How many times have you been to a wedding where “Every Breathe You Take” has been misused as a love song? How many people realize that Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” is about a school shooting? Why did my parents love “Mack the Knife” so much when tells the story of a serial killer?
Major keys and singalong choruses can do a very effective job of masking the real themes and imager of a song.
- “Semi-Charmed Life,” Third Eye Blind: Crystal meth
- “99 Luftballoons,” Nina: Nuclear holocaust
- “A Kiss with a Fist,” Florence + the Machine: Domestic violence.
The Huffington Post has put together a list of 20 such songs. Read up and don’t be fooled again.