On the Internet, anything goes, everyone is a philosopher, and comment boards are the virtual alley behind the bar in which people duke it out – waaaay past 2 a.m.
This is especially true of lyric-spouting websites containing message boards where people decipher and place misguided symbolism and connotation behind even the most one-dimensional of songs.
Clearing throat, clearing throat, “Demi Lovato,” clearing throat….
Anyway, I found this out the hard way.
It all began upon innocently searching for lyrics to a song I had just heard on Pandora. Unbeknownst to me, I clicked on songmeanings.net as it appeared first on the search list and sufficiently contained what I was searching for. Everything was fine until I made the mistake of scrolling to the end of the lyrics, spotted an aforementioned comment board and couldn’t help myself.
To those of you who think it’s ok to take lyrics word-for-word, sentence-by-sentence and mold them into idealistic revelations completely relevant to what you’re going through at this EXACT SECOND:
NO! You come over here and let me slap your hands. Bad!
Upon reading response after response, it was easy to conclude that these comments, although their writers attempted to sound deep, soulful and unique, were actually universally the same across every lyric site, comment board and song. Suckaaaas.
Throughout my research (white papers to come), I found the eight most common types of people with corresponding themes, demonstrated below through the use of this widely popular song, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”
1. The hipster says, “This song’s clearly about marijuana.” Puts on a wool hat in 90-degree weather. “You IMBICILES!”
2. The Twilight fanatic says, “This song’s about how Bella can’t be with Edward because he’s not truly real and it’s. So. Un. Fair!!!” Throws herself on the couch and has a good cry.
3. The ignorant person says, “Can’t you hear the lyrics? This song is about a dragon, you &$*#(%*%&$!! Hmmm. Dragons.” Closes the Internet window and opens Dungeons and Dragons.
4. Judgey McJudgerson says, “This song is about how the media controls us all. I bet you bought that new iPhone 5, too, didn’t you?” Judgey McJudgerson’s avatar picture features him crossing his arms and looking down at you snobbishly over wire rim glasses.
5. The “intellectual” says, “This song is about how the government is brainwashing its people to do its bidding.” Pulls up an article regarding the topic on his new iPhone 5 Wall Street Journal app. “See?”
6. The drama queen says, “This song is totes about meeeee!!!!! Obvi.” Sighs while twirling hair and rolling eyes until best friend interjects, saying, “Guurl, you cray-cray. This song is about ME!” Catfight ensues.
7. The hippie says, “This song’s about finding inner peace, man. That little boy outgrew his dragon and he’s fighting to discover his self-identity, which, right on. But dude, that dragon? That’s his soul mate right there and the little boy doesn’t know it yet. Love is a friendship set to music, you know?” Takes a drag of a cigarette and stares into the bonfire as his friends look at him in awe before saying, “Heavy.”
8. The Christian says, “Come on, everyone. This song is undoubtedly about religion and the conformity that follows Catholicism.” Looks at watch and panics. “Shoot; I’m late for church and it’s my turn to do the readings!”