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Top 10 Songs That Are Actually Really Creepy

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Owen Maxwell
Script written by Fraser Hamilton These songs have super disturbing lyrics if you listen closely. We’ve included songs like Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks, Thirteen by Big Star, Run for Your Life by The Beatles, Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones, Wrong Way by Sublime, He Hit Me ( It Felt Like A kiss) by The Crystals and more!
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Top 10 Songs That Are Actually Really Creepy


Some songs can be truly worrying, the more you listen to them. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs With Disturbing Lyrics.

For this list we're looking at catchy songs that had some questionable things to say. We're basing our choices on a mix of creepy messages, deceptive lyrics and how well some songs masked their darker meanings.



#10: "Seasons in the Sun" (1974)

Terry Jacks

Thanks to the very bright pop sounds this big time ‘70s hit, it's easy to think of the song as purely a happy reflection on life. Despite its cheery sound however, the lyrics tell a story of death and passing on. Each verse describes a loved one who the dying narrator is leaving behind, whether friends, parents or lovers. This catchy interpretation of Jacques Brel's “Le Moribond,” (which is considerably darker than even this version), helped it top charts around the world. As Elton John famously sang: sad songs say so much.






#9: “Thirteen" (1972)

Big Star


'Thirteen' is ostensibly a loving and tender song about childhood innocence, that has inspired power-poppers for decades. Legendary singer-songwriter Alex Chilton insisted that the song is written from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy who's falling in love. But though he claimed the song is about naive childhood, many have suggested it's actually about having sex with underage girls. Lines like 'Would you be an outlaw for my love,” even suggest the song's sinister undertones. Alex Chilton also questionably once dedicated the track at a concert to Michael Jackson, when Jackson was facing accusations of paedophilia. Joke or not, that wasn’t cool.



#8: "Father Figure" (1987)

George Michael


Given how much interpretation and personal experience can affect lyrics, the late, great George Michael was definitely inviting controversy when he wrote 'Father Figure.' Many of the lyrics suggest a boundless and paternal love that will last forever. The complicated part, however, is the song's clear focus on sex, which make all of its youthful references seem, well, paedophilic. Michael even says in one part of the song that love can be mistaken for a crime. In George's defence, there's plenty of evidence to suggest his daddy, preacher and teacher are more of a sexual role-play. Though Michael's love may be lawful, he certainly leaves you guessing.





#7: "Run for Your Life" (1965)

The Beatles


The Beatles drew plenty of inspiration from Elvis, and based 'Run For Your Life' on a line from his song 'Baby, Let's Play House.' John Lennon focused in on the words 'I'd rather see you dead little girl/Than to be with another man,' and built around that sinister tone and content for his track. Lennon’s narrator goes on to admit how awful he is and threatens his partner with murder repeatedly. The song was so disturbing that Lennon later called it his least favourite Beatles track, and one he didn't spend much time on. The song is all the more horrific, considering how blatant its message is.





#6: "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" (1967)

The Doors


This cover of a Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht show song is a strange and dark track by the Doors, filled with polka, drinking and debauchery. Even the early verses about whisky bars show a level alcohol dependency that most would consider worrisome. It's when singer Jim Morrison screams this line however,"Show me the way to the next little girl" that the track becomes scary. Along with the implications of drunken, underage sex, the desperation in the Doors’ delivery is just as haunting. Needless to say, this track grows creepier the more you listen to it, particularly since the original was sung from the perspective of a group of prostitutes.





#5: "Brown Sugar" (1971)

The Rolling Stones


Though Mick Jagger slurs his way through the lyrics of 'Brown Sugar,' a keen ear reveals the song is about slavery and sex. The opening verse is particularly brutal as it describes slaves' journey to America, and a relentless whipping from a slaver. Jagger goes on to describe how good his African-American partner tastes, before crooning 'Just like a young girl should.' While each of these lines is individually repugnant, placing them back-to-back is even worse. Considering the layers of misogyny, colonialism, violence and other issues present in the song, it's no surprise Mick has continued to censor the lyrics live.




#4: "Wrong Way" (1996)

Sublime


Here’s a Sublime-ly depressing song. Annie is a teen girl, soon forced into prostitution to support her drunk father and awful brothers When the song's protagonist steps in to help her, he realizes that leaving her job will make her life an even bigger challenge. Though the man tries to be good to Annie, he too objectifies her and uses Annie for his own sexual pleasure. They run away together, but it doesn’t last. Despite its peppy music, 'Wrong Way' is not only sad, but grimly realistic; the band’s bassist maintained it was based on a true story.What makes it truly depressing, however is how even the good-intentioned acts make things worse.



#3: "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" (1962)

The Crystals


Iconic songwriter Carole King once saw her friend Eva covered in bruises after a weekend with her boyfriend. Eva explained her partner hit her because he loved her, so King and her husband wrote 'He Hit Me' to highlight her delusions. Despite positive intentions, the song comes off as disturbingly pro-abuse thanks to the production of Phil Spector (who, decades later, was convicted of murdering his a woman). Even The Crystals have said they felt weird recording the song, especially since Spector insisted they sing it sincerely. The offensive content kept the song from selling well and many radio stations refused to play it.






#2: "Lemon Incest" (1984)

Serge Gainsbourg & Charlotte Gainsbourg


Before her own musical and acting career really took off in the 2000s, Charlotte Gainsbourg sang on a track with her famous father, Serge. 'Lemon Incest' is about a love between a father and daughter, who lament that they can't pursue their desire for each other. The lyrics were even more scandalous because, well, let’s see . . . Charlotte was thirteen when it was recorded . . . aaaaaand Serge and Charlotte were also father and daughter themselves. The suggestive music video featuring both Gainsbourgs doubled down on the provocation, and sure didn't ease the claims that the song glorified paedophilia and incest.



Before we get to our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions:









#1: "Where The Wild Roses Grow" (1995)

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue


Nick Cave sure loves his traditional murder ballads. But the Australian bard himself wrote 'Where The Wild Roses Grow' to tell both sides of a brutal story. The track opens as Cave quickly romances Kylie Minogue (with her haunting refrain in the song: “They call me The Wild Rose /But my name was Elisa Day). He almost immediately becomes the first man she ever loves. But as the story agonizingly plays out from both characters’ perspectives, within days, Cave takes Kylie out to the river to kill her. As poetic and haunting as the song may be, it's a supremely disturbing tale of love turned deadly.
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