princessconsuela (madamezuzu) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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ONTD Original: Best Songs Written About Other Musicians

Everyone wishes that they were able to write a really killer song either to show another person how much they love them, hate them, miss them, want to fuck them, etc. But what happens when these talented people write songs about the other select few with this talent? MUSIC GOLD THAT'S WHAT.

Style - Taylor Swift


Subject: Harry Styles of One Direction


It's no secret that the entirety of 1989 was inspired by Styles, and this song is the apex of that. Taylor's 2014 "Rolling Stone" interview details, "Then there's the song that sets a new high-water mark for Swiftian faux secrecy – a sexy Miami Vice-sounding throwback about a guy with slicked-back hair and a white T-shirt and a girl in a tight little skirt that is called – no joke – "Style." (She allows herself a satisfied grin. "We should have just called it 'I'm Not Even Sorry.'")"

Taylor went on to give a shitty music video, a shitty part of her World Tour set in which she distracts concert goers with super models strutting down the runway so they don't pay attention to the song, and refused to do any promo for the song whatsoever. For what could easily be her best song (probably tied with "All Too Well"), it seems a bit curious to hate it so much.

To quote the good sis veritasaequ1tas it's Taylor's ultimate act of revenge. #justiceforstyle


How Do You Sleep? - John Lennon


Subject: Paul McCartney

There were a lot of things contributing to the problems between John and Paul that lead to the break up of The Beatles, the death of Brian Epstein, Paul's bossiness in the studio, John's refusal to take any songs seriously that he didn't write himself. Yoko Ono is perhaps the most notorious reason for the strain between John and Paul. John brought Yoko everywhere, even the recording studio, a place where no other girlfriends or wives were allowed. Yoko's constant presence made the rest of the band uneasy. Eventually the band broke up, it got nasty and John wrote this song.

Lenon said, "You know, I wasn't really feeling that vicious at the time. But I was using my resentment toward Paul to create a song, let's put it that way. He saw that it pointedly refers to him, and people kept hounding him about it. But, you know, there were a few digs on his album before mine. He's so obscure other people didn't notice them, but I heard them. I thought, Well, I'm not obscure, I just get right down to the nitty-gritty. So he'd done it his way and I did it mine. But as to the line you quoted, yeah, I think Paul died creatively, in a way."


Chelsea Hotel #2 - Leonard Cohen


Subject: Janis Joplin

All the teenagers here probably know this song best from the Lana Del Rey Cover, but this song had notoriety long before Lana came onto the scene. Cohen lived in the hotel when he was on the road, in suite #424, Janis lived in suite #411. Cohen debuted this song on March 23, 1972 during the third night of his concert series at Royal Albert Hall series.

"A long time ago there was a hotel in New York City where a lot of musicians used to stay. Among them there was a very great singer, a woman. I used to bump into her in the elevator about three in the morning, completely by mistake. She wasn't looking for me. I think she was looking for Kris Kristofferson. And I wasn't looking for her. I was looking for...Brigitte Bardot. Anyhow, we fell into each other's arms through some process of elimination, which is the process by which most things happen and I loved...There's music going on here that is not my own. How delightful. How delightful to hear music that is not my own. Bring it up...Last time I saw her was on 23d Street. She said, "Hey man, you in town to read poetry for old ladies?" That was her view of my career. Anyhow, there was no sense of ambiguity or division in her relation with her audience, with her public, and after she split, after she died, I wrote this song for her, Janis Joplin."

However, Cohen began to feel guilty for naming his muse due to the graphic nature of the lyrics, "I used the line 'giving me head on an unmade bed while the limousines wait in the street', and I’ve always disliked the locker-room approach to these matters, I’ve never spoken in any concrete terms of a woman with whom I’ve had any intimate relationships. I named Janis Joplin in that song. I don't know when it started, but I connected her name with the song, and I've been feeling very bad about that ever since. And if there is some way of apologising to a ghost, I want to apologise now for having committed that indiscretion."


Ex-Girlfriend - No Doubt


Subject: Gavin Rossdale

Gwen Stefani wrote this song after one of her and Gavin Rossdale's break-ups. She makes a dig at him and his band Bush with her lyrics, "you say you're gonna burn before you mellow." The lyrics were taken directly from "I'm doing you in tomorrow/I'll burn before I mellow" in Bush's song "Dead Meat."

The two patched things up and married in 2002, having three children together. They divorced earlier this year. ONTD is hoping for an "Ex-Girlfriend Pt. 2" on Stefani's upcoming album.


Going to California - Led Zeppelin


Subject: Joni Mitchell

While there may be many groupies who tell you differently, "Going to California" was written about Joni Mitchell. During live performances, Robert Plant would add "Joni" to after this stanza, "To find a queen without a king//They say she plays guitar and cries and sings." This lyric is in reference to Joni Mitchell's song "I Had a King."


Big Brother - Kayne West


Subject: Jay-Z

It was necessary so show some love between two men on this list, and no one loves Jay-Z more than Kanye West. This song documents the highs and lows of Jay and Kanye's friendship. The song starts with Kanye's experience working for Jay on his album "The Blueprint" in which Kanye wrote four beats that Jay used, to present day.


Ring of Fire - June Carter Cash


Subject: Johnny Cash

June Carter Cash wrote this song about her falling in love with Johnny. Her sister Anita originally preformed it, but when it wasn't having the chart success she anticipated, Anita allowed Johnny to cover the song. The mariachi sound was his idea.

However, Johnny's first wife Vivian Liberto denies that June had any part in writing the song, "To this day, it confounds me to hear the elaborate details June told of writing that song for Johnny. She didn't write that song any more than I did. The truth is, Johnny wrote that song, while pilled up and drunk, about a certain private female body part. All those years of her claiming she wrote it herself, and she probably never knew what the song was really about."


Silver Springs - Fleetwood Mac


Subject: Lindsey Buckingham


It's best to hear about this song from Stevie herself. UGH!

"There's a real heartbreaker from me, too. A heartbreaker, called Silver Springs. Yeah, that's my, that's my alias on the road, "Miss Silver Spring". [When asked about how the song came about] Just a, uh, a sign in, in Virginia or something that said, you know, next exit Silver Springs and I just thought it was ... yeah, I thought it was wonderful ~ so I just went home and wrote this song about it."

"I wrote Silver Springs uh, about Lindsey. And I ~ we were in Maryland somewhere driving under a freeway sign that said Silver Spring, Maryland. And I loved the name. ...Silver Springs sounded like a pretty fabulous place to me. And uh, 'You could be my silver springs...' that's just a whole symbolic thing of what you could have been to me."

On what she wanted to say to Lindsey after their break-up, "I'm so angry with you. You will listen to me on the radio for the rest of your life, and it will bug you. I hope it bugs you."



 photo stevie_zpshdlyj9di.gif


ONTD, what are your favorite songs written about other musicians?


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Tags: beatles, gwen stefani / no doubt, jay-z, kanye west, music / musician, one direction, ontd original, stevie nicks, taylor swift
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