When you first listen to a song, it's not always immediately clear what the song is about. While there are plenty of songs with secretly dark meanings, those meanings can escape even the most astute listener. Songs about suicide are usually even harder to place. These songs appear in all genres, from country and rap to metal and punk, and they're so unexpected. Few would've guessed that Van Halen's catchy "Jump" is about a man encouraging someone to jump to their death off of a high building. Even fewer people would guess that "Waltzing Matilda" is really about a sheep thief who kills himself to avoid arrest.Sometimes music fans fail to notice a song's meaning because the backstory isn't clear from the lyrics. Other times, the song is so upbeat that the lyrics produce cognitive dissonance. Sometimes, you've heard a song so many times that it becomes easy to gloss over the dark lyrics.
Keep reading to find out what other secret suicide songs are out there and take note of the truly surprising ones.
If the title didn't make it clear enough, though, this list discusses suicide so please use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to keep reading.
If you're not listening carefully, "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins could easily sound like a feel-good song about living in the present and embracing the current moment. Lyrics like the first few seem to support this message:
Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow
Tomorrow's much too long
Once you get further into the song, however, it becomes clear that while today might be the greatest day, it's not great because the narrator is seizing the moment and living life to the fullest. Indeed, today is the day because he finally decides to end his unhappy life. The more descriptive lyrics make this fact more clear:
I wanted more
Than life could ever grant me
Bored by the chore
Of saving face
Can't wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I'll tear my heart out
Before I get out
This narrator is ready to "tear [his] heart out."see more on Today
Swim Good - Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean's "Swim Good" gives off a melancholy vibe but it seems contemplative not suicidal. When he sings, "I'm about to drive into the ocean" it sounds like "I'm about to drive to the ocean" but the slight word change makes a huge difference. If you're not paying attention, this song is about a man simply trying to cleanse his troubled mind with a good swim.
Certain lyrics might make the suicidal theme more apparent:
I've had this black suit on Roaming around like I'm ready for a funeral One more mile 'til the road runs out
The narrator is planning on drowning himself and whoever's locked in his trunk.
Click Click - The English Beat
The English Beat's "Click Click" is about shooting oneself in the head. It's so upbeat and bouncy, though, that it's pretty easy to ignore the lyrics and just bop along to the beat. Once you're paying attention to the lyrical content, it's pretty clear what the song's about.
It's a one shot magazine, give it a spin
Open your mouth, slide the barrel in.
Inside The Fire - Disturbed
Those who first heard Disturbed's "Inside the Fire" while watching the official music video definitely know that this song is about suicide. David Draiman announces it and lists the suicide hotline for anyone who might be triggered by the video's contents. However, this is surprising news to a lot of people who've only listened to the song."Inside the Fire" is a metal thrasher about a man trying to rescue his girlfriend Devon from hell after she commits suicide. It's super easy to get caught up in the whole trading your soul to a demon thing and fail to notice that Devon - a victim of sexual abuse - killed herself.