Pop songs always had to live in the moment. The rock and roll lifestyle may be fun, but not conducive to a long life. Death was a main theme of songs from the beginning.
So it should come as no surprise that some of these pieces of music are shaped by the actual loss of life. Next time, when these 10 hit songs appear on the radio, try to remember that someone has really died for them to exist.
10 Three animals died for Paul Simon's "Mother And Child Reunion"
Long before he copied African music, Paul Simon tried to imitate Jamaica. The end result was the 1
Part of the popularity of the song was the charming reggae reeds and the cryptic lyrics about the "strange and sad" day. Mother and child should meet again. The happy melody hides a dark past, while the philosophical and introspective texts are actually a stupid joke.
Those who have spent hours deciphering the deeper meaning of the song will be disappointed to find that real-life inspiration is as insignificant as a Chinese menu. Simon wrote the song after seeing a chicken and egg dish called "Mother and Child Reunion." He found the rather dark pun so funny that he somehow had to turn it into a title. 
Although the title may have been a joke, the inspiration was certainly not. In 1972 Paul Simon experienced the first real loss of his life when his beloved dog died. After losing a pet, his mind naturally went to death. The menu item inspired him to make death easier. This lesson is reflected in the song, as the morbid narration is masked with a funny melody.
9 The Kiss of Death in Detroit Rock City
If there's a band you think would not talk about death, it's Kiss. With their busy schedules, rocking and rolling all night, celebrating each day, there is not much time for mourning.
It's hard to have existential problems with make-up. So it's no wonder that their darkest song is still an arena rock jam. The song tells everyone to get up, but it's really about how bad partying can be.
Most people are probably more familiar with the radio airplay single. However, when you hear the album version, the meaning of the song becomes obvious.
The song opens with a message about a deadly car accident. The rest describes the last minutes of a fan racing to a kiss concert. High and drunk, the guy pushes on a truck and dies. The morbid texts were based on a true story.
Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley wrote the song after reading a newspaper article about a deadly car accident before a Kiss concert in Charlotte. Considering how the city helped the band in their early days, the title city was changed to Detroit. 
8 The funeral that inspired the "Tennessee" of arrested development
It may have been short-lived, but in 1992 there was a moment when Arrested Development appeared as the world's largest rap group. Their music was defiantly smooth, polished and jazz influenced in an era dominated by the gritty realism of the emerging gangsta rap.
The band has been praised both commercially and critically. Her album 3 years, 5 months and 2 days in life. , , was voted Best Album of the Year in by Village Voice 's coveted Pazz & Jop poll.
In 1993, Arrested Development won two Grammys – for the best new artist and best rap performance by a duo or group. Legions of fans and groups, as diverse as the Fugees, OutKast and the Black-Eyed Peas, have called the band a significant influence. None of this would have been possible without her debut song "Tennessee". 
"Tennessee", hidden under a booming bass, is a deeply religious song. That makes sense because it was written during the mourning. The singer Speech (real name Todd Thomas) had just gone to the title state to bury his grandmother. Having helped raise him, Speech was very upset about losing his favorite grandmother.
Although it was a serious matter, Speech offered the opportunity to reunite with his brother Terry Thomas. They hung out until both returned to their respective colleges. A week later, Terry had a severe asthmatic reaction. He died at the age of 29 years.
Heartbroken died after losing two of his closest family members in a row. Speech sat down to take in his thoughts. Speech treats the song as a prayer to God, saying the lyrics were poured out in a stream of consciousness.
The song's references to the grandmother and Speech's brother were his attempt at closure. The private crisis of the language was well received by the American public. "Tennessee" went to # 6 on the charts and announced Arrested Development.
7 The sad, misguided journey behind Fastball's "The Way"
On June 29, 1997, the elderly couple Raymond and Lela Howard drove out of their home in Salado, Texas, to an event 24 kilometers away in Temple. The two never returned home.
After they made it to Temple, they drove hundreds of miles to Arkansas. At that time, her family had reported her missing. Within an hour they were run over by police officers for traffic violations twice. None of the officers knew that a bulletin had been issued for missing persons and let them go. The couple was never seen alive again.
Journalist Denise Gamino wrote an article on disappearance on 2 July. The details show how mentally unstable the couple was before the trip. Both were confused in the eighties because of the couple's state of health. Although it was July, the calendar was still set for February. Her pet cat was left without food. There was no evidence that they were planning a trip.
Tony Scalzo, Fastball's singer, read the article and gave the story an optimistic twist. The final product was the jangling power pop classic "The Way". Instead of a couple who have forgotten about Alzheimer's, the duo in "The Way" leaves their everyday problems to one last great driving pleasure.  
Scalzo recorded a demo in a few hours, but put the song on until the band's 1998 album, All the Pain Money Can . Like some other entries, the melody hides a surprisingly dark background story. Unlike the others, Fastball had no idea how dark the story should be.
Two weeks after the song was recorded, the bodies of Raymond and Lela Howard were discovered. The evidence showed that she had crashed into a ravine on the same day the article reported her missing.
6 "Heartbreak Hotel" based on a real heartbeat
"Heartbreak Hotel" is the record that launched Elvis Presley and basically everyone else. For a generation of people, this was one of the first rock songs they had ever heard. John Lennon, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Robert Plant have all named the "Heartbreak Hotel" as one of the main reasons why they fall into rock and roll.
She even received the President's Seal of Quality when she received that Bill Clinton performed it during his ridiculous performance at The Arsenio Hall Show . The legacy of a song about utter misery.
In November 1953, Alvin Krolik had a tough month. His wife had left him. To compensate, he committed a series of robberies in Chicago. He was immediately filled with sadness. Krolik entered the police department and confessed all his crimes.
To help others change their lives, he wrote a memoir. Newspaper partners were so moved by his honesty that they published sections of his autobiography. Throughout the nation, headlines read, "This is the story of a person walking down a lonely street." The judge was equally moved and sentenced him to a minor penalty.
In early 1955 he was a free man. He moved to Tucson, Arizona. There he began to paint murals for Franciscan monks. Krolik's salvation seemed safe. 
Then he fell back on August 20. Krolik tried to rob a liquor store in El Paso, Texas. The owner and operator of Delta Pinney was used to having their business robbed. He was also used to taking care of these individuals.
Prior to Krolik, Pinney had shot eight would-be robbers. Krolik was number nine. Pinney fired at Krolick several times and killed him. His obituary contained the same sentence that made him famous two years earlier.
Florida songwriters Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton came to the story a few weeks later. The opening line of the song formed the sentence in his obituary. The rest of the song came from it.
5 A Satanic Murder Inspired "Teenage Dirtbag"
To be a miracle with a hit must be surreal. Even more bizarre is it only for a song known as "Teenage Dirtbag". Wheatus' single hit is a very strange song. There are sound effects in a car accident, random record scratches and high nasal vocals of the singer.
All these sounds are for a song about a shy child trying to talk to a girl he has a crush on. For an already unusual song, it is appropriate that its origins are equally funny.
Wheatus & # 39; s singer Brendon Brown grew up on Long Island. When he was 10, he knew a district kid named Ricky Kasso. By 1984 everyone in America would know Kasso. Before he made national news, he was known in his town as a local drug dealer. Because of his affinity to LSD, he was also referred to as "acid king".
Kasso was also known as a practicing Satanist. He famously spent Halloween in the house allegedly hunted The Amityville Horror . He did not have much to do with him.
One night, Kassos drug habit had defeated him. He had recently been with his friend Gary Lauwers after Lauwers stole drugs from Kasso. The two lit a campfire and took mescaline.
According to Kasso, Satan himself took the form of a crow and ordered Kasso to kill Lauwers. Kasso stabbed Lauwers up to 36 times in the face and chest. For the next two weeks, Kasso took the people to show them the body. At some point someone called the police. When Kasso was arrested, he accidentally wore an AC / DC T-shirt. At the height of satanic panic, complaints were voiced that rock music is connected to the devil. 
However, this unbelievable backstory is hardly present in the song. The only detail that actually made it into the lyrics is that Wheatus' singer Brendon Brown liked heavy metal. That's why he mentions Iron Maiden tickets. It is almost impressive that Wheatus could turn an occult sacrifice for Satan into a story about a man who is nervous about the graduation ball.
4 Otis Redding's Rescued Death "(Sittin & # 39; On) The Dock Of The Bay & # 39;
Although Otis Redding is considered one of the greatest soul singers of all time, his legacy will always be "(Sittin & # 39; on) at the dock of the bay." Today the song is announced as one of the best ever recorded. The magazine Rolling Stone classified it as the 28th best song of all time.
After years of fighting for mainstream public acceptance, Redding never saw the biggest hit of his career. He has the dubious honor of being the first artist to posthumously post # 1 with "(Sittin & # 39; on) the Dock of the Bay." However, the song would never have been released if the soul legend had been alive. 19659002] In 1967 Otis Redding improved after a recent neck surgery. He could not sing with his usual over-the-top style and wrote an introspective, restrained ballad. Uncertain as to how to market the song, Al Bell, record producer for Stax, was at the ballad. When he heard it for the first time, Bell said, "I do not know if we can ever release this song." 
Then Redding died on December 10, 1967 in a plane crash. He was only 26 years old. The nation mourned. To use the interest, the record company had to quickly publish a track. After making only minor changes, such as overdubbing and adding gull and wave sound effects, the song was sent out immediately. Within three months, it was the country's biggest song.
The death of Redding even changed the title. One of his trademarks was the improvisation at the end of the song. The day they took in, Redding remembered nothing. Instead, he simply whistled the melody as a temporary placeholder. He intended to return to the studio and add lyrics when he thought about it.
Redding took a break between sessions to go on tour. Unfortunately, he died before he could ever return. In the rush to release the song, the record company did not finish it. Stax was unwilling to pay tribute to the singer by adding additional vocals, and kept the now iconic whistling solo.
3 & # 39; Stayin & # 39; Alive exists because the drummer's mother did not
It is ironic to see "Stayin Alive" on a list of songs about death. However, nothing about the Bee Gees has ever made sense. Nobody with such a high falsetto should have that much chest hair.
The Bee Gees may have nothing to do with the beginning of the disco, but they saved them from extinction. By 1977, the genre faded. Fueled by the success of "Stayin Alive," the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever saved the genre for better or for worse. At one point in time, 200,000 copies were sold per day. At the time it was the best-selling album in history.
"Stayin Alive" was not only popular, but also surprisingly influential. One reason why the song became so big was the infectious drum beat. This was the first instance of a drum loop on a pop record. The innovation was born out of necessity. The mother of Bee Gees' longtime drummer, Dennis Bryon, died while recording. Bryon had to fly back to England.
Without a drummer, the Bee Gees decided to reuse the drums that were sampled for a previous hit "Night Fever". Six meters (20 ft) of tape were stretched out, and the sound was heard isolated. Although technically not a drummer, they gave "Bernard Lupe" the drums as an allusion to the famous drummer Bernard Purdie. After the success of the song, the Bee Gees said they were called by other bands that asked Bernard Lupe to play their tunes. 
As unhappy as it was that Bryons mother died Death may not have been in vain. She might have saved lives thanks to her son's work. The drum of the song is 110 beats per minute. Since this is the ideal window for a human heartbeat, CPR teachers use this song to train people. More than just the name, the disco hit helps people stay alive for decades.
2 The genocide behind "Beds Are Burning"
In 1987, a strange hit hit the charts. The Australian rockers Midnight Oil scored their only hit with "Beds Are Burning". The song is a righteous number with a boppy groove. Despite the optimistic song, it's still surprising that a left-wing political band from the southern hemisphere could have a top 20 hit in America.
Nevertheless, the song became an integral part of college radio. In the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it was listed as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. Its lasting popularity in America is curious because the text describes two of the darkest events in Australian history.
In the 1950s, Blue Streak ballistic missile tests were conducted in the Australian Outback. The missile trajectory, however, would cause them to land where humans already live. As a result, the government forced the aborigines from the land.
Those who were systematically removed were housed in government camps. The conditions in these camps were regrettable. Hundreds died of easy-to-treat diseases such as hepatitis or meningitis. In the camps, thousands of Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their parents. The children were housed in reeducation centers and never united with their parents. This is now known as the "stolen generation". 19459014 
The title of the song refers to another misconduct of Australian history, the burning of Mapoon in 1963. As with the Blue-Streak crisis, the government tried to get the Natives out of their land pushing. This time, however, they refused to leave.
Although the indigenous people had every right to land, the government really wanted to build a mine there. Instead of negotiating, the government has lit all the houses and churches. The title beds are not a metaphor. They were really burning.
1 The seance who launched the British invasion
Many people are struggling to name the first British band to call the number 1 Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles are probably their first instinct. The correct answer, however, is the extremely influential but largely forgotten band The Tornados. Two years before the Beatles even appeared in the charts, the tornadoes sat with their hit "Telstar" from 1962 at the top.
Like its namesake satellite, Telstar was innovative and truly elsewhere. The creator Joe Meek was a reneged producer who accomplished an amazing amount in a short time. He was the first independent producer to have a # 1 hit. "Telstar" was also one of the first mainstream songs that used electronic instruments.
Meek's space-time records are today considered the first concept albums. The experimental pop music showed prototypical examples of overdubbing, sampling and reverb. The career, which captured the scientific optimism at its best, however, was financed with money from the dark mysticism.
Meek could not have done that without his previous success with Johnny Remember Me. Sung by the famous British actor John Leyton, "Johnny." Remember Me "was a great success in England. As the story goes, the song was written by Geoff Goddard, Joe Meek and maybe the ghost of Buddy Holly.
Meek was friends with Holly in the late 1950s. Meek even warned Holly that he would die on February 3, 1958. Holly actually died a year later. Meek never overcame the guilt and devoted his life to talking to the dead.
In a seance, Goddard and Meek called Holly's mind to write the song. Allegedly, Holly's ghost put her hands on a Ouija board and told them the song would be a # 1 hit. The mind was right. The success of the song made Meek a star overnight and changed the music forever. 
Meek's tendency to hear voices had tragic consequences. Meek, who was already an insecure gay man, suffered from depression later in life. Due to mental problems, he wrongly believed that his landlady disturbed his studio to steal his ideas. In 1967, Meek shot his landlady and himself in a murder / suicide. He died on February 3, the day he had warned Buddy Holly. Meek was 37 years old.
Nate Yungman likes music much more than he likes death. You can follow him on Twitter @nateyungman . If you have questions or comments, you can send them to [email protected] .