5. “Semi Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind
You thought it was about wanting something else to get you through this?
It’s actually about drug addiction! Crystal meth to be exact. Don’t believe me? Read the lyrics which contain a reference to a “crystal myth.”
6. “The One I Love” by R.E.M.
You thought it was about dedicating something to someone you love.
It’s actually about kind of the opposite of that. Peter Buck wrote it as a sort of anti-love song and was surprised when people thought it was romantic. At a certain point he even considered not writing it, because he thought it was too brutal.
7. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day
You thought it was about wishing someone well.
It’s actually about a bad breakup. Singer/songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song about his girlfriend moving to Ecuador, and titled it “Good Riddance” in frustration. Kind of off-putting to play it at a graduation party.
8. “Slide” by The Goo Goo Dolls
You thought it was about sliding into love.
It’s actually about an abortion. Singer Johnny Rzeznik explained to VH1 that the lyrics are about “these two teenage kids, and the girlfriend gets pregnant, and they’re trying to decide … whether she should get an abortion or whether they should get married … and I don’t think a lot of people got that.”
9. “Give it Away” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
You thought it was about having sex.
It’s actually about being nice and generous. No really. Anthony Kiedis wrote in his memoir that the song is about a girlfriend of his who gave him a jacket he liked. “It was such an epiphany that someone would want to give me her favorite thing,” wrote Kiedis. “That stuck with me forever.”
10. “Losing my Religion” by R.E.M.
You thought it was about losing your religion. Duh.
It’s actually about being so in love that you’re going crazy. As Michael Stipe told the New York Times, it’s actually a romantic expression meaning “at the end of ones rope.”