- The video for "Don't Worry Be Happy", Bobby McFerrin's anti-depression song stars Bill Irwin and... Robin Williams. Robin's forced smile in some of the scenes has a painful edge to them now. Williams' relationship with McFerrin makes it a little less painful.
- "Rehab" from Back to Black by Amy Winehouse (and all the jokes about Winehouse being a drugged-up mess) has officially become more disturbing since she passed away after a short lifetime of drugs and alcohol abuse.
- Warren Zevon has a couple of these; most noticeably "My Shit's Fucked Up", and "Life'll Kill ya." The former is about a patient finding out he's terminally ill (in a decidedly un-clinical way), and the latter includes the lyrics "Some get the awful, awful diseases." Warren died in 2003 of Mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer.
- The last song on the final Elliott Smith album released in his lifetime is titled "Bye." His first posthumously released album features "King's Crossing", which is basically a musical suicide note. Depressing when he used to perform it live, now it's just chilling.
- The song "Baby Britain" includes the line "Nothing's gonna drag me down to a death that's not worth cheating" just before the last chorus.
- Also the line "I don't feel afraid to die" from "In The Lost And Found".
- The Notorious B.I.G. named his first two albums Ready to Die and Life After Death. He was gunned down in Los Angeles just weeks before the release of the latter, which ends with a song titled "You're Nobody ('Til Somebody Kills You)".
- The video for the Johnny Cash cover of "Hurt" has a quick cut to his wife June Carter Cash as he sings "Everyone I know/Goes away in the end". Her death a few months later made the video even more depressing.
- In 1997, Michael Jackson released the song "Morphine" on the album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix. The song was a chilling description of drug abuse, with lines like "A heart attack, baby" and "Trust in me / Just in me / Put all your trust in me", the latter line referring to dependence on the titular drug. The bridge is even worse: the angry singing turns into a soft, melancholy melody describing a person's slide into addiction, specifically to the painkiller Demerol, while the sounds of a respirator, an ECG machine, and presumably a doctor talking are heard in the background. Between 2003 and 2005, Jackson allegedly became dependent on Demerol. Then, on June 25, 2009, Jackson died of cardiac arrest, eventually deemed to have been a homicide caused by a lethal combination of drugs, primarily the anesthetic propofol, administered by his personal doctor (who was convicted of manslaughter in 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison).
- On top of the obvious points listed above, there is also a chilling pattern present on the album as a whole. The album, primarily a remix album, included five original songs, "Morphine" being the second. The first song, "Blood on the Dance Floor", sang about an attempted murder (albeit with a knife), while the final two original songs ("Ghosts" and "Is It Scary") both dealt with ghostly imagery straight out of a horror movie. Combining "Morphine" with a song about homicide and two songs about ghosts is even more chillingly prophetic than the song alone.
- "Breaking News", one of the unfinished-in-his-lifetime songs on the posthumously-assembled Michael, starts with fake news reports on Jackson, including the line "The plot begins to destroy Michael Jackson," in keeping with the overall "scumbag media" theme of the song. This line takes on a more sinister interpretation when one realizes that "Breaking News" was an extremely controversial song, as it was widely believed - with strong evidence behind it - to be another singer imitating Jackson's voice on a song he recorded no vocals for in his lifetime.
- HIStory's "They Don't Care About Us" includes the line "I'm a victim of police brutality." In 2003, after being arrested and booked on child molestation charges, Jackson claimed he had been injured and mistreated by the police, but the subsequent investigation revealed his claims to be a Police Brutality Gambit.
- The song "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" from Thriller feels a bit unnerving imagining Michael singing "pretty young thing: I wanna love you" after all the child molestation scandals from 1993 on.
- Likewise, "Someone in the Dark" from the E.T. soundtrack: "When someone in the dark reaches out to you..."
- As a kid, he sang a version of "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" together with his brothers. Knowing now how abusive father Joe Jackson was, Michael's declaration of "...and I'm gonna tell my Daddy!" becomes more uncomfortable than cute, especially when his brothers jump in to try and talk him out of it.
- Kurt Cobain's suicide makes some Nirvana material uncomfortable.
- "Come as You Are" from Nevermind has the chorus, "And I swear that I don't have a gun/No I don't have a gun/No I don't have a gun." (Cobain killed himself by shooting himself in the head.)
- One of their last singles is called "I Hate Myself And I Want To Die," though the lyrics have nothing to do with it. This song was reportedly named after the phrase Cobain liked to use whenever people asked him "How are you?", because he hated that question.
- "Lithium"'s bridge has Kurt singing "I X it/you", followed by "I'm not gonna crack." He did.
- When Kurt Cobain was 15, he made a short film entitled, "Kurt Commits Bloody Suicide".
- One photo of the band has Kurt holding a shotgun in his mouth.
- After River Phoenix's sudden death in October 1993, Kurt Cobain dedicated performances of "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam" to Phoenix (among other stars who died young), during Nirvana's last shows from November 1993 through February 1994, only months before Cobain himself died.
- An interview with Cobain turned to the subject of school shootings, and Cobain said that if he ever felt inclined to do such a thing, he'd most likely kill himself to prevent him from hurting anyone. While It Makes Sense in Context and probably even came off as reassuring at the time, it's still a pretty chilling sentence to read.
- The first line of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is "Load up on guns..."; eerie after Cobain's suicide, horrifying after school shootings like Columbine and Sandy Hook.
- Much of Marilyn Manson's work suffers from this due to various reasons. The first three albums were hit with this once the (possibly first, as Manson has said he's working on a second) autobiography "The Long, Hard Road Out of Hell" came out and context was added to them. Then, Columbine happened a year later, leading to quote mining, misblaming and outright bullshit. Later, in 2003, all of the adorable images of Manson and Twiggy were tainted by their falling out caused by Manson being a control freak. Similarly, all the images of Manson and Dita were then tainted by their divorce and all the happenings on both sides, with him cheating and her serving divorce papers on his birthday. A similar thing also happened with Evan Rachel-Wood and the album Eat Me, Drink Me heavily centered around their co-dependant, destructive romance. Then, while Twiggy rejoined the band in 2009, the man he replaced in 1993 due to a Christmas Day heroin overdose, Gidget Gein, died of another overdose. Gidget had a cameo in the video for "(s)AINT", which featured a ton of self-abuse and drug use, and that was his last interaction with the band All of the odd antics and behavior of his mother, talked about in his book, along with their somewhat turbulent interactions, also are tainted by her dying of dementia. Suddenly it's not so funny when she does weird stuff like naming the rats that are supposed to be fed to his snake "Marilyn" and "Manson" and successfully giving one CPR using a plastic bag. Additionally, Daisy Berkowitz, the co-founder of the band, was Manson and Trent Reznor's punching bag for several years until he was ousted from the band. Now he has Stage Four Colon Cancer. He's been hanging on longer than most, and is definitely doing better than feared, but the outlook is still grim.
- Also, in the last year or so, Manson's become far more open about his own mental issues, with an interview describing quite a few personality quirks, paranoias (he doesn't take his pants all the way off during sex in case there's a fire, for example) and stuff, as well as his ongoing self-harm generally focused on his hands. As a child, and even in 1998, he believed that he was lucky, as despite being an Agent Orange baby (his father dropped it on Vietnam, something that has led to Manson describing his father, non-humorously, as a mass murderer, although they're extremely close, so it's likely that Hugh Warner has his own demons involving it), he had no physical deformities. In hindsight, it's pretty obvious that there was still something that happened there.
- Tony Wiggins, bus driver for Pantera and someone Manson considers the most terrifying person he's ever known, to the point of actually traumatizing him, dropped out of the public eye after being more public as the crazy guy tagging along with Manson and Twiggy. Over 20 years later, he re-emerged. He's opened a family-owned liquer store in his hometown, the very first, getting news coverage. The Harsher in Hindsight kicks in when you realize that a man notorious for homemade BDSM devices that almost killed people has settled down into a normal life and has kids. Retired Monster, in real life.
- The Concept Album and mostly unreleased book Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley of Death) is about a future dystopia parody of America where the populace worships violence and celebrity, is numb to mass murders like school shootings (but the media is more than happy to profit off of it) and is ruled over by an idiot celebrity despot who, in the one chapter of the book released, has creepy incestuous overtones with his daughter. All of those would come true for the real America.
- A song from Elton John's Blue Moves album from 1976, "Idol", is a rumination on the rise and fall of a (possibly fictional) washed-up teen idol from The '50s, one whose "face has changed, he's not the same anymore". This song was inspired by Elton's meeting Elvis Presley for the first time, and being horrified at the distressed state Elvis was in. A year later, Elvis would be dead. This would serve as a wake-up call for Elton to slow down his own career, lest he wind up like Elvis. Unfortunately, Elton's drug and alcohol habits, promiscuity and bulimia were still taking over his life. After seeing himself in a video singing at Ryan White's funeral as sad, bloated, morbidly obese and "look(ing) like a 75-year old man", he finally took himself to rehab in 1990 and saved his life.
- Another song of Elton's, "All The Nasties", released on 1971's Madman Across The Water, is, according to lyricist Bernie Taupin, both a Take That! to Elton's critics, and a rumination on whether the general public would reject Elton over his homosexuality. Elton would come out, albeit as bisexual, in 1976, at the height of his career. The backlash he would receive over his sexuality would severely damage his career until the release of 1983's Too Low For Zero album, and even then, he would not enjoy quite the level of success he had in the 1970s.
- The final song on Elton's 1986 Leather Jackets album, recorded at the height of his drug, alcohol and bulimic issues, is a lugubrious ballad titled "I Fall Apart".
- David Bowie's last album Blackstar (★), full stop. Released a few days before his death, most of the songs end up this way since they are basically him saying goodbye and admitting he doesn't have much time left.
- A verse in Queen's 1989 album, The Miracle, called "Khashoggi's Ship", contains the lines "I'm in pretty good shape" and "No one stops my party". Freddie Mercury secretly (but knowingly) was dying of AIDS at the time.
- The Miracle was so called as it was "a miracle" it was finished as Freddie was so ill.
- Also "I'm Going Slightly Mad" is not so funny when you know it was all his fears about dementia brought on by AIDS, though Word of God said himself that it was just a silly joke song he wrote in about 5 minutes.
- Freddie, Queen, and the few other people who knew about Freddie's illness did and said all that they could to hide the fact that Freddie had the disease, at least until it was too obvious to keep it a secret. It wasn't mentioned in interviews, talked about in private, etc. until the night before his death, when Freddie sent the press release. Freddie wanted to carry on as normally as possible until the end, and did not want the tabloid press to complicate his life or the lives of those he cared for, or for anyone to worry about him or buy his records out of sympathy. So any Word of God you get from Freddie, Queen, etc. up until November 23, 1991 was made while trying to keep the issue a secret and downplay any "clues" about his condition.
- Freddie on Queen's declining popularity in the United States: "Guess I'll have to fucking die before we're big there again." Sadly, he was right.
- Yoko Ono's "Walking on Thin Ice" is a song about the unpredictability of life and death, and the last song John Lennon worked on. He was shot to death the day he finished recording it, and died clutching the completed mix of the song in his hands.
- In August 2009, critically acclaimed indie punk rocker Jay Reatard released his second solo album, Watch Me Fall. A little over five months later in January 2010, he died in his bed of cocaine toxicity, after a tumultuous year that culminated in the firing of his entire live band.
- One of Britney Spears' early singles, "Lucky" talks about an actress who has fame, beauty, awards...and soul-crushing loneliness. Given the singer's later breakdowns, the song takes on a creepy air of foretelling.
- The song Fiction from the Nightmare album, released after Jimmy's death, is painful enough - but when you discover that the song was originally entitled Death and was the last song Jimmy worked on, only 3 days before his death, with lyrics such as "I know you'll find your own way when I'm not with you", the whole song becomes absolutely heartwrenching.
- In all fairness, most Avenged Sevenfold songs have became this trope since Jimmy's passing, mainly due to the band's dark subject matter.
- Whitney Houston's sophomore album, Whitney, contained a song called "Love is a Contact Sport". While the lyrics were basic fluff, the title in particular is quite harsher considering the level of physical violence in her marriage to fellow singer Bobby Brown.
- The first Jack's Mannequin album, Everything In Transit's references to being sick was due to Andrew McMahon's recovery from tour burnout. Those lyrics would then turn eerily ironic when he visits his doctor for a case of laryngitis only to discover he had leukemia. Even eerier? He was diagnosed with leukemia the day he was finished with mixing the album and the day he was admitted to the hospital for leukemia was the day the album was released.
- The Dio track "End of the World" off of the "Master of the Moon" album contains the line "They say you never hear the bullet that kills, and I don't hear a sound...". After Ronnie James Dio died of cancer, it was revealed that the cancer wasn't caught until a very late stage, due to his stubborn reluctance to ever see a doctor (not even once he was having obvious symptoms, so certainly not for routine screenings). In contrast to the image the line originally evoked, it now calls to mind the idea that if he had been listening for the bullet, he might have heard it in time to dodge.
- Italian rapper Caparezza set up a Viral Marketing fake blog to promote his latest album. The blog is written from the perspective of a Conspiracy Theorist, in reference to one of the songs that mock conspiracy nuts, and its second entry is about natural catastrophes. The album came out March 1, 2011, and on March 11 a massive earthquake hit Japan, triggering a colossal tsunami and a nuclear meltdown.
- The music video for McFly's 19th single 'That's the Truth' featured bassist Dougie reacting badly to a breakup. Shortly after the video's release, Dougie was admitted to rehab, the reason rumoured to be depression over breaking up with his girlfriend.
- John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" from "Double Fantasy" (1980), written for his son Sean, features the line "I can hardly wait until you come of age but I guess we'll both just have to be patient". He was murdered later, when his son was five (even his older son, Julian, was only a teenager).
- Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" is eerie enough in a post-Columbine world:
All the other kids with the pumped-up kicks better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped-up kicks better run, better run, faster than my bullet
- And it is downright scary after the Oslo/Utoya attacks where 69 teenagers were murdered by a lone gunman.
- According to Wikipedia, the bassist of the band has a cousin that survived the Columbine shooting.
- Even worse: this song came out before the Sandy Hook shooting. Just try to listen to it now...
- In 1994, Weezer released the song "Mykel and Carli", a cute, bittersweet tribute to two girls who ran the Weezer fan club. Actually, it's something of a tuckerization as the Mykel and Carli in the song are a pair of friends in high school, who the narrator still misses. The song, which was released as a B-side to "Undone (The Sweater Song)" from The Blue Album, takes a more poignant tone when you learn that, a few years after the song was released, both Mykel and Carli died in a tragic car accident on their way to a Weezer show. Perhaps the most "harsher in hindsight" lyric in this context is "Till the school bus came / and took my friends away". The song can be found on the Deluxe Edition of the Blue Album.
- Wind of Change by Scorpions, a famous ballad celebrating perestroika, often seems like an example of this trope to many Russians, since the fall of the Union resulted in many tragic events in Russia (and most other post-Soviet countries too). The line about an "August summer night, soldiers passing by" is perhaps the most jarring, since the most dramatic events of the GKChP coup unfolded exactly at August summer nights just one year later after the song was recorded, and yes, it did involve soldiers.
- The fact that Germans consider this song a symbol of one of the most joyous events in their history may seem like pure schadenfreude if you think about it.
- The Argentine rock band Soda Stereo has a song called Cuando pase el temblor (After the trembling) that has the verses "Wake me up after the trembling". In 2010, Gustavo Cerati, former vocals and guitar of the band, suffered a cerebral stroke after a show in Venezuela, remaining in a coma under respiratory aide until his dearth in September 2014. Additionally, "temblor" can also means "earth tremor", so it's not uncommon to read on the messages of the song's video things like "all these earthquakes are already passed, wake up already!"
- MCA's entire first verse on "Too Many Rappers" from Hot Sauce Committee, Part 2—the last album recorded before his cancer diagnosis—has become this, in light of his untimely death at 47:
- "Yo, I been in the game since before you was born
I might still be MCin' even after you're gone
Strange thought, I know, but my skills still grow
The 80's, the 90's, 2000's, and so
On and on until the crack of dawn
Until the year 3000 and beyond
Stay up all night, and I MC and never die
Cause death is the cousin of sleep"
- Speaking of the year 3000, MCA's death puts a sad tint on his appearance on Futurama.
- After Ted Gardestad jumped in front of a train, neither of his song lyrics "Can't stop the train from a rollin / or make the wheels turn slow / you know I had to go" and "I believe that life has a happy ending" were quite the same again.
- It's either this or "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, but "Superman's Song" by Crash Test Dummies is a mournful dirge that tells the story of Superman who had the power to commit great evil and bring himself unfathomable riches, but instead chose to use his powers for good, while expecting no payment for his deeds (the song also compares him to Tarzan of the Apes, who is considered to be a crude, rogue, and uncivilized Anti-Hero). The song focuses on the death of the superhero, and its chorus says it all: "Superman never made any money / For saving the world from Solomon Grundy / And sometimes I despair the world will never see / Another man like him". As if that wasn't chilling enough, there is even a music video that shows his funeral! And this was over a year before the Death of Superman Story Arc!
- "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)" by Merle Travis and Tex Williams, while not exactly a celebration of a smoker's lifestyle, includes the lyrics "...And I don't reckon that it'll harm your health/Smoked all my life and I ain't dead yet", spoken by Williams. Well, now he is dead. Cause of death? Pancreatic cancer, one of the diseases linked to cigarette smoking.
- The Funker Vogt song "Body Count", about a terrorist attack "much worse than Oklahoma" with bodies "burnt beyond recognition", was released just a year before the September 11th attacks. The song was omitted from their US tour that year.
- The skit "Lodi Dodi Intro" on Snoop Doggy Dogg's debut album Doggystyle, which was released on September 7, 1993, features Daz Dillinger of Tha Dogg Pound referring to rappers who were dissing Snoop, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound as " Busta ass, HIV pussy-ass motherfuckers," with Dre ending with the words, "Yo yo yo Daz, easy come, easy *blam*" Just short of 1 1/2 years later, on March 26, 1995, Eazy-E, who had been involved in a long lyrical feud with his ex-N.W.A. bandmate Dre since the group's collapse in 1991, died of AIDS.
- Front 242's "Circling Overland" is about a cyberpunk police state monitored by aerial surveillance drones, which the US Department of Homeland Security is currently using or testing.
- The Red House Painters video for "All Mixed Up" had a good portion of it shot in the courtyard of the World Trade Center... with a panicked sad fairy running around. There's even a shot of her crying with the twin towers looming RIGHT in the background.
- Also of note is the cover of ''Old Ramon''◊. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't released just a few months before 9/11.
- There's a damn hard to find picture of Jeff Buckley taken underwater looking like he's drowning.
- "I couldn't awake from the nighmare, it sucked me in and pulled me under" from "So Real" on Grace.
- Famous singer Sinéad O'Connor's controversial Saturday Night Live poem about world injustice and child rape, ended with her ripping a picture of Vatican Pope John Paul II. The corrupt stories about the Vatican were unknown to the large majority of people at the time. Years after she was vilified and temporary ran out of the music business, stories about child abuse and child rape by Roman Catholic priest - and the cover up afterwards - got exposed to the mainstream public.
- Let's take a look at the lyrics from this song:
A war is raging that we don't understandAnd I doubt that we canThere's no mistaking the mad sons of IslamAs they spill blood on the sandA strange religion, that destroys through the KoranFreedom's lost in this landHades or heaven. they're under it's commandWhatever rights had a manWe'll hear the bomb blasts round' the worldWith two world wars passed they want to start the thirdAs they argue 'bout the planes they shot downAnd count the dead they have foundAn unholy war that's raising hell to the groundThe war drags ever onThe war drags ever onThe war drags ever onever onAn arm is severed with a gun still in it's handAnd it's just left to be damnedTheir main endeavor has not gone as it was plannedShoot the boys where they standWar is forever but as if we had the timeTo change their thoughts in their mindsThis war will never reflect on all their kindThey should be glad just to die
- Makes you think a-lot of the war on terror, right? Well this song was written all the way back in 1984, but it is Justified in the sense that many people saw the war on terror coming.
- Chad Gilbert's and Hayley Williams's guest appearances on Say Anything...'s In Defense of the Genre is a little more awkward once you learn that Chad was rumored to have divorced his wife for Hayley. Said ex-wife is Sherri Dupree... who is now frontman Max Bemis's wife.
- The chorus for Mindy McCready's "Oh Romeo" - "Oh Romeo/Who would lay down her life?/Swallow the poison, pick up the knife/Maybe I cried/Just a teardrop or two/I would not die for you/I would not die for you..." - is, like the whole song, a lot harder to take considering that in 2013, not long after her boyfriend was found dead, she committed suicide.
- The music video for Suicide Silence's song "You Only Live Once" features the band playing in a shooting gallery and taking bullets (most likely fake bullets for recording, but there was blood involved). It becomes harsh when you consider Mitch Lucker, the band's former lead singer, dying on November 1, 2012 in a motorcycle crash while drunk.
- The opening percussion of The Beatles' "Come Together" from Abbey Road is punctuated by John's repeated 'SHOOT me!'. The same interjection appears in the unreleased Beatles track "Watching Rainbows," which also features the eerie line 'Whatever you do, you gotta shoot somebody today.' (Some fans claim the "Rainbows" shout to be 'Shoot big', but this clearly isn't the case.)
- Likewise, John's "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" from The White Album - despite being an ode to both heroin and his sex life with Yoko - is frighteningly ironic today.
- ABBA had a song I am a Marionette, which is about a singer's Creator Breakdown. Just a couple of years later, ABBA collapsed due to collective Creator Breakdown.
- Edguy's first live album is entitled Burning Down The Opera. The Paris venue where the album was recorded later burned down. It was something like a decade or more after the record was released, but is nonetheless chilling.
- Sonic Youth had a song called "Sleepin' Around", which was written and sung by Thurston Moore, and had lyrics chastising someone for cheating on their partner. Five years later, the Creator Couple of Moore and Kim Gordon separated, leaving the future of the band uncertain... And a couple of years after that, Gordon revealed in an interview that the separation was because of Moore having an affair. Given the timing, it's at least somewhat in the realm of possibility that the song was actually Reality Subtext.
- An incredibly creepy example from the Pet Shop Boys: their second album Actually, included a track called "Kings Cross", about the general decay and injustice in the UK at the time, climaxing with the narrator finding himself at Kings Cross station in London, with "dead and wounded on either side". Two months after the album was released, thirty-one people were killed in a massive fire at the adjacent London Underground station, which many people blamed on the government's underinvestment in the transportation system. As a result, many people who hear the song and aren't aware of the short gap in time assume that it's a protest about the fire.
- The name of the band "Katrina and the Waves" was chosen in 1982; it is best known for its 1985 hit "Walking on Sunshine". In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, giving the band's name some rather unfortunate associations and inspiring many tasteless jokes.
- One of the first smash hits by Mexican singer Juan Gabriel is named "El Noa Noa", after a famous night club where he started his career. Bad thing, the (apparently now closed) "Noa Noa" club was located in... Ciudad Juárez.
- One of John Denver's most well-known songs is "Leaving on a Jet Plane." He died in a plane crash.
- Harlem rapper Big L's line in "Street Struck": "Stay off them corners, that might be your best plan/before you catch a bullet that was meant for the next man." Guess what happens to him four years later?
- "Goodbye Blue Sky" from The Wall is about The Battle of Britain and its effects on the warbabies, but listening to it now, it's eerie how many parallels you can draw to 9/11, what with lines like "Look mummy, there's an aeroplane up in the sky" (the plane about to crash into the tower) and "Did you ever wonder why we had to run for shelter when the promise of a brave new world unfurled beneath a clear blue sky?" (The towers coming down).
- Some of the imagery in "The Tower" by NoMeansNo has grown harsher on American ears since its initial release. Specifically, the line, "From a burning building a man leaps to his death."
- The Brutal Death Metal band Skinless has a song called "Tampon Lollipops". The song's lyrics involve a janitor eating used tampons. Fast-forward to Giovanna Plowman ACTUALLY EATING a tampon, and the Squick-worthy lyrics become even more-so.
- The Roy Orbison song "Claudette" is one of the minority of songs by the artist with a happy ending, referencing how "I'm gonna be so happy for the rest of my life, when my brand-new baby is my brand-new wife." Sweet — until you realize that the titular Claudette, Orbison's first wife, died in a motorcycle accident. He would live another twenty-two less than perfectly happy years.
- Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" has becoming a lot creepier since the NSA's recent activity.
- "Wasted" by Def Leppard is about a rockstar and his battles with addiction, Fast forward 11 years, and Steve Clark dies from Alcohol abuse. "(Wasted) I've wasted my time/(Wasted) I'm shooting a line/(Wasted) I'm out of my head/(Wasted) I wish I was dead"
- Fastball's "The Way" was inspired by a news report about a married couple that drove off and vanished while their kids were home asleep. The songwriter imagined they'd spontaneously headed out on a marvelous road trip; unfortunately, lines like "They'll never get hungry / never get old and gray" turned out to be technically true, because the couple's car was later discovered, having run off the road and killed them both.
- Robots In Disguise's song "The Tears" is about being afraid that your partner is cheating on you, and taking every little gesture or word as a sign that it's true. At the time, band members Sue Denim and Dee Plume were both in long-term relationships- Dee with Noel Fielding and Sue with Chris Corner (of IAMX). Unfortunately, as it turned out, they didn't need any signs to tell them: Sue reportedly saw Chris kissing someone else at a concert and dumped him, and Noel left Dee for Pixie Geldof. Ouch.
- In 2001, Polish vocalist Monika Kuszyńska had a hit single "Maj" ("May"), in which she sang about a May that changed her entire life. In May 2006, she was seriously wounded in a car crash, which left her permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
- Patty Donahue of The Waitresses is seen smoking in the video for their 1980s hit "I Know What Boys Like". Donahue died of lung cancer in 1996.
- The Fall's "Powder Keg" included cryptic references to The Troubles ("retreat from Enniskillen") and some sort of tragedy occurring in Mark E. Smith's home city of Manchester ("It going to hurt me / Manchester city centre", "Don't you know, the town is a powder keg"). A mere five days after the song was released, a bombing was carried out in Manchester city centre by the IRA. Because of this, there was actually some speculation that Smith somehow knew the attack had been planned; his response was the sarcastic claim "I'm bloody psychic!".
- This happened a second time with The Fall: The 2017 album New Facts Emerge includes a track called "Victoria Railway Massacre" - the official track-listing to the album was announced a week after a suicide bombing outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena, a venue attached to Victoria Railway station. The song was written, recorded, and titled long beforehand.
- Soul Asylum's video for "Runaway Train", which features names and photos of real missing children from the early 1990s, was already heart-wrenching when it first aired in 1993. Two decades later, it's known that several of the youths appearing in the Australian version were murdered by serial killer Ivan Milat, and others in Britain and America were likewise victims of homicide. (Including a little girl who was murdered and buried in a backyard by her own mother in the middle of a terrible divorce process) Five of the missing, including a toddler who appears last in the video, have yet to be found. What's more, at least one of the teenagers had run away to escape an abusive home and was angry at the band for enabling her parents to find her.
- In the music video for "Paparazzi", Lady Gaga is shown in a wheelchair and then with crutches after being thrown off a balcony. In February 2013, she suffered a hip injury that resulted in the cancellation of the rest of the Born This Way Ball's tours.
- Gram Parsons' second album ends with "In My Hour Of Darkness", a Grief Song featuring a verse about a young man who "played to people everywhere/Some say he was a star/But he was just a country boy/His simple songs confess". Parsons died of an overdose age 26, four months before the album came out.
- "Sell Sell Sell" by Barenaked Ladies is ostensibly about an actor's career and the war movie that made him a celebrity, but the severity with which the movie is condemned by the lyrics suggest that it's an allegory for an actual war, with the "actor" being the politician who orchestrated it. Or maybe it's just impossible not to hear it that way since the Iraq War, which started two years after the song was released.
- "Hurricane", a song recorded in 1980 by Levon Helm which was also a Top 10 country hit a year later for Leon Everette. In it, a native of New Orleans is unfazed when a man from Chicago suggests that they raise their levees because "we finally taught her that it takes a lot of water to wash away New Orleans". Cue Hurricane Katrina in 2005…
- Don Henley's "New York Minute" has some lyrics which are a lot more powerful post-9/11 than when the song was written. "In a New York minute/everything can change . . ." — it sure did.
- The video for Ryan Adams' 2001 single "New York, New York" was shot on September 7, in Manhattan near the World Trade Center and on the New Jersey shore across the Hudson. The WTC is visible over Adams' shoulder as he sings lines like "Farewell to the city and the love of my life."
- A lot of the songs on Relient K's album Five Score and Seven Years Ago(Specifically "The Best Thing, "Must Have Done Something Right", and "I'm Taking You With Me") are rather hard to listen to; they're about how happy lead singer Matthew Thiessen was with his fiance. After the release of the album, she called off the engagement and he suffered a mild Creator Breakdown as a result.
- Colorado's state song Where the Columbines Grow (and for that matter, anything to do with columbines) after the school shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. On the other hand, Colorado's other state song, Rocky Mountain High could qualify as Hilarious in Hindsight after marijuana was legalized there in 2012.
- Jo Dee Messina's "Bring On the Rain" is a song about facing adversity, with the chorus stating "Tomorrow's another day, and I'm thirsty anyway / So bring on the rain." The date of the song's release? September 10, 2001.
- Robin Thicke's 2013 single "Blurred Lines" attracted extensive criticism and controversy for its alleged trivialization of sexual consent (featuring as it did such lyrics as "I know you want it" in regards to a potential sexual encounter). Among the myriad defenses Thicke offered was his claim that he wrote the song about his wife Paula Patton, feeling confident that his wife wanted to have sex with him. While this defense carries its own Unfortunate Implications about marital consent, it seemed not unreasonable given that Thicke and his wife seemed to be Happily Married. It fell into this trope when Patton left him the following year after repeated accusations of infidelity; Thicke even dedicated his subsequent album Paula to her, an album which likewise attracted controversy due to its perceived Stalker With a Crush overtones.
- Post-metal band Isis formed in 1997, naming themselves after the Egyptian goddess. By 2014, the band had long broken up, but their name started carrying rather different connotations due to the existence of ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group - it doesn't help that the band had usually stylized their logo in all capital letters, making it look like an acronym. Their Facebook page, which was mainly being used to promote former band members' other projects at that point, started being inundated with angry comments apparently confusing them with the Islamic State, and fans noted being understandably reluctant to wear their t-shirts in public anymore. They did take a small measure against the Facebook issue, changing the name of their page from "ISIS" to the less ambiguous "Isis the band".
- "Adam's Song" by Blink182, an anti-suicide song with an uplifting ending, became much heavier after a survivor of the Columbine massacre killed himself with the song on infinite loop. Puts a bad feeling on an otherwise optimistic song.
- In 1954, blues singer Pat Hare recorded the song "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby". Nine years later, he fatally shot his girlfriend. He would spend the rest of his life in prison for the crime.
- When The Beatles arrived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, some fans held signs which read "Elvis is Dead, Long Live the Beatles", referring to The Beatles' rising popularity and Elvis' stagnation at the time. Half a decade later, The Beatles would split up, and barely a decade after that Elvis passed away.
- "Long Live The Beatles" might also prove harsher for John Lennon (who was murdered in 1980) and George Harrison (who died of cancer in 2001).
- "When I'm Sixty-Four" is not only harsher for John Lennon and George Harrison—who did not live to 64—but it was harsher for its writer, Paul McCartney. Between the death of his first wife, Linda, and his separation from his second wife, Heather Mills, the answer to "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four." was sadly, "No".
- Miss Kittin & The Hacker's electroclash single "Frank Sinatra" was originally released in July 1998 and featured the lyric "You know Frank Sinatra? He's dead" - Sinatra was still alive when the song was recorded, but passed away two months before it was first released. Miss Kittin has said she meant the reference as a Shout-Out (and as a very loose rhyme for "VIP area"), but apparently genuinely thought he was already dead when she wrote the song.
- Frank Zappa: Many of his songs have lines about venereal diseases, though usually just the clap. In the 1970s most of those were a nuisance, but treatable. After the AIDS scare of the 1980s many of these lines don't sound so amusing anymore, especially since one of Zappa's associates, groupie Lucy Offerall (featured in 200 Motels) died of it in 1991.
- Fela Kuti's final recorded song pokes fun at the AIDS scare. He would die from the same disease.
- It's difficult to listen to "My Way" by Sid Vicious without realizing he recorded it just months before he murdered his partner Nancy Spungen and then took a suicidical drug overdose out of remorse. Was that "his way" when "the end is near and he faced the final curtain?"
- Black Sabbath's album Paranoid has a Drugs Are Bad song named "Hand Of Doom", sang by Ozzy Osbourne. If you realize how much unhealthy stuff Ozzy would take the following decades this makes this song particularly harsh to listen to. He is still alive today, though the effects of all this drug abuse are very visible and audible.
- Elvis Presley singing "Treat Me Nice", when you know that during the final years of his life he was merely exploited by his manager Colonel Parker to perform, even when he was ill, under the influence or suffering from exhaustion.
- Out To Lunch! by Eric Dolphy would be his final album after his untimely death, making the casual album title all the more morbid when you realize he's never coming back.
- Rise Above, a 2002 Black Flag tribute album performed by The Rollins Band and various guest vocalists, included Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) singing "Jealous Again". The song's narrator, addressing his girlfriend, claims "I won't beat you up / No, I won't push you around / 'cause if I did that the cops would get me for doin' it"; this became ironic after an incident in 2011 where Oliveri was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
- "Why Do I Keep Counting?" by The Killers is about a suicidally depressed guy. Keeping that in mind, the first two lines of the song "There's a plane and I am flying / There's a mountain waiting for me" become quite creepy after Germanwings Flight 9525.
- "DOTA O Ako" becomes this because of reports of break-ups, with online games as the cause. Only this time, a live-in couple broke up because of the video game Clash of Clans.
- The song He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss). It's pretty disturbing in the first place but becomes even more uncomfortable when you find out that not only is it absolutely sincere and unironic, it's based on the actual relationship the singer Little Eva had with her boyfriend. And it gets even worse when you consider that the producer is Phil Spector, who is an infamous domestic abuser, and was later arrested for murdering an actress he was dating.
- Miranda Lambert's nostalgic 2014 hit "Automatic" contains the line "Staying married was the only way to work your problems out." A year after the song's released, she divorced her husband, fellow country singer Blake Shelton.
- Neil Young's "Piece Of Crap" was written as his jab at products on the market that were effectively overpriced junk. This would be the reaction a lot of people would have to the Pono Player, a portable music player that Young would lead to market that can play higher quality formats than regular MP3s. Discounting the fact it costs a whopping $400, many critics doubt very much that the "high quality" files being sold in his web store are enough of an audible improvement over standard MP3s to warrant the need(indeed, one test of the very files, when downsampled to CD quality, only showed a minor difference in the high frequency ranges that humans can't even hear!). And did I mention that the device literally has only 3 buttons and issues with the touch screen being unresponsive at times?
- Wilson Pickett recorded "Soul Survivor" on his 1999 studio album It's Harder Now, lamenting on the fact he was one of the few living musicians from the soul music era, and talking about numerous musicians who were no longer alive. That would be his final album- Pickett died in 2006.
- The Tragically Hip's "New Orleans Is Sinking" takes on new meanings after Hurricane Katrina.
- The Iron Maiden song "Tears of a Clown" from The Book Of Souls was an eulogy to Robin Williams's recent death, and contained the line "there's something that inside has died". A couple of months after the track's release, it transpired that Robin Williams had been given only three years to live after being diagnosed with dementia.
- In May 1929, popular blues singer Bessie Smith recorded Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, a song about a millionare who loses all their money and becomes a pauper. Barely two weeks after it was released, the stock market crash of Black October led to the Great Depression and the complete wreckage of the American economy, making this song a bitter reality for many.
- Keith Whitley's 1986 hit "Hard Livin'" contains the line "I wish hard livin' didn't come so easy to me", while 1990's "I'm Over You" has the line "You heard I'm drinkin' more than I should / That I ain't been lookin' all that good…" These lyrics quickly took on a different meaning upon Whitley's death from alcohol poisoning at age 34; it particularly hit the latter song hard, as "I'm Over You" was released nearly a year after his death...
- "Lucky Man", one of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's most famous songs, ends with the protagonist dying from a gunshot. In 2016, bandmember Keith Emerson would end up shooting himself.
- Rapper Phife Dawg's line "When's the last time you heard a funky diabetic" from A Tribe Called Quest's song "Oh My God!" is now depressing after the rapper has passed away from diabetes in 2016.
- Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's 2013 duet "Accidental Racist" was criticized for its awkward handling of a complex topic - namely, the lingering effects and divides from America's nasty history of slavery and racial segregation, which included Paisley's character trying to explain why he's wearing a confederate flag shirt. It got worse after the 2015 AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, when a white supremacist attacked the historically black church hoping to spark a "race war", brandishing the confederate flag. This attack wound up destroying the flag's credibility as a symbol of Southern heritage, as governors and state legislatures agreed to take down their confederate flags.
- Prince's 1984 hit song "Let's Go Crazy" included the lyrics "Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down" seems pretty haunting now, considering that Prince was found dead in an elevator on April 21, 2016.
- Not only that, but the lyrics to "Sometimes It Snows In April" all deal with the death of the character he played in Under the Cherry Moon, and therefore are a lot more eerie considering that he died in April of 2016.
- Also, in the 1987 outtake "Dream Factory," he sings "I take a pill 2 wipe away my doubts/But a pill can't cure my bein' alone." Considering that he died of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, it's less cautionary-tale and more disturbingly symbolic.
- Filipino rap group Salbakuta's biggest hit "S2pid Luv" contains the line "Wasak na wasak ang puso ni Nasty Mack", or "Nasty Mack's heart is really, really broken" when translated in English. In 2008, seven years after the song became a hit, group member Norman "Nasty Mack" Adriano died of a heart attack. He was only 30.
- Pop singer Christina Grimmie's very popular cover of Sia's "Titanium," a song which revolves all around an "I'm bulletproof, guns can't kill me, go ahead and shoot me" metaphor, is very difficult to listen to since she was murdered at a fan meet and greet via gunshot to the head.
- At the peak of their popularity, Brazilian band Mamonas Assassinas were frequent guests on local television shows, such as Domingão do Faustão, which was (and still is) broadcast on Rede Globo. During one of their performances at Domingão, the host, Fausto Silva, proclaimed "For the first and last time on Globo!", which turned out to be eerily accurate when a plane crash killed all five members of the band.
- The title of the 1984 Wham! Christmas charity release "Last Christmas" became this upon the death of George Michael on Christmas Day 2016.
- Even worse that Michael was said to have died of heart failure, and the first lyric is "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart..."
- Dex Osama's song Death On Me was released in March 2015, and it talks about gangsters going after Dex and wanting him dead. Six months later, Dex was killed in a shootout. The first lyric "My mama said I got death on me..." says it all.
- The title song The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails is about the main protagonist losing the rest of his sanity and commiting suicide from a firearm blast. This becomes even more disturbing after Kurt Cobain's suicide in April 5th, 1994 and the album was made in March 8th, which was before the actual event happened.
- Soundgarden is filled with dark lyrics, but some are particularly hard to take after the suicide of frontman Chris Cornell, such as "Pretty Noose" (cause of death: hanging), "Black Saturday" (a narrator sings how he prefers a Mercy Kill rather becoming an invalid elder, when Cornell offed himself at just 52), and the self-explanatory "Like Suicide". Uncomfortable moments can also be found in "Blow Up the Outside World" (opening line: "Nothing seems to kill me...") and the title "The Day I Tried to Live".
- The video for his 2015 single release "Nearly Forgot my Broken Heart" depicts Chris Cornell being executed by hanging in a dusty western town.
- The final song he played at a concert, which was right before his suicide, was about death.
- While on the subject of Soundgarden, let's talk grunge in general. Pearl Jam's song "Alive" now has a whole new meaning once we learn that with Kurt, Layne and Chris gone, Eddie Vedder is now the last grunge frontman standing. But only time will tell how long he stays that way.
- Ariana Grande's song "One Last Time", which contains lyrics of Ariana finally saying goodbye to her lover after admitting to be unfaithful, takes a heartbreaking and depressing perspective after a suicide bomber attacked one of her concerts in Manchester, killing 22 people but leaving her uninjured, and Ariana believing on Twitter that she failed her fans, just like in the song where she failed her lover. In the events after, the song became a symbol of the tragedy.
- It could double as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, but 2pac mentioning Mobb Deep member Prodigy having sickle cell at the end of the diss track "Hit 'Em Up" becomes very depressing to listen to after learning that Prodigy had passed away from the disease.
- And let's not forget the rapper's infamous line in the remix version of LL Cool J's song "I Shot Ya": "Illuminati wants my mind, soul, and my body".
- So many things for Chester Bennington from the band Linkin Park in the wake of his suicide.
I tried so hard and got so far
- He jumps to his death in the video for "Breaking The Habit".
- All of the jokes about their music being "whiny" immediately dried up after everyone saw once and for all that it all came from a seriously depressed man coping with a traumatic upbringing and not just bitching about first world problems. There's a good chance you'll never hear someone sing "Crawling" in a mocking tone ever again.
- Chester was close friends with Chris Cornell, who had also committed suicide by hanging mere weeks earlier. Chester's suicide happened on what would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.
- Adding on to that, Chester performed "Hallelujah" at Chris' funeral, which could ironically be counted as a song dedicated to Chester himself.
- Chester's violent outbursts at the negative response to One More Light now seem less like him just being a prima dona and an early sign of the pent-up anger that would eventually consume him, although there's nothing to confirm that its critical failure was a catalyst for his suicide.
- The chorus to the band's breakthrough single "In the End".
In the end, it doesn't even matter
I had to fall to lose it all
But in the end, it doesn't even matter
In cards and flowers on your window
- These lyrics from "Shadow of the Day":
Your friends all plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple
Sometimes goodbye's the only way
I want to heal
- The chorus of "Somewhere I Belong," which is about letting go of the pain he felt so long.
I want to feel
What I thought was never real
I want to let go of the pain I felt so long (Erase all the pain 'til it's gone)
I want to heal
I want to feel
Like I'm close to something real
I want to find something I've wanted all along
Somewhere I belong
Sometimes I remember
- "Easier to Run" is a bit more saddening since Chester's suicide... especially the second verse:
The darkness of my past,
Bringing back these memories
I wish I didn't have.
Sometimes I think of letting go
And never looking back
And never moving forward so
There'd never be a past.
In the memory you'll find me
- There's these lines from "Forgotten":
Eyes burning up
The darkness holding me tightly
Until the sun rises up
Filthy mouth, no excuse
- And here's another one that foreshadows Chester's suicide in "Bleed It Out" (though Mike raps it out himself):
Find a new place to hang this noose
String me up from atop these roofs
Knot it tight so I won't get loose
- Actually, the entire song itself is so creepy and depressing as all hell.
Put me out of my misery!
- "Given Up" is equally depressing:
Put me out of my fucking misery!
- Chester had another band as a side project called Dead by Sunrise. He was pronounced dead at 9 AM the day he committed suicide.
- Just before his death, he had been gushing on Twitter about his love for Twenty One Pilots, a band known for their lyrics about depression and especially suicidal thoughts. It's obviously a stretch to think that their music caused his suicide, but it's obvious from this that these thought were weighing on his mind at the time.
- The Wallflowers' 2002 song "Everybody Out of the Water" was pretty dark to begin with, but the huge number unintentional parallels to the events of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans three years later read like something from a Creepypasta. Just one highlight:
Now I'm treading high water to get back to you
Looking for a low spot or something to cling to
There's too many bodies there's not enough room
God help me and God help you
They say nobody panic, help is on its way
We're already on it, you got to be brave
If you can fix it now then don't make us wait
Man, they ain't nobody coming back away from the casenote