We’ve all had one of them at some point in our lives—that person that lingers too long when shaking your hand, or that you bump into way too many times for it to be a coincidence. They’re everywhere—creeps, that is. And no one ever said that musicians were exceptions. So, what happens when they try to have successful relationships with others? Or what if they care for someone and don’t really know how to express it?
Today we’ll take a look at some of music’s not-so-proud romantic moments. Although lyrics are always left up to interpretation—and many of these artists would probably deny some of the creepier imagery—there’s enough compelling evidence in the words and images behind these songs to give them a spot on the list.
1. Tegan and Sara – “Living Room”
My windows look into your living room where I spend the afternoon on top of you.
I wonder what it is that I did to make you move in across away from me.
I hope I never figure out who broke your heart. And if I do, if I do I’d spend all night losing sleep I’d spend the night and I’d lose my mind, well I’d spend the night and I’d lose my mind. My windows look into your bathroom where I spend the evening watching you get yourself clean.
Hey, what’s up? Oh, no, sorry, I sorta have plans tonight. I was just thinking I’d watch my depressed neighbor through her window and fantasize about being on top of her. I don’t know if I’ll be done early, she usually takes her showers around nine. Oh, you’ve got binoculars? Sure, come on over.
2. The Beegees – “Nights on Broadway”
Here we are in the room full of strangers
Standing in the dark where your eyes couldn’t see me
Well, I had to follow you though you did not want me to
But that won’t stop my lovin’ you, I can’t stay away
On “Nights on Broadway,” the harmonizing brothers in the Beegees channel their inner John Hinkley Jr. by being moved by an invisible force to love someone. The lyrics are directly stalker-y, and it must be hard for the disco kings to argue about the undeniably creepy, “I had to follow you though you did not want me to.”
3. Clay Aiken – “Invisible”
If I was invisible then I could just watch you in your room
If I was invincible I’d make you mine tonight
If hearts were unbreakable then I could just tell you where I stand
I would be the smartest man If I was invisible (Wait, I already am)
It only takes a line of Clay Aiken’s “Invisible” for listeners to be thankful that the American Idol finalist isn’t. The track provokes cringe-worthy thoughts of Kevin Bacon’s invisible character in Hollow Man brushing against a sleeping female’s hair, among other things. But instead we’ve got Aiken, who we find out in the last line is just metaphorically invisible, and that’s a huge relief.
4. The Police – “Every Breath You Take”
Oh can’t you see you belong to me
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
Every move you make, every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you
The meaning of “Every Breath You Take” has been debated and misunderstood for decades. But it’s hard to think of the song as anything other than the ultimate stalker anthem after reading the words on paper. By using moving instrumentation and melodies, Sting and The Police created possibly the only creeper anthem played at half of all weddings.
5. Piebald – “The Stalker”
I’ll be around every corner you go. Don’t you look so surprised
I’ll be in every dressing room that you’re in
I’ll be holding every door you walk through. You don’t even have to say thanks
I’ll get groceries at the same time as you
Don’t think I don’t know what suits you well. Don’t think I don’t know
I’ll be in every smoky corner you’ve seen counting your drinks
I’ll be the guy who drives past your house
I’ll be hiding behind your mirror watching you crimp your hair
I’ll follow you with sunglasses on
Some stalkers are in denial, but not the person in Piebald’s “The Stalker.” The lyrics speak for themselves, with the narrator laying it out plainly and simply — the psycho lets you know that he or she will be there every time you’re getting groceries, grabbing a drink or watching TV.
6. Lionel Richie – “Hello”
‘Cause I wonder where you are, and I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven’t got a clue
But let me start by saying I love you
In the music video for “Hello,” Lionel Richie is a teacher who falls for his blind student. Maybe it wouldn’t be so creepy if the metaphor wasn’t so in your face, but the video tells the story of a woman who literally can’t see her teacher as he follows her through a school from class to class. And the fact that he’s jumping the gun with “I Love You” before even really talking to the girl ices the cake.