When we hear that Pharrell Williams co-wrote 43 percent of the songs played on the radio in 2004, or that Dr. Luke wrote virtually every hit song in 2014, we're barely even surprised. If anything, we're just glad that every credits box doesn't say "LyricsBot2000" yet. And besides, it makes no difference who wrote the song as long as it's good, right? Actually, in some cases, it makes all the difference. Here are seven famous songs that take on a whole new meaning when you find out who wrote them -- with implications that range from the fascinating to the terrifying.
7Joan Jett's "Do You Wanna Touch Me" Was Written By A Convicted Child Molester
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Joan Jett scored a major hit in 1980 with "Do You Wanna Touch Me," a sexy glam rock song that perfectly fit her "I'll punch you during sex (but you'll like it)" persona.
It's now considered a classic, so much so that HP used it for their TouchSmart (get it?) commercials, and Glee featured it in a scene set in a high school sex education class ...
... which was probably the songwriter's dream come true. You see, "Do You Wanna Touch Me" wasn't originally by Jett -- it was by Gary Glitter. You might know him as one of the leading figures of the glam era. Or as the writer of that hockey chant song.
Or from his many, many statutory rape cases.
The man is currently in jail for abusing three kids during the time he wrote "Do You Wanna Touch Me," and that wasn't even a first for Glitter. He was jailed in Vietnam as well, for molesting two more girls under 13 -- which should surprise nobody who's actually paid attention to the song. It opens with:
We've been here too long
Tryin' to get along
Pretending that you're oh so shy
I'm a natural man
Doin' all I can
My temperature is runnin' high
My, my, my, whiskey and rye
Don't it make you feel so fine?
Every growing boy
Needs a little joy
Even with her murder-eyes, she's still the least-threatening choice to sing those words.
Yes, in the great tradition of "Baby It's Cold Outside," "Do You Wanna Touch Me" is a ballad about liquoring up girls and having your way with them. HP pulled the song from their ads when they found out Glitter could have gotten $140,000 in royalties, and as for Glee? They apparently agreed it was inappropriate for a show about teenagers, because they eventually replaced it in the U.K. ... with "Afternoon Delight."
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6Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" Was Written By Two Dudes Making Fun Of Crazy Women
Carrie Underwood's 2006 hit is about the time she had a hunch her boyfriend might be cheating, and so, like a totally sane person, she destroyed his car before confirming those suspicions.
Men's rights activists have jumped on it, Bill Burr delivered a 10-minute monologue ripping on Carrie Underwood as everything wrong with women today, and feminists just sort of inched away and said, "She's not with us."
Now, it might shock you to learn that an American Idol winner doesn't always write her own material, but it turns out that Underwood had nothing to do with the lyrics of this song. Nope, here are the writers after picking up a Grammy:
Only one got the memo about proper Grammy attire, but we're not sure which.
Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins have written for artists like Tim McGraw, Jimmy Buffett, and Boyzone. That's right, the song that Burr called an "anthem for psychotic C-words" wasn't written by an angry woman plotting her revenge on a guy who drives a pick-up truck -- it was written by two guys who probably drive pick-up trucks. It wasn't even intended for Underwood -- the boys wrote it because they wanted to do an "edgy" song where a girl "gets pissed." It's not a women's anthem, and it's not based on anything resembling real events. It's just two guys' erroneous impression of how women think.
In their mind, what women want is to void your warranty because one time
they dreamed you kissed their sister.
Kear and Tompkins don't exactly respect the woman in the song, either. Kear has called her "kind of a psychopath" -- which is OK, because they didn't intend the tune to be serious. They were going for something "humorous" and "lighthearted," like a present-day "Did I Shave My Legs For This?" But Underwood played it completely straight, and thus was born the anthem for vengeance-minded women everywhere.
Even the Carrie covered in pig's blood was all, "Girl, you need to chill."