10 Songs That Aren’t About What You Think They Are
August 8, 2016 - Finding Carter
Once a strain is out in a world, a lyrics no longer go to a chairman whose mind they sprang from. That’s partial of what creates cocktail strain such a singular art form: Two listeners will hear a same clearly candid three-minute cocktail balance in completely opposite ways. In a sense, the songwriter’s vigilant doesn’t matter, so prolonged as fans are joining with a difference and anticipating meanings that fit with their possess experiences. But it can be fun to review renouned low-pitched interpretations with what a songwriters indeed had in mind.
In Celebration of Tony Bennett’s 90th, 10 More Nonagenarian Working Musicians
Brace yourself: What follows are 10 songs that aren’t about what we think.
Bruce Springsteen, “Bobby Jean”
Although a Boss has never reliable it, “Bobby Jean” is roughly positively about Steven Van Zandt, who left a E Street Band during a creation of Born in a U.S.A. Springsteen and Little Steven had grown adult fondness a same garments and bands, as a lyrics say, and in a final verse, when Bruce offers adult that famous “good luck, goodbye,” he imagines a other chairman in a train or motel room. Regardless of a subject’s gender, “Bobby Jean” is about a absolute friendships we form in adolescence and lift with we by life like like cherished LPs.
Jay Z, “Can’t Knock a Hustle”
It’s easy to misread a leadoff lane on Jay Z’s entrance album. After all, there’s a lot of time (20-plus years) and stretch (four deceptively brief miles from Brooklyn’s Marcy Houses to Tribeca) separating Hova’s drug-dealing past from his big-pimpin’ present. But behind in 1996, Shawn Carter was uninformed off a streets and holding a play with music. The “hustle” here isn’t moment slinging, yet rapping — that’s the activity he’s perplexing to justify. He does so with a assistance of Mary J. Blige, who rips her heart out on a hook, and writer Knobody, who gives him some sharp boom-bap to get bustling over. Jay circa ’96 was brazen, humorous and well-positioned for a career pivot.
Bryan Adams, “Summer of ’69”
Don’t let a apostrophe dope you. In a summer of 1969, Bryan Adams was a 9-year-old son of world-traveling diplomats, not a immature stone ‘n’ drum vital a best days of his life. The timeline suggests he meant something else with “69,” and certain enough, in a 2008 talk with CBS, Adams reliable a series is a “sexual reference.” Unless John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” is personally about something anatomical, “Summer of ’69” stands as a many rebellious heartland stone lane of 1983.
Semisonic, “Closing Time”
Those sweet, contemplative piano chords during a beginning should’ve been a vigilance that Semisonic’s 1998 breakthrough singular — a one that goes “you don’t have to stay home yet we can’t stay here” — wasn’t simply about drunks removing tossed from bars. As frontman and songwriter extraordinaire Dan Wilson has explained many times in interviews that are certain to make moms and dads misty-eyed, “Closing Time” was created for a child he and his partner were removing prepared to acquire into a world. “I had birth on a brain,” Wilson told American Songwriter. “I was struck by what a humorous fun it was to be bounced from a womb.”
Prince, “Little Red Corvette”
The gifted lady Prince hopes to get with in this ’83 classical competence indeed possess a ‘Vette. In a opening line, we learn she’s got a automobile she tends to park erratically. That’s not a “little red adore machine” a Purple One is looking to “tame” toward a end, though. If radio programmers picked adult on a anxiety to womanlike genitalia, they wisely looked a other way. Leaving tire outlines on what was afterwards a seldom-crossed line separating stone and RB, Prince’s initial tip 10 singular was something everybody indispensable to hear.
Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)”
A lot of people missed a fun behind a Beastie Boys’ dermatitis single, and from a blurb standpoint, that wasn’t a bad thing. “Fight for Your Right” is a shouty rap-rock rager ideally complemented by a sound of drink cans abrasive opposite skulls, and a vast commission of a fans figured a Beasties were boorish frat boys looking to party.
Unfortunately, a organisation meant a strain as a fun — a travesty of a day’s Motley Crue and Twisted Sister hits. The some-more renouned a strain got, a some-more a rope morphed into a thing they wanted to lampoon. “You set out with an bulletin of parody,” Michael “Mike D” Diamond told NPR, “and afterwards a certain volume of time goes by, and we kind of cranky that line.”
The Beatles, “Got to Get You Into My Life”
Although it frequency ranks high on a list of Beatles songs clearly about drugs, this brassy Revolver essence jam is about Paul McCartney’s adore event with a sticky-icky. “It’s indeed an paper to pot,” McCartney told Rolling Stone, “like someone else competence write an paper to chocolate or a good claret.” Even in full-on stoner mode, Paul is one regretful S.O.B.
Beyonce, “Love Drought”
Anyone looking to make a box for because authorial intent isn’t indispensably a pivotal to bargain a strain ought to start with “Love Drought.” When Beyonce’s Lemonade hit a Internet like a tsunami on Apr 23, fans and critics were discerning to assume about all a ways Bey was opening adult about her marital troubles with Jay Z. That’s positively a vibe she brings to “Love Drought,” yet as a song’s lyricist, Ingrid, told Genius, lines like, “Ten times out of nine, we know you’re lying/ But 9 times out of 10, we know you’re trying” were indeed directed during Beyonce’s label, Parkwood Entertainment. Showbiz, like marriage, can be wily business.
Desiigner, “Tiimmy Turner”
On a follow-up to his warn 2016 chart-topper “Panda,” Brooklyn rapper Desiigner clearly shouts out Timmy Turner, a impression on a Nickelodeon animation series The Fairly OddParents.
Except a pretension reads “Tiimmy,” mirroring a stylized spelling of a MC’s theatre name, and as it turns out, that’s no accident. As Desiigner told All Def Digital, this gothy rap-sung banger about a dude coveting an unregistered firearm is autobiographical. “Tiimmy Turner is me,” Desiigner said. “I was referring to myself. we was wishing for a burner.”
Ace of Base, “All That She Wants”
This capricious 1993 techno-ska jam can be review a couple of opposite ways. “All that she wants is another baby,” goes a chorus, warning of possibly a fast-moving temptress, like Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” lover, or a lady who’s indeed perplexing to get profound over and over — maybe to collect some-more gratification money, as many listeners primarily speculated. Speaking with Billboard in 2015, organisation owner Jonas Berggren set a record straight: “Baby” means “infant,” not “lover.” This cold-hearted vamp is “going to get you,” yet during slightest she’s not going to fraud a supervision in a process.
Bonnie Tyler, “Total Eclipse of a Heart”
That line about “holding on forever” is no exaggeration. As songwriter and writer Jim Steinman told Playbill, “Total Eclipse of a Heart” was creatively about vampires descending in love. Before giving a strain to Bonnie Tyler — who took a deliciously overcooked energy ballad to No. 6 on a Hot 100 in 1983 — Steinman wrote it for a low-pitched chronicle of Nosferatu. “If anyone listens to a lyrics, they’re unequivocally like vampire lines,” pronounced Steinman. “It’s all about a darkness, a energy of darkness and love’s place in dark.”