Lyrics don't really seem to matter in the realm of popular music. For as many clever wordsmiths have come and gone throughout music history, musicians can really put any placeholder words onto a track so long as it has a decent melody floating over the top. Nevertheless, fans have taken it upon themselves to speculate as to what these songs are about.
Since the dawn of pop music, people have developed their own conspiracy theories about what songs might mean and have even made bold accusations about the artists singing the songs in the process. What'll sting even more is when these overeager fans realize that they are getting all worked up over nothing.
Instead of tying together a narrative or wanting to make an artistic statement, these songs make it a point to make absolutely no sense. Some may feel short-changed when there's no meaning behind their favorite tracks, but that's the beauty of music: it can all mean completely different things to completely different people.
Whether it's to hide something hidden under the surface or just to goof on their overzealous fans, these are a few songs that are meant to baffle the hell out of you. If you're still trying to extract some meaning out of these...best of luck, I guess.
10. Zombie Zoo - Tom Petty
Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever has become a masterpiece of the late '80s. After years of bringing heartland rock to the airwaves, Petty's first true solo effort without the Heartbreakers gave him his biggest hits up to that point, with "Free Fallin" becoming a modern classic overnight. Every song paints a great picture of love, heartache, and determination, but "Zombie Zoo" is something you might not want to dwell on.
For what it's worth, there's a solid foundation, with the melody being a throwback to the '60s rock sound, but tying everything together with "Zombie Zoo" doesn't really seem to fit with the main theme of a girl free of her inhibitions.
What's even more distracting is when Petty starts talking about this girl looking like Boris Karloff. It may have just been a throwaway line to go along with the horror theme, but this kind of back-handed compliment is something that will get you punched in the throat.
Even with legend Roy Orbison providing backup vocals behind him, "Zombie Zoo" is the one Petty song that has a great foundation but a really flawed execution. Petty has been known to paint beautiful stories in his songs, but this type of imagery is more suited to cheesy Halloween parties than to one of rock's most gifted songwriters.