Proposal: Music Fans

As a follow up to The meaning of songs will also be explained on the Music Fans Proposal:

Will only meanings that have been discussed or confirmed by the artist be valid?

What about the most likely meaning, or commonly accepted meaning? Or if a really well thought-out (but uncommon) interpretation gets posted as an answer, can this also be an accepted answer?

Questions like:

  What is [obscure reference] in [song] by [artist] about?

have been voted up in this proposal even though the answer may or may not be objective, whereas

What do the lyrics for "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap mean?

have been voted down, which makes me wonder if asking for an entire song's meaning may also be too broad. Some clarification on this topic may be needed.

2 Answers 2


Your first example

 What is [obscure reference] in [song] by [artist] about?

Can in theory be answered by reliable references (i.e. band/author interviews) so a single, relatively brief, correct answer is possible.

Your second example

What do the lyrics for "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap mean?

Is overly broad, subject to opinion, would tend create discussion rather then a single correct answer.

  • What about songs who have no available references about the lyrics or meaning - will those all have to be left unanswered?
    – soph-e
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 17:16
  • Or maybe the songs author joins the site and answers the question. I know that on the sister site SciFi it is not unheard of for an author to come answer a question about book. Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 18:34
  • Meanings in lyrics can be different to every single person as lyrics can mean one thing to one individual but not to the next its relative to the person not the lyrics itself Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 13:20
  • What about questions asking what the original songwriter intended the song to be about? These "can in theory be answered by reliable references (i.e. band/author interviews)" also. Often the songwriter refuses to tell anyone (so that everyone can interpret the lyrics themselves), but just as often they spill the beans. Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 23:52

I would like to see questions about the meaning of entire songs allowed. One could phrase them as "What are some common interpretations of the lyrics for song X by Y".

  • I agree that it would be nice to have, although my question here is wether or not that would be in the scope of the site - where we want a clear 'best answer'. So far, I have been understanding that asking about the lyrics of an entire song is too broad. Maybe if the poster adds details about his interpretation of the song? But then again, that might just spark debates & discussion - which are to be avoided on SE.
    – soph-e
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 13:42
  • 1
    @soph-e: Well, an SE is defined by the user community. On subjects which are inherently subjective, I don't see that we need to stick with the same strict criteria as for subjects where this is not the case. I can live with several good answers, or one answer that takes up several different interpretations. I strongly believe this can be done without losing the SE-ness of the site. Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 14:18

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