It was the biggest music hit of 1983, sitting at #1 of the U.S charts for 8 weeks straight. The cool and calm sound of Stings voice could be heard on radios everywhere as he sung so sweetly, 'Oh, can't you see...you belong to me. How my poor heart aches with every step you take...'
The song Every Breath You Take
was written by Sting after he had separated from his wife, and yet it was often misinterpreted as a love song. The lead singer of the popular 80's band The Police
was interviewed about the song in 1983, and this is what he had to say;
"I think it's a nasty little song, really rather evil. It's about jealousy and surveillance and ownership.I think the ambiguity is intrinsic in the song however you treat it because the words are so sadistic. On one level, it's a nice long song with the classic relative minor chords, and underneath there's this distasteful character talking about watching every move. I enjoy that ambiguity. I watched Andy Gibb singing it with some girl on TV a couple of weeks ago, very loving, and totally misinterpreting it. (Laughter) I could still hear the words, which aren't about love at all. I pissed myself laughing."
Another extremely popular song from the early 1980's was Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight
. This song created much talk amongst people, and soon an urban legend unfolded regarding the meaning behind it. Although it was quite a great tale, Phil Collins put the stories to rest, stating;
“I don't know what this song is about. When I was writing this I was going through a divorce. And the only thing I can say about it is that it's obviously in anger. It's the angry side, or the bitter side of a separation. So what makes it even more comical is when I hear these stories which started many years ago, particularly in America, of someone come up to me and say, 'Did you really see someone drowning?' I said, 'No, wrong'. And then every time I go back to America the story gets Chinese whispers, it gets more and more elaborate. It's so frustrating, 'cause this is one song out of all the songs probably that I've ever written that I really don't know what it's about, you know?"
So, both of these hit songs, which are still regularly played on the radio today were misinterpreted, and were actually inspired by broken hearts.
If you didn't know the meanings behind these songs and are familiar with them, perhaps give them another listen, and maybe you could even relate.