Song of the Day: “Misunderstood”

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The incredible cacophony of the bridge on Wilco’s definitive ballad “Misunderstood” is all the more striking because of its contrast with the rest of the tender, harmonious song. The brilliance of songwriter Jeff Tweedy is on full display here as the speaker laments his own bad attitude with a self-deprecating tone. A quiet and understated lyricism supports the simple melody, which is brought out beautifully in Wilco’s live acoustic performance of “Misunderstood” for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Tweedy’s sad and uniquely modern worldview is showcased by his signature voice, at times thin and cracked, yet always complex. He sings:

There’s a fortune inside your head
All you touch turns to lead
You think you might just crawl back in bed
The fortune inside your head


Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →