Let's get this out of the way: Hard drugs aren't really any fun at all. As any number of recent events prove, they rob some of the entertainment world's brightest lights of their souls before they eventually rob them of their lives. Okay. For all of their sometimes perceived glamor, there is nothing pretty about hardcore addiction.
Here is the rub in all of that. For better or for worse, drugs have inspired some of the best rock songs out there, and especially -- hello, Valentine's Day angle -- love songs. Sure, that ditty you love may seem on its surface to be about some unforgettable woman, but you know what's more unforgettable?
Anyways, in (dis)honor of V-Day, here are five randomly chosen amazing rock and roll love songs that are actually probably about opiates.
The Only Ones - "Another Girl Another Planet" (1978)
This amazingly catchy punk rock and roll love song has been covered by Blink-182 and used in Vodafone commercials in the band's native U.K. Sure, it seems on its surface to be an ode to feeling otherworldly with a lover. But closer inspection of the lyrics reveals all the double entendres you need: "You always get under my skin/I don't find it irritating/You always play to win/I don't need rehabilitating."
The La's - "There She Goes" (1988)
This slice of almost saccharine psych-pop is a true melodic masterpiece. Though it was covered by the MOR Sixpence None the Richer and turned into a literal reading of the lyrics, the original La's version packs a little more bite. Rumor has it the song is about junk, which the band has denied. But there's the bit about the "she" in question "pulsing through my vein," if you're looking for that sort of thing.
Lou Reed - "Perfect Day" (1972)
The painful beauty of this particular song is the contrast between the lyrics -- on their surface, about some idyllic day doing normal, cutesy things with somebody -- and the almost dirge-like melody. Is it really about a "perfect day" or is it really about some later deep regrets while looking back on said day? Is the "you" a person or a drug? Reed was never coy about referencing substance abuse in his songs, so this could go either way.
Nick Cave - "Into My Arms" (1997)
Oh, there's the song title? Or the use of various forms of "intervention" -- sly, or just the most appropriate word choice for the lyrics' literal meaning? Considering Cave's large body of work more directly referencing his predilection for downers, it's a toss-up. Whatever. Even in its most squeaky-clean interpretation, it's still sweetly heart-rending.
Love - "August" (1969)
This deep cut by the great Arthur Lee is barely veiled. The "August" in question is with the narrator wherever he goes, and keeps him together -- but Lee doesn't even bother to really refer to August as a person. Nope, it's the inanimate "it" through the entire first verse, only switching to referring to August as a "you" at the end. In any event, he does seem okay with accepting "its" support when he's down.
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