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September 16, 2016

Songs With Sweet Melodies But Bitter Lyrics

Here's one by the Beatles.

Elvis Costello has a lot of songs like this. This is one that springs to mind. He must have been in a bad mood on that record because he's bitter here too.

I don't know if you can count Guns N Roses I Used to Lover Her, as 1, it's jokey, and 2, everything Guns N Roses sings sounds pretty mean.

One song that probably shouldn't be on the list, despite rumors to the contrary, is Don't Fear the Reaper, which the song's writer Buck Dharma says never was about a suicide pact, but simply a yearning for a love so eternal that it would transcend even death.

I mean, that's slightly dark. Not super-dark like a suicide anthem, though.

Compare to the song that might sound menacing but whose lyrics are actually sweet -- I remember posting this video by Brandi Carlile a while ago, and many people thought it was some kind of ironic man-hating thing where she's talking about being nothing except her love for her man, but she means it sarcastically and cruelly.

But, in fact, she's not being ironic: The song is actually her saying she's nothing except her love for her man.

What are your favorite songs in this sweet-but-vicious vein?

Or which go the other way, and sound mean, but are actually nice?

Lyrical counterpoint songs, I guess.


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posted by Ace at 08:12 PM

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