Singing the wrong lyrics to a song isn’t much of a problem if you are singing in the shower or while driving alone. On the other hand, shouting “Hold me closer Tony Danza” to Elton’s John’s “Tiny Dancer” can be embarrassing in a group. Like it or not, or admit it or not, we’ve all probably done it. Here are some of the more frequently misheard lyrics.
Perhaps at the gold standard of misheard song lyrics is the Jimi Hendrix song from 1967, “Purple Haze”. In the song, Hendrix states “Excuse me, while I kiss the sky.” Of course, the song is classically misheard as “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy.”
Who doesn’t know the song Africa from Toto and later rerecorded by Weezer. While many people sing “I miss the rains down in Africa.” the actual lyrics are “I bless the rains down in Africa.”
The Eurythmics created some confusion in 1983 with their hit “Sweet Dreams”. What they sang was “Sweet Dreams are made of these.” but what many heard and repeated was “Sweet Dreams are made of cheese.”
If you want to get a chuckle from friends, the next time “Like a Virgin” from Madonna comes on the radio, replace ”Like a virgin, touched for the very first time” with “Like a virgin, touched for the 31st time.”
Even the Beatles and Monkees weren’t immune from misheard lyrics. While the Monkees sang “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer.” some turned that into “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.” On “A Hard Day’s Night” The Beatles sang “So why on earth should I moan?” but people heard everything from “So when I let you come home” to “So when I answered the phone.”
In the case of “Don’t Bring Me Down” by The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), truth may be stranger than fiction. Most people will sing “Don’t bring me down, Bruce.” But the song’s writer says the lyrics are actually “Don’t bring me down, groose.” In this case, songwriter Lynne said groose was just a meaningless lyric placeholder that was kept in the song. Intentional misheard lyrics? That’s just not fair.
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