Choruses. Aren’t they wonderful? Besides being really catchy, they allow you to know exactly what the song’s called without having to Shazam it or ask a friend to Shazam it since you haven’t gotten a new phone in the past seven years.
But sometimes, musicians are dicks. Instead of repeatedly saying “Poker Face” over and over again until your brain shuts down and you fart in your sleep, they write songs that actually have meaning to them. Sometimes, we actually have to type in the lyrics of said songs on Google just to know what the hell they’re actually called, as you wouldn’t know from just the chorus alone. Here are five songs from Classic rock radio that have absolutely nothing to do with the chorus at all.
1.What the song is really called: “The Ballad of John and Yoko” by The Beatles
In 1969, people would buy pretty much anything by the Beatles, even a song about John Lennon and Yoko Ono getting married and having a sleep over together. Would you believe that this song was actually number one on the charts when it came out, even though it’s not about holding hands or tripping out on LSD? Of course it did. The lost recordings of John Lennon taking a dump (on record) still haven’t been located yet, but when they are, expect big things for 2011. Big things
What you thought it was called: “They’re gonna crucify me”
After the whole, “We’re bigger than Jesus,” comment made by John, it only makes sense that you’d think he was responding to the whole incident through song. If you don’t know about that incident, it went a little like this. John was doing an interview one day and he was talking about how The Beatles, at the time, were more important to the youth of England than Jesus Christ. Well, that sounds about right. It was a pivotal time in English history. One where for about twenty seconds, people actually at first believed that John was right and were actually ready to throw out all their Jesus memorabilia and follow the church of Lennon, only eventually to decide that burning all their albums of Rubber Soul would be a better solution of pleasing their original God. To each their own.
2.What the song is really called: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out” by Bruce Springsteen
The forming of a band is an important occasion, and is it any wonder that the Boss would make a song dedicated about such an event? No, no it’s not. But the fact that even he has no idea why he gave the song that title is a little baffling. That is until, of course, you realize that this is Bruce Springsteen we’re talking about here, and this is a man who can make “Santa Clause is coming to town” sound like he’s summoning the devil from the depths of hell.
What you thought it was called: “Tell the Devil to Freeze Hell”
“Tell the Devil to Freeze Hell,” is such a great name for a song that you actually manage to tune out the fact that the Boss actually is saying the title of the song over and over again. So much so that the lyrics about “Bad Scooter” (BS-Bruce Springsteen, get it?) actually make you think he’s really talking about the devil rising from the ground and taking vengeance on the world for the events seen in the epic poem, Paradise Lost. Upon further interest, you decide to listen to the song backwards and manage to hear Bruce saying what sounds very much like, “Hail Satan, our lord and Prince.” And you get to thinking that the Boss is actually an anagram for Sobsthe, a demon you once had a dream about after watching The Exorcism of Emily Rose. No? Well, you just don’t have a good imagination then.
3.What the song is really called: “Black Dog,” by Led Zeppelin
Referencing a song about a black Labrador Retriever that used to walk around the Headley Grange studio where the group was recording at the time is pretty messed up for two reasons. One, nobody but the group saw that dog, so nobody but the group would understand what the title actually means, and two, it causes this writer to scribe an article about a song that basically sounds like Robert Plant making O faces on record.
What you thought this song was called: ?
Everybody I’ve talked to who doesn’t own every album by Led Zeppelin always has a different opinion on what the song is called. Those who know nothing about the group and don’t know that Jimmy Page would never allow a song to be called something as stupid as this have thought the song was called: Ahh, Ha, ah ha,” being that that’s the nearest thing to a chorus this song has. Others who know the band at least a little bit more and know that the group sometimes has some abstract lyrics and thoughts (Listen to “All of My Love.” Seriously, what the hell is he talking about?), have thought that the song was called something like, “Hey Mama,” since it sounds bluesy enough to be a Led Zeppelin title. I mean, it definitely sounds better than, “Ahh, Ha, ah ha.” But those who do know the group quite well will simply tell you, “It’s called ‘Black Dog,’ idiot. It was ranked #294 on the Rolling Stones top 500 songs ever recorded. Who the hell cares why it’s called that? It is what it is, so shut up.”
Nobody ever said Led Zeppelin fans were nice.
4. What the song is really called: “Space Oddity” by David Bowie
It’s said that after Bowie saw 2001: A Space Odyssey stoned off his mind, he wrote this song. It’s very famous and was even played during the moon landing in Britain and also during a scene in Mr. Deeds where Adam Sandler looked like he was going to swallow the whole audience. “Space Oddity,” you see, is a play on the words “Space Odyssey,” so it’s funny in that it’s a pun, and everybody loves puns. Also, it means the song is not in fact a deep and introspective look at a stranded man lost in space named Major Tom, but rather, some song that a high man wrote after he saw a movie that warrants being high just to sit through the entirety of. So for all you youngsters out there who don’t know a thing about Ziggy Stardust, know this. He was never really as deep as you thought he was. He was just a man who liked to say he lived out in outer space and sometimes slept in bed with Mick Jagger. In many ways, he was Adam Lambert before Adam Lambert was a twinkle in some man’s eye. But with talent.
What you thought it was called: “Ground Control to Major Tom”
Being that Bowie practically called himself an alien from another planet, this title doesn’t sound so far off. Especially since the title has to do with space anyway. But just think of that title up above for a moment, and then, think of how much better it sounds than “Space Oddity.” I mean, seriously, in what way shouldn’t the song be called “Major Tom”? If there was ever a song in the history of songs that has the wrong title attached to it, it’s…not this one, but the next one. But “Space Oddity”? Really? This is the same genius who wrote “Heroes.” Couldn’t he come up with something better than “Space Oddity”? Like, I don’t know, “Ground Control to Major Tom”? It doesn’t make any sense.
5.What the Song is really called: “Baba ‘O Riley” by The Who
Combining the song’s philosophical influence in Meher Baba, and the musical influence of Terry Riley, “Baba ‘O Reily” is the ultimate, “We could care less if you know what the song is called. Just listen to that intro. Whoooooo wee, that’ll get stuck in your head.”
What you thought it was called: “Teenage Wasteland”
Besides the fact that the words are said over and over again, the lyrics jibe with the idea as well. “I don’t need to fight” rhymed with “To prove I’m right,” definitely sounds like Robert Daltrey is referencing the Vietnam War and making a protest record. Coming out in 1972, the song would have definitely been relevant to the era and it certainly fits the zeitgeist. But you know what you don’t think of when hearing this song? Meher Baba and Terry Riley. In fact, are you still thinking about them now? No? Then good. The song is still called “Teenage Wasteland,” then. Don’t believe what I just said in this article, and don’t even research it. Because that only leads to problems. That said, “Teenage Wasteland” is a really great song.