Misconceptions About Popular Songs

In the latest episode of Misconceptions, host Justin Dodd discusses common misconceptions about popular songs, from misheard lyrics to obscure messages.

Try not to get the lyrics wrong.
Try not to get the lyrics wrong. / Jill Giardino/Getty
facebooktwitterreddit

Pop songs get misinterpreted all the time, and we’re here to break down the real stories behind your favorite bop.

Is Bruce Springsteen’s notoriously patriotic “Born in the U.S.A.” actually a celebration of the United States? Turns out, the lyrics are highly critical of the country, despite the song having been played in multiple presidential campaign trails.

Well, at least we know that Nena’s “99 Luftballons” is a lighthearted dance song, right? Wrong. That song was actually inspired by fears of a nuclear war.

Okay, well, what about “Who Let the Dogs Out?” That song is obviously misogynistic … if you don’t get the metaphor. The original artist Anslem Douglas actually wrote it about men mistreating women at a party.

In the latest episode of Misconceptions, host Justin Dodd discusses common misconceptions about popular songs, from misheard lyrics to obscure messages. Hit it!

Subscribe to Mental Floss on YouTube for new videos every week.