Adonis Diaries

Songs: Not meant how you want it to mean?

Posted on: April 19, 2017

That song doesn’t mean what you think

“Mother and Child Reunion,” Paul Simon

People usually think this is about: The intense connection between a mother and her offspring
But it’s really about: Chinese food
Paul Simon’s 1972 tune had a hook that sang of a “strange and mournful day, when the mother and child reunion is only a motion away.” Naturally, most listeners assume that the legend must be speaking on a familial relationship, one that apparently had soured since the reunion was both strange and mournful.
But in reality, Simon was singing about a chicken and egg dish at his local Chinese restaurant. According to Snopes, Simon explained his inspiration in a 1972 interview: “I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown (and) there was a dish called ‘Mother and Child Reunion.’ It’s chicken and eggs. And I said, ‘Oh, I love that title. I gotta use that one.'”

“Bad Reputation,” Joan Jett

People usually think this is about: A general anthem for rebels.
But it’s really about: Joan Jett fighting past rejection.
When Joan Jett declared in the early ’80s that she doesn’t “give a damn about a bad reputation,” she was stating for the record that she wouldn’t let rejection stop her.
Jett originally recorded the song around 1979 as she launched her solo career following the breakdown of her band the Runaways. “A lot of ‘Bad Reputation’ came from comments that people said in the early days of ‘she’ll never make it,'” Jett explained in a 2013 Reddit AMA
While the song was never released as a single, it became iconic anyway as the titular track from Jett’s first solo album — an album she initially had to self-release because 23 record labels turned her down.
“Inspiration comes from all sorts of places,” Jett said. “And you have to decide that it’s not worth all that mental anguish worrying about what other people think.”
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2 Responses to "Songs: Not meant how you want it to mean?"

While the artist might perform the song with the meaning they intend, the listener might have a different feeling altogether. ~ymmv

I wonder what “to hell with the devil” ~styper or “let me put my love into you” ~ac/dc or “wrapped around your finger” ~police would be intending?
As far as the ac/dc song, I think I got that one… or do I? Hmmmm

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