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July 27, 2020 4:31 pm  #1


What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

Ever hear a song you really like, but have no idea what the hell it’s about?
 
I’m not talking about something like the great “Israelites” by Desmond Dekker & The Aces, which is completely impenetrable to most North American ears.
 
I’m talking about a tune written by John Stewart in very plain English: “Daydream Believer” as performed by the Monkees.
 
I heard this song again today and realized as I listened to it for the 500th time in my life that, despite the fact I’ve sung along with it in at least that many instances, I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. 

It’s one thing not to be able to make out words in a song. It’s quite another to know every one of them and still have no clue what you’re singing. Does anyone know what this tune is supposed to be about? Or as the lyrics so appropriately ask, "Oh what can it mean?"
 
(And by the way, judging by this website I just found, I’m not the only one who doesn’t know!)

 

July 27, 2020 6:31 pm  #2


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

I don’t know the meaning but my second wife thought it was about her.  She was a homecoming queen (but it was a small school in western Kansas) and she claimed to be a daydream believer.
 
But like when my junior year English teacher asked about poems, I didn’t know they had to have meaning.

 

July 27, 2020 7:19 pm  #3


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

Taz wrote:

But like when my junior year English teacher asked about poems, I didn’t know they had to have meaning.

I suppose you may be right and occasionally, a songwriter will deliberately pen something that's deliberately senseless. If I recall correctly, John Lennon once admitted that The Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing" means absolutely nothing. 

Sure sounds good, though. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 28, 2020 3:12 am  #4


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

John Stewart said once it was related to suburban life. A couple have married and been on honeymoon not long before, one morning they stare across breakfast table at each other  and realize their life as a married couple in suburbia is starting for real and it's not going be like a fairy tale of white knights and roses every day of married life.
 

 

July 28, 2020 10:30 am  #5


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

Scotty wrote:

John Stewart said once it was related to suburban life. A couple have married and been on honeymoon not long before, one morning they stare across breakfast table at each other  and realize their life as a married couple in suburbia is starting for real and it's not going be like a fairy tale of white knights and roses every day of married life.
 

Wow. I'm not sure I would have interpreted it that way. But then, the whole thing makes no sense to me so I guess that's as good an explanation as any! Thanks for providing it. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 28, 2020 11:00 am  #6


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

Might have helped if they hadn't changed John Stewart's line "now you know how funky I can be" to "now you know happy I can be."

|Now you want to really talk about a John Stewart song that made no sense try Mother Country.

 

July 28, 2020 4:07 pm  #7


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

livingston taylor once told me that a good song should mean anything you imagine it to be, or inspires you to think, about. i believe he's  right.

Last edited by gopher (July 29, 2020 1:32 am)

 

July 28, 2020 8:31 pm  #8


Re: What Does This Hit Song Actually Mean?

aflem wrote:

Taz wrote:

But like when my junior year English teacher asked about poems, I didn’t know they had to have meaning.

I suppose you may be right and occasionally, a songwriter will deliberately pen something that's deliberately senseless. If I recall correctly, John Lennon once admitted that The Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing" means absolutely nothing. 

Sure sounds good, though. 

You could never tell what John would say at any moment but it seems the song has very understandable lyrics. He's singing to "someone" that has everything but he's having a problem with their arrogance. It's hinted at Epstein or the Stones who Lennon thought copied them alot. Maybe Marianne Faithfull.
 

 

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