Friday, October 22, 2010

Take Heed, 'Cause I'm a Lyrical Poet

I have a new car! The word "new" is a total misnomer, in this case, as the car is actually a '93 & is only new in the "to me" sense & in the sense that my mechanic gave it all new insides before selling it to me.

One of the great joys of having a car again - aside from not having to rely on my mother for transportation, a la 1997 - is listening to the radio. For three years, I've been largely out of the Top 40 loop because no car means no radio time means no Top 40 knowledge. I'm not a total troglodyte: I know heaps of a little Katy Perry, & I can keep up with basic Gaga references, but folks like Rihanna, Eminem & Beyonce had fallen off my radar entirely, & bands like The Ready Set & Neon Animals were, until recently, entirely unheard of.

But now. The car. I'm slowly but painfully remembering that the simultaneous best/worst thing about knowing songs is realizing that I don't actually know them at all. Yes, I'm notorious for my lyrical flubs, but I'm in good company; how long has Ellen DeGeneres been singing "monkey hatchet"?! Here, for your comedic enjoyment, I present you/shamefully admit to you some of my very best:
  1. Song: "Like a Prayer" by Madonna
    Actual lyrics:
    "I hear you call my name, & it feels like home."
    My lyrics: "I hear you call my name, & it feels like fall."
    The implications: Withstanding absolute humiliation at the hands of my two closest friends, who laughed so hard they cried when they first heard me make this now-epic mistake

  2. Song: "Rhythm Divine" by Enrique Iglesias
    Actual lyrics: "All I need is the rhythm divine. Viva la musica, say you'll be mine."
    My lyrics: "All I need is the river divide. Viva la musica, say you'll be mine."
    The implications:
    None. The real lyrics are just as stupid as my mistaken ones.

  3. Song: "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team
    Actual lyrics: "Whoomp, there it is!"
    My lyrics: "Whoomp, bad ass!"
    The implications: Years of my trying to convince, well, basically everyone that this was a valid lyrical mistake for a precocious 9-year-old to make. Listen to the song! The way they pronounce "There it is" is totally suspect.

  4. Song: "Push It" by Salt 'n' Pepa
    Actual lyrics: "Ooh, aah, push it, push it real good!"
    My lyrics: "Ooh, aah, bullshit! Bullshit real good!"
    The implications: Rather than coughing awkwardly in an attempt to cover up this song's overt sexual implications every time it came on the radio while I was with my mom, I spent my childhood coughing to cover up its dirty language instead. The end result is the same, but I feel quite sheepish nonetheless.

  5. Song: "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
    Actual lyrics: "Ice, ice, baby, too cold, too cold."
    My lyrics: "Ice, ice, baby, dig a hole, dig a hole."
    The implications: Admittedly, my lyrics didn't make any sense, unless Vanilla was about to go ice fishing. In which case... spot-on.

  6. Song: "I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men
    Actual lyrics: "I'll make love to you, like you want me to, & I will not let go 'til you tell me to."
    My lyrics: "I'll make love to you, like you want me to, & I will not let go when you tell me to."
    The implications: My simple mistake here - just one little word - would've made this song rape-y rather than romantic. Somehow, I never held it against Boyz II Men. What does that say about me?!

  7. Song: "All My Life" by K-C & JoJo
    Actual lyrics: "You're all I'm thinking of, I praise the Lord above."
    My lyrics:
    "You're all I'm thinking of, I've raised a lot of bull."
    The implications: None, really. I just thought K-C & JoJo were really apologetic & that this line was terribly out of place & oddly worded. Or that the boys were cattle farmers, which is laughable.

  8. Song: "Every Heartbeat" by Amy Grant
    Actual lyrics: "Yeah, sure, maybe I'm on the edge, but I love you baby, & like I said..."
    My lyrics: "Passion, baby, I'm on the edge. For your love, my baby, I play Gossair."
    The implications:
    This song came out in the early '90s, & my cousin & I spent hours listening to the tape. This lyrical mistake - just one of many on the album - left me with a lifetime spent wondering who Gossair was & why no one else was speaking about such a goddamn romantic.

  9. Song: "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" by Fall Out Boy
    Actual lyrics: "A loaded gun complex, cock it & pull it"
    My lyrics: "A loaded God complex, cock it & pull it"
    The implications:
    My lyrical flub makes this the most mistaken song in my friends' & my history - & mine was the least comical mix-up among them. My friend Annie thought the line "I wanna be the friction in your jeans" was "I wanna be the freak shit in your jeans," & my then-boyfriend thought the line "Drop a heart, break a name" was "Trabajar, break a name." Let's just say it was a funny live show when we saw them in concert. (It was free, don't judge me.)
  10. Song: "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga
    Actual lyrics: "She's got both hands in her pocket."
    My lyrics: "She's got gonads in her pocket."
    The implications:
    Suppressed laughter every time the song came on, & a real confusion as to why no one else had commented on the absurdity of this opening line
What lyrics have you flubbed? Please-oh-please make me feel better about myself...
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