Seven Song Lyrics I Significantly Misheard

There is certainly a special place in music for mishearing song lyrics. What your ear perceives in a verse or chorus may completely change your estimation of the artist or your interpretation of the song, for better or worse. For instance, a good friend of mine thought, and is still convinced, the chorus in Warren Zevon’s 1978 hit single “Werewolves of London” is  “aaaoooooo, there was thunder.” And when it’s played, he’ll say, “Come on! Tell me you don’t hear it!” It can be an extreme let down, like when you find out Elton John isn’t singing “Hold me close, I’m tired of dancing” or when the guys from Creedence Clearwater Revival aren’t actually informing you “There’s a bathroom on the right.” But you know what? Stick to your lyrical convictions like I do. It’s much more fun that way.

Counting Crows—“Mr. Jones”

Actual Lyric: “I wanna be a lion, yeah! Everybody wants to pass as cats.”

My perceived lyric: “I wanna bring in a line, ehh! Everybody wants to pat his castle.”

Madonna—“Ray of Light”

Actual lyric: “And I feel like I just got home.”

My perceived lyric: “And I feel like a disco woman.”

Third Eye Blind—“Semi-Charmed Life”

Actual lyric: Those days you were wearing that velvet dress. You’re the priestess, I must confess. Those little red panties they pass the test. Slides up around the belly, face down on the mattress.”

My perceived lyric: “Those days you were there when I barely dreamt. You’re the greasiest, I must confess. Those littered granny panties, they passed the test. So some one put the pillowcase down on the mattress.”

U2—“Mysterious Ways”

Actual lyric: “She moves in mysterious ways.”

My perceived lyric: “She moves in Cheerio ways.”

Hey, I was six years old. Maybe it was just what I wanted the song to be about.

Sean Paul—“Temperature”

Actual lyric: “The gal dem Schillati, Sean da Paul. Saw me give it to, saw me give it to, saw me give it to, to all girls. Five million and forty naughty shorty, baby girl. All my girls, all my girls, Sean de Paul say.”

My perceived lyric: “The girl don’ steal your chick, from the bar. Summon give to, summon give it to, summon give it to, to all girls. Fight Milan and for thee not show teeth, baby girl. On my grass, on my grass, from the bar say.”

Sean de Paul meets Shakespeare? A far cry, I suppose.

Pearl Jam—“Yellow Ledbetter”

Actual lyric: “And the reason oughta leave her calm I know, I said I know what I wear not the boxer or the bag.”

My perceived lyric: “Andreweesad on a levawagano, I said I dowanawethaboxcaraura bag.”

Electric Light Orchestra—“Evil Woman”

Actual lyric: “Eeeeeeevil woman”

My perceived lyric: “Medieval woman”

Sadly, this one is 100 percent true. It was only a couple of years ago when I found out this song was simply about a downright, mean woman and not about a woman from the Middle Ages. “Evil Woman” came on the car radio as my family and I were going out to dinner. When it got to the chorus, we all sung along. My mom, dad, and sister harmonized the “eeeeevil woman” while I, without skipping a beat, simultaneously sung “medieval woman.” Directly after I uttered those two words, it was as if my dad had suddenly put the car to a screeching halt on the highway. Laughter and finger pointing animatedly ensued. And does every time this song comes on when we are together.

And yes, this is my come on, tell me you don’t hear it song. Play it, and tell me it’s not a better song with that extra syllable.

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13 Comments on “Seven Song Lyrics I Significantly Misheard”

  1. Chelsea Crist
    08.3.11 at 5:20 PM #

    Medieval woman kills me

  2. Jim Adair
    08.3.11 at 8:33 PM #

    Mike Pop thought Coolio’s “Gangstas Paradise” said “can’t stand emotions now” instead of “been spending most our lives”

    I, on the other hand, used to think Fiona Apple said “Im feeling like a crim in a hole” instead of “Feeling like a criminal”

  3. 08.4.11 at 6:22 AM #

    Clearly Bono needs to work on his diction. My husband (a South African, by birth) knew someone in his homeland who mistook “She moves in mysterious ways” for “Shamu, the mysterious whale”.

    Shamu? Cheerios? Can anyone doubt the steady march of American cultural imperialisation? 😉

  4. 08.8.11 at 7:20 PM #

    Skid Row: Eighteen and Life

    Actual Lyric: “18 and life you got it… 18 and life ya know… your crime is time and it’s 18 and life to go”

    Perceived: “18 and ripe good golly, 18 an laugh for no.. You crime is tired …”

  5. 08.15.11 at 12:46 PM #

    haha D-Con…loved this post, can relate all to well with singing very wrong lyrics…confidently.

  6. Gillian Colbert
    09.30.11 at 2:45 PM #

    Oh god! Thanks for the laugh! I loved Mysterious Ways and Medieval Woman!

  7. 09.30.11 at 11:07 PM #

    “Medieval Woman” is better.

    How ’bout a line from Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”?
    actual: I may sink a little drink and shout out “She’s with me!”
    my malapropism: I can sink a little drinkin’ shot of Jimmy Beam.

  8. 10.2.11 at 9:51 AM #

    I have done that with alot of songs. You think it is one way but you find out you find out you were completely wrong!! Especially with Sean Paul’s songs!! LOL

  9. 10.4.11 at 2:02 AM #

    Oh my goodness. Sean Paul’s is too funny. And pat a castle? Ha!
    I gotta make a list of mine too…

  10. Justin
    11.7.11 at 12:09 PM #

    Nice job on the Pearl Jam lyrics.

  11. 01.15.12 at 7:14 PM #

    I totally thought it was “medieval woman!” for the longest time, too!! You’re not alone.


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