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Songs with deep meaning lyrics

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:31 AM
  #1
Temaire
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Songs with deep meaning lyrics

I have to do a research project in my university English class, where you have to choose a song and explain how the poetic techniques in the song help convey the meaning of the song. The lyrical content of the song has to sophisticated enough to support a close reading at the university level. The problem is, I don't listen to music that much, so I'm having trouble finding a suitable song. So far, I have one possible song, The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. However, I want to have multiple options for this assignment. What song do you guys suggest?

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:39 AM
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One song that has always stuck with me is U2's "Until The End Of The World"

Haven't seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold, just passing time
Last time we met was a low-lit room
We were as close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world

I took the money, I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You, you were acting like it was the end of the world

In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim
Waves of regret, waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You, you said you'd wait until the end of the world

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:51 AM
  #3
eldiablo17
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Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:51 AM
  #4
Canucks5551
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Worlds Within The Margin by In Flames


Raindrop hits the leaf changing it's position slightly on the street
next to polls of monotonous waters He walks Slipping feet from
steps at random He falls

In the space of between his body and the ground
comets cast off their names stellar neurones misfire

Witnesses
inhale the seed
and spit out a million branches

Buds abloom in all directions
from which events occur
relations and virused meetings
catch fire and explode
In the margin of butterfly wings
entire cycles of evolution
outplayed and faded
sparked away back into
vacuum-filled nirvana

Between the two of my eyes
feverish fractal scar
Dance like they were on drugs
peyote labyrinth re-mapped exits
A hasty blink
and a million life-to-comes
will never be the same
as they never were

In the kinetic energy of a moving fist
lies a birth-machine for a parallel universe

With the first movement in organic scap
came a bouquet of alternative answers
all different multiplied and re-divided

Coded in the spinal cord of a trilobite
written between the legs on the Meganeura
suburban city maps and dormant dictator semen
marked their way through time

In the kinetic energy of a moving fist
lies a birth-machine for a parallel universe


Last edited by Canucks5551: 11-04-2009 at 02:59 AM.
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Old
11-04-2009, 02:52 AM
  #5
Cone
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i'm going to do you a favor and give the best suggestion anybody here will give.

go with bonnie "prince" billy. i'd personally go with "i see a darkness"

will oldham is one the best lyricist ever. plus it would be a pretty original choice



Well, you're my friend, (that's what you told me)
And can you see (what's inside of me)
Many times we've been out drinking
And many times we've shared our thoughts
But did you ever, ever notice, the kind of thoughts I got
Well you know I have a love, a love for everyone I know
And you know I have a drive to live I won't let go
But can you see it's opposition, comes arising up sometimes
That it's dreadful antiposition, comes blacking in my mind

And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you, you
Can save me from this darkness

Well I hope that someday buddy
We have peace in our lives
Together or apart
Alone or with our wives
And we can stop our whoring
And pull the smiles inside
And light it up forever
And never go to sleep
My best unbeaten brother
This isn't all I see

Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
And did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you, you
Can save me from this darkness

second place:



oh... and lou reed is always cool


Last edited by Cone: 11-04-2009 at 03:08 AM.
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Old
11-04-2009, 03:00 AM
  #6
yakitate304
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I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Logan, Grant, and Ronald Reagan
In the grave with Xylophagan
Do you know the ghost community?
Sound the horn, address the city

(Who will save it? Dedicate it?
Who will praise it? Commemorate it for you?)

We are awaken with the ax
Night of the Living Dead at last
They have begun to shake the dirt
Wiping their shoulders from the earth
I know, I know the nations past
I know, I know they rust at last
They tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot


I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
B-U-D-A! Caledonia! S-E-C-O-R! Magnolia!
B-I-R-D-S! And Kankakee! Evansville and Parker City

Speaking their names, they shake the flag
Waking the earth, it lifts and lags
We see a thousand rooms to rest
Helping us taste the bite of death
I know, I know my time has passed
I'm not so young, I'm not so fast
I tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot


I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Comer and Potato Peelers! G-R-E-E-N ridge! Reeders
M-C-V-E-Y! And Horace! E-N-O-S! Start the chorus

Corn and Farms and Tombs in Lemmon
Sailor Springs and all things feminine
Centerville and Old Metropolis
Shawneetownn, you trade and topple us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Hold your tongue and don't divide us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Land of God, you hold and guide us

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Old
11-04-2009, 03:10 AM
  #7
BigT2002
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I Miss You - Incubus. As someone who has spent 5 of the last 6 years of his life on other continents while his g/f has patiently waited for him at home not knowing if he will ever come back....this takes the cake:

Lyrics to I Miss You :
To see you when I wake up
Is a gift I didn't think could be real.
To know that you feel the same as I do
Is a three-fold, utopian dream.
You do something to me that I can't explain.
So would I be out of line if I said

I miss you

I see your picture, I smell your skin on the empty pillow next to mine.
You have only been gone ten days, but already I'm wasting away.
I know I'll see you again
Whether far or soon.
But I need you to know that I care

And I miss you

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Old
11-04-2009, 03:11 AM
  #8
Cone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakitate304 View Post
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Logan, Grant, and Ronald Reagan
In the grave with Xylophagan
Do you know the ghost community?
Sound the horn, address the city

(Who will save it? Dedicate it?
Who will praise it? Commemorate it for you?)

We are awaken with the ax
Night of the Living Dead at last
They have begun to shake the dirt
Wiping their shoulders from the earth
I know, I know the nations past
I know, I know they rust at last
They tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot


I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
B-U-D-A! Caledonia! S-E-C-O-R! Magnolia!
B-I-R-D-S! And Kankakee! Evansville and Parker City

Speaking their names, they shake the flag
Waking the earth, it lifts and lags
We see a thousand rooms to rest
Helping us taste the bite of death
I know, I know my time has passed
I'm not so young, I'm not so fast
I tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot


I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Comer and Potato Peelers! G-R-E-E-N ridge! Reeders
M-C-V-E-Y! And Horace! E-N-O-S! Start the chorus

Corn and Farms and Tombs in Lemmon
Sailor Springs and all things feminine
Centerville and Old Metropolis
Shawneetownn, you trade and topple us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Hold your tongue and don't divide us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Land of God, you hold and guide us
sufjan is awesome

my personal favorite lyrics of his are from

"The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!"

most of those songs aren't really all that self-contained though is the problem. it's kind of a concept album really. the whole album has it's own message, and to understand it fully you have to understand what he is doing.

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Old
11-04-2009, 04:52 AM
  #9
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If I ever have to do something like this, I know what song I'd pick:



Individually wrapped, placed in neat little rows
Becoming a piece, of everything that grows
Some numbers, a name, to indicate you played the game
Came empty handed and left the same
A soul is a soul and a shell is a shell
The border in between is full of everything you felt
Some cling to a cross because they're tired and lost
They leave it up to the weather to measure the cost
And every time I look within I recognize the darkness
Familiar to the image of the artist
Staring at the bathroom mirror in a strangers apartment
Can't remember her name, don't remember how I got here
But here I am, thinking about death again
Humbles out the stress, helps the breath get in
I need to check my friends as well as my next of kin
To let them all know I love them all to the end

And when the soul begins to reap, I think she'll know me from the sleep
I keep caught in the corner of my bloodshot eyes
And if she has the nerve, to let me dump a few last words
I'm gonna turn to the earth and scream "Love your life!"

Love your life, quite cliche but I guess that's me
A ball of pop culture with some arms and feet
As discrete as I've tried to keep the drama and cancer
It's no secret I hunger for someone to feed the answers
I never expected a bowl of cherries
I'm just a Virgo trying to find my own version of the Virgin Mary
And when I let them carry me to a cemetery
I wanna be buried with a pocket full of clarity

(Chorus)
Now, how many times must you prove you're an angel
How many more demons do you have to strangle
How much longer must you remain in this dream
Before I finally figure out if you're insane or a genius

How many times must you prove you're an angel
How many more demons do you have to strangle
How much longer must you remain in this dream
Before I finally figure out if you're insane or a genius

Let no tears to fall from none of y'all
Just remember it all, the beauty as well as the flaws
L-O-V-E L-I-F-E
Here lies Sean, finally free
And as I look across the sea I smile at the sun
While it feeds the weeds the nutrition they need
The people still breathe, the city still bleeds
I'm going to love it to death and keep planting my seeds
I'm going to love it to death and keep an eye on the seeds
I'll be in love till I'm dead, I keep reaching the seeds
I'll give all I got left just to teach you to read
Love life to the death and keep planting my seeds

And when the soul begins to reap, I think she'll know me from the sleep
I keep caught in the corner of my bloodshot eyes
And if she has the nerve, to let me dump a couple last words
I'm gonna turn to the earth and scream "Love your life!"

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Old
11-04-2009, 08:48 AM
  #10
RJ8812
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Closer by Nine Inch Nails

jk, but Hurt by NIN is a good one

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Old
11-04-2009, 09:00 AM
  #11
UseYourAllusion
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"We Built this City" - - Jefferson Starship

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Old
11-04-2009, 09:04 AM
  #12
Acadmus
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One could go on with a thread like this all day...
Pain - Catherine Wheel
Before the summer fell
I already knew
She said I was more than dead
But I already knew

Pain! Here it comes, again
oh, pain! I just can't take this anymore
oh, pain! ah here it comes again
oh, pain! A knife behind the eyes, a vicious size, again

I miss my best friend
A growing fear
A lot to sacrifice
Or draw to an end

Pain! Here it comes, again
oh, pain! I just can't take this anymore
oh, pain! ah here it comes again
oh, pain! A knife behind the eyes, a vicious size again


Your Crusade - Jesus Jones
Include me out
You dig your own grave
You build your own walls
I don't believe enough to believe in you

Oh no, not me
I'm not part of your crusade

Don't need your approval
Your safety in numbers
You stay in your team
I don't care enough to share your dream

Oh no, not me
I'm not part of your crusade

I don't need someone like you
Expecting me to share your views
I don't believe that what you see
Has anything to do with me

Oh no, not me
I'm not part of your crusade


From Love To War - Jesus Jones
Should I hold you to the light would I see right through you?
If I question what you are would it bring me any closer to you?

From love to war what we aim for is to keep the illusion
You can take your conscience for your lover and satisfied there is no other
You can dream. You can dream.

Well any doubts we have had better not show
What good would they do us, leaving us nowhere to go?

From love to war what we aim for is to keep the illusion
Taking a stand for the benefit of man and angry with pride because
God is on our side

Oh I could do with some sleep 'cause the rubbish I talk is getting deep
And if I don't believe in you well there's nothing I can do except throw myself at walls
and love no one at all

From love to war what we aim for is to keep the illusion
You can take your conscience for your lover and satisfied there is no other
You can dream. You can dream.

You can dream...

__________________
"...and ultimately it doesn't matter."
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Old
11-04-2009, 09:13 AM
  #13
BrooklynCapsFan
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You could write a book on Der Erlkonig by Schubert.

If you want to use English text, you could work with Britten's War Requiem (settings of Owen Poetry) or anything by Ned Rorem or Samuel Barber.

I double majored in Music and English and I'd recommend staying away from pop music.


Last edited by BrooklynCapsFan: 11-04-2009 at 09:20 AM.
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Old
11-04-2009, 10:27 AM
  #14
The Pucks
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Nickelback

I wanna be a rockstar








ok, maybe not :-)

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Old
11-04-2009, 10:29 AM
  #15
LongTooth
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Pick just about any Rush song!

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Old
11-04-2009, 11:18 AM
  #16
kihei
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Check out Leonard Cohen songs. After all being a poet is his day job. Suzanne or Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye might be candidates (not that their will be a shortage in his case), though Chelsea Hotel was the song that immediately came to my mind.

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Old
11-04-2009, 11:35 AM
  #17
The Dayvan Cowboy
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I hopped off the plane at LAX
with a dream and my cardigan
welcome to the land of fame excess, (woah)
am I gonna fit in?

Jumped in the cab,
Here I am for the first time
Look to the right and I see the Hollywood sign
This is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

My tummys turnin and I'm feelin kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous,
That's when the taxi man turned on the radio
and a Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on
and the Jay Z song was on

CHORUS:
So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin’ my head like yeah
Moving my hips like yeah,
And I got my hands up,
They’re playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, It's a party in the USA
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

Get to the club in my taxi cab
Everybody's lookin at me now
Like “whos that chick, thats rockin’ kicks?
She gotta be from out of town”

So hard with my girls not around me
Its definitely not a Nashville party
Cause’ all I see are stilletos
I guess I never got the memo

My tummys turnin and I'm feelin kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the D.J. dropped my favorite tune
and a Britney song was on
and the Britney song was on
and the Britney song was on

CHORUS:
So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin’ my head like yeah
Moving my hips like yeah,
And I got my hands up,
They’re playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, It's a party in the USA
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

Feel like hoppin' on a flight (on a flight)
Back to my hometown tonight (town tonight)
Something stops me everytime (everytime)
The DJ plays my song and I feel alright!

CHORUS:
So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away
Noddin’ my head like yeah (Oh, nodding my head)
Moving my hips like yeah, (Ooh Yeah)
And I got my hands up,
They’re playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok (gonna be okay)
Yeah (huh huh), It's a party in the USA (Yeah)
Yeah, It's a party in the USA

So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song,
And the butterflys fly away (flying away)
Noddin’ my head like yeah (nodding my head like yeah)
Moving my hips like yeah, (moving my hips like yeah)
And I got my hands up,
They’re playin my song
I know I'm gonna be ok (I'm gonna be okay)
Yeah (Yeah), It's a party in the USA
Yeah (hahaha), It's a party in the USA (Party in the USA!)

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Old
11-04-2009, 11:53 AM
  #18
Teemu
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If I were to go with Sufjan Stevens, I'd say


Goldenrod and the 4H stone,
the things I brought you,
when I found out you had cancer of the bone

Your father cried on the telephone,
and he drove his car into the navy yard,
just to prove that he was sorry

In the morning, through the window shade,
when the light pressed up against your shoulder blade,
I could see what you were reading.

All the glory that the Lord has made,
and the complications you could do without,
when I kissed you on the *mouth.

Tuesday night at the Bible study,
we lift our hands and pray over your body,
but nothing ever happens.

I remember at Michael's house,
in the living room when you kissed my *neck,
and I almost touched your blouse.

In the morning at the top of the stairs,
when your father found out what we did that night,
and you told me you were scared.

All the glory when you ran outside,
with your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied,
and you told me not to follow you.

Sunday night when I cleaned the house,
I find the card where you wrote it out,
with the pictures of you mother.

On the floor at the great divide,
with my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied,
I am crying in the bathroom.

In the morning when you finally go,
and the nurse runs in with her head hung low,
and the cardinal hits the window.

In the morning in the winter shade,
on the 1st of March on the holiday,
I thought I saw you breathing.

All the glory that the Lord has made,
and the complications when I see His face,
in the morning in the window.

All the glory when he took our place,
but he took my shoulders and he shook my face,
and he takes and he takes and he takes.

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Old
11-04-2009, 12:29 PM
  #19
Acadmus
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Mockingbirds - Grant Lee Buffalo

Devastation at last finally we meet
After all of these years out here on the street
I had a feeling you would make yourself known
You came along just to claim your place on the throne
And I have been overthrown
Overthrown

And I thought if I towed the right lines
But these mockingbirds won't let me shine

Devastation my door was left open wide
You brought me into your heart then you swallowed my pride
I had a feeling you were hiding your thoughts
I made a note to myself I nearly forgot
Now I am overwrought
I'm overwrought

And I thought if I towed the right lines
But these mockingbirds won't let me shine

And I thought if I towed the right lines
But these mockingbirds won't let me shine

One day this ground will break
And open up for me I hope it will I hope it will

Salutations at last down on my knees
I heard the bugle this morn blast reveille
Woke from a dream where I was in a terrible realm
All my sails were ablaze I was chained to the helm
And now I am overwhelmed
I'm overwhelmed

And I thought if I towed the right lines
But these mockingbirds won't let me shine

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Old
11-04-2009, 12:33 PM
  #20
Buck Aki Berg
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I think the Barenaked Ladies would be a goldmine for this sort of thing. I had to write a similar paper in a first-year music class, and used BNL for it (though I wasn't constrained to a single song).

I think a great song for this would be Aluminum, though it miiiight be a little one-dimensional. The whole song is an extended metaphor comparing a person (presumably an ex) to a piece of Aluminum (♪You can shine like silver all you want, but you're just aluminum ♪), and just below the surface, you can tell that the protagonist, though he's aware of the deception, still gets sucked in by her ability to hide her flaws (♪ But just below where you shine, you burn; although I know it I'd never learn ♪).



I can't be sure that this is a solid fit for your project, since you had to casually dismiss the expectations of the class and the project in a couple of paragraphs, but this seems to be exactly what you're looking for.

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:17 PM
  #21
ChicoEats
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Neil Young's "Ohio" on the Kent State Shootings.
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ideoID=6239877



There a bunch of protest songs from the late 60s that would work.

Not a really meaningful song, but I absolutely love the way the story builds up.

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:50 PM
  #22
Big Phil
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Give Peace a Chance - John Lennon (simple but I think he intended it to be deep)
Blowin' In the Wind - Peter, Paul and Mary (or Bob Dylan)
Let It Be - Beatles
I'd Like to Teach the World to sing - New Seekers (not very subtle but if that's what you're looking for.........)
You Light up My Life - Debbie Boone (hard to believe a song that appears to be so romantic is actually being referred to God)
Hey Jude - Beatles

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:57 PM
  #23
Stanley Foobrick
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Artist(Band):The Vapors

"Turning Japanese"


I've got your picture of me and you
You wrote "I love you" I wrote "me too"
I sit there staring and there's nothing else to do
Oh it's in color
Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel
And soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there's no one else around

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you all 'round myself
I want a doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down
I'm turning in I'm turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of them all 'round myself
I want a doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up I'm turning down
I'm turning in I'm turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a cyclone Ranger
Everyone...

That's why I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

[guitar]

Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so, think so, think so
I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think



Deep? well, double meaning anyway.

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Old
11-04-2009, 02:59 PM
  #24
benji
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First thing I thought of was All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan (although, unsurprisingly, I love the Jimi Hendrix version the best). Surprised no one mentioned it yet.

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Old
11-04-2009, 03:03 PM
  #25
Philly85
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Radiohead - All I Need

or Reckoner

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