Miscellaneous 70s Song Facts
And still those voices are calling from far away ...
Stanza: Wake you up in the middle of the night just to hear them say
Song: Hotel California
Year: 1976, Chart: 1
Theme: Allegory about hedonism & greed in southern California in the 1970s
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed ...
Stanza: With a word she can get what she came for
Song: Stairway to Heaven
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Year: 1971, Chart: 1
Theme: About a woman who accumulates money, but finds out the hard way her life had no meaning and will not get her into heaven
And I'm going down
All the way down ...
Stanza: I'm on the highway to hell
Song: Highway to Hell
Year: 1979, Chart: 47
Theme: Nickname for a road in Bon Scott's home town in Australia where many were killed on their way to a pub called The Raffles
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make those people dance ...
Stanza: And maybe they'd be happy for awhile
Song: American Pie
Artist: Don McLean
Year: 1971, Chart: 1
Theme: McLean admits this is about Buddy Holly, but has never said what the lyrics are about
So many people have come and gone ...
Stanza: Their faces fade as the years go by
Song: More Than a Feeling
Year: 1976, Chart: 5
Theme: Group leader Tom Scholz wrote this song, inspired by the "heart-tugging mood" of the Left Banke's 1967 song "Walk Away Renee."
A gathering of angels appeared above my head ...
Stanza: They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said
Song: Come Sail Away
Year: 1977, Chart: 8
Theme: An allusion to the Bible verse of Ezekiel chapter 1:1-28 where a large wheel/cloud appears to Ezekiel and gives him instructions from God
You keep on saying you'll be mine for a while ...
Stanza: You're lookin' fancy and I like your style
Song: Rock & Roll All Night
Year: 1975, Chart: 68
Theme: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley wrote this track as an anthem, a song that could be the rallying cry for all of their fans.
I take home my hard earned pay all on my own
I get down on my knees
and I start to pray ...
Stanza: Till the tears run down from my eyes
Song: Somebody to Love
Year: 1976, Chart: 13
Theme: A man calling out to God, asking why he works so hard, but can't find love. At the end of the song, he finds hope and decides he will not accept defeat.
If you're havin' trouble with your high school head
He's givin' you the blues ...
Stanza: You wanna graduate but not in his bed
Song: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Year: 1976, Chart: 47
Theme: Inspired by the 1962 animated cartoon series Beanie and Cecil. The main villain carried a business card that said, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."
All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper ...
Stanza: Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
Song: (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Artist: Blue Oyster Cult
Year: 1976, Chart: 12
Theme: About the inevitability of death and the belief that we should not fear it. Dharma was thinking about what would happen if he died and if he would be reunited with loved ones in the afterlife.
I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams ...
Stanza: Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Song: Dust in the Wind
Year: 1977, Chart: 6
Theme: Kansas guitarist Kerry Livgren wrote this song about the true value of material things and success. Livgren started thinking about how he would eventually die just like everyone else.
I've got to run to keep from hiding, And I'm bound to
keep on riding
And I've got one more silver dollar ...
Stanza: But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no
Song: Midnight Rider
Artist: The Allman Brothers Band
Year: 1970, Chart: 19
Theme: This is Gregg Allman's signature song, describing how he continues on in the face of obstacles
When you're down
on the street ...
Stanza: When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you
Song: Bridge Over Troubled Water
Artist: Simon & Garfunkel
Year: 1970, Chart: 1
Theme: Simon wrote this about providing comfort to a person in need. It started as a modest Gospel hymn but became more dramatic as he put it together.
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one ...
Stanza: I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will be as one
Artist: John Lennon
Year: 1971, Chart: 3
Theme: Lennon was asking us to imagine a place where things that divide people (religion, possessions, etc.) did not exist. He felt that would be a much better place.
On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
there were plants and birds and rocks and things ...
Stanza: there was sand and hills and rings
Song: A Horse With No Name
Year: 1972, Chart: 1
Theme: Some think "Horse" is slang for heroin. The band claims it is not. Lead singer Bunnell says its based on the things he saw while visiting the US.
I was born
6-gun in my hand ...
Stanza: Behind a gun, I make my final stand
Song: Bad Company
Artist: Bad Company
Year: 1974, Chart:
Theme: The name of the band and single were inspired by the 1972 critically acclaimed Western of the same name staring Barry Brown and Jeff Bridges.
Just a few more hours
And I'll be right home to you
I think I hear them callin'
Stanza: Oh, Beth what can I do
Year: 1976, Chart: 7
Theme: The original title was "Beck," the nickname of songwriter Stan Penridge's girlfriend Becky
Guess who just
got back today ...
Stanza: Them wild-eyed boys, that'd been away
Song: The Boys Are Back In Town
Artist: Thin Lizzy
Year: 1976, Chart: 12
Theme: Inspired by their fans, the group wrote it after noticing that their shows were full of working-class guys looking to get out and have some fun
Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
Stanza: We can't even think of a word that rhymes
Song: School's Out
Artist: Alice Cooper
Year: 1972, Chart: 7
Theme: Inspired by a warning said often in Bowery Boys movies in which one of the characters declares to another "School is out," meaning "to wise up."
Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see ...
Stanza: And another man named Bello, movin' around mysteriously.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Year: 1975, Chart: 33
Theme: About Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer who spent 19 years in jail for a murder Dylan felt he did not commit.