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Honored Social Butterfly

Unsolved Mysteries in Song

Let's see how many unsolved mysteries we can find in music.  To start:  "Ode to Billie Joe" (Bobby Gentry) tells the tale of a boy who apparently commits suicide, but townsfolk don't know why:  "Today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge."  

 

What songs do you know that contain unsolved mysteries?

Honored Social Butterfly

Gloria (Laura Branigan):  who is Gloria, why is she using an alias, what is she running from, and does she have some kind of illness ("Are the voices in your head calling")

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Gold Conversationalist

The Wreck Of The Edmond Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

 

Amazed that this wasn't already on the list.

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Honored Social Butterfly

Is it murder or suicide?

 

Exit (U2)

"His hand in his pocket
His finger on the the steel
The pistol weighed heavy
His heart he could feel was beating
Beating, beating, beating
Oh my love, my love"

 

So hands that build
Can also pull down
Even the hands of love
Even the hands of love"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Ride, Captain, Ride (Blues Image)

"Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Timothy (Buoys)

 

"Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Angie Baby (Helen Reddy):

 

"The headlines read that a boy disappeared
And everyone thinks he died"

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Silver Conversationalist

Who Let The Dogs Out - Baha Men



It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice.
Honored Social Butterfly

American Girl (Tom Petty)

 

from Definition.org:  

"For years, the song was thought to be about a girl who committed suicide by throwing herself from a residential tower at the University of Florida, which is located in Petty’s hometown of Gainesville.

 

"However, Petty himself categorically shot the story down in the 2005 book Conversations With Tom Petty. 'Urban legend. It’s become a huge urban myth down in Florida. That’s just not at all true. The song has nothing to do with that.'"

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Honored Social Butterfly

The Thing: Phil Harris (what was in the box?)

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Honored Social Butterfly

Sisters of the Moon (Fleetwood Mac)

 

From Rolling Stone:  

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Honored Social Butterfly

Like a Rolling Stone (Dylan)--who is Miss Lonely?  Listeners have speculated for years.

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Social Butterfly

Who YA Gonna Kiss - Speedo & the Pearls

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Honored Social Butterfly

Major Tom--Peter Schilling continues the tale of Bowie's mysterious character, but we have to assume the major's ending:

 

"Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning
They don't realize, he's alive
No one understands but Major Tom sees
Now the light commands, this is my home
I'm coming home"

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Social Butterfly

Who Put The Bomp? - the Overtones

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Space Oddity (Bowie):  what happened to Major Tom?  Some listeners were so upset that they feared the character was real:

https://www.straightdope.com/21342658/was-major-tom-the-astronaut-a-real-person

 

 

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Social Butterfly

You'll Never Know - the Platters

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Honored Social Butterfly

I'D Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"  Meat Loaf

 

From Wikipedia: "A reviewer writing for AllMusic commented that "The lyrics build suspense by portraying a romance-consumed lover who pledges to do anything in the name of love except 'that,' a mysterious thing that he will not specify.'"

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Honored Social Butterfly

In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins):

 

"I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord"  {what is "it"?}

 

"Well, if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand" [who is "you"?}


"I've seen your face before, my friend, but I don't know if you know who I am" {what is the relationship between the narrator and "you"?}

 

"Well, I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes"{what did "you" do?}

 

From Wikipedia:

 

"An urban legend has arisen around "In the Air Tonight", according to which the lyrics are based on a drowning incident in which someone who was close enough to save the victim did not help them, while Collins, who was too far away to help, looked on. Increasingly embellished variations on the legend emerged over time, with the stories often culminating in Collins singling out the guilty party while singing the song at a concert.[17] Collins has denied all such stories; he commented on the legends about the song in a BBC World Service interview:

I don't know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it's obviously in anger. It's the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of someone come up to me and say, "Did you really see someone drowning?" I said, "No, wrong." And then every time I go back to America the story gets Chinese whispers, it gets more and more elaborate. It's so frustrating, 'cause this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know?"

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Honored Social Butterfly

You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette)--speculation over who the "you" is

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Social Butterfly

Where Did You Stay - Fats Domino

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Honored Social Butterfly

Long Black Veil (Johnny Cash):  a mystery woman visits her lover's grave:

 

"She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me"

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Honored Social Butterfly

August 7, 4:15  -  Bon Jovi

 

Is actually written about a real, unsolved mystery.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_7,_4:15

 

 

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Social Butterfly

Who's Zoomin' Who - Aretha Franklin

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Bronze Conversationalist

Mademoiselle - Styx

Tell me where are you going
Sweet mademoiselle
To London or Paris
To the Grand Hotel
Where do you go at the end of the day
Where do you go, when you spend time away
Social Butterfly

Why Don't You Write Me - the Jacks

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Honored Social Butterfly

Delta Dawn  -  Tanya Tucker

 

She's forty-one and her daddy still calls her "baby"
All the folks around Brownsville say she's crazy
'Cause she walks dowtown with a suitcase in her hand
Looking for a mysterious dark-haired man

 

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
Social Butterfly

Who Will The Next Fool Be - Jerry Lee Lewis

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Contributor

"Where are you going, My little One?" Bos and Leeman

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

Everybody finds out, 2003   The Mac

 

When nobody sees them

At least not together

She rarely goes out

She spends every day

Waiting for the day

When everybody finds out

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