Maybe you’re tired of the meaningless lyrics of Pop songs that reach the top of the charts. It seems that has to be that way if you want to sell your music. But you can write about Vietnam, the Cold War, Russian History and the Illuminati and still have a number one. U2 hasn’t a monopoly on that yet. Here there some examples:
1 Moonlight Shadow, Mike Oldfield.
At first, everyone thought it was all about John Lennon’s assassination. They were wrong. The inspiration for the song was Houdini, a film starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. According to Oldfield, this movie is all about contacting a dead Houdini through spiritualism.
“It was originally inspired by a film I loved – ‘Houdini’, starring Tony Curtis, which was about attempts to contact Houdini after he’d died, through spiritualism…”
But the movie has nothing to do with that. For the most part, the story is about Bess, the helper and wife of Houdini, trying to convince him of quitting the jackass stunts he was known for.
Also, in the film there are no pistol duels at 4 AM, maybe the worst hour to shoot a rival. The most plausible explanation is that the ghost of John Lennon contacted Oldfield and slipped his assassination in the lyrics of the song.
“… a lot of other things must have crept in there without me realising it”
2. Cambodia, Kim Wilde.
Wilde proves that you can sing about a MIA soldier in a pop dance tune and have a hit.
The story is simple and enigmatic. During the Vietnam War, a Thailand based air force pilot got a call in the middle of the night and packs his things, without saying a word to his wife about his secret mission. He just says he has to fly to Cambodia. And then…
He’s shot down by an air missile.
“(It was about) an American pilot flying in a MacDonnell Phantom and getting shot down by a SAM air missile”
“Cambodia’ is a mysterious love story, like Casablanca. Flying off into the night to never return. One wonders what happened to the guy.”
And everybody cries for such a sorrow lost.
“what I believe that most people felt about South Vietnam and the terrible tragedies that occurred there”
4. The land of make believe. Bucks Fizz.
Land of make believe seems to be about a child that is visited by ghostly voices that lures him to visit a kind of Dreamland.
But Peter Sinfield, writer of the song, says that there’s a hidden message against Thatcher. So, the line “something nasty in your garden…” refers to the council houses, the dream home of the English middle class. Implying that once you became an owner, you became a conservative voter.
“Beneath its tra la la is a virulent anti Thatcher song”
“IN THE GARDEN OF YOUR COUNCIL HOUSE. Which, when you buy it, will magically transform you into a conservative voter”
Another veiled allusion to Thatcher is the Superman reference. Harold Macmillan was an English conservative prime minister and a great influence in Thatcher’s doctrine of capitalism for all. He was depicted as Supermac in a very famous Evening Standard cartoon.
“Was Superman a reference to the ghost of Harold Macmillan guiding Maggie’s political, cautious yet indifferent to suffering, heart? He’s behind you!”
5. Justified & Ancient, KLF
The KLF were a band also known as the “The justified ancients of Mu Mu”. If you are a conspiracy theorist like the 99,9% of this blog readers, you’ll know that it’s a reference to a sect that appears in The Illuminatus Trilogy! The aim of the fictional sect was chaos, confusion and messing with your head. The KLF thought that was OK with them and started to put into practice the fuck up credo.
Accordingly the KLF, musicians Bill Drummond and Cauty, became a really strange act. So much they ended up burning one million pounds sterling, much of the money they earned with their hits. And burning is not a metaphor. They set fire to real bank notes, not Monopoly money.
The lyrics seem to announce a kind of second coming that you cannot stop. That sounds like someone on acid reading out loud the Illuminatus Trilogy. Maybe now that’s a hip hop cliché, but not back in 1991.
The line “all bound for Mu Mu land” refers to a kind of lost continent like Atlantis called Mu. In the Illuminatus novels is called Lemura. That’s why in the video appeared a submarine. Some illuminated people located it near Yonaguni Jima, in the coast of Japan. But the underwater pyramids you can see there were built but the stupid Nature, not some cool guys dressed as monks.
If you think that the lyrics are weird enough, you’ve got to know that the title for the song was the Ice Cream Men. Months before they released the single, the KLF sold ice creams to the Liverpool Festival of Comedy audience while shouting “justified… ancient” in yellow robes.
They continued with their dessert fetish and appeared dressed as ice cream cones on stage. At least, they didn’t fire blank bullets to the audience, like the last time they performed live.
“When the first anarchist group arose, they called themself Justified Ancients of Mummu. Like Lao-Tse and the Taoist in China, they wanted to get rid of usury and monopoly and all the other pigshit of civilization and go back to a natural way of life.”
Title: The Illuminatus Trilogy!
Author: Robert Shea.
K foundation burn a million quid.
“(…) the sunken ruins of Atlantis and Lemuria – or Mu, as it’s known to keepers of Sacred Chao.”
Title: The Illuminatus Trilogy!
Author: Robert Shea.
“And The KLF behaved like anarchic children, throwing ever more lavish and chaotic pranks. To celebrate 1991’s summer solstice, they invited a group of journalists to the Isles Of Jura. The guests were kitted out in yellow robes and ordered to follow a horned, cloaked man to a site where a 60-foot Wicker Man was burned to ritual chants. The following day, the sarne group of people went onstage at Liverpool’s Comedy Festival where they chanted “justified…ancient” while The KLF sold the audience ice creams.”
“I’m not convinced that any of the major features or structures are manmade steps or terraces, but that they’re all natural,” said Robert Schoch, a professor of science and mathematics at Boston University who has dived at the site.”
“they performed a thrash metal version of the song (aided by the band Extreme Noise Terror) which culminated in frontman Bill Drummond pulling out a submachine gun and pretending to spray the crowd with bullets (blanks, of course)”
6. Boney M. Rasputin.
In 1978, Frank Farian thought that people wanted to dance while learning a little of Russian history. And he was right. The German group Boney M. had a hit taking the piss of Grigori Rasputin, the Tzar Nicholas II “consigliere”. The lyrics were an indictment against the “mad monk” in a Stalinist fashion.
The song was a hit in Russia although it was banned and erased from the Russian album pressings. It was a common practice to buy pirate cassette copies of western albums. In fact, Russian government preferred disco acts like Boney M. to the more dangerous rock music. So the band performed in Moscow, but they only allowed them to sing the Ra-Ra-Rasputin part. After all, they proved that Boney M. was right. Oh, those Russians!
“Oddly, it was rock ‘n’ roll that revived Rasputin’s name throughout the Soviet Union. A catchy song, “Rasputin,” by the Western group Boney M was allowed air time in the late 1970s and became a huge hit with silly lyrics like “Rah rah Rah-spoo-teen, Russia’s greatest love machine.”
“the Soviet government embraced disco in the late 1970’s as a means of drawing the attention of young people away from rock music.”
“… it was common for Soviet pop and rock recordings to circulate through magnitizdat, a kind of cassette culture indicative of the second economy. That Rasputin appears “hidden” on the Zodiak cassette speaks to the band’s great popularity”
“Thus, Gosconcert (the Soviet state concert agency), probably fearing unruly fan behavior, asked Boney M. not to perform Rasputin at their Moscow concert. The group complied, playing only the song’s refrain.”
Title: Balkan Popular Culture and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourse.
Author: Donna A. Buchanan
Chapter 1, pag. 43-44.
7. I don’t like Mondays, The Boomtown Rats
When you listen The Boomtown Rats’ I don’t like Mondays, you can mistake it for a song against the working week. But when Bob Geldoff sings, I want to shoot the whole day down, he’s singing about a real case.
One Monday, Brenda Ann Spencer opened fire at a school near his home. She killed two adults and nine children were injured. When a reporter asked her why she did it, she replied: “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day up.” Bob Geldof was on a radio station in Atlanta when he read the news from a telex machine.
Bob thought it was a song destined to be a B side track. But when he played it live on that American tour, saw the reaction of the audience and thought that it could be a single.
“I just did it for the fun of it. I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”
“I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out”
“When I wrote it I thought it was a B-side, but after it went down so well onstage in America I started to think maybe it was okay.”
8. 99 red balloons, Nena.
It’s an improbable image, all those balloons in the sky, isn’t it? But that’s not the case if you’re at Rolling Stones concert. In 1982, Carlo Karges, Nena’s guitarist, was in their Satanic Bore’s gig when they released hundreds of balloons to the West Berlin sky. Carlo saw them floating, as they changed its shape and color until they resembled strange spaceships, like any mortal on drugs would. And then, he jumped to the next logical conclusion. Those balloons will start the nuclear annihilation of the world. And he was quite right.
In the lyrics we are told how a sad idiot releases a bag full of helium balloons to the sky. They flow to the East Berlin sector, causing that the shitty soviet warning system mistakes them for missiles. They respond in the only sensible way. Full nuclear annihilation of the city. The idiot who caused it all stands in the middle of the rubble, as Nelson Muntz laughs at him, probably.
Although it sounds like pure paranoia, back then it was a real case scenario. On 26 September 1983, Stanislav Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear warning system. Suddenly, the satellite system warned of a missile strike. Stanislav probably screamed “get the fuck outta here” and judged it a false alarm. He just based his decision on the principle of why they would start World War Three with just a bunch of lame missiles. He was right. The “missiles” were just the sun reflecting in the clouds. But, years later, he said that he acted that way because he was a civilian. Although the system required more than just one man to order a nuclear retaliation, the incident shows that Kubrick and Nena were right, the cold war was like a Marx Brothers film.
“At the end of the show, they had a lot of balloons fly up in the air. And I was thinking about what might happen if they floated over the wall to the Russian side.”
“get the fuck outta here” from the Beverly Hills Cop.
Written by: headoffice