5 Songs People Think Are Deep (Until They Think About Them)

The other week I wrote about five famous classic rock songs that fans have built up as being a lot more lyrically significant than they actually are. And I provided proof that even the people writing those songs didn't agree with the fan interpretations. Well, the response was great, because if it's one thing Led Zeppelin fans love, it's being told that there's something less than perfect about "Stairway to Heaven."

Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty
Zep fans also don't like to talk about the fact that Robert Plant now looks like your grandma's herbalist.

In any event, as I researched that column I saw that there was no shortage of songs that meet this category. Just too many good ones not to write about, especially when there's an added incentive of pissing people off. So here are five more songs that aren't nearly as deep and important as fans tend to think.

#5. "Champagne Supernova"

"Champagne Supernova" seems like a good place to start. It's hard to believe now, but at the time some of Cracked's spermy readers were burrowing their way into their mom's ovum, Oasis was one of the biggest bands in the world. Hear me out. This was before they were a one-hit wonder who would inexplicably have more than one hit. Anyway, one of their biggest was the lyrically enigmatic "Champagne Supernova."

People See Big Things

For those of you listening to the lyrics, you probably noticed that they sound pretty cool but defy any coherent or obvious meaning. And, by the way, that's not a problem. I'm not saying songs have to have any deep significance to be good. And sure it's fine for ambiguous words to have different meanings to different people. The point is, the superfans don't just offer possible or plausible interpretations, they take to their blogs insisting they have the answer, like this Oasis fan who is positive it's an autobiographical song about the Gallagher brothers' absentee dad, particularly the enigmatic lyric about "slowly walking down the hall / faster than a cannonball."

But the Song Is About So Much Less

Shocking as it may be that a blogger is wrong, the lyrics to "Champagne Supernova" are not intended to tell any coherent story except, perhaps, indirectly, the story of how Noel Gallagher likes getting high and doesn't sweat lyrics too much. In 2006, Noel said he hadn't made up his mind what the song is actually about, adding on the band's website that some of the lyrics were written when he was "really out of it." As far as the "faster than a cannonball" lyric, while Noel defends an ambiguous lyric's right to exist (and I agree with him), he doesn't fucking know what it means. Although, maybe he changed his mind because he also once claimed it was about a slow-walking character from a British TV show, but he "couldn't think of anything that rhymed with 'hall' apart from 'cannonball.'"

#4. "Yellow"

"Yellow" was Coldplay's first hit in the United States, and like every Coldplay song ever written it's ... fine, I guess. Unlike some of the songs on this list, "Yellow" does have a distinct lyrical meaning -- it's just basically a nice, simple love song.

People See Big Things

But the reason "Yellow" is on this list is, when I started writing the last article a bunch of people came up to me saying they always thought this song was about death. See, yellow is often associated with decay, jaundice, and magical submarines, but that last part's not so important right now.


"We all live in a constant state of liver dysfunction."

And, apparently, it's not just strangers who allegedly come up to me on the street to talk about my Cracked articles but real people who believed that whole dying lover storyline for this simple song by some very white dudes. That death and decay theme runs through this thread of fan interpretations.

But the Song Is About So Much Less

Lead singer Chris Martin rejects this interpretation. Martin claims "Yellow" is a simple love song. And that part about the color yellow? Well, Martin said, "It was simply because that word sounded nice; it just seemed to fit -- no other reason. None of the other colors would have sounded right, really."

#3. "The End"

People like to pretend The Doors were an incredibly heavy band, mostly because no singer better embodied the image of the singer as poet than Jim Morrison. He had the look, the affectation, and the leather pants. "The End" contains some of Morrison's most enigmatic and obscure lyrics, with references seemingly to the Greek tale of Oedipus. Also adding significance was the prominent use of the song over Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

People See Big Things

Yes, this song seems to be about death, which is a pretty heavy category, and the somber music adds to that interpretation as surely as singing "Mother, I want to fuck you" definitely sounds like an Oedipus reference. But what exactly did mystic shaman Morrison mean with all this? Well, while you can find many people's rambling interpretations, I greatly encourage you to click on this gentleman's emphatic explanation that it's about moving out West to have more sexually liberated relationships.

But the Song Is About So Much Less

As poetic as some might believe Jim to be, it's also important to remember that he did an awful lot of drugs. And wouldn't you know it, he was tripping on acid during the recording of "The End." So sure, there's a long, ambiguous narrative about death and fucking and killers walking down halls, and you can put it together any way you want to. In fact, go ahead and put it together any way you want to, but just do that for your fun. Don't be so sure about it, because Morrison, the acid-chomping, free-verse singing lyricist was always vague about the song's meaning, claiming, "It could be almost anything you want it to be."

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