Tag Archives: misheard

333. More Misheard Lyrics ♬

OK, the last misheard lyrics episode was pretty popular and I’ve had several shouts of “more!” from the LEP community, so here we go again!  What’s this all about? Well, first of all it’s a sequel to a previous episode of LEP. That’s #281 “Misheard Lyrics” so you could listen to that before you listen to this. Basically, this episode is all about those moments when you mishear song lyrics.

You might listen to lyrics in songs and for one reason or another completely misunderstand what they’re saying. The most famous example is probably “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, which actually sounds like “Kiss this guy” when in fact he’s singing “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” although Hendrix knew that it sounded ambiguous and he would sometimes sing “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” just to mess with people’s heads.

These misheard lyrics could be due to the way the singers don’t fully pronounce the words, or just the result of connected speech which makes it sound like the singers are singing something else. Or it could just be that I’m looking for weird lyrics when in fact they’re not there, because I enjoy it when it sounds like singers are singing something else.

Everyone experiences it, including native speakers. So if you do mishear song lyrics don’t worry – you’re not alone. Misheard song lyrics is a common phenomenon and misheard lyrics have their own name – mondegreens.

For me, mondegreens or misheard lyrics are  lots of fun because they bring new meanings to a song, often ones which are entirely at odds with the intended message of the song writer. It’s fun to let your imagination run wild and just picture what those misheard  lyrics really  mean.

And if you don’t mishear song lyrics – if you hear them correctly, then that’s great too! It just means your listening is really good.

So let’s go through another list of misheard lyrics! I’m going to play you some song extracts and then we’ll just have fun speculating about what the singer is really singing, and what they actually mean. If you can’t hear the misheard versions, then that’s fine – but you might need to suspend your disbelief a little bit, just for fun.

I will aim to clarify the real lyrics being sung, and you can find all the song and artist titles  of these tunes on the page for this episode.

P.s. There might be some rude content in this episode! Just letting you know…

Themes: Animals, food, people, random stuff.

Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
“Hit me with your pet shark, why don’t you hit me with your pet shark?”
Maybe I don’t want to hit you with my pet shark! What kind of freak are you? First of all, not only is that potentially hazardous to you, but it’s almost certainly going to be fatal to the shark, and I really don’t want to kill my shark just to please you. I mean, I like having a pet shark – it’s a f*cking pet shark for pete’s sake. It’s awesome. So, no, I will not hit you with my pet shark. – And Pat says, “well, you’re just not cool man – I don’t want to hang with a dude who isn’t even prepared to hit me with his pet fish, even if it is a shark. You know, I’m from Hollywood man and there we all hit each other with our pets man, its not big deal. I thought you liked to party – but it turns out you just care about your shark – it’s not even a proper shark man. It’s not a tiger shark or a great white, it’s just some crummy mud shark or a dogfish or something.” And you say, yeah, fair enough Pat, it’s no big deal. Now, do you want a cup of tea? Let’s have a cup of tea and then I’ll hit you with my pet shark. And she says “Now you’re talking! I think I love you” etc.

– real lyric = “hit me with your best shot”

Daft Punk – Get Lucky
“We rub a Mexican monkey” (2m30)
Are you sure it’s legal to rub a mexican monkey? And should you be writing a song about it?
It was certailny a big hit this song about the abuse of an American primate. Everyone really got behind it in the summer of 2014 didn’t they. Every party around the world people are partying and dancing – “yeah! We rub a mexican monkey too!”
Meanwhile, one Mexican monkey is either feeling very happy, or he’s feeling exploited.
This poor mexican monkey, just went to the USA for a chance of a better life, and he fell in with the wrong crowd and some of them are hitting each other with their pets and stuff like that, and then a group of them start playing around with him and rubbing him inappropriately and stuff.

real lyric = “We’re up all night to get lucky”

Alanis Morrisette – You Oughta Know
“It’s not fair to remind me of the cross eyed bear that you gave to me”
You know in arguments you bring up stuff that happened in the past, especially good things that you’ve done, because you think that’s going to win you some points in the argument. For example, if you did something special – like gave your girlfriend a cross eyed bear, it’s going to be hard for her to win the argument, unless she claims that it’s unfair to mention it. That is an argument stopper – because you can’t argue with the gift of a cross eyed bear!

real lyric = “it’s not fair, to remind me, of the cross I bear that you gave to me”

Bob Dylan – Blowing in the Wind
“These ants are my friends”
Ok Bob, random!
(the answer my friend)

David Bowie – Sound and Vision
“Don’t you wonder sometimes, about salmon fishing?”
Occasionally yes David, I do wonder about Salmon fishing. I wonder how they manage to catch so many salmon and yet there are still plenty to go around. Do they just keep the salmon in a big lake and pull them out with a net? How much movement do they get? How much stuff do they put in the water to make the salmon big? Are they using bears? Do the salmon still get to jump up rivers like they don’t know how rivers work?

real lyric = “Don’t you wonder some times, about sound and vision.”

Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious
“I don’t think you’re ready for fish jelly”
No, I’m not ready for fish jelly. It sounds disgusting.

real lyric = “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly” (no idea what that’s about)

Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden
“I’ll never leave (be) your pizza burning”
How romantic.

real lyric = “I’ll never be your beast of burden”

Paul Young – Every Time You Go Away
“Every time you go away you take a piece of meat with you”
Quite a resourceful move. Whenever you leave the house, put some ham or beef in your pocket so you don’t go hungry. Never mind about fruit or veg or bread or one of the other food groups. Just a piece of meat is all you need to snack on.

(me, not meat)

Johnny Nash “I Can See Clearly Now”
“I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone”
Yes, she has been standing right in front of us for too long now.

real lyric = “I can see clearly now the rain has gone”

Shakira – Underneath Your Clothes
“There’s the man I chose, there’s my tellytubbie”
Which tellytubbie is it that she’s in love with? Tinky winky? La la? Dipsy wipsy? Po? Po – that’s it, that’s his name? All the others have double name and he’s just called Po. I mean, what the fuck? Also, what the hell do they have on their heads? One of them has a coat hanger on his head. Is that the scariest kids show ever? It’s like some dystopian post-apocalyptic world in which people have become biomechanical mutants fused with television screens, and they have to go inside regularly to escape the radiation from the sun. And Shakira is in love with one of them?
I’m not sure he’s technically a man.

real lyrics = there’s my territory

Foo Fighters – Hero
“There goes my hero, he’s odd and hairy”
Fair enough. Many of my heroes are odd and hairy. Nothing wrong with being odd and hairy. Jesus was odd and hairy, so was John Lennon, and Bob Marley and Obi Wan Kenobi and Chewbacca and sasquatch and many of the other people I look up to. In fact, Dave Grohl is rather odd and hairy too. Nothing wrong with that lyric.

real lyric = he’s ordinary

The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
“Israeli Men! Halleluia!”
Wow, they really love Israeli men! I wonder what’s so great about Isreali men? They’re hard working, they’re good with money, they have a sense of humour. What’s not to like about Israeli men! I totally get it!

(It’s raining men)

Olivia Newton John – Grease Melody
“You’d better shave Bob, ‘cos I need a man”
This may be one of my favourite misheard lyrics. She really needs a man, so you’d better prepare Bob! Get Bob ready – shave him, grease him up, because she needs a man!

(You’d better shape up)

Metallica – The God That Failed
“Held back by Jimmy Nail, on the garden rail”
Another favourite. I just love the idea that British actor and singer Jimmy Nail is holding you back, on the garden rail too, and that Metallica wrote a song about it. Why is Jimmy Nail holding you back, and in the garden? Maybe there’s been a family argument at a barbecue, and maybe you got into an argument with your brother in law. Perhaps resentment has been boiling over for some time, and you really don’t like the way he talks to your wife or your sister or whatever, and at the barbecue he got drunk and started insulting the family, and you just got furious because you’d had a few too many drinks too and you were ready to punch his teeth down his throat, but Jimmy Nail was there and he’s a reasonable man. He held you back against the garden rail and talked you out of it, in that nice soft Geordie accent he’s got. “Nah man, it’s not worth it man. Leave it man, you just gonna make your life more difficult man. Not now anyway. Wait until later when the kids are asleep man”

(The healing hand held back by the deepened nail. Follow the god that failed.)

Rude Stuff
Moody Blues – Question
“Learn as we grow old the secret of assholes”
Maybe when we are older and wiser we will finally understand the secret of arseholes – why they smell so much, why they itch sometimes and all the other secrets that they contain.

(the secret of our souls)

White Stripes – Blue Orchid
“You got an erection”
***By the way, I’ve just realised that Jack and Meg were a couple, and not brother and sister.***
It sounds like an argument. Jack White seems jealous. Maybe he’s questioning whether you fancy his sister, because he’s quite protective of his sister. You were at band practice and she was on the drums and she’s… well, she’s quite jiggly when she’s on the drums. She’s quite generous, as a drummer and as a woman… if you know what I mean… I mean, she’s got big tits ok? So, you fancy her and you’re at band practice and she’s all jiggly and you’ve had a beer and you’re feeling a bit excited, and Jack says – “Hey man you wanna play bass” and you really do want to play bass and he knows it, but you’re like “No man I think I’ll just stay sitting here on the sofa for a while I don’t really want to play bass right now” and he looks at his sister Meg and then back to you and says “What the fuck dude? We need a bass player – you play bass. You were saying yesterday how much you can’t wait to play bass and now you’re just sitting there the whole time just watching. DO you want to play bass or what?” And you look at Meg for a moment and back to him, “No man, it’s fine I’ll play bass later, I just, I’ll just stay sitting here for a few minutes and then I’ll play bass ok?” Jack seems pissed off but they carry on playing, and Meg keeps playing and she looks at you sometimes and kind of smiles and you definite;y can’t stand up now because she smiled at you and she knows and you know, and Jack knows what’s going on… and then after the band practice, after Meg has left and you and Jack are in the pub, Jack says “Dude, what the fuck man? Why didn’t you play bass earlier – you just stayed in your seat staring at Meg. It’s was so… awkward.” and you’re like, “Whatever man, I just wasn’t feeling it” and he was like, “You just stayed sitting on that sofa the whole time, and you kept looking at Meg while she was playing drums.” and then his eyes widen like he’s realised something, and he says “YOU GOT AN ERECTION! YOU GOT AN ERECTION DIDN’T YOU! I KNEW IT YOU BASTARD! YOU FANCY MY SISTER! Right, you’re out of the band.”
I’m sure that’s what happened.

(Real lyrics = you got a reaction)

Nirvana – Lithium
“I’m so horny, that’s ok my willy’s good”
Sometimes it’s difficult when you’re turned on, like int eh last situation in which you got an erection at the White Stripes band practice and Jack White chucked you out of the band.
But sometimes when you’re with a girl and you’re feeling really horny, it can get embarrassing. If you know you’re going to get it on – sometimes as a man you start to worry about performing, about the performance. you think – I hope I’m able to do this right and it’s not going to be embarrassing. I hope I don’t have any problems in the trouser department. But then you think “That’s ok, my willy’s good!” If your willy is good, it’s probably a relief to realise that. Apparently that was the situation with Kurt Cobain. I’ve always related to him, in so many ways…

Smoking Weed
Fleetwood Mac – You Can Go Your Own Way
“You can grow your own weed”
While technically you can grow your own weed, you probably shouldn’t, because it’s illegal, and it’s hard to get good results – you need the right seed varieties, plenty of sunlight and all that… But generally, don’t do drugs kids, ok?
(You can go your own way)

Beatles – I Wanna Hold your Hand
“I get high”
The whole Beatles meet Bob Dylan and he introduces them to “tea” story.
(I can’t hide)

Random Stuff

Dido – White Flag
“I won’t poke my eyes out and surrender”
No, please don’t do that. It’s absolutely unnecessary. Nobody is asking you to do that.
(I won’t put my hands up and surrender)

N-SYCH – It’s Gonna be Me
“It’s gonna be May”
So, when’s the wedding going to be?
So, when’s the beginning of spring this year?
So, what’s month is it going to be after April this year? “It’s gonna be May” – oh, so the same as usual then?
(It’s gonna be me)

Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
“Wooo hooo dyslexics on fire”
Oh my god – put them out quick! Who set fire to the dyslexics! Why would you do that? Just because they have trouble spelling, it doesn’t mean… No of course you shouldn’t set fire to anyone! Even dyslexic people!
(real lyrics = “this sex is on fire”)

Def Leperd – Pour some sugar on me
“Living like a lover with a red iPhone”
How did they have iPhones back in the 80s. And why does having a red one make you a lover?
(real – Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone) ??

Macy Gray – Try
“I wore goggles when you are not here”
Quite a thing to admit – that when you’re not around I wore googles. Why? Why are you doing that Macy? Is it a fetish or something? To be honest, it wasn’t that clear to me that you’ve been wearing googles when I’m not around. Sure, I did notice those marks around your head and eyes, like lines in your skin that, now that I think of it, look a lot like the outline of a pair of googles, I just always thought you were just weird looking. That’s all it was. I thought that you just had a weird face.
(My world crumbles when you are not here)

281. Misheard Lyrics

Do you ever listen to songs and completely mishear the lyrics? I do it all the time. In fact, everybody does! Let’s listen to some song extracts in which the lyrics don’t quite sound as the singer intended.

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Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
Sounds like: “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy”
The real lyrics: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky”
The connection of ‘this’ and ‘guy’ makes the /g/ and /k/ sound almost exactly the same. In fact, I think “kiss this guy” and “kiss the sky” are identical.

Do you ever do Karaoke, see the song lyrics on the screen and realise you’ve been hearing all the words wrong, all these years? Or do you wonder if maybe the guy who did the karaoke subtitles didn’t have a perfect command of English and misheard all the lyrics?

Well, if you do often mishear lyrics, worry not – it’s really common and it happens to everyone! There are loads of songs like that for me. For years I thought Sting was singing about sausages in this song. Is it just me or is he singing about salami?

Of course, he’s actually singing “So lonely”.

So, let’s listen to some song extracts and try to understand exactly which words are being sung. Let’s see if you mishear them too, and we’ll consider why they might be easy to get wrong.

Misheard Lyrics

Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
Sounds like: “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy”
The real lyrics:
The connection of ‘this’ and ‘guy’ makes the /g/ and /k/ sound almost exactly the same. In fact, I think “kiss this guy” and “kiss the sky” are identical.

Nickleback – How You remind me
Sounds like: “cos little women must have damn near killed you”
The real lyrics: “because livin’ with me must have damn near killed you”
“With me” can sound like “women”. “wi’me”
“Living” can sound like “little” when you remember that the /t/ sounds are often softened in US English.

The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
Sounds like: “I wanna be a door”
Real lyrics: “I wanna be adored”
He’s really keen to be a door. Because the ending of the word trails off, it’s quite easy to imagine he’s not adding a /d/ sound at the end.

Leona Lewis: “Bleeding Love”. (1min)
Sounds like: “You call me your banana”
The real lyrics: ??

Duffy – Mercy
Sounds like: “You got me begging you for birdseed”
The real lyrics: “You got me begging you for mercy”

Eagles – Hotel California
“What a nice surprise, when your rabbit dies” (3.25)
The real lyrics:

Rolling Stones – Start Me Up
Sounds like: “In Yugoslavia you’ll never starve”
The real lyrics: “If you start me up I’ll never stop”

Sister Sledge – We Are Family
“Just let me staple the vicar”
“We’re giving love in a femidom”

Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer
“It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not”
“It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not”
The /m/ in ‘make it’ can quite easily sound like an /n/ sound, and the /t/ in “make it” sounds like a /d/, so there you go…

Billy Ocean – When The Going Gets Tough
“You can go and get stuffed.”
“When the going gets tough.”
The beginning part of the phrase doesn’t work, but “and get stuffed” sounds pretty good!
“Gets tough” sounds almost exactly like “Get stuff”.

Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
“I came in like a rainbow”
“I came in like a wrecking ball”
I think this is because she doesn’t sing it clearly, and the vowel sounds are the same. Also, when you stretch out a note, it’s usually a vowel sound and the consonant sounds might get shortened. Singing it with passion extends the vowels, and the consonants disappear into a slightly ambitious zone.

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Creedence – Bad Moon Rising
“There’s a bathroom on the right.”
“There’s a bad moon on the rise.”
All the vowel sounds are the same. The rest is some imagination or perhaps some connected speech.

Deep Purple – Smoke on the water
“Small cousin Walter, is firing this guy.”
“Smoke on the water, fire in the sky”
There’s another example of “the sky” sounding like “this guy”.
“Fire in” sounds a lot like “firing”
“Smoke on the water” – you need a bit of imagination to hear “Small cousin Walter” but it’s there!

The Cars – Drive
“We can’t go on, thinking, nothing’s wrong – pork pie”
No idea what he’s actually singing…

Michael Jackson – You are not alone
“Your burgers are the best”
Again, I have no idea what he’s on about.

Celine Dion – My Heart does Go On
“I believe that the hot dogs go on”
“I believe that the heart does go on”
We use “does” for emphasis, or to insist something. In this case, it makes it sound like she’s singing about junk food.

Led Zep – Stairway to Heaven
“There’s a wino down the road”
“And as we wind on down the road”
The ‘d’ in “wind on” disappears as the /n/ sound and /d/ sounds fuse together with the same tongue movement.

Seal – A Kiss From A Rose
“and my eyes become lager…”
For me, it just sounds like he’s saying “lager”. I expect he wants to say “larger” but I think it’s definitely “lager”.

Air – All I Need
“Have a wank”
“How do I?”
Ok so she’s actually singing, “How do I?” but just a little bit of imagination for the /k/ at the end, and you’ll never be able to hear this song in the same way again.

Brian Adams – Summer of 69
“I got my first real sex dream”
“I got my first real six string”
Sometimes a /dr/ sound can be similar to a /tr/ sound, especially when they follow a /ks/ sound, like in “six”. So, “six string” can sound like “sex dream”.

Alicia Keys – New York
“New York – Concrete Jungle Wet Dream Tomato”
“Concrete jungle what dreams are made of”
It just sounds like “wet dream tomato” to me. Why is she singing that?

Ray Parker Junior
“Who you gonna call? Those bastards!”
The vowel sounds are pretty similar, and the emphatic way it is said. They all contribute to a funny misunderstanding!

Eiffel 65 – I’m Blue
“I’m blue I will pee on a guy, if I was green I would die.
I think they’re just singing nonsense and the human brain tends to impose order on nonsense, so your brain searches for meaning. This is the closest your brain can come up with. For me, it improves the song immeasurably.

Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
“I’m having a big shit, I’m having a big shit…”
“Another dimension”
The /th/ in “another” can sound like a /v/ sound, and the /shun/ sound in “dimension” can easily sound like “shit”.

Shania Twain – That don’t impress me much (2.20)
“I can’t believe you kiss your cock at night”
“I can’t believe you kiss your car goodnight”
“Car goodnight” can easily sound like “cock at night” because the /g/ of “goodnight” can sound like the /k/ in “cock”, and then “goodnight” sounds like “at night” because of the old /d/ /t/ thing between “good” and “at”.
Anyway, no need to explain it. Just enjoy it!