"Love" songs that aren't

The most obvious candidate here is “Every Breath you Take” by the Police. Too many people have interpreted this as a love song, when it’s clearly a song of obsession and stalking.
A few more: James Blunt’s “You’re beautiful.” I’ve heard this coming out of women’s cell phones too many times to count, and people want it played at their weddings, even though the last two lines are “But it’s time to face the truth/I will never be with you.”
Same thing with U2’s “One.” How on earth can people think this is a wedding song? They’re only hearing what they choose to hear and leaving out all the lines of bitterness.

Got more?

Michael Stipe once said he never wrote a love song, and that would include “The One I Love.”

People never listen to the third line.

Isn’t there an Avril Levigne song where she threatens to kick a guy’s ass? That one’s always disturbed me, since from the rest of the lyrics that there was at least some very heavy mutual flirting going on at some earlier point in the story.

I read that Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession” was also written from the point of view of a stalker.

Question: Do you mean songs that aren’t intended to be love songs, but are kind of put out there ironically–or do you mean songs that were theoretically supposed to be love songs but miss the mark completely?

(Don’t mind me, I’m just stalling… I’ll think of something…)

I mean songs that were never intended as love songs, but which are misinterpreted by some listeners.

Okay, I just thought of one (kind of obscure.) In the movie Evita there’s a song called mumble mumble mumble in which Eva sings to Juan Peron:

It seems crazy, but you must believe
There’s nothing calculated, nothing planned
Please forgive me if I seem naive
I would never want to force your hand
But you must understand I’d be good for you
I’d be surprisingly good for you…

I’m not talking of a hurried night
A frantic tumble then a shy goodbye
Creeping home before it gets too light
That’s not the reason that I caught your eye
Which has to imply I’d be good for you
I’d be suprisingly good for you, etc.

On the surface it sounds pretty, but if you’re engrossed enough in the plot of the film it’s crystal clear she is indeed suggesting a lifetime commitment–but not out of concern for a loving relationship–only because it would be mutually beneficial to both of their careers. And the delivery, this over-the-top manipulative kind of sweetness, is spot-on.

So there you go.

I think the Dave Matthews song “Crash” is about a peeping tom.

My mom and I were going over songs like this this weekend - she was looking for 10 songs to suggest to be played at my brother’s wedding (as requested by the bride). I told her “make sure you don’t choose ‘Every Breath You Take’ and ‘Crash’”

“Beth” by Kiss sounds like a love song, but it’s really Peter Kriss’ way of telling his wife that his buddies were his first priority.

this doesn’t quite fit (because it does seem to want very much to be a love song,) but I always have to snicker when people call in to radio stations to request “I will always love you” for a current SO. I know it would make my heart beat faster if my sweetie reqested a break up song for me. :rolleyes:

“You’re All I Need” by Motley Crue sounds like a nice Heavy Metal love ballad. Lots of people never really listen to the lyrics. It was even a choice for a prom song in high school.

The blade of my knife
Faced away from your heart
Those last few nights
It turned and sliced you apart
This love that I tell
Now feels lonely as hell
From this padded prison cell

So many times I said
Youd only be mine
I gave my blood and my tears
And loved you cyanide
When you took my lips
I took your breath
Sometimes loves better off dead

There’s a song by Andrew Ratchin called Happy Endings (Romeo and Juliet) that contains one of my favorite verses of all time.

Maybe a lover comes along,
Maybe in story or in song.
Maybe the heart is really strong,
A million lemmings can’t be wrong.

I don’t know if anyone has ever mistaken it for a straight-up love song (I don’t know if anyone but me has even heard it). It’s about the classic love story of all time, but with an underlying message that true love is just not as easy as everyone makes it sound.

Indeed-some of the lyrics are taken from a letter she received from an obsessed fan. I heard he later tried to sue her for copyright infringment or something like that and lost.

More Than Words, from Extreme.

From Wiki: The song itself asks the person to whom it is addressed to show love through “more than words.” Given its context as a song on Pornograffitti, a concept album about a decadent and corrupt society, it could be interpreted as a cynical plea for sex, though most listeners interpret it as being about emotional intimacy.

Basically, just do me already!

Not a hugely popular offering, but BareNaked Ladies had a ballady type hit with “Call and Answer” that’s left more than one listener confused.

It’s slow and sweet and not like their usual geek pop, along with lots of lines about love so that means it must be a love song, right?

*If you call,
I will answer.
If you fall,
I’ll pick you up.
But if you court
this disaster,
I’ll point you home,
I’ll point you home.

I’m warning you, don’t ever do
those crazy messed up things that you do.
If you ever do, I promise you
I’ll be the first to crucify you…*

How’s that for unconditional? :smiley:

Only a Woman from the Team America soundtrack is hilarious in its complete indifference to anything slightly resembling actual emotional connection.

True. Then he commited suicide.

I missed the edit window while looking up a cite. I have to correct myself: he commited suicide before the case went to trial. I was a member of the Sarah M mailing list at the time it was happening. Everyone was piling on this guy and he certainly read all the vitrol he was receiving. My theory is that he woke up to the pain he was causing Sarah and felt so bad he offed himself.

I don’t think people, or at least the people I used to know, ever listened to the lyrics at the end of Paradise By the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf - not a “love” song, but still misinterpreted :

I couldn’t take it any longer
Lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me
Like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

So now I’m praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don’t think that I can really survive
I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I’m praying for the end of time
It’s all that I can do
Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!!!

It was long ago and it was far away
and it was so much better than it is today


God, I can’t believe that I know this…

The whole song is about him pressuring her for sex but she’s not ready for it.