13 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do Bands/Musicians

13 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

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Here's a list of songs whose meanings we completely miss because we either don't listen to lyrics properly or we just take the song at face value, ignoring any origins or intent of the artist. Or we just don't know the lyrics to anything. Then, one day, your world breaks down. Everything you knew and loved turns out to be a lie because that song which you thought was innocent and sweet is actually about slaughtering kittens or marrying dogs. Although none of these songs are actually about those things, you get the idea. Enjoy. I hope the truth to these song lyrics isn't too damaging.
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  1. 1

    Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones

    I love telling people what this song is about, and now, you will too. It never gets old, seeing unsuspecting singers choose it for karaoke and balk at the lyrics as they appear on the screen. Somehow we don't know typically understand what this song is about, even though the story is right in the lyrics. It's used in some daytime TV commercials and places all around in this fun, light-hearted manner when it is quite literally a song about slave rape.

    There's no metaphor, no euphemism.

    The lyrics tell you straight that this song isn't a love tribute to a beloved African American woman and it is most definitely not something about the sweetener that brings us all chocolate chip cookies.

    The song is about white plantation owners raping their African slaves.

    Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
    Sold in a market down in New Orleans
    Scarred old slaver knows he's doing alright
    Hear him with the women just around midnight.
    Ah, brown sugar how come you taste so good?
    Brown sugar, just like a young girl should

    So not only is it about slave rape here, but about the kind done to young girls.

    Drums beating, cold English blood runs hot,
    Lady of the house wonderin' where it's gonna stop.
    House boy knows he's doin' alright.
    You should have heard him just around midnight.

    So when the plantation owner's wife finds out about what's happening she's appalled, not being able to wait for it to stop. For some reason another one of the house hands appreciates/enjoys this whole thing.

    It's one twisted, insane song to be the opening track for the album Sticky Fingers. In a Rolling Stone interview (get it?!) Jagger said: "God knows what I'm on about on that song... All the nasty subjects in one go... I would never write that song now... I'd think 'Oh God, I can't. I've got to stop. I can't just write raw like that."

    Just like a proper English gentleman should. It's interesting that Mick Jagger has almost gotten to old for himself.

    So next time you see someone singing this happily at karaoke, watch out for a nearby Klan rally.

    Here's a fun, lighthearted commercial featuring this wonderful, wholesome song.

  2. 2

    Tutti Frutti by Little Richard

    You probably heard this song a lot as a kid, just like you probably watched Mrs. Doubtfire as a kid and didn't think much of it. Well, re-watch Mrs. Doubtfire now that you've gone through middle school and give this record a spin and listen to the lyrics.

    If you did that, then you'll realize that the song is all kinds of rough. Not only is it about some guy getting it on with a girl, but multiple girls - Sue and Daisy - and they both "know what to do" (so they're very experienced) and they all drive him crazy.

    Also, the repeated hook of "Tutti frutti, aw rooty" was not the original lyrics of the song, before it got picked up to be recorded.

    When performing live, Little Richard sang the following:

    Tutti Frutti, good booty / If it don’t fit, don’t force it / You can grease it, make it easy.

    The lyrics were then changed in studio to "Tutti Frutti, all rooty" (all rooty was slang at the time for "alright") so that the rest of the song didn't make sense, making it more marketable. Yes, that's right. The song you most likely danced to like an idiot when you were three and didn't know better, was originally not just about sex, but anal sex. You're welcome.

  3. 3

    Like a Virgin by Madonna

    No matter what Quentin Tarantino's characters might tell you, "Like a Virgin" isn't about a girl who "likes big dicks," nor is about a "sensitive girl." Sure, that's what it sounds like, but it is, in fact, not about a girl at all.

    Lyricist Billy Steinberg explained in an interview with the LA Times that he did not intend for a woman to sing the song, and that the song was about his personal experiences on how, although he had gone through the emotional ringer in the past, he felt new and unhurt the next time he fell in love, as if he had never been hurt before. Like a virgin.

    I was beat, incomplete
    I'd been had, I was sad and blue
    But you made me feel
    Yeah, you made me feel
    Shiny and new

    Like a Virgin.
    Touched for the very first time.
    Like a virgin (when your heartbeats next to mine)

    "I was saying ... that I may not really be a virgin – I've been battered romantically and emotionally like many people – but I'm starting a new relationship and it just feels so good, it's healing all the wounds and making me feel like I've never done this before, because it's so much deeper and more profound than anything I've ever felt."

  4. 4

    There She Goes by Sixpence Nonethericher

    This is actually a cover of a song by British rock band The La's from their eponymous album. Although the song initially seems to be about a woman, if you look closely at the lyrics, the "she" in question is actually heroin and the song tells of the rush of using the drug and how fleeting the high is.

    There she goes again
    Racing through' my brain
    And I just can't contain
    This feelin' that remains

    There she blows
    There she blows again
    Pulsing through' my vein
    And I just can't contain
    This feelin' that remains

    Additionally, the song has stylistic similarities to The Velvet Underground's "There She Goes Again," a song with overt references to prostitution and potentially references to drug abuse, as well.

  5. 5

    My Sharona by The Knack

    Yes, so we all probably know that "My Sharona" is about sex or trying to get laid, but how about sex with underaged girl?

    Maybe not. In the tradition of "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, the song is about a man's serial lust for a girls several years his junior.

    In this case, the song is about Doug Fieger, the band's drummer, and his relationship with Sharona Alperin, who he met when he was 25 and she was 16. They dated for four years and she appears on the single's cover. Nevertheless, the lyrics are quite raunchy and rather uncouth in kinder circles:

    Such a dirty mind, always get it up
    For the touch of the younger kind...

    When you gonna give it to me
    Give it to me
    It's just a matter of time Sharona

    As far as songs about underaged sex go, though, "My Sharona" takes the cake... And robs the cradle?


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