If I Knew Then What I Know Now: The Real Meaning Of Our Fave Old School Pop Songs

Author: Cindy Sullivan

When Napster first launched in 1999, there was a sudden race to download as many songs as possible. It didn’t really matter if you liked the song or not – It was just download it, burn it on a CD, and play it on the CD player in your room. I recently found a hidden stash of old burned CD’s from my middle school days. Naturally, I put them into my computer one by one, and decided which songs were keepers. There is nothing I love more than driving around while listening to my favorite pop songs from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I could seriously do it all day long. As I listened to a lot of my old favorites, I became appalled as to how dirty some of them were… And how sad some of the peppiest ones were. When we were young we thought we knew what those songs were saying, but all we heard was the words – Not the true meaning. It’s interesting to go back, listen to those same songs, and really understand them!

Sometimes – Britney Spears

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0bPrt69rag&ob=av2e]

I remember being in Art class, in 5th grade, and this song had just come out. The lyrics were hysterical to me at the time! “Sometimes I run. Sometimes I hide. Sometimes I’m scared of you.” To me, this made no sense, other than just words… and that Brit Brit may had been in a not so great and possibly abusive relationship. This song and video also launched the idea that Britney got a boob job. Therefore, my best friend and I made up our own lyrics about how all Britney really wanted was to get into night clubs with her new boob job (we were cool). I am forever a Britney fan, so as I listen to this song now, it makes total sense! She simply doesn’t trust him! What girl doesn’t want to believe everything the guy they’re seeing/hooking up with is telling them? She also doesn’t seem to want to rush into commitment, and is not sure how she feels about this guy. I am not saying Britney is a master at writing meangful lyrics (and I’m pretty sure she didn’t write the song), but listening to the song now in my 20’s makes me realize that it’s super relatable. Brit forevs.

What happened to this girl?

Liquid Dreams – O-Town

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sddUNI-YVhg&feature=fvst]

All I have to say about this one, is EW! I can not believe my mother let me sing and dance around to this song, over, and over, and over! I was obsessed with O-Town, and at the time, I was too young to truly understand what Liquid Dreams was referring to! Ew!! When this song came out in 7th grade, I probably should have known what was going on…but I didn’t! I cannot believe that record executives thought this would be a good song for a boy band coming off the success of the television show, Making the Band. The song goes on and on about combining different body parts from the hottest female celebrities of the time into the perfect dream girl. Gross. But don’t worry, about ¾ into the song, they assure insecure middle school girls that looks aren’t everything, and as long as you have a great personality, like Halle Berry (who is the most gorgeous woman in the world), you’ll be fine! Ew!!!!!

One For Sorrow – Steps

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVIV5hDW_yk&ob=av2n]

This sad song is packaged in the happiest music and should be the theme song for The Bachelor. I remember watching the Disney Channel and Steps was teaching their viewers the dance moves to this up-beat song (again, I was really cool). The song was so much fun. I remember dancing around to it back then, and as I listen to it now it still makes me want to dance! Listening to the lyrics now as a 24 year old female, I feel bad for the girl singing! I totally understand what she is going through! She’s a girl who had hope at the beginning of a relationship and now, at the end, she’s left with absolutely nothing except sad memories. The boyfriend or whatever he was has moved on to someone else, while she’s totally not over it at all! I think this song is the one that caught me off guard the most. Similar to the Britney song, when I first listened to this as a young girl, the song was just a bunch of words with a really catchy beat… But now, it’s just sad!

All of this pretty much shows that I was a mindless pre-teen and would listen to anything pop singers told me to. Anything. Even wet dreams from grown men. Ew!!

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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