Songs where you misheard the lyrics and like your version better

Started by Kishi the Bad Lampshade, April 10, 2015, 02:30:14 PM

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In Smells Like Teen Spirit, 'Here we are now, imitate us' instead of 'entertain us', which would have been much better.


Always used to hear 'a mosquito' as 'I'm a skater'. Pretty sure that's a common one.

Oops! Wrong Planet

To me "You stand there with your pigskin dress on" still sounds better for Gabriel-era Genesis than "You stand there with your fixed expression".



Peter Gabriel in Games Without Frontiers: "Whistling tunes we piss on the balloons in the jungle".

non capisco

I always misheard the chorus of Elvis Costello's 'Battered Old Bird' as "He's a battered old bird/And he's living in bedevilled love". Bedevilled love, brilliant. A poisonous, detrimental and unrequited obsession. Typical Elv territory, especially on that album. Turns out it's "He's a battered old bird/And he's living up there, oh woh." which is rubbish. Oh woh?! Sticking to my one, cheers, Declan. 'Oh woh', indeed.


Quote from: pigamus on April 14, 2015, 09:44:03 AM
In Smells Like Teen Spirit, 'Here we are now, imitate us' instead of 'entertain us', which would have been much better.

On a related note, we all know about this right?



Quote from: another Mr. Lizard on April 13, 2015, 12:21:39 PM
In 1979 The Undertones were seen by some as being inferior to Stiff Little Fingers in the Irish punk stakes, too frivolous and why oh why didn't they sing about 'the Troubles' or the state of things.

Until 'Get Over You'.

Blistering opening line - "dressed like Thatcher must be living in a different world..." - political, funny, sussed, romantic, socially relevant, all in those few brief words. And showing that Feargal, John, Damien and gang could have a dig at the Establishment every bit as much as any of their rivals.

Or so I believed for some 25 years until I discovered that I'd misheard the lyric...

Reminds me of this misheard lyric from The Clash's 'I Fought The Law' (didn't mishear it this way myself, but read it in a book and vastly prefer it)

'Reagan rots in the hot sun'

That's what they should have sung it as.


Bob Dylan, Desolation Row:

'Well I received your letter yesterday,
about the time Madonna broke'.

Heard this as a kid and I'm not sure I was aware that Madonna wasn't a famous figure when Dylan sang this song. Turns out it's just 'the time the doorknob broke', which sounds banal in comparison, imo.


Listening to a funk compilation on my Ipod, a track came on, and a man started singing about a woman having a 'nasty piece' ('of ass', I assumed). It turned out that the track was called 'Masterpiece' by Clarence Reid, and the Masterpiece in question was their love affair.


Checking back, the one that popped immediately into my head is the one in the OP.

T-Swizz has coined the 21st century version of "Scuse me while I kiss this guy", but which is better - Purple Haze or Blank Space? 

It's the latter, innit.



MK Ultra by Muse. Not a band good at lyrics. I heard this song and thought "Now we're falling" was "Now we're for it", which is quite a funny lyric. In fact the song's lyrics are shit!


Bonnie "Prince" Billy's song I See A Darkness contains a line that has annoyed me since it was released.

"Can you see it's opposition /
Comes rising up sometimes /
That it's dreadful end position /
Comes blacking in my mind."

Depending on where you look online it is "end position," which sort of makes sense or "and position," and even "ante position," none of which make anywhere near as much sense as my simpler preference of "imposition". Johnny Cash appeared to go with "and position" on his cover.

It annoys me almost as much as when I discovered my Dad's friend Reg didn't pronounce his name Reg, but instead went for the frankly camp "Rej". 


Quote from: Serge on September 11, 2015, 10:09:10 AM
Listening to a funk compilation on my Ipod, a track came on, and a man started singing about a woman having a 'nasty piece' ('of ass', I assumed). It turned out that the track was called 'Masterpiece' by Clarence Reid, and the Masterpiece in question was their love affair.

Ironically, 'nasty piece of ass' is exactly the kind of lyric Clarence Reid would use in his day job alter ego persona of X rated proto rapper Blowfly.


Petey Pate

'Cause there's music in the air
And lots of lovin' everywhere
So gimme the knife
Gimme the knife

Dex Sawash

Cos I'm
and I will not fight[nb]I'll win the fight[/nb]
I'm a power load
watch me explode

From 197X when I became aware of that song until a few months ago when someone corrected me.
Im a lover not a fighter though.

Not technically a mishear but I always thought Morrissey was singing "I am the Sun, and the Air" on How Soon Is Now. Not saying it's better but it was years before I realised I was wrong. Thought it seemed uncharacteristically hippyish for a Smiths song.


Ha, I did exactly the same thing. I even justified it to myself. I am the the sun and the air of a shyness that is criminally vulgar. He's saying he gives life to, and sustains, his own shyness. He's owning it. Christ, I was/am a sad fucker.

In New Order's 'Blue Monday', I always thought Sumner was singing 'I see a ship in the harbour/I cannon shallow bay'. I was quite disappointed to learn the much more mundane, subservient truth.


Also on a Smiths tip, I like to sing, 'And in the darkened underpants/I thought oh God my chance has come at last'. Not a mishearing, admittedly, but it adds to the gaiety of nations.

Quote from: Norton Canes on April 10, 2015, 04:43:02 PM
"Under neon loneliness,
Motorcycle emptiness"

What? That's nonsense. What even is 'motorcycle emptiness'?

Whenever I heard it, before reading the lyrics:

"I'm dying of loneliness,
Oh this I call emptiness"

There. Everyone understands.

I always heard 'living life like The Commodores' in the verse of Motorycle Emptiness - it's actually 'comatose' not ' commodores' - I did wonder why Richey Edwards was alluding to the lifestyle of Lionel Richie's smooth balladeers.

Groin strain
Groin strain
Groin strain
And have some fun

The start of 'Groove Is In The Heart', right there folks.


The Jam - That's Entertainment. The line "thinking about your holidays" I for a long time thought was 'thinking metaphorically'  It isn't. It's a shame.

And Tim Buckley's Morning Glory keeps repeating the line ,"at the whole world.' Or so I thought. It was only recently I was disappointed to learn the line is actually, "at the hobo"


I always thought Black Flag's "Room 13" said "it's hard to survive/so no fuckers do it" instead of "don't know if I can do it".

Stoneage Dinosaurs

In John I'm Only Dancing by Bowie, I always thought he squawked "fuck me", rather than "touch me".

Just realised that this is quite a boring observation, but I've typed it up now so I might as well click post.

Also Bowie.

As a child, I misheard 'Making love with his ego' as 'Making love with a seagull'.

Though I'm not sure which one I prefer.


Kate Bush - The Big Sky.

I thought in the first verse she sang,

That cloud, that cloud, looks like diamonds!

When really she sings,

That cloud, that cloud, looks like Ireland!

Which isn't as good.

Although the smile she does in the music video when she sings that bit is adorable, so I'll her off.


Did I kill this thread with my shit ears? I was enjoying this.