Take Heed, 'Cause I'm a Lyrical Poet

Friday, October 22, 2010

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...


  1. my most classic one is thinking that "hey dirty, baby i got your money don't you worry" was actually "hey denae..." for years I was trying to figure out who denae was. I figured she was a (gasp!) stripper. There are many, many others but this is the most recent offense :)

  2. the song is: got your money
    By: Ol’ Dirty Bastard

    in case you needed it for reference. lol.

  3. Song: "I Want You" by Savage Garden
    Actual lyrics: "Ooh, I want you/I don't know if I need you/But, ooh, I'd die to find out"
    My lyrics: "But, ooh, I'd die to find Hell"

  4. Song: "Blinded by the Light"
    Actual Lyrics: Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.
    My lyrics (and what I swear are the actual lyrics): Blinded by the light! Wrapped up like a douche, da na na na na na na na...

  5. I'm pretty sure every Fallout boy fan has screwed up the lyrics to Sugar, we're going down on the first 10 listens. I mean its not like the words make sense or anything.

    Song: "Nothing Left to Lose" by Mat Kearney
    Actual Lyrics: To a kid from Oregon by way of California
    My Lyrics: Two o'clock for Morgan, by a way of california

    I kept wondering who the hell this Morgan chick was

  6. I have a couple friends who make hilarious lyric flubs. One thought Gaga's "Poker Face" was "Hold Your Face." The other messed up a Pink song fantastically. Instead of, "So what? I'm still a rockstar, I got my rock moves," he sang, "So what? I'm still a rockstar, I got my rock BOOTS."

  7. R.E.M.'s song "Cuyohoga"

    The real lyrics? "We knee-skinned it, you and me..."
    What I hear? "Weenie skinned, it's you and me..."

    Two totally different stories, both of which leave someone injured...one more than the other, but that's their biz.

  8. sycg a stinkin' cute blog! love it!

  9. hahah i love the different songs such a fun idea


  10. The Fall Out Boy one? Mess it up STILL. Even knowing the real lyrics.

    And the wrapped up like a douche one is good, too. ^ : )

  11. Adam would argue for you on the Fallout Boy song- he is convinced it says God complex, too. Supposedly he also has proof to back this up?

    Also, ever since you told me about your Whoomp There it Is lyrics years ago I have wanted to sing them every time I hear it. And does "send the crazy walnuts at us" ring a bell?

  12. I thought it was "Ice Ice Bay, to go". Also, Bryan Adams' song "Cuts like a Knife"...I thought it was "Nice fucking night".

  13. Hilarious! If only I could think of some good ones to put here. I never find out the real lyrics, and since I can't sing, I only warble alone. So no one ever corrects me!

  14. This is hysterical! Love it! I flubbed the Eminem/Rihanna song. I thought it was: I love the way you like, instead of lie. And, I also thought Kokomo was: Port du Prince. I want to catch a quince, instead of glimpse. xoxo

  15. In Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You..."bittersweet memories" and I would sing "bittersweet man Maurice"

    This was, of course, around the same time as Beauty and the Beast where I had learned of the name Maurice. It all made sense to me.

  16. Dude, I totally thought the same for #9 for a long time! It wasn't until I actually looked up the lyrics that I realized my mistake.

    To-may-to, to-mah-to. Same thing, right? ;)

  17. LOL I love this. There's a website dedicated to this (misheardlyrics.com I think?) and it's awesome. "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" instead of "the sky" has got to be pretty up there!

  18. I always thought "hey jealousy" by the Gin Blossoms was "Hey did-you-ever-see?"
    yeah. loved this post btw :)

  19. LOL this is hysterical... my mom always thought Britney's Hit Me Baby One More Time was "kiss me baby one more time"...at that time I was a teen and in full on "hate my parents who embaress me stage". it's been over 10 years and my bro and i still joke w/ her about it haha.

  20. Your Boyz II Men one made me laugh aloud.

    My fav misheard lyric was very VERY recently corrected, and my friend about lost her shit when she heard me sing it. It's from "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You."

    Real lyric: "He brought the woman out of me, so many times, easily."
    My lyric: "He broke a hole into me, so many times, easily."

    Now, is the real one that much less dirty? Not really. Buuuuut ... I remember singing along to this in grade school.

    A close second might be Madonna's immortal "Papa Can't Reach." What, I thought her dad was short!

  21. Haha, these are awesome!
    I am definitely guilty of flubbed lyrics... even more so, since my first language is not English! ;)
    Unfortunately, I can't come up with a good example right now.

  22. Hahahah...I can't think of any, honest that are mine alone. BUT! My mother in law thought FOREVER that, 'Do the Hustle!' was 'Do the Hotdog!'....she will never live that one down...when my husband feels it's necessary(read-all.the.time.) he'll play The Hustle when she walks through the door for visits...LOL....

  23. (I don't know if you'll know this song but it was popular when I was in High School). The song "Mr. Loverman" by Shabba Ranks chorus goes like this:

    "Champion Lover, gonna make you feel alright"

    For the longest time I thought it was "Shock your lover, gonna make you feel alright" (doesn't entirely not make sense...)

    Then, my friend pointed out (when we were in university) that it really sounds like he's saying "CHICKEN LOVER...gonna make you feel alright". So, whenever the song would come up on our pre-game drinking play-list we'd belt out "CHIIIICKENNNNN LOVERRRRR!"

    Now, listening to it again it also sounds like it could be "Chop your Liver".

    (The Video for you. Because it's super ridiculous):


  24. What a fun list of songs; so many of them remind me of the 90s and of me singing really loudly in the car. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  25. HAHAHAHAAHHA omg my sister and I just died at your lyric flubs. Soooo funny. A lot of them are mine too. If I can think of some more I'm totally going to blog a list.

  26. This is totally hilarious! And what? It's not "Whoomp, bad ass!"? My world will never be the same. ;)

  27. I seriously don't know what the F she says in Alejandro, and I'm a huge fan. I make up the lyrics all the time.

  28. Oh crap, I totally attached the wrong video (I FLUB VIDEOS TOO). That's our new Mayor. He's nuts. This is Shabba Ranks:



  29. It's really sad that I know this, but it totally is "a loaded God complex." Unless the Google is wrong... and we all know the Google is never wrong.

  30. Dave Matthew's Band "Crash" - I thought, at one early point in time, that the lyric was "hike up your skirt a little boy" instead of "hike up your skirt a little more."

  31. I too am really bad at knowing the lyrics to songs! I get them wrong or can't even make them out all the time! I am not really a fan of top 40 in my regular life, but I love listening to it in the car and have no idea why. I love rock and alternative, but love bustin' a move in the car to the latest pop song!

  32. My fav lyrics mistake:

    Actual lyrics: "There's a bad moon on the rise"
    My lyrics: "There's a bathroom on the right"

    Seriously, next time you hear that song, listen for "bathroom on the right" and you won't be able to hear anything else but that from then on.

  33. HAHA, I love this. Makes me want to come up with a dance called The Hotdog.

  34. Oh my God the Boyz II Men lyric...true lolz.

    I always thought it was, "They follow each other on a window seat" (Man In The Mirror), "Making Love to Marilyn Manson" (it's supposed to be "Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson" from that song "Get What You Give") and I'm sure there are others but that's all I got right now.


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