My relationship with music began forming from a young age. It started with Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”, then it transitioned to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, and Pink were somewhere in the mix as well. Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, and Arctic Monkeys were my forever obsession. And the list goes on and on.
But as I come back to the songs I loved as a child/teenager, I feel like I listen to them differently. How come have I never been able to understand their true meaning up until this point? Have you ever found yourself mind-blown by certain songs after listening to them 10 years later? While you keep thinking about it, I’ll share with you which songs I now see in a different light.
“The only exception” by Paramore
During my teen years, I was a big fan of Paramore’s albums, but their song “The only exception” was by far one of my favorites. I would listen to it ten thousand times a day, not giving it much thought, oblivious to its sentimental theme and deeply emotional meaning. As a 23-year-old, I can’t help but cry whenever I hear it. The storyline starts with a painful divorce, which projects on the singer and makes her believe that love is non-existing and settles for loneliness until she finds the only exception.
It’s quite a bittersweet song if you ask me. On one hand, it is heartbreaking to think you have found your only exception just to realize that they weren’t an exception at all. But on the other, regardless of your attitude towards love, that one exception can be right around the corner.
“Vienna” by Billy Joel
I remember my mom singing “Vienna” to me when I was young. I only now realize she didn’t sing it to me for no reason. I recently came across the song and emotions started pouring in just by hearing the piano intro. As an adult who hasn’t figured her life out yet and has no clue what’s the next step, or even better, the right step that should be taken, the lyrics hit close to home.
The message “Vienna” wants to convey is that life is out there. Embrace every stage of it and enjoy the ride until your last breath. “Slow down you crazy child”, says Billy, and I choose to accept his advice. There is no hurry in life. It’ okay to feel lost and confused. We all walk at our own pace. Vienna waits for all of us.
My obsession with this song has never ceased. It’s the greatest masterpiece ever created. The meaning behind it has been a hot topic for a long time. The most often interpretation I’ve come across is that the song is about a man who commits murder and later summons Bismillah, which stands for “in the name of Allah” in Arabic, to ask for forgiveness. Nevertheless, a more controversial reading of the lyrics points out to Freddie’s personal problems.
Many believe “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a coming-out song in which Mercury expresses he feels oppressed by society and unable to come clean about his sexuality. He couldn’t say it publicly, but he couldn’t have put it together more beautifully in verses. The message of the song is still open to speculation. Whatever the true meaning, “Bohemian Rhapsody” will forever remain an epic story.