With the ever-present and all-encompassing nature of tools like radio stations and online streaming services, listeners have unprecedented access to any and all types of music they could possibly desire. When planning a wedding, private party, corporate gathering, or any other kind of social event, having a variety of music is key. But, along with the sound of the songs, there is another important aspect that is often overlooked: the content of the music, specifically what the lyrics of the songs might be saying to the listeners.
Some songs are easy to understand, but lots of music features lyrics that are sung so quickly or take such a back-seat to the overall sound of the song that most folks miss the “real meaning” of the experience entirely. For every obviously-apparent song like David Allen Coe’s “Take This Job and Shove It” (which I do not recommend playing at corporate functions, for the record), there are a slew of songs whose true meanings aren’t so readily apparent. In addition to questions about lyrics, many popular songs have back-stories about the how/where/why the songs were written that may not be entirely accurate (but the stories sound good and help to sell copies). Take, for example, Eric Clapton’s classic ballad “Layla;” while it seems readily apparent that the song was written about a lady in Clapton’s life, it was actually inspired by a classic Persian poem from the 12th Century that Clapton thought would make a good story in song. I’m sure the mysterious-girl/heartbroken-singer angle sold many more records, though.
In my years of DJ work and music management, I’ve discovered lots of interesting tidbits about many songs that might just surprise you (or at least give you some nuggets of trivia for the next time you’re out at the bar with your friends). I’ve listed five well-known examples below, and as you’re planning your big event, I recommend that you take the time with songs you might not be familiar with and explore their lyrics and/or back-story in a little greater detail. By utilizing sites like Lyrics.com and other online resources (as well as consulting directly with your friendly neighborhood DJ), you’ll be able to avoid potential blunders: since approximately 94% of Taylor Swift songs are about break-ups, maybe her songs are not the best picks for your Must-Play list at your wedding, am I right? Continue reading 5 Songs with Deeper Meaning