8 songs that are deceptively catchy but are actually very depressing

These songs will leave you depressed AF

When you’re in a funk, you may find yourself drawn to them because they are peppy. They may have even been bangers in their time.

But what you probably didn’t know is that they’re actually depressing AF.

Hey Ya- Outkast

It looks like something a happy leprechaun threw up on. But the song is actually quite maudlin as Andre wrote it when he was going through his divorce. There is even a lyric where he says, “Y’all don’t wanna hear me, you just wanna dance.”

Makes you think twice about pop tunes, doesn’t it?

You Can Call Me Al- Paul Simon

The song seems playful with the video even not having Paul Simon doing the actual “singing” but rather comedian Lorne Michaels. The song was inspired by Simon’s trip to South Africa where French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who was attending the same party, mistakenly referred to Paul as "Al" and to Peggy (Simon’s then wife) as "Betty".

Unfortunately, this catchy tune is about a man going through a rather depressing midlife crisis.

Semi-charmed Life- Third Eye Blind

It sounds like the escapades of a sexually active person. But it’s actually describing a crystal meth addiction.

Basket Case- Green Day

This Green Day anthem sounds like a punk rock banger just about mindless banalities of rocking or having fun.

But in fact, it was about lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s struggle with anxiety just before he was diagnosed with a panic disorder years afterward. He had in fact thought he was losing his sanity.

Pumped Up Kids- Foster the People

Let me tell you why this one fooled you. One, it was a surprise hit. Two, the vocal artist has this whispery, faint voice that just lulls you into a false sense of sweet security. Only the first two lines of the hook are:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks

You better run, better run, outrun my gun

Yeah, the song is about the murderous thoughts of a young fellow.

Detroit Rock City- Kiss

So this song sounds like a party anthem. You know, something LMFAO would come up with if they were actually talented. But Detroit Rock City is deceptive with its lyrics:

Get up

Everybody's going move their feet

Get down

Everybody's going leave their seat

As it documents what fan did to get to their show by midnight. The fan was driving while under the influence and lost his life when he got in a car crash.

Mamma Mia- Abba

Oh wow, this is like one of Abba’s most famous songs. There was even an ill-fated musical inspired by it.

The lady is actually singing about being stuck in a relationship with an utterly unpleasant man.

Delilah- Tom Jones

It sounds almost like a love song. But it’s actually a song about a man who murders his love for cheating on him.


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