The Real Meaning Behind These 6 Famous Songs May Surprise You

If you’re like me, it probably takes you at least two weeks to remember all the words to your favorite song. During those first few weeks, you’re just making up words. Not even real words. Just words you made up in your head that vaguely sound like the ones coming out of the speakers.

Most people don’t pay attention to the lyrics. They just want something they can dance to while waiting for their double cheeseburger in the McDonald’s drive-thru.

But maybe you should start looking up those lyrics on Google when you get home. Some of your favorite songs could be hiding an important message outside the lines of their catchy hooks.



No. 6 – “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Many people believe the 1965 song written by Bob Dylan was about drugs, but the man himself insists that it was never about that. It’s actually about the search for inspiration. Specifically, about a musician named Bruce Langhorne, who played a tambourine during some of Dylan’s early recordings.



No. 5 – “Perfect Day”

Ah, it’s the perfect day. A sweet little love song, right? I mean, you often hear the song in cute commercials. You see people quoting the song online, dedicating it to the special someone in their life. And while the lyrics were about something special in Lou Reed’s life, that something special was not another person.

It was heroin, at least according to the popular rumor that has been going around for years. People say the late singer wrote the song during a period of extreme heroin use, and it’s actually about spending a heroin-filled day at the park.




No. 4 – “I Am The Walrus”

Some people are still trying to figure out what the heck this song is about, but they should probably just give up. It’s reported that Lennon wrote the song to confuse the people who constantly look for hidden meanings in his songs. It’s apparently full of nonsense on purpose, and the fact that people are still arguing about the lyrics proves Lennon was successful.



No. 3 – “American Woman”

If you have ever really listened to the lyrics of this song, then the real meaning behind it shouldn’t surprise you, but how many people have actually paid attention to the lyrics? Let’s be honest, most people just scream “AMERICAN WOMAN!” and then play the air guitar for three minutes. The Canadian rock band The Guess Who actually wrote this in disagreement with U.S. politics. It’s been described as an anti-war song by many people.

Jim Kale, the co-author of the song, talked about the draft while discussing the meaning of the song.

“Also, the war was going on, and that was terribly unpopular. We didn’t have a draft system in Canada, and we were grateful for that.”



No. 2 – “Every Breath You Take”

Many people play Every Breath You Take at their wedding, but this song is actually about divorce. Sting reportedly wrote the song during his divorce, explaining the feelings of obsession and jealousy over his ex-wife. And that strange stalker-like vibe you get from the song? Well, Sting claims the lyrics were inspired by his need for control and surveillance during the emotional divorce.



No. 1 – “Born In The U.S.A.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a barn full of rednecks singing this song. Their eyes practically glowing with red, white and blue. But Born in the USA is not a patriotic love song. The lyrics are actually criticizing America, discussing the negative effects of the Vietnam War and the mistreatment of Vietnam veterans when they returned home.