Thursday, June 30, 2016

Geminis going dark: A playlist by Jana and Erin

You had no idea what this title meant, did you? 

Last Thursday of the month means it's time for another playlist with Jana  and Erin. Although June is our birthday month and we could have done birthday themed songs, we opted for something a little darker because let's face it, that makes way more sense. 

You know the saying "a wolf in sheep's clothing" and how it means something sinister disguised as something sweet and cute? Well, that's essentially the theme of this month's playlist except we're calling it "Catchy Songs About Fucked Up Things".

We actually had to whittle the list down, and I'm sure we could do a part 2, but for now, we'll just go with these 12:

"Make it Stop (September's Children)" by Rise Against. Jana had actually mentioned this song to me pre-Pulse shooting because this song makes me tear up every time I listen to it, particularly when they list some of the kids--CHILDREN--who've committed suicide because of being gay. Post-Pulse, it's even more poignant and a necessary inclusion.

"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People. School shooting song. We shouldn't even still be talking about school or any type of mass shootings but that's another topic for another time. 

"Fade to Black" by Metallica. This one's about death and suicidal feelings. 

"Last Resort" by Papa Roach. Also about death and suicide. Jana says that's enough on this topic for now so we'll move to something else.

"Mr. Brownstone" by Guns N Roses. Drugs! This one's about drugs. We struggled between using this one or "Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crue so we're mentioning the latter to sneak it into the post anyway. #sorrynotsorry

"Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind. Another song about drugs. Meth this time, instead of cocaine or heroin. Not sure that we're moving up or down but at least it's not death. 

"Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also drugs but also about loneliness and desperation and isolation because of drugs.

"Crawling" by Linkin Park. Another one about the battle with substance abuse, drawing on Chester Bennington's own experiences.

"Jeremy" by Pearl Jam. This is the first song I (Jana) was consciously aware of the lyrics and the meaning and having it impact me. Suzanne Vega's "Luka" should have that honor but I was only 10 at the time of the song's release so I didn't pick up on it right away (I actually believe it's one of the most heartwrenching songs ever). We're showing the video for "Jeremy" instead of just the song because Erin feels that it's the most impactful video ever made.  (Erin's note: This song is TWENTY-FIVE years old and what is depicted in this video is still happening in schools and classrooms today.  I'm pretty sure Pearl Jam didn't expect the song to be as relevant today as when it was recorded.)

"Wrong Way" by Sublime. A nice song about child prostitution. Maybe also a little child abuse. Bradley Nowell was masterful at writing awesome songs about fucked up things (see: "Santeria", "April 29, 1992", "Date Rape") and who knows what else he could have done. Sadly, he's a member of the 27 Club so we'll never know.

"Face Down" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. This one's about domestic violence. It's more obvious in subject matter than some of the others, and the band has done a lot of stuff for domestic violence prevention in the years since.

"Manhattan Project" by Rush. Pretty obvious what this is about. It's not as dark as some of the others so I (Jana) thought it was a fitting way to end the list. Also a good way to finally get Rush on one of these playlists.

Honorable mentions: "Goodbye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks (murder, domestic violence), "Never Again" by Nickelback (domestic violence), "Janie's Got a Gun" by Aerosmith (child abuse, murder), "Me and a Gun" by Tori Amos (rape), "Hurt" by NIN (so many things), "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Warrant (murder with a not so thinly veiled racist title), "Coming Undone" by Korn (mental health issues), "Adam's Song" by Blink 182 (teen suicide). It's a really long list. 

What are some of your favorite songs about fucked up things? 


  1. I find "Jeremy" to be a super disturbing song/video. When I first heard it and K explained it to me I was like, "Nope, we're done listening to that." It also threw my off when "Pumped Up Kicks" became so popular. Like... what??!
    I would add Sick Puppies' "Howard's Tale."

  2. I love so many of these songs it's like a playlist from my teen angst years.

  3. If we're talking catchy (as in up-beat sounding) songs about fucked up things, it has to be "Bloody Sunday" by U2. So many people don't even seem to realise what it's about when they're singing along to the chorus! I Don't Like Mondays by "The Boomtown Rats" is another one. But I think my absolute favourite song about something fucked up is "Quick Fade" by Feeder, which is about Jon Lee's suicide. It's also possibly the saddest song I've ever heard.

  4. Wow, some of these I had no idea that's what they were really about. I mean, you have an idea when you REALLY listen to the lyrics.

    Another one worth mentioning is Jenny by Nothing More. I still get goosebumps when I listen to this song:

  5. As soon as I saw the title of Jana's post I immediately thought "Pumped Up Kicks." This is a solid playlist. I mean, the subject matter is awful. But these are all great songs. Always loved that most people my age have sung along to that TEB song since we were little kids having NO IDEA what we were talking about until we got older. (It's still one of my faves, to be honest.)

  6. You guys killed it these lists! "Independence Day" by Martina McBride is one that comes to mind (domestic violence)

  7. seriously love this list. i love so many of these songs and totally get and appreciate their meaning. RHCP, red jumpsuit, sublime, pearl jam, rise against. ok all of them! good list, girl

    xoxo cheshire kat

  8. I really don't think that I'm really processing the words I'm singing sometimes because I don't think that I really understood that Semi Charmed Life was about drugs! Then again I was singing along to it a lot when I was younger and really sheltered, so maybe I didn't know. At first I had no idea that Pumped Up Kicks was about a school shooting, but then somebody told me and now that's all I think about when I hear that song. I don't enjoy the song nearly as much now.

  9. I actually knew that a lot of these were about f-ed up things. I do like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Face Down, I think she stands up for herself/leaves or something in the end. Alyssa Lies by Jason Michael Carrol is about child abuse, it's a sad slow song though so it's not one I listen to regularly. I agree though, the list is extremely long.

  10. i didn't know hardly any of these, most notably pumped up kicks (because that song is on my running playlist wtf). just shows how much i don't pay attention to lyrics, which is weird because i normally do... that probably doesn't make sense. maybe only when it is a love song do i get obsessed with lyrics lol. i don't think i can sing along to pumped up kicks now that i know that.


I love comments, and I enjoy our interactions. I respond via email, but if you're a "no reply blogger", I can't. Don't think I'm ignoring you!