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Song Lyrics That Mean Something Wildly Different Than You Thought

One of the most sure-fire ways to make people think you’re smart is to tell them that their interpretation of a popular piece of art — be it a movie, TV show, or song — is wrong. People love to be corrected about the true nature of their favorite work, especially with music. There’s nothing like hearing some song meanings have slipped your grasp while you were out dancing or singing along to them. That feels great.

I’m being facetious, of course. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you missed the point of a song. So why we’re here to help you out. Here are the actual meanings behind some very famous songs. Don’t go to a party where you might have to talk about music without this info! It could save your life!

Okay, maybe not your life. But at least your reputation as a smartypants who understands subtext in pieces of popular culture. And really, what’s more important than that?

Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” feels pretty clear-cut.

“Touched for the very first time.” There it is — the song’s about Madonna relaying the experience of having sex for the first time. Maybe sometimes, a song is just a song?

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