There are two types of laugh-out-loud songs out there: Those that are intentionally using silliness and hyperbole to elicit laughter (such as the music of hip-hop comedians The Lonely Island) and tunes that inadvertently miss the mark with slanted or even disturbing lyrics. These are the latter.
In fact, these are some of the creepiest songs out there when it comes to lyrical content, and even a cursory breakdown of the meaning behind their words might cause listeners to feel like they need to take a shower immediately, as they all delve into the unsettling subject matter of stalkers.
Without further delay, here are a few of the most stalker-heavy songs ever made.
1. ‘One Way or Another’ by Blondie (1978)
According to the words Debbie Harry sings in this classic tune, she is going to “find you” and “get you” using any means necessary. The way in which Harry half-growls the lyrics to this Blondie tune doesn’t exactly imply any sort of courtship or consent. Instead, the band’s frontwoman sounds intent on getting what she wants regardless of what you might think.
Just take a listen to the haunting bridge, and you’ll hear how threatening her words really are. We don’t want to find out the lengths to which Blondie is willing to go to get what they want.
2. ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police (1983)
When Sean “Puffy” Combs sampled the beat from this indelible tune for his 1997 hit “I’ll Be Missing You,” it’s fortunate that he managed to shake off the creepy vibes of the original. Frontman Sting relentlessly glares into the camera in the music video, declaring how his beloved belongs to him and that he always watching her.
Inexplicably, the song has somehow become viewed as a romantic love song, despite the needy connotation of its lyrics and obsessive content.
3. ‘Creep’ by Radiohead (1993)
More self-deprecating than most of the other entries on this list, this Radiohead tune seemingly follows a troubled young man who can’t manage to shake the object of his affection from his thoughts but also can’t stay away from her.
Again, the melancholy tone of the song relies heavily on the obsession of the storyteller — in this case, lead singer Thom Yorke — and the increasingly despondent way in which he berates himself for his own flaws. Whoa.
4. ‘Stan’ by Eminem (feat. Dido) (2000)
Unlike many other songs featuring stalker-heavy lyrics, “Stan” isn’t open to interpretation. In fact, its story is about as literal and straightforward as one can get. In the acclaimed music video, actor Devon Sawa plays a fan with an unhealthy fixation on Eminem, who engages in an increasingly erratic and violent series of actions in his attempts to get Slim Shady’s attention.
The tune — from Eminem’s sophomore album — is a brilliantly self-aware tale that directly comments on the artist’s controversial content and easily remains one of the greatest compositions of his career.
5. ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’ by Death Cab for Cutie (2008)
Another tune describing a one-sided romantic obsession, this one is widely recognized as one of the creepiest love songs ever made. The lyrics go on to say how the storyteller follows his beloved around and how she has to “spend some time with [him]” before continually declaring that he will take possession of her heart, seemingly without any regard for her thoughts on the matter.
Unlike Radiohead’s “Creep,” the stalker behind Death Cab for Cutie’s song sounds like he has delusions of grandeur, believing that he and his beloved are meant to be if only he can make her see the real person he is inside. Yikes.
6. ‘Paparazzi’ by Lady Gaga (2008)
“Just Dance” and “Poker Face” established that Lady Gaga could set the dance floor on fire, but this tune — fittingly taken from her debut album The Fame — fixates on the media’s obsession with celebrities and its dogged pursuit of gossip and personal details that they can capitalize on. The video’s graphic, imaginative imagery conveys themes of rape, death, and other forms of abuse, finally culminating in Gaga’s own liberation from bondage.
Despite its eminently catchy chorus, the content at the heart of this hit is anything but the relatively simple beat-thumpers that characterized the singer’s career up to that point. In that way, it marked the next step in her evolution to the phenomenon she ultimately became.
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