Point/Counterpoint: Songs with the Same Title

“Suffocate” by Green Day vs. “Suffocate” by Hayd 


One of the best songs on the Shenanigans record by Green Day is “Suffocate,” a punk rock song about, well, suffocating. If you don’t listen to the lyrics, the beat will trick you into thinking it’s just another 2000s punk song playing on the radio. If you listen to the lyrics, you’ll hear singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong singing that the narrator’s head is “underneath the puke.” Truly, it’s a perfect tune for people who enjoy deep meaning in a song without immediately getting depressed.


Well, if you’re an emo teenager, I guess that song is totally great for you. Angsty, loud, fast, repetitive. Yuck. Here’s a better alternative for a song with the same title: “Suffocate” by Hayd. It’s the study song you’ve never been able to find featuring a soft piano melody with a deep meaning. This song’s about the absence of another person in your life. Can you relate to, “As I wait I suffocate?” Of course, you can, probably every single time you’ve ever lost anybody to anything. But it isn’t sad. It’s calming. It’s like therapy, releasing your anger and sadness, and you get a nice melody.


Here is the absolute differentiating factor of our songs with the same title: yours is depressing. My song is sort of upbeat until you begin to listen to the lyrics. Yes, they are both about pretty dark subjects, I will not deny that for a minute, but imaging getting Mr. Hayd’s song up on your playlist and getting super depressed because of the slow piano and sad album cover instead of a wonderful pop punk song to not only give you a throwback moment, but to also uplift your mood. Also, I feel like “Suffocate” by Green Day has a more concrete meaning than “Suffocate” by Hayd. You can easily understand that “Suffocate” by Green Day is truly a song about suffocating and about the singer’s struggle with alcoholism. Hayd’s “Suffocate” could be perceived as a love song, a breakup song, a pet loss song, a song about your dead cacti plant that you watered too much. The writing is much more concrete when it comes to the Green Day song, which is why I feel like it is superior. 


You must be confused. My song is not depressing, as it’s calming and therapeutic. It’s not about suffocating on your vomit, it’s about choking on the empty space at your side or the cold spot on your palm. It’s not a dime-a-dozen song, it’s about sharing in the subtle loneliness of loss and taking comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one. And bonus points: We can all be sad about different things but connect over a slow piano.