The muses behind great songwriting are often more fickle than we’d like to imagine. For instance, you might be bummed out to realise that your favourite rock and roll tune, the one that’s so iconic it will undoubtedly live forever on classic rock radio, was inspired by something as innocuous as a band member’s favorite brand of soft drink. But since musicians are just like regular people in many ways – aside from having awesome jobs that have nothing to do with tiny cubicles and fluorescent lighting – they sometimes connect with a song they hear on the radio.
Maybe the song so resonated with them that they needed to express those emotions in a tightly crafted chorus. Maybe the song inspired so much anger that they couldn’t wait to hit the recording studio to verbally assault its creator. Or maybe they’ve just been called out for being a terrible human being in a hit song and feel the need to clear their name by writing their own hit song.
Depending on the exact nature of the situation, these are called response songs, answer songs, or diss tracks. And they’re a fascinating look into the interpersonal relationships of musicians.
Here are 9 songs you might not have realised were written as a response to someone else’s song.