Every once in a while I run into a situation where someone is, well, misusing a song. Perhaps the most amusing of these was Kelly Clarkson's "Because Of You", which I heard played at - I kid you not - a wedding reception. I can only assume that they chose it based on the title, since you only have to get to about the second line to figure out that it's not exactly a song about a happy couple in love. ("I will not make the same mistakes that you did. / I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery.") So, yeah, that one was funny.
The one that really drove me up the wall, though, was Bette Midler's "From A Distance". This was years ago, but you probably remember it: it got a lot of airplay, and a lot of people seemed to find it hopeful and inspiring. And every time I heard it, or every time someone mentioned it, I just thought: Did you actually listen to what it's saying?
Here's a sample:
"From a distance we all have enough,
and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease,
no hungry mouths to feed."
And I'm sure that makes all the war orphans, perpetually hungry, and poverty-stricken people of the world feel better.
A bit later in the song:
"From a distance there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.
And it's the hope of hopes, it's the love of loves,
it's the heart of every man."
Yes, it's only when you look closely that you see all the pain and strife and neglect in the world.
And finally, the uplifting conclusion:
"God is watching us from a distance."
So, basically, all these horrible things happen because the Almighty isn't paying close enough attention? And you find this inspiring? I don't care how stirring the melodies are, that's a horrible attempt at theodicy. Please, try again... or better yet, don't.
Feel free to contribute your own examples of misused/abused songs in the comments.