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Lyrics in reverse

  1. Jan 12, 2005 #1


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    Someone mentioned this web page tangentially in a thread in Skepticism & Debunking, but it deserves its own thread here in GD.


    Everyone's heard the claim that certain songs contain hidden messages if played in reverse, but you (or at least I) never actually get to hear some examples. Consider that quandary squashed!

    It's a really interesting mini-psychology experiment to listen to the reversed clips without reading what the supposed reversed lyrics are, and then compare that to what it sounds like when you reveal the reverse lyrics and read along. Meaning emerges from formerly meaningless noises, just because of your expectations. (By the way, the Pink Floyd clip actually does happen to be an intended hidden message.)

    It's also a pretty striking coincedence how some of these clips seem relevant to the artists who wrote the original songs. Led Zeppelin always had a dark mystique about them, and the reverse clip from Stairway to Heaven here is a quite disturbingly worded tribute to Satan. John Lennon's cry for a utopian world, Imagine, contains a reverse clip that seems to play an all too realist foil to the song's idealistic lyrics. Britney Spears even pleads in reverse, "sleep with me, I'm not too young!" :rofl:

    Perhaps the listeners who actively sought out such reverse messages were just purposely looking for something meaningful, or (more interestingly) perhaps the apparent semantic cues and ties were noticed on a subconscious level and played an important role in forming the semblence of an apparent linguistic message in the first place. (Especially if there's any truth to the comical and prototypical image of this kind of listener, the 70s stoner-- the hugely inflated sense of significance and conceptual interconnectedness that marijuana induces, along with more subtle perceptual distortions, would be extremely conducive to 'discovering' these sorts of messages.)

    Of these clips, my personal favorite has to be the Pokemon Rap. After laughing that hard, my life expectancy has probably been extended by a year or two. :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2005 #2
    One of the first albums I ever owned was Father Guido Sarducci and there was a track where you had to turn it backwards and it was basically him talking just as if the track was recorded correctly. I was 12, it was funny.
  4. Jan 12, 2005 #3
    Dude - great website! Of course there is no way we can process information (consciously or unconsciously) that is played backwards, unless we are already fluent in backwards-speak.
  5. Jan 12, 2005 #4
    I didn't know about Stairway to Heaven until I heard it played backwards when Simon Singh gave a talk.

    Oh, there's also www.reversespeech.com for more examples of stuff like this.
  6. Jan 12, 2005 #5


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    Yeah, I was referring to people who explicitly play the music backwards when listening.
  7. Jan 12, 2005 #6


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    My first exposure to backmasking was in 'Hotel California', which, when some part of it is reversed, says "Satan organized his own religion." This, of course, is consistent with the general theme of the song, which is about the creation of the first recognized Satanist Cult, in 1969.

    So I called up the Captain
    "Please bring me my wine"
    He said :
    "We haven't had that spirit here since 1969"

    Hard to find a more loaded song than this one, forwards or back.
  8. Jan 13, 2005 #7
    I didn't realise Hotel California was about Satanist Cults. Are you sure you're not making the evidence fit the theory?
  9. Jan 13, 2005 #8
    On this website the mention the Judas Priest case
    http://www.reversespeech.com/judas.htm [Broken]

    They were a heavy metal band accused of causing the suicide of a fan by a backwards message on one of their songs. I saw a documentary about this, with footage of the lead singer using as part of his defense the fact that there were loads of backwards messages on the record, some of them sinister & some inane. The example I remember was something like "I like minty sweets" or something. I was a very funny moment in an otherwise bleak witch trial.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  10. Jan 13, 2005 #9


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    Darest thou accuse me of fabrication ? :devil:

    In California Street, San Francisco, from 1956 to a couple of years ago (when it was finally demolished) stood a black - yes, black - Victorian house, occupied by one Anton Szandor LaVey.
  11. Jan 13, 2005 #10
    Right. :confused: That explains everything, oh Dark One, except for why I have suddenly sprouted a tail and Mickey Mouse ears.
  12. Jan 13, 2005 #11


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    Seek, and thou shalt find, little one.

    The extension of the coccyx and the accelerated development of rodential auditory organs is but a natural physiological reaction, where your body is racing to keep up with your mind.
  13. Jan 13, 2005 #12
    (Note to self: don't get funny with The Dark One, and be nicer to Harry Potter next time I see him...)
  14. Jan 15, 2005 #13
    One of my fav pages is www.songmeanings.net, where people give their opinion of the meaning of songs. In the section about The Eagles there are dispair opinions about the meaning of Hotel California
    Some persons say that Hotel California is a Satanistic church, but there are others that say that the song is about drug dependence or even about a whore house
  15. Jan 15, 2005 #14
    BTW, I always interpreted the song as somebody that pass a night in a haunted house. It gave me the idea phrases as "there were voices down the corridor..."
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