Misheard Lyrics

How many of you have heard a song once that really spoke to you? Something in the singer’s voice made you identify with them. The melody touched a chord within you and brought up strong emotions. The lyrics were spot on, you couldn’t have said it better yourself…

…and then you discovered that the singer was saying something completely different. Like, you were way off! You thought the band was singing about how fragile and vulnerable we are in this cold universe, but turns out they were examining the virtues of undiluted cocaine. You thought it was “you’re the only one for me”, but it actually was “stabbing people is my favourite pastime”. We’ve all been there, right?

OK, so nobody is ever that wrong, but I’m sure mishearing lyrics is a pretty common occurrence. This is especially true for foreign lyrics. To this day I remember once trying (in vain) to convince my friends in Ukraine that the chorus of Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” was in fact “all that she wants” and not “oh mush you boss”! It didn’t matter that “oh mush you boss” made as much sense as edible diapers. My friends were still convinced that I was the idiot.


Now that Internet is around we have far fewer excuses to ever get the lyrics of a song wrong. The right answer is always a few clicks away. However, the Internet also gave us all a chance to make fun of this phenomenon. Recently a Cracked article pointed me to this objectively terrible video made by a woman to commemorate her wrong interpretation of Rolling Stone’s “Beast Of Burden” (warning, watch at own risk)

The video’s quite impressive in its ability to make just about everything go horribly wrong – from off-key singing to nightmarish computer animations of what appears to be a she-demon.

Other people have turned the idea around and created videos of intentionally misheard lyrics. Here’s one deliberately bizarre interpretation of “O, Fortuna” sent to me by a friend a few days ago:

How about you? Do you have any stories of misheard lyrics from your childhood? Or from, maybe, yesterday?

16 thoughts on “Misheard Lyrics

  1. BakedAlaskaInOr says:

    I need to stop laughing at the videos before I can even think or remember. I’ve just never let nonsence lyrics keep me from singing along. There was Steve Miller band and “Bingo Jed had a light on, and its here where I got to stay. Or don’t carry me too far away.” Who cares if it was really, “a big ole jet airliner.” Who doesn’t remember, “Michelle, my belle, someday monkey won’t play piano song, won’t play piano song.” They just don’t write’em like that anymore. Of course, Jimmy Hendricks, “Excuse me while I kiiss this guy” is a must have. It sure sounds like Pearl Jam is singing, “Sitting butt naked on a porcupine made of concrete.” But probably not.  Oh, I nearly forgot about, “Count the headlice on the highway & Hold me closer Tony Danza.” Then there’s the old classic, “I eatta one ton a mayo” or is it “won ton tomato?” Who knows?  I do know the pizza burnin’ lady will give me nightmares over the tongue thing she did.  This is a very hilarious post. Great job. :)))@NestExpressed 


    •  @BakedAlaskaInOr  Glad you’ve enjoyed the post again :). And wow, you have some serious history with misheard lyrics eh? Monkeys playing piano songs while sitting on porcupine’s made of concrete? If that show doesn’t hit the streets in 2013 I am boycotting all forms of entertainment! Fun fact: pizza burning lady is a human reincarnation of the seven deadly sins…I’m not sure how that works, but I have absolutely no reason to doubt that it’s exactly what she is!


  2. That pizza video was like a train wreck–I knew I should look away, but I couldn’t. And now I really want a pizza. And those three and a half minutes of my life back.
    I don’t mean any disrespect with what I’m about to share, but when I was younger, I thought Johnny River’s song “Secret Agent Man” was “Secret Asian Man.” I won’t admit how old I was when I finally realized the truth…
    Great post as always. 🙂


    • raeme67 says:

       @crubin My husband thought the same thing, I think it is the way Johnny sings “Secret Agent man” in the chorus, sounds like “Asian”.  Of course trying to be a “secret Asian” makes little sense , but sometimes  the lyrics make little sense even if you get them right depending on the song in question.  🙂


      •  @raeme67
         Oh, good. Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂 And yes, when you get down to it, a good number of songs make no sense at all.


    •  @crubin Hehehee oh those secret Asian men – what ARE they up to?! And yeah, that pizza video does something to both your brain and your soul – and none of it is good. Glad you’ve enjoyed the post, thanks for stopping by 🙂


  3. DudeWrite says:

    I know what a prince and lover ought to be…. I can’t tell you the number of times I listened to that and even had a DJ I know slow it down just so we could get it. The number of people who butchered that cannot be counted… And that’s some bread now. I ain’t in my head now.


    •  @DudeWrite Spin Doctors spinning their shady lyrics – who can possibly keep track of them?! Good luck on DudeWrite week 3! Sitting this one out, but hope to make a return in the foreseeable future!


  4. EllaMedler says:

    Hahahaha Ahhhahahahahahaha Heeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheee. I love that version of ‘O, Fortuna’. Can I send some people your way? This stuff MUST be shared!


  5. raeme67 says:

    A friend once thought that Billy Idol’s “Eyes without a face” was in fact “Fries without a shake”.   She sang it that way and   it was in fact quite comical, although that was never her intent.


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