Songs that sound like they're about one thing, but are actually about something else.

My favorite song in this category is Good Thing by the **Fine Young Cannibals.

If the story is to be believed, Roland Gift wrote it about his motorcycle or motorbike that had been stolen (as opposed to a woman).

Another good one is You ain’t seen nothin’ yet by BTO which is supposedly about venereal disease of some sort.

Obviously, if either of these stories are crap, fill me in.

So - what are your fav songs that sound like they’re about one thing, but are actually about something totally different.

“Every Breath You Take” is actually a creepy song about a stalker. Not a love song.

Uh, did anyone ever think it was a love song?

These folks seem to think it is pretty romantic.

Definitely. That’s why Sting purposely wrote “If You Love Somebody (Set Them Free)” because he was continually creeped out by people who would tell him “Every Breath You Take” was “Their song.” My personal theory is they’re related to the same people who thought “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” is a love song and claimed it as their couple song.

They’re all likely related to past or future Jerry Springer guests.

Shit - no kidding. Both of those are Uber un-romantic songs. Go figure.

Mind you, I know a lot of people who think Papa don’t preach by Madonna is about her not breaking up with her boyfriend. Never even occurs to them that shes pregnant, despite the fact that she says “I’m keeping my baby.”

In their defense…and my own… as a kid, I assumed she’s ‘keeping her baby’ as in boyfriend. BABY being a common term of endearment for signifigant other.

Sure - it’s just within the context of the song that interpretation is goofy. (Well, at least I always thought so.)

Before someone posts that Barry Manilow’s Mandy is about Barry Manilow’s dog, I’d like to point out that this is not the case. Also, Barry Manilow didn’t write the song. More info here.

…Hmmmmmm…Okay. Part of the appeal of the song I always though was that it was kind of ambiguous.

If you don’t listen very carefully, Rosie by Jackson Browne sounds like it’s about a young groupie at a concert. :smiley:

Chestnut Mare by the Byrds is actually about sex (well, I suppose that could be said of most rock songs, but in this case, it’s clear).

Lyle Lovett is great at this sort of thing. Nobody Knows Me sounds like a sweet love song, but it’s really about a man who has cheated and which ended the relationship. I Married Her Just Because She Looked Like You makes it very clear that the title does not describe why he married her. And at least one person proposed to his wife by singing L.A. County (this was related to him on a live request show) despite the fact the song is about a psycho murdering his ex-girlfriend and her husband-to-be on the altar of the wedding church (sort of like Kill Bill.

Along the lines of “Every Breath You Take,” isn’t Sarah McLachlan’s “Sweet Surrender” also about a stalker? Specifically, written from the point of view of a man who was stalking her?

I heard somewhere that some or all of The Magnetic Fields’ “Charm of the Highway Strip” songs are about vampires. For instance:

My boyfriend tells me “Cracklin’ Rosie” is “obviously” about wine. I had no idea, and sulked for a while because I didn’t think it was obvious at all.

Bitch School by Spinal Tap is actually pretty good in this respect. If you ever see the video and don’t pay attention to the song that well you think he’s talking about a woman. Then when you listen to the whole thing he’s talking about his dog. Actually a lot of Spinal Tap’s songs are like this which is what makes them a better fake band then most.

According to Peter, Paul & Mary and snopes Puff the Magic Dragon has nothing to do with drugs.

Of course I have to have the most annoying entry:

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Peppy little walkin’ tune, eh?


Yeah, you hear about couples playing it as their “first dance” at weddings. Morons.

tiltypig, you’re thinking of “Possession”. Sarah received a letter from a stalker, IIRC, which includes the lines that became the chorus.

Similarly REM’s The One I Love, which is definitely creepy if not more than a little obscure.

Apparently, Paul McCartney says Got to Get You into My Life is actually about marijuana.

Can anyone out there tell me that George Michael’s *Father Figure * is NOT about pedophilia?

That song just skeeves me.