Sometimes, the more you know about a song the less you enjoy it. You start out thinking the singer of some ballad totally identifies with your situation, then later find out most musicians are creepy sex maniacs, and boring at the same time.
With that in mind, here's six popular songs that aren't nearly as awesome once you find out what they actually mean.
#6. Bryan Adams "Summer of '69"
This annoying as all get out little ditty from Bryan Adams' Reckless album has been a staple of wedding dances for over two decades now. And it's no wonder, people love to reminisce on days gone by when life was simpler and anything seemed possible. But what exactly is Bryan Adams reminiscing about?
It seems straightforward enough. He bought a guitar, played it until his fingers bled, started a band, the band broke up because Bryan Adams blows, he met a chick, she didn't realize he was going to grow up to be Bryan Adams so she made out with him. Those were the best days of his life, and ours, because we hadn't heard that song from the Robin Hood soundtrack yet.
What It's Actually About:
Some people speculate that Adams may be singing about, um, something else. Here's a hint, complete this sentence ... "Wine me, dine me, __ me." Still not getting it? Fine, some people think he may be singing about oral sex. Just what we like to think about when it comes to Bryan Adams.
And as you'll notice in a few of the songs on this list, the dirty, double meaning that sounds like it was thought up by a horny 12-year-old often turns out to be true. In an online interview, Adams said: "One thing people never got was that the song isn't about the year 1969. It's about making love, a la '69!" A la '69? What a dork. Then there's the interview with the Binghampton Press & Sun Bulletin where Adams confirmed "the title comes from the idea of '69 as a metaphor for sex," confirming he has both a child's sense of humor and understanding of metaphors. Anyway, coming from the source itself, that seems pretty convincing.
Jim Vallance, the song's co-writer has said, "Bryan Adams is a great writer, a great singer, and a great friend. He's entitled to his recollections as to what inspired the song 'Summer Of '69.' My recollections just happen to be different than his." So who's telling the truth? As a default, we always choose not to believe the guy who claims Bryan Adams is a great writer. We're pretty sure Adams himself wouldn't even say that. There's also the fact that Adams didn't turn 10 until November of 1969, and we refuse to believe Bryan Adams was a cooler 9-year-old than us.
Unfortunately, pretty much every single sign points to "Summer of '69" being another ill-fated attempt by Bryan Adams to be edgy, like that time he dressed like Kurt Cobain for a year or so back in the '90s.
Kurt Cobain - awesome = Bryan Adams
#5. The Rolling Stones "Angie"
With the possible exception of "Wild Horses," no Rolling Stones ballad is more beloved than "Angie." The mournful lyrics speak clearly of the sadness of love lost, which is strange coming from a guy who tends to sing songs like "Under My Thumb," where the lyrics suggest a relationship dynamic somewhere between groupie and sex slave.
But a popular rumor suggests that Mick may be singing about something far more disturbing than romantic heartbreak.
What It's Actually About:
Some claim the "Angie" in the song is Angela, the now ex-wife of David Bowie. Lending credence to that claim is that the former Mrs. Bowie herself is one of the ones making that claim. According to her, after returning home from a trip, she walked into her bedroom to find Bowie and Jagger in bed together. While their thin white dukes weren't in action at the time, they did just happen to be nude. And probably high, skinny to the point of borderline anorexia and, even in the post coital glow of dude-loving, far more attractive to most chicks than any of us ever will be.
Yes, the song you've probably dedicated to your ex-girlfriend is about the heartbreak someone else felt upon finding out you boned David Bowie.
While Jagger and Bowie understandably deny the incident ever happened, Bowie's wife has for the most part stood by her story. Adding fuel to the fire, after she divorced Bowie she wrote a book and made a famous appearance on the Joan Rivers Show in which she reiterated her belief that Jagger and Bowie had indeed been having sex shortly before she walked in.
Now, Keith Richards does say he came up with the chord sequence and title a full year before the incident that allegedly inspired the song. It's not known where Richards snorting his father's ashes fits in that timeline, but it is widely speculated that Keith Richards' perception of the time-space continuum is utterly fucked, even if he's not just fudging it to protect Jagger's reputation.
For the rest of us, there's the simple fact that around the time he got caught by a woman named Angela in bed with David Bowie, Mick Jagger wrote a song about the haunting, sad eyes of a girl named Angie. And then there's this picture, taken around that time.
L to R: David Bowie, sexual tension, Mick Jagger