You’re A Mean One….
I mean, some songs are just plain mean. Nasty. Rude.
It must be a good way to get some things off your chest when you are cheesed off. Mad. Pissed. Angry. Furious. Fumi….well you get what I’m saying.
Here are some really mean songs:
-“Positively 4th Street” Bob Dylan-1965
Bob may be the king of mean songs. “Like a rolling Stone” is pretty damn rude, but his absolute meanest is “Positively 4th Street”. Now, nobody knows what the title refers to or who the song is about. The tight lipped Dylan won’t say.
Rumor has it though that it was written about the “folkies” who were upset with him for “going electric”. The last line is just…..well, mean:
“Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you”
-“Go your own Way” Fleetwood Mac-1977
By now you should know that the entire “Rumours” album was about the band members all breaking up their romantic relationships. Lindsey Buckingham won for the meanest of the bucnch.
“Packing up, shackin’ up’s all you want to do”
Stevie Nicks supposedly insisted that her then-boyfriend, bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, remove the line from this enthusiastic kiss off, which gave the Mac arguably their most enduring hit. Buckingham refused, and he had the added satisfaction of getting his soon-to-be-ex to sing backup on her own “screw you”.
-“Under My Thumb” The Rolling Stones-1966
“It’s down to me/The way she does just what she’s told, down to me”
Seriously: Did any girl ever push poor Mick Jagger around? Hard to think, but if there’s truth in these lyrics, at least one did – until Jagger turned the tables. Now she’s either a contradictory “squirmin’ dog” or a “Siamese cat of a girl.” Either way, safe to assume this is not a big chart-topper on any feminist’s iPod.
-“Stay With Me”-The Faces (With Rod Stewart) 1971
A song about a one night stand. And he might as well have asked her not to let the door hit her ass as she was leaving:
“In the morning don’t say you love me, cause I’ll only kick you out of the door”
“won’t need to much persuading I don’t mean to sound degrading, but with a face like that you got nothing to laugh about”
-“Short people”- Randy Newman 1977
You know this one. And it’s a joke about prejudice in general, but it’s still mean. Glenn Frey of The Eagles sings the bridge (“Short people are just the same as you and I”) and he can supposedly be a pretty mean person according to ex Eagle Don Felder.
‘They got little baby legs, That stand so low
You got to pick em up, Just to say hello
They got little cars, That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices, Goin’ peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers, And dirty little minds
They’re gonna get you every time”
Some short guy must have cut him off in traffic or something. In his Mini Cooper.
-“Hound Dog”-“Big Mama” Thorton 1952, Elvis “The King” Presley 1956
The songs such a cliché now that it transcends the lyrics. But think about it:
“You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, crying all the time”
and, “They said you was high class, well that was just a lie”.
And she’s never even caught a rabbit.
-“How do you sleep”- john lennon 1971
The meanest song on the list because it was personal.
The Beatles were going through a nasty divorce through the courts. Paul McCartney had come out with his second solo album “Ram” and it had a few little digs within a few songs toward his former partner John Lennon. If you didn’t know what was going on, you would have never known. And even then, it could have been taken different ways. Lines like “You took your lucky break and broke it in two” could have been written to Linda McCartney’s first husband just as much as Lennon. But John took it personally and wrote a song to his ex partner.
And Mr. Lennon doesn’t do “subtle”:
“A pretty face may last a year or two
But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
The sound you make is muzak to my ears
You must have learned something in all those years
Ah, how do you sleep?”
McCartney admitted that it hurt. But he never countered. They ended up on very friendly (if guarded) terms.
-“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash 1955
“I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”
Can you get any meaner than that?
Well can you? Do you have any mean songs?