Instagram | @officialsarahmclachlan

10+ Songs From The '90s That Are Kind Of Dark

If you're a '90s kid, then there is a fairly good chance that, when many of these songs were popular, you were too young to understand what they were actually about. In hindsight, however, they were often a lot bleaker than we remember!

Thanks to Google, we've been able to narrow down which songs, in particular, were the darkest mainstream '90s hits!

TW: This article contains depictions or discussions of sensitive topics and may be triggering to some readers.

The world of music is always growing and changing into something new, evolving with the times.

There are countless genres and what seems like an endless amount of musicians and bands that keep us entertained.

One thing brings them all together: giving their songs meaning.

In the '90s especially, many songs were extremely dark.

They talked about triggering topics or retold stories of real-life events that happened to their loved ones or that played on the news.

Let's get into some of the darker ones!

1. "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan.

YouTube | sarahmclachlanfan

Sarah McLachlan's song is actually about Jonathan Melvoin from Smashing Pumpkins, who died from an overdose in 1996.

"I wrote "Angel" after being on the road for almost two years straight and was both mentally and physically drained," McLachlan wrote.

"I went to a cottage north of Montreal to relax and write and read an article in Rolling Stone about the Smashing Pumpkins keyboard player who had OD'ed in a hotel room."

"The story shook me because though I have never done hard drugs like that, I felt a flood of empathy for him and that feeling of being lost an lonely an desperately searching for some kind of release."

2. "Waterfalls" by TLC.

"Waterfalls" by TLC is way deeper of a song than I remember it being.

It tackles issues such as the illegal substance trade and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"His health is fading and he doesn't know why. Three letters took him to his final resting place," some of the lyrics read.

3. "3 AM" by Matchbox 20.

This song is an absolute classic! In the '90s it was one of the most famous songs, and it would play constantly on the radio.

While it sounds like an uplifting, happy song, the lyrics tell a very different story.

For example, when the singer says:

YouTube | Matchbox Twenty

"She says it's all gonna end and it might as well be my fault. And she only sleeps when it's raining, and she screams, and her voice is straining." He is talking about his mother who was battling cancer at the time.

4. "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam.

YouTube | Pearl Jam

This is definitely one of Pearl Jam's most iconic and deepest songs.

It's based on a true story and retells the event of Jeremy Wade Delle who ended his life in front of his classmates in January 1991.

One of his classmates, Brittany King, actually spoke about the song, and the anger that she felt when it originally came out.

"I was angry at them for writing that song. I thought, 'You don’t know. You weren’t there. That story isn’t accurate'."

5. "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind.

While this song is very catchy and upbeat, its message is a bit bleaker than you may expect.

The song is apparently about the descent into an addiction, and all the turbulence that comes along with it.

6. "Popular" by Nada Surf.

YouTube | nada surf

The song is a pretty depressing one, but it's a really good one for teens.

It is an eye-opening music video and song that talks about the fact that even the most popular and beautiful people can be truly suffering.

7. "Barbie Girl" by Aqua.

If you can believe it, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua is not just about being a Barbie girl living in a Barbie world.

It has been widely understood that the song is about the over-sexualization of women.

8. "Yearbook" by Hanson.

The song is supposedly based on the band's mother! They were going through her old yearbook, looking at the memories there.

But while they are looking, they find something interesting that made them start to question their mother's past.

The song heavily implies that someone died during the school year, and their picture has been removed from the yearbook!

More interesting still, someone knows the reason why, but they won't say the reason.

I wonder if their mom knew.

9. "Steal My Sunshine" by Len.

YouTube | Len TV

If you thought that "Steal My Sunshine" had a sunny disposition (pun intended), then you'd be sorely mistaken!

This one is apparently about battling depression, and feeling like the "sunshine" has been taken away from your personality.

10. "Laid" by James.

YouTube | WeAreJamesTV

If this song doesn't remind you of American Pie, I don't know what to tell you.

But at any rate, as happy of a song as it seems to be, it's actually about being trapped in a toxic relationship.

11. "The Icicle Melts" by The Cranberries.

YouTube | mgokshen

For a lot of people, the meaning of this song probably flew right past them (and who can blame you, sometimes people just don't think about the lyrics hard).

But this song actually tells a tale about abortion, or so fans think.

"There's a place for the baby that died and there's a time for the mother who cried and she will hold him in her arms sometime 'cause nine months is too long," the lyrics read.

Prettyyyy dark if you ask me.

And it certainly sounds like it is about abortion.

12. "Interstate Love Song" by Stone Temple Pilots.

YouTube | Stone Temple Pilots

The song was written from the perspective of one of the band member's girlfriends, who knew that she was being lied to about her boyfriend's drug usage.

It's a very poetic song, and very catchy, even though it's more of a one-hit wonder.

13. "Girl With A Problem" by The Northern Pikes.

YouTube | kurdtss

While it is a super fun song to listen to while road tripping down the highway, when you listen closely, you can actually hear the song alluding to the fact that it is about a woman who is suffering from alcoholism.

14. "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers.

YouTube | The Wallflowers

Jakob Dylan, who wrote the song, said about it:

"I tend to write with a lot of metaphors and images, so people take them literally. The song's meaning is all in the first verse."

"It's about the death of ideas. The first verse says, 'The death of the long broken arm of human law.' At times, it seems like there should be a code among human beings that is about respect and appreciation."

"I wasn't feeling like there was much support outside the group putting together the record. In the chorus, it says, 'C'mon try a little.' I didn't need everything to get through, I could still get through - meaning 'one headlight.'"

15. "Slide" by The Goo Goo Dolls.

YouTube | Goo Goo Dolls

"Don't you love the life you killed? The priest is on the phone, your father hit the wall, your ma disowned you," the lyrics read.

Fans seem to think that this song is about a young couple dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.

Can you think of any other songs from the '90s that were super dark?

Or are you not really into analyzing the lyrics of songs, and prefer to just dance and sing along?

Let us know down below in the comments!