These Chart Topping Hit Songs Have Wildly Misinterpreted Lyrics

Laura Martin | April 24, 2019 8:07 pm

No, “In The Air Tonight” Does Not Feature A Man Drowning

Phil Collins In Concert At MGM Grand In Las Vegas
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

If you haven’t heard of this theory, you may be wondering where it came from. For years, fans have speculated that Phil Collins’ 1981 single “In The Air Tonight” chronicles Phil (or another man) watching person drown, and not helping. This theory skyrocketed in popularity after Eminem referenced the interpretation in his song “Stan.”

According to Phil Collins, none of that is true. Collins wrote the song during his taxing and heart-wrenching divorce in 1980. He told Rolling Stone that though the lyrics were spontaneous, he poured a lot of his anger and despair into it.