One of the key characteristics of most pop punk songs is the upbeat and happy-sounding instrumentals and vocals. However, listen a little harder to the lyrics and you won’t find the song so happy anymore. Here are five songs that sound happy on the surface, but are actually sad as f-ck.


“Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard

This song may have been certified gold in 2004, but its far from what you would hear on mainstream radio today. The song may have quirky verses about being young and just hanging out, but come the chorus and you can’t help but feel the loneliness that vocalist Ryan Key is singing about. The song is simply about not being ready to say goodbye and whether it’s about Long Beach in California or a girl from a summer romance, the lines in the bridge are what will really get you:

I remember the look in your eyes//When I told you that this was goodbye//You were begging’ me not tonight//Not here, not now//We’re looking up at the same night sky//And keep pretending’ the sun will not rise//We’ll be together for one more night//Somewhere, somehow.


“19 Seventy Sumthin” by Neck Deep

“19 Seventy Sumthin” from Neck Deep’s most recent album, The Peace and The Panic, tells the story of a young man and woman who fell in love with each other in the 1970s. It was like love at first sight—and after marriage, family and careers, life together couldn’t have been more perfect. The chorus could even be seen as paying a tribute to the “traditional” way of being in love and not relying on texting and dating apps to end up with your life partner. All is well between the husband and wife until the bridge makes its way in and it is revealed that the husband, or father of the vocalist, unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. Who would have guessed that a song with such a cheery beginning ends with one of the saddest events in life?


“Rose-Colored Boy” by Paramore

While I am not afraid to openly admit that I am not a fan of Paramore’s latest direction in their career, I can’t help but appreciate the dark lyrics beneath the synth-pop sound in this song. Long-time vocalist Hayley Williams shares her frustrations with the world and basically just wanting to tell everyone to f-ck off—including this sweet “rose-colored boy” who appears to have came along wanting to cheer her up.

You say “We gotta look on the bright side”//I say “Well maybe if you wanna go blind”// You say my eyes are getting too dark now//But boy, you ain’t ever seen my mind.


“Fireworks” by Sleep On It

Throughout the entire song, “Fireworks” by Sleep On It remains steady and upbeat both instrumentally and lyrically. However, listen to the lyrics and you’ll realize that the song is about feeling lead on and desperately trying to get someone’s attention. It’s about trying to do your best to impress someone but still falling short.


“Mum” by Grayscale

2018 may be a promising year for pop punk band Grayscale. Their song “Mum” from their newest album Adornment immediately starts out with expressive lyrics. Clearly about drug addiction and the feeling of losing someone before you even really knew them, the band successfully covers a dark topic while still embedding their pop punk roots throughout.

I used to pray that the summer sun//Could warm your bones and pull out all the drugs// See all the wrong you’ve done//’Cause it’s been three years and I’m still stuck inside your wake//I sat by the door//And I waited for you to come home, but you never came.

Go ahead and listen to all these in one playlist below!