Sometimes the best way to express your undying love and devotion to someone is through song. But sometimes, whether on purpose or accidentally, songs can turn haunting. Obsession, codependency, and paranoia can be aspects of love that when explored in a song turn the melody from romantic to dark and creepy. Here’s a list of ten of the Disturbing Rock Songs People Liked. These songs range from horrible glitches to songs that are considered some of the best of all time.
One Way Or Another – Blondie
Blondie singer Debbie Harry wrote this song from the perspective of an ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her, according to her biographer Cathy Che. The success of Blondie’s third album and the record that made them huge Parallel Lines sees Harry taking the perspective of an obsessed stalker who follows his love object on the bus and to the supermarket. The narrator of the song is constantly watching but never seen, determined that ‘one way or another / I will find you / I will catch you, I will catch you, I will catch you’.
Every Breath You Take – The Police
The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ was a huge hit, spending eight weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, but the lyrics are undeniably creepy. This song is interesting because musically it takes the form of a typical pop love song, but lyrically Sting was thinking about things like surveillance, control, and the dystopian world featured in George Orwell 1984 when he was writing the song.
I’m Slowly Turning Into You – The White Stripes
Do you know how they say that people who have been together for a long time will even start to look alike and have similar physical gestures? This exploration of The White Stripes’ lifelong love takes that one step further and suggests that leader Jack White’s love has literally made him his love object. ‘And it might sound a little strange for me to say to you / But I’m proud to be you,’ she sings, though some of the things her love object does are annoying.
Rape Me – Nirvana
It is not the first time that Kurt Cobain wrote on the subject of rape (Polly, which served to close Nevermind, was the same), but it is one of the few songs that not only includes the phrase “rape me” but also the repeats throughout its entire length. And all this wrapped in a commercial formula reminiscent of Smells Like Teen Spirit. A small example of the letter:
Wrong Way – Sublime
This song is about a boy who wants to have sex with a 12-year-old prostitute. I’m not joking. ‘Annie is 12 years old, in two more she will become a whore / No one told her it was the wrong way,’ the song begins. The narrator of the song is half-singing a sad love song for poor broken Annie and half disgustingly justifying her reprehensible actions based on her gender. It is not romantic.
Closer – Nine Inch Nails
This song by maestro Trent Reznor is one of the most popular on American FM in the last twenty years. Although in order to be broadcast on the radio it had to pass censorship filters and if it is not paid attention it is, of course, a song made to be popular, the truth is that Closer includes very explicit references to sex in its most primitive sense. According to Reznor himself, it is written from the point of view of the most desperate and perverted voyeur who goes to strip clubs. Some lyrical jewels that populate the subject:
One – Metallica
Despite having the envelope of the typical metal power ballad, the lyrics of One (based on the book Johnny took his rifle from Dalton Trumbo) speak of the living hell suffered by Joe Bonham, a soldier from the First World War who returns to house turned into a faceless torso and who learns to communicate by morse code to demand that they end his life. Inspired by this story, James Hetfield wrote these lines:
Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
Like many other groups of their time, the Rolling Stones have been subjected to analysis and re-analysis of many of their songs by experts and fans alike. Each, of course, draws their own conclusions, but in this specific case, we have a bit of everything. Although Brown Sugar speaks in a concrete way of the colonial era and slavery, some of the “freedoms” that the masters took with their “possessions” are reflected: Beatings by the whip, slaves who frequented the beds of the ladies of the house, the occasional mention of heroin and possibly rape. All this in just under four minutes.
My Sharona – The Knack
A boy walks into a store and falls in love with the shop assistant. Okay, apparently there is nothing disturbing about this, okay. But, and the but is important, the girl who appears on the cover of the single corresponding to this song was 17 years old at that time. This girl’s name was Sharona Alperin and she was, in effect, the girlfriend of The Knack singer and guitarist, Doug Fieger, who was 25 years old at the time. The song, of course, was written to her and, in addition to what you will see Fieger do in the video attached at the end of these lines, he had in great detail what good Sharona produced for the boy:
He Knows You Know – Marillion
We close the list with the most important group of the wave of neo-progressive rock of the ’80s. Belonging to their first album, He Knows You Know talks about drugs and, more specifically, the withdrawal syndrome in a way that is almost poetic after going through the pen of Fish: