What songs refer to saying one thing but meaning another?
December 21, 2009 2:40 PM   Subscribe

The Bishop Allen song "Flight 180" includes the lyrics "Bring up your seat back please, she says / But I know she means / If you feel like dancing, dance with me", and it later comes back to that theme of "But I know they mean.." a few times. It reminds me of the line "I see friends shaking hands, saying 'How do you do' / They're really saying 'I love you'" from "What a Wonderful World". What other songs refer to somebody saying some everyday thing, but meaning something more important/meaningful?
posted by pocams to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
This immediately made me think of Dubstar's Unchained Monologue, which is solely about this phenomenon, in Dubstar's unique pop melancholy; not greater meaning, just the bitter truth. Lyrics:

"I love you" means do what I want you to
"I promise" means I'll tell you what you want to hear
"Believe me" means I'm trying very hard to deceive you
"The rest of my life" means for the forseeable future
"We'll always be together" means we're too scared to split up
"I want us to live together" means I think this is what you want, though I don't, but we'll probably split up soon anyway
"I didn't stop thinking about you" means I thought about you once on the way home from a great night out without you
"It doesn't suit you" means I'm too polite to tell you that your legs are like corned beef
"I'm not pissed" means I'm so pissed I reckon I can convince you that I haven't had a bottle of Jim Bean with my flatmate...

And so on.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:57 PM on December 21, 2009


On a much lighter note, Flight of the Conchords' "Business Time:"

Aww yeah
That`s right baby.
Girl, tonight we`re gonna make love. You know how I know, baby? `Cause it`s Wednesday. And Wednesday night is the night that we make love. Tuesday night`s the night that we go and visit your mother, but Wednesday night is the night that we make love. `Cause everything is just right conditions are perfect. There`s nothing good on TV. Conditions are perfect. You lean in close and say something sexy like, "I might go to bed I`ve got work in the morning." I know what you`re trying to say baby. You`re trying to say, "Oh, yeah. It`s business time. It`s business time."

It`s business.
It`s business time.
That`s what you`re trying to say you`re trying to say let`s get down to business it`s business time.

It`s business.
It`s business time.
Next thing you know we`re in the bathroom brushing our teeth. That`s all part of it, that`s foreplay. Then you go sort out the recycling. That`s not part of it but it`s still very important. Then we`re in the bedroom. You`re wearing that ugly old baggy t-shirt from that team building exercise you did for your old work. And it`s never looked better on you.

Oh, team building exercise `99.

posted by drjimmy11 at 3:14 PM on December 21, 2009


I Think I Need A New Heart by the Magnetic Fields has the opposite of this:

'cause I always say I love you
When I mean turn out the light.
And I say let's run away
When I just mean stay the night

posted by ktrey at 3:40 PM on December 21, 2009


Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call by The Weakerthans. In particular:

Let our talk about the ball game
and the weather show we care.
Like a sound we didn't notice,
until it stopped and left us there.

posted by axiom at 4:26 PM on December 21, 2009


Grateful Dead's High Time.

You told me goodbye,
How was I to know,
You didn't mean goodbye,
You meant, "Don't ever go."

posted by bitslayer at 6:40 PM on December 21, 2009




'Handsome Devil' by The Smiths:

You asked me the time, but I sensed something more
And I would like to give you what I think you're asking for
posted by bunglin jones at 8:13 PM on December 21, 2009


As the Years Go By by Mashmakhan

A child asks his mother, do you love me
And it really means, will you protect me
His mother answers him, I love you
And it really means, you've been a good boy

And as the years go by
True love will never die

At seventeen a girl says, do you love me
And it really means, will you respect me
The teenage boy answers, I love you
But it really means, can I make love to you

And as the years go by
True love will never die


At sixty-five his wife says, do you love me
And it means, I'd like to hear it again
Her husband says to her, I love you
But it really means, I love you till the end

And as the years go by
True love will never die

Now you're asking me if I love you
And it really means will I marry you
And I answer, yes I love you
But it really means that I won't be untrue
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:09 AM on December 22, 2009


I Misunderstood by Richard Thompson (lyrics) has the singer taking his lover's cues as one thing when she intends something different.
posted by anthom at 8:32 AM on December 22, 2009


Thanks - these are exactly the sort of thing I was looking for!
posted by pocams at 9:39 AM on December 22, 2009


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