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Ironic Songs

Updated on March 5, 2015

Lyrics

Songs can have various effects on people. In my article Hilarious Music Videos, I highlighted some songs that were funny in the fact that they were parodies of different cartoons or other songs. Other songs were just as hilarious or interesting as these songs, but mostly for their irony. Some songs were ironic in that the singer may sound happy, but the actual subject was actually a sad song if one were to read the lyrics. Some songs in cartoons were hilarious in their irony in that the song sounded like the result would do something like reform a bad guy from a cartoon, but the viewer already knew that the bad guy was ultimately fooling a protagonist into thinking he or she was reformed. For movies, irony in a song can come from the fact that the setting of the song took place at a time where people in the real world would not take the time to sing, much less dance. Just Be Friends, a song sung by the Vocaloid Luka Megurine, dealt with a messy break-up between a couple, but sounded oddly happy for a song about such a depressing subjects. The F.U.N. Song, sung during the season one episode F.U.N. from Spongebob Squarepants, dealt with Spongebob trying to befriend and possibly reform Plankton, an antagonist, but the viewer already knew that Plankton was pretending to want reformation. Singin' in the Rain, a song from the movie with the same name, had its singer sing during a very rainy night, which seemed ironic because nobody would normally do what Gene Kelly did during this sequence if it was really raining outside.

Not a happy song.
Not a happy song. | Source

Just Be Friends

In 2010 Japan held a concert that consisted of using the Vocaloid voice synthesizer to make digital holograms of different singers sing songs to an actual audience. One Vocaloid, Luka Megurine sang a song titled Just Be Friends. While the song itself was all happy and fun to watch, if one were to translate the lyrics, Just Be Friends suddenly took a more depressing interpretation. Mostly because the song was about a very bad break-up between two people. With lyrics that translated into English like, "I knew at the bottom of my heart. The hardest choice would be the best. My pride refuses it and denies it again. When can I tell it to you?" this song was basically the singer saying that she does not want to break-up with her significant other, in fact she outright refused to believe that she should end her relationship, but she was continuously forced to acknowledge that her relationship was not going to end well. And the lyrics get even more depressing. Soon lyrics that emphasized how bad the relationship was getting and the viewer could see translated lyrics like, "I screamed with my hoarse voice, rebound and resonance echo in vain. Nothing is left at the end of the unchained me. The bind between us has come apart and is dying away everyday.Goodbye, my sweetheart, it's over. We have to leave without turning back." which was essentially the singer accepting that their relationship was over and now the both of them had to get on with their lives without each other.

F is for friends who do stuff together. U is for you and me. N is for anywhere and anytime at all......
F is for friends who do stuff together. U is for you and me. N is for anywhere and anytime at all...... | Source

The F.U.N. Song

In the first season of Spongebob Squarepants Plankton, the main antagonist of this show, was introduced. In the tenth episode of the first season, the second mini-episode was called F.U.N. During F.U.N. Plankton was once again thwarted from acquiring a Krabby Patty to research how the Krabby Patty was made. During this particular defeat, the citizens of Bikini Bottom basically made fun of him during this episode. This caused Spongebob to attempt to befriend him. Plankton, of course, used Spongebob's attempts to befriend him as a way to steal the recipe for a Krabby Patty. This meant that the viewer knew that whatever Plankton did that made Spongebob think he was turning a new leaf was actually a ruse to gain Spongebob's trust. So when The F.U.N. Song started playing, the viewer already knew that Plankton was not genuinely trying to be friends with Spongebob. By itself, The F.U.N. Song was an actually fun song to hear. Spongebob sang the lyrics that sounded friendly and legitimately fun. Plankton sang lyrics that suited his antagonistic nature. For example, Spongebob had lyrics that sounded like, "F is for friends who do stuff together. U is for you and me. N is for anywhere and anytime at all. Down here in the deep blue sea!". Plankton had lyrics that sounded like, "F is for fire that burns down the whole town! U is for uranium...bombs! N is for no survivors when you--". Eventually Plankton seemed to accept Spongebob's friendlier lyrics and even joined in singing the last verse with him, but the viewer already knew Plankton was not really trying to be more friendly towards Spongebob.

The theatrical release poster of Singin' in the Rain.
The theatrical release poster of Singin' in the Rain. | Source

Singin' in the Rain

Sometimes irony in songs can come not from the song itself, but the setting where the song took place. Singin' in the Rain, both the title of the movie and one of the songs, provided one example. For context, Singin' in the Rain was a movie that told the story of the movie industry moving from the silent films into film that featured actual talking and singing. Also there was a love story that went on between both the male and female leads of this movie. The song Singin' in the Rain took place during a time where the male lead, played by Gene Kelly, was experiencing a very high amount of happiness. So much so that he would rather walk through a heavily rainy city than take a cab. Also, he sang. One of the more ironic aspects of this song was that the viewer could see that people were trying to get out of the rain, but Gene Kelly's was so happy that he walked through the rain happily. He even put down his umbrella while he was singing. Basically Singin' in the Rain was a song where Gene Kelly was saying that he was so happy at that moment that he did not care about the rain or getting wet, he just wanted to express his happiness through song. He even performed a rather hilarious dance number, splashed around on puddles, and generally committed several acts of silliness throughout Singin' in the Rain. Gene Kelly's character did not even care about the policeman who was watching him. This song was ironic because Gene Kelly's character was acting ridiculously happy during a time when nobody should be acting that happy.

Iconic and Ironic

Music over the years has evolved to span various genres and methods of development. As a result, songs have been able to cover various subjects in different ways. Some cases were rather ironic in how the singer sang about different subjects. Just Be Friends was a song about a recent break-up between two people, but the song itself sounded happy. The F.U.N. song was ironic because the viewer knew that this happy song was essentially a lie about the antagonist trying to become good. Singin' in the Rain was also ironic because nobody should be singing or dancing in the rain without an umbrella.

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    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      I enjoyed this article. I like thinking about what the song really says versus how "happy" or otherwise the tempo and so forth make the song appear. Well done.

    • Jake Peralta profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Michael Peralta 

      3 years ago from Indio, California

      Thanks. I have some neat stuff coming up soon.

    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 

      3 years ago from Nottingham

      A fun article with some really interesting facts that I didn't know before. I enjoyed reading and look forward to seeing more of your work.

    • Jake Peralta profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Michael Peralta 

      3 years ago from Indio, California

      Thanks!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very good article!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I don't actually think about anything when I hear those songs. My 7 year old granddaughter loves Sponge Bob, so I hear those songs a lot and Singing In The Rain, was, in my mind, just for entertainment. I enjoyed your hub though, it was something to think about.

    • Jake Peralta profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Michael Peralta 

      3 years ago from Indio, California

      Huh. Maybe I should make an article about ironic sounding songs.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Interesting. While reading this all I could think of was this song, "Oh Happy Day." The song supposedly is about a happy time, but when the song is sung it sounds more like a funeral march. Nevertheless, I love the song -- In fact i's one of my favorites. It may be hard to find so here is the URL for it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxFowKIyllE

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