Musical Musings… What Does “That” Mean?

What is "that"?

I have a bit of a pet peeve to share…

Ambiguity has its place in music.  It has its place in many places (how’s that for ambiguous).

Songs like (sorry for these weird examples) Michelle Branch’s Everywhere and Matchbox Twenty’s 3AM seem like they could be about relationships with significant others, when in reality hers is about her grandmother and Rob Thomas’ song is about his mom.

But then you’ve got obvious ambiguity.  And by that, I mean songs that use that.  Here are some songs that go out of their way to make it clear that they don’t want to be clear.

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: Clothes shopping together.

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: Change his name, or stop eating so much of his name.

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: Syphilis.

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: Anything but Katie Whitethat’s her name.

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: Some type of feather or shoe?

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: All that.

MY GUESS OF WHAT THAT IS: Slut.

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