I remember when I was very young listening to the soft rock station my mom liked. I was a careful listener, learning the words to the songs and studying the singers’ voices. Lyrics resonated with me, and I guesstimate that I knew the all the words to hundreds of songs by the time I was 12. When the internet first became commonplace in my classmates’ houses, around 1996, I spent countless hours looking up words to my favorite songs. Back then, I don’t remember there existing any song lyric search sites like LyricsFreak. You had to go to your favorite artists’ websites and search for the lyrics there. I remember memorizing every word to Savage Garden’s “I Want You, “ (“…magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine, sweet like a chicka cherry cola…” wait, what?!) At 13, I was convinced that Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” accurately described my relationship with the boy I had a crush on. Not loved, mind you. Crushed on. I was a little bit obsessed with words and their meaning. And I was a little…er, passionate…about word choice.
Of course, growing up as a teen in the 90s lent itself to being influenced by the not-so-morally-upright popular music of the time. While all of my angsty teen friends loved Alanis Morrissette’s “Jagged Little Pill,” I was more than disturbed by some of the imagery in her songs. It was around this time I started thinking outside the lyrical box, and started reimagining the artists’ intent of their lyrics as if they were, say, Christian. I’ve taken the liberty of assembling seven of my favorites, listed below in no particular order, and I’m not reprinting the lyrics here because, you know, copyrights. Feel free to Google or YouTube them up, LISTEN to the lyrics, and come back here to tell me I’m spot on or losing my mind. And now, without further ado, some of my favorite mental reworkings.