15 most popular songs with hidden meanings: Secrets Revealed

Did you know Harry Styles' song Watermelon Sugar is super sexual in its nature? Read on to learn more about such fascinating secrets and hidden meanings behind popular songs!

Updated on Sep 24, 2022 10:25 AM IST  |  320.7K
Top 15 most popular songs with hidden meanings: Secrets Revealed
Top 15 most popular songs with hidden meanings: Secrets Revealed

Almost every person around the world loves listening to music. And all of us have probably been in a phase where we listen to our favorite songs on loop. But how many times have we thought behind the concept of those songs? Have you ever listened to a song and wondered what the lyrics were all about? Or who the song was directed to? Or what was going in the mind of the singer or songwriter when they were working on that particular song?


We do read the news or headlines when a new song is released. Not to forget the controversies that surround that song. But never before did we actually stop to think about the secrets or hidden meanings behind those famous songs. Music is undoubtedly an art, more precisely an abstract art. And unless (and until) you understand the inspiration behind a song deciphering its true hidden meaning can be quite difficult and challenging.


Songs really can be tricky, now that you think of it. So, today we will reveal the secrets of the 15 famous songs that have hidden meanings that even the most loyal fans won't know!


Ready for engaging truths?


15 popular songs with hidden meanings: Secrets Revealed


1. Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles - 2019

The song Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles is actually incredibly sexual in its nature (how did we miss it, I mean, look at the lyrics AND the music video - all the signs are there!)


"I want your belly

And that summer feelin'

Getting washed away in you

Breathe me in

Breathe me out

I don't know if I could ever go without"


And this fact was confirmed by Harry Styles himself!


While performing in Nashville, Harry told the audience that this song is basically about the female orgasm that adds to the overall sweetness of everyday life. Now that you know the hidden meaning behind this song, listen to it again. How does it make you feel?


2. Chandelier by Sia - 2014

The song Chandelier by Sia is actually an anti-pop anthem that talks about her struggles with alcoholism and addiction. Before you toss it away, read these lyrics below. I'm sure, you'll connect them to the secret fact that we just revealed.


"Can't feel anything, when will I learn?

I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist

Like it doesn't exist

I'm gonna fly like a bird through the night

Feel my tears as they dry

But I'm holding on for dear life

'Cause I'm just holding on for tonight

On for tonight

Sun is up, I'm a mess"


Additionally, Sia, the Grammy award-winning singer, herself stated that she wrote Chandelier as a song that would rebel against the never-ending urge to keep the party going on and revelry.


3. 1985 by Bowling For Soup - 2004

The song 1985 by Bowling For Soup is actually a cover of the original version by SR-71, a fellow pop-punk aficionado!


Now, when you listen to both versions, you will notice that this cover song, 1985 by Bowling For Soup, the pop-punk band, is not quite as zestful. Also, the tempo feels a little bit off. We are sure any music enthusiast will almost immediately notice these differences. However, if you did not know these two hidden secrets, both the song versions are pretty similar to each other.


4. The Way by Fastball - 1998

There is a lot going on in the chart-topping song The Way by Fastball than you may have guessed. The inspiration behind this soundtrack is the real-life tragic story of an elderly couple from Texas - Raymond and Lela Howard, who were suffering gravely from mental illness.

Don't believe us? Read these lyrics -


"They made up their minds

And they started packing

They left before the sun came up that day

An exit to eternal summer slacking

But where were they going without ever knowing the way?

You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere

They won't make it home

Their children woke up

And they couldn't find 'em

They left before the sun came up that day

They just drove off and left it all behind 'em"


The story goes that one day, both of them went for a drive and got lost. They were found later, lying in a ditch, dead. And these lines pretty much sum up the tragic story of that elderly couple. A rather deep hidden meaning, right?


5. Slide by The Goo Goo Dolls - 1998

The song Slide by The Goo Goo Dolls is, in fact, not the love song that people assume it to be. On the contrary, this song describes how a young couple weighs their options after an unplanned pregnancy.

 Not sure? Check out these lyrics -


"Don't you love the life you killed?

The priest is on the phone

Your father hit the wall

Your ma disowned you

Do you wanna get married Or run away?

And I'll do anythin' you ever dreamed to be complete

Oh, we'll run away, run away, run away"


These lines pretty much sum up the secret that we revealed. Plus, now you cannot simply ignore the fact that the second verse of this song (beginning with the lines "Don't you love the life you killed?") is actually suggesting of referring that the couple either got an abortion or are thinking about it.


6. Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind - 1997

The song Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind is probably the furthest thing you will hear from a radio-friendly pop tune. Yes, you heard that right!

Before you doubt us, read these lyrics and decide for yourselves -


"I want something else to get me through this

I want something else, I'm not listening when you say good-bye

I was taking sips of it through my nose

Doing crystal meth, will lift you up until you break

Those little red panties they pass the test

Slide up around the belly, face down on the mattress one"


Well, I am quite sure that these lyrics indicate the true hidden meaning behind the song. Titles can really be deceptive at times, don't you think?


7. Waterfalls by TLC - 1994

The song Waterfalls by TLC is yet another song that is mistaken for a love song but, in reality, is the furthest thing from it. It actually makes a radical social commentary about murder, drug abuse, and HIV. In simple words, this song highlights all the things that predominantly affect young black women and men alike.


8. No Rain by Blind Melon - 1992

The song No Rain by Blind Melon actually throws light on the struggles with depression of Brad Smith, the band's bassist.

Wait, read these lyrics -


"I just want someone to say to me,

"I'll always be there when you wake."

And I don't understand why I sleep all day

And I start to complain

That there's no rain

And all I can do is read a book to stay awake

And it rips my life away,

But it's a great escape"


Now, you get our point. Shannon Hoon, the lead singer, ditched the band's most popular tune to write about his teammate's depression. The song lyrics mention the early days of Brad in LA when he was struggling with depression and could not even get motivation or reason enough to get out of his bed in the morning.


9. Under The Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers - 1991

The song Under The Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers is basically an ode to Anthony Keidis, the singer's drug-using days. Yes, that's right!

This song is referencing a bridge in Los Angeles, under which the singer Anthony Keidis used to consume drugs or shoot up.


If you are having a hard time believing us, look at this line in the song "Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood..."

What do you think it signifies?


10. Summer Of 69 by Bryan Adam - 1984

The song Summer Of 69 by Bryan Adam is probably one of the most famous songs that everyone has heard multiple times and danced and grooved to it. However, the secret here is that this song is not really an ode to Americana. In reality, this song is about the first summer wherein the singer Bryan Adams performed a sexual act of 69. Yes!


Do you still not believe us? Read these lyrics -


"Spent my evenings down at the drive-in

And that's when I met you, yeah

Standin' on your mama's porch

You told me that you'd wait forever

Oh, and when you held my hand

I knew that it was now or never

Those were the best days of my life

Me and my baby in '69"


We know, you or practically anyone may think that this soundtrack is an ode to '60s lore just because Bryan Adams bought his real first six-string at the Five and Dime. But sorry to burst your bubble, it is not true!


11. Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp - 1983

The song Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp is, as a matter of fact, an anti-American protest song. Unbelievable, right?

These lyrics are actually sarcastic -


"Oh, but ain't that America

For you and me

Ain't that America

Something to see, baby

Ain't that America

Home of the free, yeah"


Plus, numerous politicians have tried to use this song in their campaigns. However, the singer John Cougar Mellencamp maintained that this song was written about how the American dream has become dystopian and perverted over time.


12. Only The Good Die Young by Billy Joel - 1977

Do not mistakenly think that the song Only The Good Die Young by Billy Joel has some kind of profound philosophical meaning behind it because of its title. In reality, this song is provocatively sexual in its nature (gasp)

See the lyrics here -


"Come out, Virginia, don't let me wait

You Catholic girls start much too late

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation

You got a brand new soul

Come out, come out, come out

Virginia, don't let me wait"


These lines are nothing but proof that a young boy is trying to convince a Catholic girl to lose her virginity. Every line of this song has a hidden meaning making it highly deceptive and contrasting to its title.


13. A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash - 1969

The song A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash is not literally by Johnny Cash. What do we mean?


We mean that the lyrics of this song were written by Shel Silverstein, who was a children's author and an equally iconic poet. Undoubtedly, Johnny Cash's unmistakable baritone voice made this into a classic and famous rock song, but the truth is the truth. Isn't it?


14. Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan - 1965

The song Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan is actually dedicated to a drug dealer! Yes, you heard us.


Now you must be thinking about why to hide this secret. Right? The reason is actually pretty simple. During the period this song was written and released, songs talking about illicit drug use would have most likely fallen victim to censorship. In order to avoid this, the artists had to get creative. However, if you concentrate on the lyrics of Bob Dylan's song Mr. Tambourine Man, you will instantly realize that it leaves very little room for interpretation. See for yourself -


"Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me

I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship

My senses have been stripped

My hands can't feel to grip

My toes too numb to step

Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'

I'm ready to go anywhere

I'm ready for to fade

Into my own parade

Cast your dancing spell my way

I promise to go under it"


Do you get our point now?


15. Tutti Frutti by Little Richard - 1955

The hidden meaning behind the famous song Tutti Frutti by Little Richard is way too far for you to discover it. This song is actually an ode to the love of anal sex that Little Richard had. Will you ever be able to listen to this song the same way? I guess not, never!


The lyrics "She rock to the east She rock to the west" are enough to make you understand what Little Richard is trying to convey. Now imagine this is that upbeat song that we have all sung along to and danced to at parties and weddings - how bizarre!

We feel you - even we wish we knew this atrocious hidden meaning before (sigh)


How many of these secrets did you know? Did you discover any other secret about a famous song or artist?

Tell us in the comments section below!


Also Read: Pink Floyd: 10 Most weird songs by the rock band

Also Read: Primetime Emmy Awards: 10 Most infamous moments of the Emmys to date


Which are the top best songs of all time?
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Imagine by John Lennon, One by U2, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Hey Jude by The Beatles, and Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan are some of the most iconic or top best songs of all time.

Which is the most popular song ever?
It's a Small World (also known as It's a Small, Small World or It's a Small World (After All)) is one of the most played songs in music history. It is believed that people have played this song nearly 50 million times.

Which is the No.1 song in the world?
Blinding Lights by The Weeknd, a Canadian pop star, is very likely the No.1 song in the world right now.

Which is the perfect pop song?
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles is a perfect pop song.

Which is the No.1 best song of all time?
Respect by Aretha Franklin has been named as the Greatest Song of All Times by Rolling Stone.

Which are the top most streamed songs?
The shape of You by Ed Sheeran, Blinding Lights by The Weeknd, Dance Monkey by Tones And I, and Rockstar by Post Malone are amongst the top most streamed songs on Spotify.

Which is the most popular song in 2022 right now?
I'm Good (Blue) by David Guetta & Bebe Rexha, About Damn Time by Lizzo, Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran, and Left and Right by Charlie Puth & Jung Kook are probably the most popular song in 2022 right now.


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