40 Famous Songs With Meanings That Completely Went Over Our Heads

No, this isn't a story about infamous "backmasking" techniques supposedly used by recording artists to plant Satanic messages in the minds of the straight-laced families of unsuspecting America. We're talking about real hidden meanings here. The vulnerable truths behind songs like "Born in the U.S.A.," "Summer of '69," and all those songs you sang on vacation that have much deeper meanings than you may have thought.

1. "Imagine" — John Lennon

"Imagine no possessions / I wonder if you can / No need for greed or hunger / A brotherhood of man"

It's been widely accepted for years as a peaceful, feel-good anthem by the American public, but Lennon openly stated that the lyrics of his famous song were "virtually the Communist manifesto...Because it's sugarcoated, it's accepted." Well that settles that then!

2. "Poker Face" — Lady Gaga

"No, he can't read my poker face / (She's got me like nobody)"

Although it seems to be about a cavalier flirtationship, this song was actually a hint at Gaga's bisexuality. She admitted to crowds at a 2009 concert that the "poker face" in question concerned fantasizing about a woman while she was with a man.

3. "Hotel California" — Eagles

"And she said, 'We are all just prisoners here / Of our own device'"

Checking out anytime you like, but never being able to leave, sounds like typical customer service at the worst hotel ever. It's actually a veiled reference to the greed of the music industry, which Don Henley was feeling trapped by at the time.

4. "Closing Time" — Semisonic

"Closing time, this room won't be open / Till your brothers or your sisters come"

This classic down-your-drink-and-get-out ballad is a favorite of bartenders who, when it's lights-on time, have no patience for subtlety. But Dan Wilson wrote the tune about childbirth. "My wife and I were expecting our first kid...what a funny pun it was to be bounced from the womb," he said.