Music is said to be a medium of communication. Artists pour their feelings into their pieces to have an audience relate to their messages. We’ve had a string of hits that sound good and make logical sense, but sometimes you might wonder if the artist(s) ever had a muse. Who was the band exactly singing about? Here are a few recognizable songs that have surprising meanings:
1969- “Sweet Caroline”, Neil Diamond
You might be more familiar with this song because it is always used in club songs, such as Angelo Venuto’s remix. So you would think that the song is about a lover with the way Diamond is singing, “Hands, touchin’ hands/Reachin’ out/touchin’ me, touchin’ you. There’s some familiarity in it—apparently, a lot of touching is going on. Diamond is expressing an intimate relationship toward this Caroline. Now, who is the mysterious Caroline that Diamond calls so “sweet”? You might be shocked to find out that it is actually Caroline Kennedy who is the last and living daughter of the late former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The singer revealed this little known fact in an interview with the Associated Press in 2007. almost 40 years after the song’s release. Diamond saw a picture of Kennedy when she was just nine-years-old, and he about 25-years-old. So…he wrote a song about her. I personally think this is a bit odd and lightly pedophilic but who cares? The song is great.
2004—“Haters”, Hilary Duff
Remember Lizzy McGuire on the Disney Channel? And Parent Trap and Get a Clue? These shows had Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff, two incredibly popular teens, as the starring roles. From their TV and film roles, these two branched out and made their own music. Then, that’s when the feuding began. Duff used to date Aaron Carter, and the world was kind of obsessed with them (They were going to have cute blond babies!). After, he apparently cheated on Duff with Lohan, the two broke up. Duff had a song in her self-titled third album called “Haters”, and it was reported that it was directed right at Lohan. “You’re the queen of superficiality/Keep your lies out of my reality/And when you’re nice it’s just a pose/You’re one of those…You say your boyfriend’s sweet and kind/But you’ve still got your eyes on mine,” Duff had sung in this unusually angst piece. Queen of superficiality? Well, yep, it was about Lohan. Eventually, Duff had the right mind to move on without Carter and is now happily married to Mike Comrie. And Lohan is going back to jail. What a happy ending!
2007–“Hey there Delilah”, Plain White T’s
This song was a band’s shout-out to a lucky girl. A lucky but taken girl. Tom Higgenson, the lead member of Plain White T’s met Delilah DiCrescenzo, a nationally ranked runner, back in 2003, and he was completely enamored. Sad thing was: Delilah already had a boyfriend. Still, Higgenson promised her that he would write a song about her. For a while the song was performed when the band was relatively unknown, but then suddenly, it hit. mainstream and became Billboard’s #1 in July 2009, and teenagers around the world sung along to a song about some girl named Delilah. The two never got together as Delilah still has a boyfriend. Nevertheless, one time, the two went to the Grammys together.
2007—“Sorry, Blame it On Me”, Akon
In April 2007, Akon went to Trinidad and Tobago for a show and performed in a club for people of 21 and older. He met a girl, danced in a sexual manner, which was captured by a photographer, and found out that the girl was actually 15 years old and, to add to the surprise, a preacher’s daughter. The song was an apology in which he sung, “You can blame it on me/ You can blame it on me / You can blame it on me / You can blame it on me”. His apology would have been more effective if he didn’t throw another 15 year old off the stage and into a crowd of people at his show in Fishkill, NY a few months after….
2007–“Love Song”, Sara Bareilles
Before Bareilles became famous with this song, she was relatively unknown and did not have much luck in producing marketable music. Her producers and critics told her that she should write love songs. Their criticism had an opposite effect; instead, Bareilles wrote a song saying, “I’m not gonna write you a love song/’Cause you ask for it/’Cause you need one”, and it was entitled “Love Song”. The song became even more famous with its tongue-in-cheek music video that had Bareilles as a pianist stuck inside a jukebox where customers would come in and request a love song from her. This song was her message of independence and also, her transition to fame; it has been used in many movie soundtracks thereafter.
In the end, this search was actually a bit hard. I looked at the Top Hit List and found songs that had nothing to do with people but were instead about getting “slizzard” and liking “the way you lie”. Perhaps this shows what our generation’s taste in music has become. Regardless, this list might not change your interest in these songs because music does not always revolve around lyrics, as I’ve learned from my music class. More than half of the most popular songs today are probably attractive because of their acoustics rather than lyrics. It doesn’t matter if a song has a particular muse; it is still a work of an artist who wishes to express him/herself.