People Break Down The Craziest Backstories Behind Popular Songs
Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

Music is an essential part of our beings. Having a soundtrack to our lives helps us mark turning points and eras that changed us forever. And its always fascinating to know the "behind the scenes" to every piece of musical inspiration. Some artists are not shy about the backstory--just look up the love lives of Fleetwood Mac--and some are more evasive. And once we all get into the truth the music tends to resonate even deeper.

Redditor u/blueberriebelle wanted to discuss all the truth that has been revealed for the inspiration behind some the world's best music by asking.... What songs have a really crazy backstory that changed your perception of the song when you found out?

Sara.

baking sara bareilles GIF by Waitress The MusicalGiphy

Sara Bareilles "Love Song" was actually written for her record company when they told her she wouldn't be successful without a hit love song on her album.

Empty_Alternative_94

Came her hoping to see this one. Another in a similar vein is George Michael's Freedom '90 -a giant Mess You to Sony.

mydogdoesntcuddle

Trumbo.

One by Metallica is based on a novel written by Dalton Trumbo. The novel is about a soldier who loses his sight, hearing, language, arms and legs on the battlefield through a landmine. He wishes to die but cannot express this because of his injuries. He asks for help but no one can hear him.

Callmemuddled

Johnny. 

Based off the movie/book "Johnny Get Your Gun". Even showed in the original video. I think the movie should be watched by everyone just to know the importance of a "living will". (even though I'm pretty sure, in the book, they didn't know who he was anyway, so it may not have mattered?)

Edit: Thank you /u/trudenter... it's "Jonny Got His Gun". My bad, all >.<

jaymcbang

Not a Good Time.

Rob Thomas Push GIF by Matchbox TwentyGiphy

Matchbox20 3AM is about his relationship with his mom. I thought it was this song about a girl friend who was endearing in her dark view of the world. Its worse since its his mom.

MrsTurnPage

The VH1 Storytellers clip of this song includes an explanation and the performance brings the crowd to tears. Like many hit 90s singles, the upbeat nature of the recorded arrangement really veil the lyrics. Counting Crows "Mr. Jones" is similar. It's on YouTube, check it out!

chocoboy93

"where do we go now"

Sweet Child O' Mine was thrown together in a few minutes and the "where do we go now" part was improvised because they literally had no ideas where the song went. The song main riff was Slash's hand warmer and the lyrics were a poem Axl had lying around.

Zacoftheaxes

The iconic riff in Sweet Child O' Mine was written because Slash wanted to create something that kinda sounded like an ice cream truck.

ProfessorArrow

The Last

"Save the Last Dance For Me" The songwriter, Doc Pomus, had polio and he married a woman who was a professional actress and dancer. Supposedly he wrote it after watching her dance with other people on their wedding day because he couldn't dance with her properly. Learning that took was was just a sweet song and made it nearly heart wrenching.

Empkat

papa?

Also Alive, is semi-autobiographical by Eddie Vedder. He was raised to believe his step-father was his biological father and had actually met his biological father several times throughout his life, introduced to him as his mother's "friend," but Eddie didn't learn the truth until his biological father died which messed up his worldview.

I assume (hope) the verse about his mother coming onto him is fiction.

HorseMeatSandwich

Who?

American Woman was accidentally created by The Guess Who. The singer was trading records with a collector in a parking lot and he heard the band tuning up and panicked thinking they started without him. He ran up, realized the mistake and started improvising. The band joined in. They found a bootleg later on and decided that their mistake sounded pretty cool.

Zacoftheaxes

So Deep

Not that it's crazy, and the song is clearly about someone facing depression, but Rise Above this by Seether was written by Shaun Morgan for his then depressed brother. Before the song was released, his brother took his life. When the band recorded the music video, it took several attempts because Shaun Morgan kept sobbing. I enjoyed the song before learning that, but now it's difficult to not get sad every time I think about it.

DuncSully

Smile in the face of adversity

music video 90s GIFGiphy

R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People

The title of the track actually comes from the translation of a Chinese propaganda poster from the era of Chairman Mao which read, "Shiny happy people holding hands."

Less than a year before the band wrote the song, in 1989, the Tiananmen Square protests occurred, and it is estimated that around 2,600 pro-democracy protesters were killed by government troops. This event had a huge impact on the band and inspired the song, which was finally released in 1991.

rainbowsforbrunch

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