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If there's one thing the Internet has taught us about society, it's that even a half-eaten slice of pizza has more of an attention span than the average person. So it should come as no surprise that a sizable segment of the population can listen to a popular song dozens of times without ever really grasping what it's about.

Sure, melodies and even the occasional chorus might stick in a person's head, but the actual meaning of the song often goes unnoticed. For the most part, people just assume every song by a dude is about fucking and every song by a woman is about some dude who fucked her over. Picking up on anything else requires way more focus and attention than most people are capable of.

To add even more confusion to the situation, some bands and musicians will bury lyrics about horrifying shit under a huge layer of major chords, catchy hooks and upbeat tempos. Everything about the song, on the surface at least, screams "I'm walking on sunshine!" But if you listen closer, what you'll hear is a lot more like "Hey, maybe you should just kill yourself."

Here are six seemingly happy songs about ridiculously depressing situations ...

Outkast -- "Hey Ya"


Most Deceptively Fun Lyric:

"Shake it, shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake it (OHH OH)/Shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture!"

Why It Makes People Happy:

Outkast's "Hey Ya" wasn't the happiest-sounding song released in 2003. No, it was probably the happiest-sounding song released during that entire decade. It was jam-packed with memorable lines about neighbors lending sugar and ladies who look like Lucy Liu shaking it like a Polaroid picture. And that was just in the lyrics. Get a load of the video if for some reason the facility you've been incarcerated in since the late '90s didn't allow inmates to watch television of any sort:

By my count, there are at least five Andre 3000s, and every one of them seems super stoked to be there. In fact, the biologically impossible band's enthusiasm is only overshadowed by that of the audience, who you can see is absolutely losing their mind at the happy funtime shenanigans unfolding in front of them. Their reaction is pretty much a perfect summary of how the world as a whole reacted to this song: just pure, unadulterated adoration. But did your mom really get the meaning behind her favorite "rap" song of all time? Don't bet on it.

Why It's Secretly Depressing:

At its core, "Hey Ya" is an incredibly sad song. The lyrics are basically an indictment of the entire idea of being in a relationship. Not just getting married, but being in a relationship at all. The "hero" of the song has found himself tied down to a woman that he no longer loves, and to make matters worse, it's pretty clear she's lost that feeling for him also. And that's how, in the midst of one of the most deceivingly happy-sounding songs ever, a line like this found its way in:

"So why oh, why oh/Why oh, why oh, why oh/Why are we so in denial/When we know we're not happy heeeerrreeee?"

If you're not reading that and feeling bummed out, congrats on the contentment you feel about your current relationship or your belief that your current state of soul-crushing loneliness will someday come to an end.

"At least I'll always have that Outkast song to cheer me up."

Now, allow this sunshine ray of a song to take a dig at you, too:

"If what they say is 'Nothing is forever'/What makes, what makes, what makes what makes, what makes love the exception?"

Did you catch that part when you were dancing around the house and lip syncing the words to "Hey Ya" into your hairbrush? If you think I'm being cynical when I say that I suspect you didn't, rest assured, I'm not alone. The man who wrote the song figured you probably wouldn't get it, either, and he even said so right in the lyrics:

"Y'all don't want to hear me/You just wanna dance."

Maybe I'm just overly negative, but I suspect he's 100 percent correct.

Paul Simon -- "You Can Call Me Al"


Most Deceptively Fun Lyric:

"If you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal/I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me you can call me Al."

Why It Makes People Happy:

You remember this song, right kids? It came out in the mid-'80s. Chevy Chase is in the video. I was pretty sure that it appeared on the Fletch soundtrack when I sat down to write this, but Google says I'm an idiot for thinking that. At any rate, it's hard to listen to this song without feeling like all of the world's sadness has finally come to a heartwarming end.

From the happy as all get out horn arrangements to the silly and nonsensical chorus, almost everything about this song seems like the kind of thing that would be playing on an endless loop in the tape deck that I assume every unicorn was outfitted with in the 1980s during their Trapper Keeper cover model heyday. You watched the video, right? Do I need to remind you that it has Chevy Chase in it? Hell, Paul Simon even dances at the end.

As you can tell from the facial expression, that's something that rarely happens.

So, just to recap, we have a horn section, a goofy chorus and Paul Simon dancing a jig with Chevy Chase in a pink room. It's enough to make a person vomit rainbows for a week straight. Or so it seems.

Why It's Secretly Depressing:

While the goofy chorus has an equally goofy back story to go with it (an acquaintance with a loose grasp of the English language mistakenly introduced Paul and his wife, Peggy, as "Al and Betty" at a party), that's where the good vibes of the song begin and end. If you listen closely, the lyrics tell the tale of a man in the seemingly unbreakable throes of a depressing midlife crisis.

Just as I assume this guy is.

The first verse kicks things off in a somewhat innocuous way, with a man complaining about having a beer belly. As a man who indeed has a beer belly, I can assure you that it's something that does cause a fair amount of depression, but it's not nearly as depressing as what happens in the second verse.

"Whoa my nights are so long/Where's my wife and family?/What if I die here?/Who'll be my role model now that my role model is gone?"

And things just get worse from there. By the end of the song, the poor guy is wandering around a Third World country, broke and looking for "angels in the architecture." It ends with him shouting "Hallelujah!" but, for the life of me, I have no idea why.

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Third Eye Blind -- "Semi Charmed Life"


Most Deceptively Fun Lyric:

"Do do doo/Do do do doo/Do do doo/Do do do doo."

Why It Makes People Happy:

Stephan Jenkins, the front man of '90s rock band Third Eye Blind, is never credited with being one of the finest lyricists of his generation, and he brought it all on himself. His biggest hit ever literally kicks off with the words "Do do doo" repeated far more times than that "phrase" should ever be used in a song (which is never).

Given the carefree approach to songwriting displayed in the opening moments (and at the beginning of every verse), it's easy to mistake "Semi Charmed Life" as a lighthearted pop tune about whatever bullshit activity inspires people to speak in baby talk.

But could it even be possible that a song that gives the impression that some unnamed toddler was screwed out of a co-writing credit could also be about some horribly depressing situation or event? Shockingly, the answer to that question is "yes."

Why It's Secretly Depressing:

You may not have realized it the first 400 times you heard "Semi Charmed Life," but the song is about being addicted to crystal meth. At least that's what I gather from the following lines:

"I was taking sips of it through my nose/And I wish I could get back there/Someplace back there/Smiling in the pictures you would take/Doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break."

For the record, this in your trash can means you have indeed been broken.

Those lyrics are approximately as subtle about telling the listener that the song is about drugs as the "Do do doos" are subtle about telling the listener that the song was written by someone with undiagnosed head trauma.

But wait, is the happy-go-lucky feel of the song really as dumb as it seems? You might be surprised to know that it's not. Here's what Stephan Jenkins had to say in an interview with MTV:

"When I wrote 'Semi-Charmed Life,' the guitar riff was intended to have this sort of bright duh-nuhnuh-nunt, this shiny thing, because that was a feeling of speed. You know, it's sort of a bright, shiny drug. And we all were sort of into hip-hop, and so it has a hip-hop flow over it."

No, Stephan, that's not a "hip-hop" flow, it's just a white dude saying words that rhyme. Gigantic difference. That said, fine, I guess that "Do do doo" shit is kind of clever, when you put it that way. I still hate this song, though.

Steely Dan -- "Everyone's Gone to the Movies"


Most Deceptively Fun Lyric:

"Kids if you want some fun/See what you never have seen/Take off your cheaters and set right down/Start the projection machine."

Why It Makes People Happy:

To quote your favorite comic, Dane Cook, "Who doesn't love cinematic adventures?" Nobody, that's who. People love movies. And despite the gigantic financial commitment it involves these days, people still love seeing movies at the theater. So it's no wonder that this song, which some say is the first that Steely Dan recorded as a band, still resonates with people today.

There's no official video that I can post here, most likely because back when this song was released, your parents were too busy sitting around the radio listening to Fireside Chats to be concerned with seeing moving pictures to go along with their tunes. Instead, check out this unintentionally creepy and (as you'll soon see) horribly off-base fan-made video instead:

If you didn't watch it, what you missed was an acid-trip-worthy photo montage of old-timey pictures of things directly or vaguely relating to movies or children. And that makes perfect sense, because this song is about kids going to the movies, right?

Well, yes, it is. Just not in the way you think.

Why It's Secretly Depressing:

Steely Dan gets a lot of flack for being the kind of adult-oriented rock band that paved the way for the likes of Hall & Oates and countless other bands that cater to the much sought after "adults aged 53 to 57" demographic. But a far less discussed aspect of the Steely Dan legacy is that they're masters of slipping hidden meanings into their seemingly innocuous tunes. Hell, even their name is rumored to be a nod to a mechanical steel dildo in the William S. Burroughs bizarro classic Naked Lunch.

"Everyone's Gone to the Movies" kicked off Steely Dan's subversive history in fine fashion. Check out the opening lines and see if anything looks out of place:

"Kids if you want some fun/Mr. Lapage is your man/He's always laughing, having fun/Showing his films in his den."

Hey, parents, how would you react if your child came home and informed you that they met a dude named Mr. Lapage who wants them to come over and watch movies in his den? Right, you'd be a little bit suspicious, and in the case of this song, your suspicions would be totally correct.

Steely Dan: Creepier than clown makeup.

See, Mr. Lapage isn't just showing the kids any movie. He's showing them porn. And to make matters even more terrifying, it seems like he's got a team of salespeople working to lure children into his porn den. Check out this line:

"Listen to what I say/He wants to show you the way/Right down the hallway with open arms/To teach you a new game to play."

You caught that, right? That's clearly not Mr. Lapage trying to sell kids on the joys of watching Nailin' Palin in a strange man's den. If it was, how do you explain the "he" part? But the creepiest aspect of all is that the porn he wants everyone to watch is on 8 mm film, apparently:

"We know you're used to 16 or more/Sorry we only have eight."

The last time 8 mm film wasn't used to film something terrible was sometime around the Great Depression. I can't say what the kids/victims in this song are in for, but whatever it is, it's a safe bet they'll be scarred for life when it's all over.

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Kiss -- "Detroit Rock City"


Most Deceptively Fun Lyric:

"Get up/Everybody's gonna move their feet/Get down/Everybody's gonna leave their seat."

Why It Makes People Happy:

Has Kiss ever cranked out a song that didn't sound like its entire purpose was to get you in the mood to party? Yes, they have; that song was called "Beth." But the guy who sang that was also the guy who drew the "kitty cat" card when it came time for the band to decide what each member's makeup should look like. That guy is clearly a pussy (pun intended), so the band can be forgiven for that minor transgression.

In the annals of Kiss party anthems, "Detroit Rock City" is one of the greatest. Who can hear the words "Get up! Everybody's gonna move their feet!" and not quietly yearn to see Gene Simmons shooting fire out of his corporate sellout mouth?

But the problem with party music is that it's usually accompanied by a party. And in that situation, nobody listens to anything unless it's someone asking them if they'd like to step outside and smoke a joint. What else could you possibly need to listen to when a song called "Detroit Rock City" is playing?

Why It's Secretly Depressing:

The music-listening public can surely be forgiven for missing the point of this song. It's not like "You gotta lose your mind in Detroit Rock City" is a line that instills an impending sense of doom in people.

The thought of having to live there probably does, though.

What could possibly go wrong?

For the unfortunate fan that this song was written about, the answer is "a whole hell of a lot." The album version of the song begins with a news report that talks about, among other things, a fatal car accident. If that seems like an odd choice for a party song, that's because it's not even kind of a party song. Check out these lyrics from the last verse of the song:

"12 o'clock, I gotta rock/There's a truck ahead, lights starin' at my eyes/Oh my God, no time to turn/I got to laugh, cause I know I'm gonna die/Why?"

If you pay attention to the rest of the lyrics leading up to that super fun moment, you can absolutely see what's coming. There's a dude trying to make it to a Kiss show by midnight, so his plan is to get high, get drunk and drive 95 miles per hour to make that happen. Shockingly, the plan ended in disaster.

But things don't get really depressing until you learn that Paul Stanley wrote the song because it's something that actually happened. A teenage dude really died on his way to a Kiss concert in Detroit.

Now, who's ready to party?

Van Halen -- "Jump"


Most Deceptively Fun Lyric:

"Well can't you see me standing here/I got my back against the record machine."

Why It Makes People Happy:

Depending on who you ask, "Jump" represents the exact moment in time when Van Halen either stopped or started being awesome. If you fall into the former category, you're probably a die-hard Van Halen fan. If you fall into the latter category, you're the type of person who ruins anything good and everybody hates you. Sorry to break that to you on a comedy site.

Speaking of comedy, have you ever seen the official video for this song? Who thought these outfits were a good idea?

No matter what your stance on Van Halen's "Jump" may be, there's one undeniable truth that nobody can dispute ... it's a damn fun song. It's hard to take anything too seriously when it features the absolute cheesiest synthesizer riff in recorded music history. I've played Nintendo cartridges that had more musical integrity than this song. And get a load of that carefree attitude Diamond Dave is exuding. When life is getting you down, just jump, man. Just, like, right where you're standing right now. Jump up in the air. Maybe click your heels together while you're up there. It's scientifically impossible to be in a bad mood after that.

Man, David Lee Roth is an alright kind of guy, isn't he?

Why It's Secretly Depressing:

Nope, he sure as shit isn't. See, it's not so much the lyrics that make this song depressing so much as David Lee Roth's inspiration for writing it. Don't take my word for it, though, let the man tell you himself:

"I was watching television one night and it was the five o'clock news and there was a fellow standing on top of the Arco Towers in Los Angeles and he was about to check out early, he was going to do the 33 stories drop -- and there was a whole crowd of people in the parking lot downstairs yelling "Don't jump, don't jump" and I thought to myself, "Jump." So, I wrote it down and ultimately it made in onto the record ..."

"And then I decided to get old and less talented."

Classy! But not nearly as classy as the radio DJ who found himself entrenched in a raging shit storm for playing the song back in 2010.

Steve Penk was on the air at England's 96.2 FM while traffic on the M60, which I'm assuming is whatever British people call a highway, was stuck across all four lanes. What was the cause of the delay? A woman threatening to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. In one of the most egregious cases of misplaced sympathy of all time, Penk decided that, as a show of solidarity with the inconvenienced motorists, he should play Van Halen's "Jump."

It's never been clear if the woman threatening to jump actually heard the song blaring from the car of a passing motorist. What is quite clear though is that, while the song was playing, she took David Lee Roth's advice and jumped. She didn't die, though. She just suffered massive leg injuries.

So, I guess that makes it alright?

Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should check out right here. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

For more from Adam, check out 6 Famous Songs That Don't Mean What You Think and The 7 Most Unforgivable Grammy Award Snubs of All Time.

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