8 Songs That Would Never Be Played In A Stadium Again If People Actually Listened To The Lyrics

Senior Pop Culture Editor
08.14.12 14 Comments

Do you guys want to read the worst sentence of all-time? Try this on for size:

When the final horn sounded, [Coach Mike] Krzyzewski locked [LeBron] James in a tight embrace as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA” rocked the arena. (Via)

The mental picture of Coach K and LeBron hugging and touching each other’s glory boners isn’t even the worst part of that write-up, though; it’s “Born in the USA” being played after an American team did something good, even though THAT’S THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE SONG’S ACTUALLY ABOUT.

Here are eight songs, including “Born in the USA,” that are played constantly played at sporting events, but wouldn’t be, if people actually paid attention to the often-depressing lyrics.

“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen

There are hundreds, if not thousands of songs with “USA” in the title, and yet, stadiums keep stubbornly playing the damn chorus of “Born in the USA.” As previously mentioned, after LeBron James & Co. took home the gold in men’s basketball during the Olympics, Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 ode to the effects the Vietnam War had on Americans played over the loudspeakers. YOU GUYS, it’s not that tough to understand the song; the first line is, “Born down in a dead man’s town/The first kick I took was when I hit the ground,” followed by, “You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much/Until you spend half your life just covering up.” That has nothing to do with American pride, and it’s not like this controversy hasn’t happened before, either.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan used “Born in the USA” as part of his presidential campaign, despite the fact that the song is Anti-American (or at least disappointed in the state of America) and that he probably had never heard of this Bruce fellow before. The Boss quickly put the kibosh on Reagan’s misuse — if only he could do the same for basketball games, too.

“Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen

Ah, yes, the other majorly misinterpreted Springsteen song, which Glee recently butchered during its high school graduation episode (don’t ask me how I know that). Judging by the title of the song and its honky-tonk sound, you’d think it’d be an appreciation of a time in your life when everything was perfect. Well, it kind of is, and it’s really f*cking depressing.

The song’s perspective is from a middle-aged man who’s reminiscing about high school with the former-stud baseball player who now drinks his days away at a roadside bar, the former-knockout who’s now divorced with two kids and can only stop crying when she thinks of her 18-year-old self, and other characters whose descriptions begin with “former.” These are people whose lives turned to sh*t after they graduated high school, and all they have are their memories and their beer bellies. U-S-A! U-S-A!

“Song 2” by Blur

The reason that everyone’s introduction to the greatness that is Blur sounds so unlike the rest of their discography is because they were playing a joke on their listeners. “Song 2,” also known as WHOO HOO, is a parody of American music in the early-to-mid 1990s, more specifically Nirvana and other grunge bands, right down to the quiet-loud dynamic. Damon Albarn’s goal was to prove that lyrics don’t matter to the average mindless radio listener, and if you like the song, you’re basically an idiot. “Song 2” is Blur’s biggest hit.

“Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones

The true meaning of the Ramones first (and best?) single is still undetermined, but we do know one thing about the track: “Blitzkrieg Bop is named after the Nazi World War II tactic “blitzkrieg,” which translates to, “Blow everything the f*ck up.” That’s not to say “Bop,” which was originally titled “Animal Hop,” is a Nazi-sympathizing song; rather, the Ramones likely just enjoyed the way “blitzkrieg” and “bop” sounded together, and they never gave it another thought. But the next time you’re at a football game and hear 40,000 people singing in unison to a song titled after a war tactic with the lyric, “Shoot ’em in the back,” it’s best to not think of Hitler.

“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam

Have you ever looked at the lyrics to “Na Na etc. etc. etc.”?

He’ll never love you
The way that I love you
‘Cause, if he did, no, no, he wouldn’t
Make you cry.

Wait a second.

He’s never near you
To comfort and cheer you
When all those sad tears are
Falling, baby, from your eyes.

I said please hold on a moment, Steam.

I really love you, girl.
I really need you now.
I got to have you near me everyday.

STOPPPPPPPPP…this song has nothing to do with taunting your dumb rival. It’s actually really sad and about falling in love with a girl who’s in an emotionally harmful relationship. That’s a lot less fun.

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica

When I think of baseball, I think of nightmares and war and dragons burning your flesh and (originally) crib death and the creepy way James Hetfield whispers, “Hush little baby, don’t say a word.” Long before the lyrics to “Enter Sandman” were written, Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted came up with the riff that a million pimple-faced teenagers have, like, totally wailed to. But Hetfield, who based the song on his own childhood growing up with an ultra-religious father and a mother who died when he was 16, was worried that it sounded too commercial, hence the frightening, dripping with blood lyrics. /draws “METALLICA RULES” on three-ring binder

“Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones

This may shock you, but “Start Me Up” isn’t about Windows 95. Sorry. Instead, the Tattoo You single is all about good ol’ fashioned vibrators. Again, not about computers or relievers coming into baseball games, but about a device that your girlfriend and/or wife puts inside of her when she’s not satisfied with your love-making.

“YMCA” by the Village People

To quote Village person David Hodo, a.k.a. the Construction Worker:

We had finished our third album Cruisin’, and we needed one more song as a filler. Jacques wrote “Y.M.C.A.” in about 20 minutes – the melody, the chorus, the outline. Then he gave it to Victor Willis and said, “Fill in the rest.” I was a bit skeptical about some of our hits, but the minute I heard “Y.M.C.A.,” I knew we had something special. Because it sounded like a commercial. And everyone likes commercials. “Y.M.C.A.” certainly has a gay origin. That’s what Jacques was thinking when he wrote it, because our first album was possibly the gayest album ever. I mean, look at us. We were a gay group. So was the song written to celebrate gay men at the YMCA? Yes. Absolutely. And gay people love it.” (Via)

Haha, NASCAR types singing THE gay anthem.

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