Songs You Sang As A Child That Probably Went Over Your Head

When I was a little girl, around 5 or 6, my Daddy and I would sing together at different local events in our very small community. He played the guitar and taught me some pretty grown up songs. I think his song choices were what made us so popular. I was pretty sure we were famous.  I was exposed to a lot of music growing up.  Both of my parents are musical and my father worked(still does) at our local radio station.  I remember singing “Achy Breaky Heart” on the radio.  For weeks after that, random older ladies would ask me to sing it for them personally.  I didn’t really get why they liked it so much, but looking back I imagine a little girl who couldn’t say her “R”s singing a heart wrenching country song with all her being was pretty frickin’ cute.  

The song that got the best reaction was another Billy Ray Cyrus tune in the early ’90’s called “Where’m I Gonna Live When I Get Home”.  Please imagine a 6 year old girl who could not say any “R”s and her daddy singing the following lyrics:

Where’m I gonna live when I get home
My ole lady’s throwed out everything I own
She meant what she said when she wished I was dead
So where’m I gonna live when I get home

You’re right.  It was adorable, but don’t forget this little gem that always got the crowds rolling,  She took my TV, The bills she left for me.

Reminiscing of these days and thinking about how awesome it would have been if YouTube had been around in 1992 brought up a lot of other songs I liked to sing growing up.  I had no IDEA that the song Dad and I sung was about a man getting kicked out of his home and his marriage.  I just knew that it felt good to harmonize.  What other songs did I sing my little heart out to that were way over my head?

If You Like Pina Coladas(Escape)-Rupert Holmes

I don’t know a single American who doesn’t like this song on a warm sunny day.  It’s super chill.  All I ever really knew growing up was If you like Pina Coladas…bla bla BLA bla bla Blaaaa.  That was the fun part.  Who even listens to words?  I heard this a few months ago in the car with my husband.  He made some comment about how happy the tune was to be such a messed up situation. “What? What are you talking about? This song is about people sunbathing on the gulf drinking pina coladas. Isn’t it?”  Nope.  For the first time ever, I actually listened to the words.  The really messed up situation was this: Wife puts an ad in the paper searching for love.  Husband reads it, not knowing she is his wife.  Husband responds to personal ad wanting to get out of his crappy marriage.  Wife shows up.  And they both laugh about it.  “Oh?!  You thought we were in a loveless marriage,too, and were desperately trying to cheat on me also?! JINXIES!!!!!!” WHAT?

I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long
Like a worn-out recording of a favorite song

I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon and cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O’Malleys where we’ll plan our escape

So I waited with high hopes and she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady and she said, “Oh, it’s you?”
Then we laughed for a moment and I said, “I never knew”

Read Complete Lyrics Here

Macarena-Los Del Rio

Another one of those, Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bueno bla bla bla bla bla bla-HEY MACARENA! type songs.  Half the song is in spanish and boy was it fun to learn the offical “Macarena” dance.  Everybody wants a piece of Macarena.  She has a boyfriend, but she really doesn’t care.  If you you’re attractive enough, she’ll totes take you home. Hey, Macarena!

Now don’t you worry about my boyfriend
The boy who’s name is Vitorino
Ha! I don’t want him, can’t stand him
He was no good so I, ha ha ha

Now come on, what was I supposed to do?
He was out of town and his two friends were so fine

Read Complete Lyrics Here

My Boyfriend’s Back-The Angels

Sarah and I used to argue over the lyrics to this song.  She said, “Hey-la”.  I said, “Hey-now”.  She was right, but we didn’t have the internet back then, so we agreed to disagree.  I actually did think this song was about a girl who had cheated on her boyfriend and wanted the dude to leave before he came home.  Again, I was wrong. This song would have either gotten a lot of crap or been lifted high on a feminist pedestal if it had come out today.  It is very disturbing, really.  Her boyfriend went out of town and this guy won’t leave her alone.  Now, he’s back, and he’s about to kick. your. creepy. ass.

He went away and you hung around
And bothered me, every night
And when I wouldn’t go out with you
You said things that weren’t very nice

My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
You see him comin’ better cut out on the double
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
You been spreading lies that I was untrue
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
So look out now cause he’s comin’ after you

Read Complete Lyrics Here

Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen

This may possibly be one of my favorite songs of all time.  I have known every single word of it since Wayne’s World. It’s not that I didn’t know the line Mama, just killed a man. Put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger now he’s dead. It’s simply that I didn’t think about it.  I’m REALLY good at not thinking.  I won’t insult your intelligence and summarize this song.  You can read.

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.

Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see,
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I’m easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low,
Anyway the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me.

Mama, just killed a man,
Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead.
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away

Read Complete Lyrics Here

Baby It’s Cold Outside-Dean Martin and Doris Day

One of my favorite songs to jam out to during the holidays.  It was in our Christmas song 5 CD rotation.  It’s so romantic and dreamy.  Or is it?  A woman and her man friend have reached the end of their date and it’s time for her to go home.  At first, she says she has to go and the man politely invites her to stay.  As the song goes on, he just won’t let up.  She even asks him “hey, what’s in this drink?”  Date rape, anybody?

(I really can’t stay) But, baby, it’s cold outside
(I’ve got to go away) But, baby, it’s cold outside
(This evening has been) Been hoping that you’d drop in
(So very nice) I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice

(My mother will start to worry) Beautiful, what’s your hurry
(My father will be pacing the floor) Listen to the fireplace roar
(So really I’d better scurry) Beautiful, please don’t hurry
(Well, maybe just half a drink more) Put some records on while I pour

(The neighbors might think) Baby, it’s bad out there
(Say what’s in this drink) No cabs to be had out there
(I wish I knew how) Your eyes are like starlight now
(To break this spell) I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell

Read Complete Lyrics Here

Summer Nights-John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

My favorite part was Did she put up a fight?  Seriously, little Becca?  What the hell is wrong with you? I had no idea what I was saying, but looking back, they were basically asking Danny Zuko if Sandy gave it to him easily or not.  WHAT?!  Grease was one of my favorite musicals to watch.  I never understood that Rizzo was (thought to be) pregnant, and I certainly didn’t know what Elvis! Elvis!  Let me be!  Keep that pelvis FAR from me meant, but it sure was fun to belt out.

Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
Was it love at first sight?
Tell me more, tell me more
Did she put up a fight?

Read Complete Lyrics Here

All That She Wants-Ace of Base

Sarah (Lamar) Tallent and I danced to this song every time it came on the radio.  These were the years of my life where I was forced to learn Sarah’s choreography and be prepared for the song to come on again.  Along with “I Saw The Sign”, this was on our top five of coolest songs in our lifetime up to that point.  I’m still not exactly certain of what this song means, but on the surface, it seems that this lady is hunting for sperm donors.  She doesn’t want to have a relationship with you or even a one night stand.  She wants a baby.  From you.  A random guy at da club.  “Becca!”, says Sarah, “It’s step, step, turn at ‘She’s gone tomorrow’! Get it right!”

All that she wants is another baby
She’s gone tomorrow boy
All that she wants is another baby
All that she wants is another baby
She’s gone tomorrow boy
All that she wants is another baby
All that she wants – all that she wants

So if you are in sight and the day is right
She’s the hunter you’re the fox
The gentle voice that talks to you won’t talk forever
It is a night for passion
But the morning means goodbye
Beware of what is flashing in her eyes
She’s going to get you

Read Complete Lyrics Here

Waterfalls-TLC

Even as a kid, I knew this song was about HIV and AIDS.  I was in 4th grade and I and my friends had this song memorized.  We watched the music video of the mother, crying because her son has died and knew that it was a story about people making bad and spontaneous decisions leading to their destruction.  I had no idea what sex was, but I knew that it is how you contracted HIV.  I have no idea why I knew this.  It kind of weirds me out.

Little precious has a natural obsession
For temptation but he just can’t see
She gives him loving that his body can’t handle
But all he can say is, “Baby it’s good to me”
One day he goes and take a glimpse in the mirror
But he doesn’t recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn’t know why
Three letters took him to his final resting place, y’all, don’t hear me

Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to
I know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you’re moving too fast

Read Complete Lyrics Here

Just A Girl-No Doubt

Ah, 1995, my Dad brought home what I will call my “first favorite album”, Tragic Kingdom.  The song Just A Girl, for some reason, made me feel so powerful and mighty.  At 9 years old, I would blast this song as high as my little boombox would go and jump on my bed, hairbrush in hand, rocking my socks off.  I just knew the lines I’m just a girl, ol’ little ol me, don’t let me outta your siiiiiggghhhhhtttt and then my favorite part, Ohhhhhh! I’ve had it up to here!  This song was my jam because it was all about girls. Gwen Stefani’s amazing vocals and killer outfits made me long to grow up and be cool like her.  I had no idea she was making such an empowering and sarcastic statement.  Thinking about the impact that song had on me as a child reminds me how carefully I should be listening to Jack’s music choices in a few years.  The lyrics to this song are so powerful, that I’ll have to type them all…

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes
I’m exposed
And it’s no big surprise
Don’t you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand
‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me
Don’t let me out of your sight
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

Oh…I’ve had it up to here!
The moment that I step outside
So many reasons
For me to run and hide
I can’t do the little things I hold so dear
‘Cause it’s all those little things
That I fear

‘Cause I’m just a girl I’d rather not be
‘Cause they won’t let me drive
Late at night I’m just a girl,
Guess I’m some kind of freak
‘Cause they all sit and stare
With their eyes

I’m just a girl,
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype

Oh…I’ve had it up to here!
Oh…am I making myself clear?
I’m just a girl
I’m just a girl in the world…
That’s all that you’ll let me be!
I’m just a girl, living in captivity
Your rule of thumb
Makes me worry some

I’m just a girl, what’s my destiny?
What I’ve succumbed to Is making me numb
I’m just a girl, my apologies
What I’ve become is so burdensome
I’m just a girl, lucky me
Twiddle-dum there’s no comparison

Oh…I’ve had it up to!
Oh…I’ve had it up to!!
Oh…I’ve had it up to here!

The best part about looking back at the songs I listened to growing up, is remembering how they made me feel.  Some of them, like Waterfalls and Just A Girl, made me feel exactly how they were intended.  Even when I didn’t know the lyrics or what they meant, the tune was enough to let me understand the emotions of the song.  Music can speak without words if it’s written the right way, but it sure is fun reminiscing and having musical epiphanies over songs you thought you knew so perfectly 20 years ago.

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One thought on “Songs You Sang As A Child That Probably Went Over Your Head

  1. Until this momen, I had NO idea that Waterfalls was about HIV! HAHA – I either don’t listen to the words – except for the catchy chorus – or I can’t understand them when I try!

    Liked by 1 person

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