It is often the case that while listening to songs, we hear (and subsequently sing) the wrong lyrics. Okay, well, I shouldn't speak for all of you. I guess what I should really say is, it is often the case that I completely screw up the lyrics to almost every song I sing. My children do this as well. Their latest one: "Sandwich You Need to Say" by John Mayer.
"Mom, what does the sandwich need to say?" my daughter asked me today.
I find this specific example of misunderstood lyrics especially ironic, because his song is all about saying what you need to say. And of course since I relate everything back to writing it got me to thinking about books and how many times people might misunderstand our character's intentions or motivations. I often feel very tempted to spell it out for the reader, but then I remind myself that everybody is going to bring their own experiences and emotions with them when they read and that everyone will probably relate to my characters differently. It's all about letting my characters be who they are and hoping that people don't think they are saying "sandwich" when they are really trying to say "say what".