Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

Yesterday I wrote about mondegreens, which got me thinking about how I don’t really pay good attention to lyrics, period. At least not usually. I mean, there are some songs I know all or most of the words to, but that doesn’t mean I’ve taken the time to really think about what they’re saying. I think that’s why I think those TikTok videos that show people suddenly understanding the words to songs from their younger years are so funny to me.

My husband and I were on a date early in our relationship when the Bryan Adams song, “Run to You” came over the restaurant sound system. “Oh, I love this song!” I exclaimed and proceeded to sing along, “I’m gonna run to you…”

“You know what this song is about right?” my husband asked, looking at me a little bit horrified.

“What? I’m gonna run to you. Obviously, the feeling’s right cuz he’s gonna run all night.” Duh.

“Have you never listened to the other lyrics? This guy’s cheating!” Cue record screeching in my head.

“Wait, what???” Well, it turns out it’s right there in the first lines:

She says her love for me could never die

But that’d change if she ever found out about you and I

That sure put a damper on my enthusiasm for that song.

Fast forward a few years…we’re sitting in a restaurant and the Escape (The Piña Colada Song) came over the sound system. “You know what this song is about don’t you?” I asked my husband. It turns out I do pay attention to lyrics…sometimes.

“Yeah, the husband and wife put out ads to meet other people and end up meeting each other.” He was completely nonchalant–no biggie.

“THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE MEETING OTHER PEOPLE!” I cried. How could he not be infuriated by this?

“They found each other and rekindled their appreciation for each other. It turned out fine!”

“Hmmph!” I stirred my piña colada* and glared at him for a moment until I calmed down. It was just a song after all.

*I heard somewhere you can embellish when you don’t remember all the details. 😉

  1. peacelovecarrie says:

    Plus, it’s more poetic to be stirring a piña colada than looking gloomily into your Coca-cola. Yeah, lyrics can ruin a good song. lol. I have some favorites that I know have lyrics that I don’t agree with and they are still my favorites.

  2. WOWilkinson says:

    I like the embellishment. Thanks for sharing the story.

  3. Trish says:

    I’m always chagrined when my husband, a musician, enlightens me about some lyric I’ve misperceived since…well, a long time. This post struck a chord for me.

  4. I love this post on so many levels. My college roommate used to butcher song lyrics and we used to “do a Kev” and mumble nonsense while singing. We still do that when we get together and he loves it!

    Thanks for bringing back some good memories! 🙂

  5. This is all so true! I find myself really liking certain songs and then realizing that I can’t relate to the lyrics! It is strange how you think about the meaning in your head and then realize the song takes on a whole new meaning!

  6. I sing and mis-sing lyrics all the time. It’s a near classic phenomenon when I discover what the real lyrics actually are. It’s a fun topic and you’ve written about it with such a light, humorous touch.

  7. arjeha says:

    I think there are more songs than we realize that we would be shocked about if re actually listened carefully to the lyrics.

  8. Trina says:

    I love this post! It made me giggle out loud! I often work with my high school students in analyzing song lyrics, and they are always amazed at what songs REALLY say

  9. EugeniaKouts says:

    Now I have to go and listen to “Run to You” LOL I am terrible at paying attention to lyrics and many times I don’t understand the hidden meaning which makes it even worse!

  10. I’m terrible with lyrics! This post made me laugh and taught me what those songs were really about. Rock on.

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