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  • Milly

    No Hallelujah?

    A Lot of people think it's about child abuse, but it's a heartbreaking Love song.

    Great list, though (:

  • TrixRabbi

    Pearl Jam are the kings of misinterpreted songs.

    To add to Every Breath You Take, Sting actually hates the fact that it's used as a love song. Even when I was young I realized this song was about a stalker. Why would a love song include the lines "Every heart you BREAK, I'll be watching you"?


    TrixRabbi has two valid points, but Pearl Jam should probably be on a list of indecipherable songs rather than misinterpreted songs – not unlike "Louie, Louie" which makes sense when you read the lyrics. (It's about a sailor missing his lady.) Still, I am surprised that the Phil Collins song isn't clear to everyone. A guy done wrong is in that tense moment before a confrontation with the one who did him wrong. Listen with this in mind and it becomes crystal clear. Phil was being coy because he didn't want people speculating about his divorce…duh. As for Bruce – proud Americans, especially those of us who have served our country, don't mind the fact that we occasionally have to go to foreign lands to fight white, yellow, black, or brown people as long as we're fighting FOR the USA and/or its principals!

  • Valerie

    The lyrics to ''Leave your hat on'' don't provide any clue as to the interpretation you give here. Look it up, guys. There's nothing about ugly in it at all.


    • BunnyBear

      Yeah, I kind of have to disagree with the interpretation of “Leave Your Hat On” as well, especially when there is a line that says “Go over there, turn on the light. No, all the lights.” Why would you want all the lights on if you were with someone pig ugly? Also, a hat wouldn’t hide someone’s entire face, especially while..ahem…”engaged in the act.”

      The song seems to be pretty clearly a stripper song. It’s a song about a man watching a woman do a strip tease, take off her clothes slowly, stand on a chair, and shake her boobs. The hat in this case is just a prop, like the stiletto heels that some strippers wear on stage.

      • Randy Newman Fan

        You’re right, their interpretation if the song is so wrong it’s hilarious.

        It’s actually about a pervert (the narrator) who is having sleazy desires about a beautiful woman and is frightening himself by what he’s telling her to do. The man is a loser and and the song was not written to be sexy at all, completely the opposite actually.

        Randy Newman’s original really shows this side of the song. He explained in an interview, “it’s really about a bully’.

        As usual, Jones completely misunderstood the song. Just like ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’, which Randy wrote about a teenager being at an orgy.

  • betzblue

    Leave Your Hat on ( Randy Newman) was done best by Three Dog Night. It's a bedroom song.

  • moose

    Another good one is REM's "Losing My Religion." If I had a dime for every idjit who thought that the song was about — or against — religion, I'd be a zillionaire. It actually refers to a saying common in some parts of the southern US; "I'm losing my religion" is saying "I'm at the end of my rope." It's about despair, not faith.

  • SongsNotBombs

    also “Rape Me” by Nirvana

    • taramarriee

      MOST Nirvana songs… they’re another group for indecipherable lyrics… Taking their most popular song in consideration, what do a mosquito and his libido have in common with an albino?

  • taylor

    what about puff the magic dragon

  • filter

    wat is the source? i see nothing online about the leave your hat on track, apart from another top ten misinterperted list which also has no sources. can anyone help me out?

  • Danindavis

    Don't forget Yankee Doodle!

  • Bert

    Fortunate Son by CCR. Not exactly as patriotic as Wrangler commercials have you believe.

  • Acrobat

    One by U2 is often seen as a beautiful love song, when it was actually written about The Edge's marriage break-up and subsequent divorce. It is a song about break-up and heart ache. Actually the entire Achtung Baby! album is around this theme.

  • Sam

    Don't forget "American Woman" by The Guess Who. It seems to be popular in the States even though the entire song is about pushing away American influence.

  • nickwalsh

    @toptenz my dad is the king is misunderstood songs- everyone loves ‘the girl with colitis goes by’ – the beatles

  • keith

    Louie Louie by the Kingsmen…….."f—- yur gurl all kinds of ways"

  • REJ

    REM's "The One I Love" is not a love song, but rather a song about meaningless hook-ups. You don't describe someone that you actually truly love as "A simple prop to occupy my mind".

  • Tommy

    Your interpretation of You Can Leave Your Hat On makes no sense. If the woman was “pig ugly” as you put it, why would the singer say to turn on all the lights? And since when does a hat hide your whole face? Plus, stripping scene in 9 1/2 Week was many years before The Full Monty.

  • taramarriee

    A common one is “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder… people are using that as their wedding song when it’s about adultery. :S And it’s kinda hard to get the lovey-dovey version with lyrics like “she’s in the other room, but right now i wish she was you.”

  • ed

    Puff the magic dragon isn’t about pot

  • Jay

    “House of the Rising Sun” is about an opium den. That one’s been misinterpreted since the Animals covered it nearly fifty years ago.

  • mike

    “you can leave your hat on”…..meaning, anything that will take the attention off your face…..and the ugly pig doesnt acknowledge to herself that shes ugly, thats why she dont mind turned on bright lights…

  • Jonathan

    Life On Mars by David Bowie – not about aliens. Losing My Religion by REM – not about religion or God. No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley – not about happiness at being single. Puff The Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary – not about drugs.