The entire concept of rock and roll was never really based on being the most intellectual of genres. Although artists like Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd have put a more cerebral bent on the rock formula in their own ways, it really doesn't matter what you're singing about when you have a good riff going on in the background. In fact, artists can throw any old thing over your head if you're not careful.
Compared to the usual party rock atmosphere coming from the likes of Van Halen, these songs are a lot darker and sinister than most would like to admit. Straying from the usual realm of going out on the town, a lot of these songs take drastic turns into death, depression, and recreational drug use that you didn't even know was there on first glance. One minute you're listening to your favorite jam, and the next you're finding out that it's actually about something a lot more sleazy than you'd originally thought.
Though these kind of messages tend to erode the song for some fairweather fans, there's something respectable about artists wanting to buck the trend and making something a little more mature for their audience to take in. Once you hear these songs for what they actually are, rock doesn't feel nearly as innocent as it once was, does it?
10. The Lemon Song - Led Zeppelin
At the dawn of rock and roll, every single edgy side of the genre came back to the blues. As much as the tired 12 bar tropes have been played out at this point, Led Zeppelin was one of the few bands that actually made it sound new and modern, as Jimmy Page turned his guitar prowess inside out. Then again, even the most simple blues song can be absolutely filthy.
Stuck in the middle of Led Zeppelin II, the Lemon Song is probably one of the first proper blues songs that rock fans get acquainted with after your George Thorogoods and Stray Cats of the world. The whole thing is coated in that trademark swagger as Robert Plant wails about some reciprocation from his lover. If you think that this is actually about the citrus fruit though, you're probably still on the more innocent side of rock and roll.
Given that most of the blues goes back to sexual music, you can pretty much insinuate what Plant's "Lemon" really is, especially when he talks about the juice running down his leg. For all we would have known as kids, this could have just been about lemons, but NO...now Plant has to go in and make things weird. Kudos for trying to hide it...but just because you try doesn't mean you succeed.