Most people have probably heard a song and thought they understood what the song was about only to find out the artist was trying to convey a completely different message. Bobby Bones and Eddie of The Bobby Bones Show brought to light some famous songs with misunderstood meanings in episode #191 of Bobby’s podcast, BobbyCast.
First, the pair brought up some classic American tunes, including Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA.” Both of those song are pretty self-explanatory, right? It turns out they really aren’t. Bobby explained that while most people think Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” is a sweet love song, it’s really a song inspired by Clapton having to wait on his girlfriend, Pattie, to get ready to go out.
A similar confusion goes for Springsteen’s “Born In The USA” as well. The classic tune is a mainstay at Independence Day parties and fireworks displays, but Bobby’s research shows that the song is a far-cry from the patriotic pump-up tune many believe it to be. Bobby explains that the song is really “about casting a critical and mournful eye on America and its involvement in war.” The song focuses mostly on the Vietnam War and the aftermath of the conflict.
The podcasting duo also dove into the history of one very influential and iconic country song: Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” People who have heard Dolly’s original version, or even Whitney Houston’s 1992 rendition, may think the song is about an amicable break-up, as the women pledges to always love her estranged partner. As we learn on the podcast, however, Dolly actually wrote the tune about the end of her seven-year musical partnership with mentor and friend Porter Wagoner. Dolly played the song for Porter in 1973 when she made the decision to leave her regular appearance on The Porter Wagoner Show to pursue a solo career.
“I guess, in a sense, it’s a break-up song too,” Bobby muses. “It’s not about a romantic love or a romantic break-up, but it is about love and a break-up.”
Bobby and Eddie go on to talk about other songs that have misinterpreted meanings including “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, and more. However, after exposing the true message of these songs, Bobby and Eddie encourage fans to still take music for what it is: art that can be interpreted in many ways.
“The message is really what you make it,” Bobby says.
“That’s music,” Eddie adds. “That’s the beauty of it.”
Listen to this episode of the BobbyCast and all others by visiting iheart.com/podcast or by clicking below.