Rock and roll has not lacked its fair share of poets. Just like Bob Dylan started it all for us back then, there are plenty of acts that come to the fore for the depth of their songs, with stories that can perfectly relate to today’s era. . Then again, there’s nothing about having a song that means absolutely nothing.
As soon as you hear the first bars of these tracks, you’ll already wonder what the hell these guys are talking about. From line to line, some of them barely fit together into coherent sentences, let alone the words. And that’s the highlight of these songs…you’re not really supposed to. For the majority of these examples, you are more inclined to focus on the actual sound of the music rather than the words being shouted at you.
And not only do these bands not say much about songs like these… they also fully admit it. In almost every case here, the songwriter actually stepped forward to say that the entire song wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. It might take away some of the magic, but the real professionals are the ones who can get you to sing to absolute gibberish.
Part of the appeal behind REM early on was not being able to understand a word that came out of Michael Stipe’s mouth. Although there were killer hooks on their debut album Murmur, whoever was able to scribble all of Genius’ lyrics deserves a Medal of Honor today. Especially when Stipe stepped forward to say those songs made absolutely no sense.
While you could probably throw a dart at almost any song on the record, their biggest hit from this era is almost proud of how little meaning it has. While you can get slight hints of words like “drive us absurd” and the actual title in the chorus, even Stipe himself wasn’t set on the lyrics when they settled into the studio at the era.
When things started, there was no set lyric sheet, with Stipe simply making it up as he moved through the studio based on how much emotion the music gave him. You can really tell where he starts to grab the straws, every other line sounding like a joke or him trying to find a way to fill in the verse that feels somewhat coherent. Even the title makes little sense, sounding more like it saying “radio, radio” and just pronouncing the second one a bit odd. It’s not really about the lyrics though. It’s more about what the music brings out in the listener when it hits them.