What it’s actually about: This song is about the first time that Hall’s niece used the potty on her own. Unfortunately, the label thought that was a ridiculous premise for a song, so they lied and claimed it was about some girl leaving, or something dumb like that.
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
What it’s actually about: While the lyrics vaguely suggest something far more sexual and taboo between two lovers, Hall admitted that it’s actually about leasing a sports car. “It’s just not financially wise,” he told American Songwriter, “I mean, who on Earth throws away money like that?”
Out of Touch
What it’s actually about: One of the duo’s biggest pop hits of the 80s, “Out of Touch” was written about a girl that Oates dated in 1983. She lost both of her hands in a fireworks accident and then stole his watch, hence “You’re out of touch, I’m out of time.” Shortly after, Hall would become the primary lyricist for the remainder of their relationship.
What it’s actually about: Hall’s longtime girlfriend Sara Evans was more than just a muse, as she also helped the duo with ideas for their songs. For example, she is credited with fixing the chorus to “Maneater” when Hall was first writing it. Naturally, because of her importance to Hall & Oates, “Sara Smile” is attributed to Allen, but it was originally intended to be a jingle for an orthodontist that Oates knew from high school.
What it’s actually about: Hall had an idea for a cartoon about an Army sergeant that was a giant nose, and two other soldiers that were ears, and a bumbling private that was just a pair of eyes, named Private Eyes. This was the theme song that he wrote before he was laughed out of the CBS studios and banned from the lot.
*Hall & Oates have not denied any of these stories, so we should go ahead and assume they are true. And yes, this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever written, but Hall & Oates 4 life, suckers.