Do you enjoy listening to music, but ever feel that there is more to it than just the beat, vocals and melody? Well, you may be right! Several songs were actually written with secret messages woven into the lyrics and you may not have noticed them without a close examination. This article will explore some of the top secret-message songs you may want to check out and provides an explanation of what the hidden messages could mean.

The concept of secret message songs is not a new one, as it has been incorporated by musicians for years, especially during sensitive topics or times of personal turmoil. Artists have set hidden messages within the lyrics as a form of subtle protest or as a way to express their emotions or beliefs when circumstances or negotiations do not allow for more direct speech.

In fact, some of the most famous musicians in the world have taken to secret messages as a form of self-expression or even for amusement. From The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to the Beatles, a large number of iconic bands and performers have included secret messages into their songs.

Here is a list of some of the most well-known secret message songs that likely flew past your radar as they may not have been obvious at first listen.

  1. “Back in the USSR” by The Beatles

The Beatles’ “Back in the USSR” is an infectious classic rock song, but it also includes a secret message. At the beginning of the track, John Lennon and Paul McCartney can be heard bantering and laughing, then McCartney says, “Let’s give ‘em the news,” which is the secret message in this song. The joke was actually a reference to the Kremlin-controlled Soviet Union newspaper Pravda, which was the most widely circulated paper in the USSR. This could mean that the group was giving out their own news through sticking it in their song despite the fact that it was difficult to do in the Soviet Union and news there was heavily censored.

  1. “God” by John Lennon

John Lennon’s song “God” begins with a bible-style speech that talks about revolutionist John Brown and questions the existence of a higher power. However, the secret message of this song is a backwards message saying, “Turned out nice again.” This phrase was a reference to the old British expression of “aren’t we lucky it turned out nice again,” and was a commentary on the British weather in the summertime.

  1. “Sympathy For the Devil” by The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones’ song “Sympathy For the Devil,” is an anthemic song full of allusions to the Devil himself. However, a close listen will reveal a hidden message saying, “L-U-C-I-F-E-R,” which is the band’s secret way of spelling out the Devil’s name. This message is only revealed when hearing the track played backwards, which is when the secret message comes through.
  1. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

One of Led Zeppelin’s most popular songs, “Stairway to Heaven,” is one of the songs containing a hidden message. Midway through the song, when the electric guitar solo begins, a similar guitar pattern is repeated over and over and echoes the phrase, “I live for you” when played backwards. This was likely a comment from the band’s guitarist Jimmy Page, who was expressing his love for the band or their fans, or just an amusing timeline for the group.

  1. “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry

Though this is a much more modern track, Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” is a pop classic of the 2000s. However, this is also one of the secret message songs in recently history. After the chorus and leading up to the bridge section, Perry can be heard saying the phrase ‘no regrets’ when played backwards. This secret message seems to be in line with the themes of the song, which talk about breaking gender stereotyping, kissing a woman, and completely owning the choice made.

Deciphering the meanings of secret messages

Now that you are aware of some of the most iconic secret message songs, it’s time to delve into deeper meaning by deciphering what the secret messages actually mean. Different scholars, authors, and critics have provided different interpretations of these secret messages, particularly as it relates to its message in the given context of the songs.

For example, in the case of The Beatles’ “Back in the USSR,” Lennon and McCartney used the secret message as a form of political protest in a time where freedom of speech was heavily censored. The hidden message was not only a reference to the notorious paper Pravda but also a compliance with Soviet regulations that prevented the use of individualism, particularly in a romantic sense.

In the case of John Lennon’s “God,” much has been made about the true message behind the track’s secret message. Some believe that Lennon was satirically taking on the significance of higher powers and the idea of being controlled by them, by knowing the truth and having his cake and eating it too—the hidden message can mean the exact opposite of what is being said in the song, almost as a way of mocking how powerful the idea of God could be.

Meanwhile, the secret message in Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is interpreted as somewhat of a representation of the cult-like status the band had during their hey-day. The phrase “I live for you” emphasizes the idea of loyalty and idolization they were getting from their fans and how devoted they were to their music.

Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” was the last of the songs with secret messages on the list and many believed the hidden message was used to further the themes of the song—breaking traditional gender roles, but with no regrets or guilt. The phrase ‘no regrets’ is used as a way of softly pushing for the idea of reclaiming control and doing what one wants, regardless of societal expectations.

Uncovering some of the hidden messages in some of the world’s most iconic recordings can prove to be extremely enlightening, especially when it comes to understanding the artist’s true intentions and motivations for making the track. The songs mentioned all contain powerful secret messages that deserve to be heard and talked about, no matter the musical genre.

These secret messages serve as a reminder of the grit, struggle, and defiance that these musicians overcame, all while leaving an amazing legacy of music behind. So, the next time you listen to your favorite tracks and songs, don’t be surprised if you find yourself uncovering a hidden and powerful message.