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Be Careful What You Wish For / Music

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  • The titular character of Marilyn Manson's concept album Antichrist Superstar rises to become the Physical God he always dreamed of being, but crosses the Despair Event Horizon in the process and destroys the earth in a nihilistic rage. The last words of the album are actually "when all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed" - repeated over and over amidst a wall of static.
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  • The titular King in Metallica's "King Nothing" did get the title he worked for, but alienated his would-be subjects in the process, leaving him alone to attend to a crumbling kingdom.
  • The Talking Heads song, "Burning Down The House" from Speaking In Tongues opens up with "Watch out, you might get what you're after"
  • The McBusted song "Before You Knew Me" is about a man who manages to hook up with his crush, only to find that the reality doesn't quite live up to his fantasy, and that he himself is seemingly dragging her down and tarnishing her "perfection". He laments in the chorus that he liked her better before they were together, and that she should break up with him for her own sake.
  • Kinda done in "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Albuquerque":
    I see this guy Marty tryin' to carry a big ol' sofa up the stairs all by himself. So I, I say to him, I say 'Hey, you want me to help you with that?' And Marty, he just rolls his eyes and goes 'Noooo, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw!' So I did.
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  • Eurydice in Anais Mitchell's Hadestown" wants to "lie down forever," so she's taken to the underworld.
  • The narrator of Rush's song "Xanadu" wishes he could visit the stately pleasure dome of Coleridge's poem and gain immortality by drinking honeydew and the milk of paradise. He succeeds, but finds himself eternally trapped within the dome.
    • The song "Carnies" from Clockwork Angels has the protagonist realizing that wishing to get away from his ordinary life wasn't going to go the way he meant it to.
  • Mentioned in the Art of Dying song "Completely"; the lead-in line to the chorus in (both versions) is "watch what you wish for, you know you just might get it..." In the original, there is a line in the chorus about how "everything you want/ain't always what you need..."
  • The song "Black Fox" by Heather Dale. Whilst out on a unsuccessful fox-hunt, the master huntsman proclaims "If only the Devil himself come by, we'd run him such a race!". A little black fox then appears, and the huntsmen chase it until it crosses a river... and promptly turns into the devil, whereupon the huntsmen have a collective Oh, Crap! moment and flee, pursued by the (now-laughing) little black fox.
    • Her other song "Changeling Child" is about a woman who longed for a "babe" of her own so she ask the Fairies to give her one. They give her exactly what she asked for: a child that forever stays as a babe.
  • "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin (and covered in the 1990s by Ugly Kid Joe). "I'm gonna be like you, Dad!" The boy's ambition will come true in a most depressing way.
    • Also in Chapin's "Taxi", the narrator runs into an old ex-girlfriend, and discovers they both achieved their young dreams, but not as expected. "And she walked away in silence / It's strange, how you never know / But we'd both gotten what we'd asked for / Such a long, long time ago / You see, she was gonna be an actress / And I was gonna learn to fly / She took off to find the footlights / And I took off for the sky / And here, she's acting happy / Inside her handsome home / And me, I'm flying in my taxi / Taking tips, and getting stoned / I go flying so high, when I'm stoned".
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  • As per the page quote, this is a recurring theme in Eminem's raps, especially after his best friend and fellow rapper, Deshaun "Proof" Holton died. The track "My Darling" also covers this trope extensively.
  • Explicitly quoted by the protagonist of WASP's concept album The Crimson Idol Jonathan Aaron Steel just before his onstage suicide. He got fame, money and glory but at the expense of his family, his sanity and health and never knowing if anyone saying they loved him actually meant it or were just saying it because of who he was.
    Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true.
  • Home by Daughtry. The song follows the narrator as he looks back at abandoning his old life and deciding to return to it, even Name Dropping the trope
  • "Be Careful What You Wish For" by Steeleye Span from the Wintersmith Concept Album, loosely based on the various Tiffany Aching examples above.
    Be careful what you wish for
    Dreams seem different in the light of day
    Be careful what you wish for
    That deep desire to have your way
    Could burn you, and turn your head around
  • The English symphonic metal band Pythia has a song named "What You Wish For". The title of this trope is mentioned there:
    So be careful what you wish for
    For it is never what you need
  • The Armor For Sleep song "Very Invisible", describes someone who begged their lover to never leave them. The song is narrated by that same lover, now a ghost.
    I'll be the voice in the dark
    the freezing cold in your heart
    that you thought died away with me
    but I'll be right next to you
    You'll never be alone again...
  • The Police's "Message in a Bottle": The narrator gets a reply to his missive:
    One hundred million bottles,
    Washed up on the shore...
    Seems I'm not alone in being alone ...
  • Bowling for Soup's "Here's Your Freakin' Song" is directed at an ex-girlfriend who always begged the singer to write a song about her. So he writes a song listing everything he dislikes about her, in the most unprofessional manner possible.
  • "Lyin' Eyes" by The Eagles is about a Gold Digger who thinks she'll have it made if she can just find some rich old man to mooch off of. Turns out the reality is much less pleasant.

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