No matter how thoroughly you searched, you could not find someone with as great of a knowledge in the meanings of pop songs as Clifford Stumme, or as you may better know him; The Pop Song Professor. For much of his life, Cliff has had a passion for music. In college, Cliff majored in English and became fascinated in the meaning of musical lyrics and how their very essence could so easily provoke thought. Cliff began to research the meanings of pop songs and was shocked to find that there was never a great explanation to be found.
“I wanted to know what certain songs meant, and looking up those woke me up to the fact that so many songs mean something and have a lot to teach us or are bad examples that we should avoid or are pieces of beauty that we don’t know we can rest in.”
Disappointed that he could not find the meanings he sought, Cliff decided to follow his passion. In February of 2015, Cliff started a website called cliffordstumme.com. Later, he would also start a Youtube channel. It was then that Clifford Stumme became the official Pop Song Professor. On The Professor’s website, you can find the meanings of a songs, explained by an article and/or video.
Since he first started his website The Professor has written about 125 articles each explaining the meaning of song. At first, the articles took about 2 hours a piece to write. Now it only takes about an hour because as The Professor explains:
“When you’re trying to juggle two websites, a full time job, a part time job, a marriage, and other stuff, you get fast or you die.”
His favorite articles include: I took a pill in Ibiza by Mike Posner and Prayer in C by Lilly Wood & the Prick. Cliff especially liked these songs both for different reasons. He liked I took a pill in Ibiza because he got to learn a lot about Mike Posner while he liked Prayer in C because of the song’s connection to God.
The Professor is a very busy person. In addition to his website, he has many other activities, but he loves to keep busy.
“ It’s rushed at times, but I LOVE being busy. It’s to me what water is to a fish, and I’m super happy with where I am right now. Even if it is a bit hectic.”
The Professor wants everyone to know that his website is about conversation. He loves the positive and well-thought out comments where he can respond and discuss his passion with someone else. Not many people get to live out their passion day-to-day, but Clifford Stumme does. All because he decided to follow one of his many passions.
His advice to anyone trying to start up their own website;
“For anyone else interested in starting a website that people read, I’d just suggest three strategies. Make a list of things you like and want, make a list of things you can’t find, and make a list of things that many other people want. If anything’s on all three lists, then that’s a really good idea to start with, though it may look different before you’re finished. Be consistent with your postings. And, finally, be a servant. Help other people. Treat them well. And even if you don’t want what’s best for someone else, act like it. I’m not perfect at this stuff, but I think trying to do these things is the reason for most of the success I’ve had—that and a lot of luck.”
Whether you know him as The Pop Song Professor, a university instructor, a juggler (literally and figuratively, or a passion follower Clifford Stumme is a pretty awesome guy who follows his dreams.