti-Britney movement circa 2002-2003 you may remember Vanessa Carlton. Her biggest hit was "A Thousand Miles" but to me that song was so overplayed I was ready to run as many miles to stop hearing it. Widely considered a one-hit wonder, the more interesting song from her debut album Be Not Nobody is definitely "Pretty Baby."

And contrary to what you think, it's not about a baby. It's about Carlton's relationship with a boyfriend who, as described by her is no less than perfect. That was the first clue, but after she said he laid her down, I think that was the next inclination that this relationship was more complicated than she let on.

Pretty baby, don't you leave me
I have been saving smiles for you
Pretty baby, why can't you see

I know we aren't supposed to interpret music literally, but saving smiles? Even four-year-olds don't do that unless they have one of those ridiculous good behavior charts. And as much as one would like to rationalize what Carlton is talking about or her tone, the fact is that the song was way too creepy for her own good as well as ours.

But it is still a good song to listen to from time to time. Just don't take it too seriously.

Thanks for Reading

As always, I appreciate you stopping by and reading. Thank you and I look forward to your comments and insights.

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Comments 24 comments

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Ha! A hubber after my own heart. I love song hubs exploring different emotions evoked by the songs. I gotta tell you, I had never, in about 10 zillion listenings of the song, ever thought of The Temptations' "Just My Imagination" as creepy. Of course, most of the listens occurred when I was too young to understand stalking. LOL.

This is a well done hub. Thanks for the videos and the lyrics, too. Keep them coming! MM

rednickle profile image

rednickle 5 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

K i would have to disagree with you for once. i believe the paparazzi lyrics focused more on her desire no matter the means instead of merely portraying the darker undertones of life in the spotlight. I might be wrong though


Cara.R profile image

Cara.R 5 years ago from New York

Interesting hub. I enjoyed reading about how music can evoke all kinds of emotions.

This hub made me think of the time I asked my musician Fiancé about how music can sound creepy and it's called, dissonance. It can be a melody,a tone and the spaces between them that can bring a sense of relief or a sense of dread like in a horror movie.

Composers use dissonance when scoring music for a film. Like the unforgettable score for the movie Jaws.

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

@ MightyMom: I understand where you're coming from. I think if you listen and not read into the lyrics it doesn't sound creepy but I think in a modern context it could be creepy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

@ Rednickle: You're right but then again I think Gaga makes her songs to have multiple interpretations. It could really go any kind of way. I just think she wanted to mix the themes of fame and desire in her songs.

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

@ Cara.R I notice a lot of times how movies do use music to evoke dread or sorrow in a scene. It's done in television as well. Dissonance is a very interesting concept and I wouldn't mind looking into it more. Thank you for commenting and stopping by.

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

nice hub alecia. as a karaokeguy, I often realize how gross/disturbing/odd/sad songs are as I'm reading the lyrics. it's quite a trip!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Justin! Yeah, I can only imagine what happens when you read the lyrics sheet and realize what you're singing!

Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

This is why I love music, it's subjective. At first listen we get lured in by a hook or a specific verse. In some cases you end up wondering what in the world you were singing along to.

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

I agree Express10. It takes a while to really know what you're listening to. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

sometimes it's good that words sometimes come across unintelligibly

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

I guess but I also appreciate the beauty of full words being said clearly especially in this abbreviation laden society.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

I always enjoy being disturbed by a good song. Some of these songs I had never really thought about before, but indeed, they seem a bit creepy and not so happy after all. Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Jeannie! I think being creeped out every once in a while is good, as long as you're not afraid to listen to it again!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Creepy, disturbed lyrics...very interesting. I've heard many songs that I would have to google the lyrics because what I heard make me think "did they really just say that?" Most of the time for me, it was more witty than creepy. Way to go Alecia!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hey Sunshine,

Yeah sometimes, I have to google the lyrics because some people are a little creepy but more often than not it's insight instead of craziness that prevails. Thanks for commenting!

moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 4 years ago from New York, NY

Interesting interpretations. I think love songs represent the vast spectrum of human desires, both good and bad. As in country music, for example, there's so much love drama, as if preparing us for the tough world out there ))

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Moncrieff,

I agree love songs do represent the spectrum of human desire. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

Hi Alicia, I think most love songs border on obsessions if they are not completely about obsessions. That's what makes them so much fun when you're in the early stages of a relationship and what makes them match your mood when you might be breaking things off. Take a listen to Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." Love those love songs :-). Great hub!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Cyndi10!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Alicia, great hub. I used to love 'Anything For You', it was out when I was on vacation in California and I played it to death, even buying the CD to take back to England; but you've made me think about it in a different way now, she does sound like a bit of a doormat, oh well :o( Al Green - I can listen to him til the cows come home and he'd still convince me I was in love with him :o)

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Alecia...Wow...I don't think I've ever paid such explicit attention to many songs!! Can't get anything past Alecia! This is what I call a "fine-toothed comb" inspection of the lyrics! Good job, Alecia. You've presented a very unique way of listening!! ....UP++

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jools,

I love Gloria Estefan's music but I was watching something and they mentioned how creepy this song was and it changed my mind- I enjoy listening to it still but I hope I never end up doing what she did! Al Green is pretty awesome even if he sounds like someone who can't let go :)! Thanks :).

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks effer for coming by and commenting!

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