10 Misheard Lyrics in Famous Songs

misheard lyrics - Michael Jackson, Beat It

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There’s a reason this blog is called Hooks and Harmony and not Hooks and Lyrics; my brain is full of misheard lyrics from even my favorite bands.

I’ve never paid much attention to lyrics, preferring to focus on the musical aspects of songs. (There was that one period when I closely examined every U2 lyric for signs of political and spiritual meaning.) As a result, I’ve tended to mutter over many parts of songs, not caring what the singer was actually trying to say. The result? Tons of misheard lyrics.

It’s not like kissthisguy.com, where people actually get the lyrics wrong. I don’t even bother prescribing words to songs sometimes:

10 Misheard Lyrics from Famous Songs

  1. Jack & Diane – John Cougar
    What I heard: Well deh neh hen Diane gotta run off to the city
    The real words: Well you know, Diane we oughta run off to the city
    Grade: B-. Not too shabby.
  2. Sitting Still – R.E.M.
    What I heard: Up to pie, Katie pie cha kitchens it what not me un
    The real words: Up to par, and Katie buys a kitchen-size, but not me in
    Grade: A- (Michael Stipe mumbled at this point in his career; I think mine makes more sense, too.)
  3. Come On Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runners
    What I heard: Now you’re through (no never), so breyu (no never), Now I must say more than ever
    The real words: You’re grown (so grown up), so grown (so grown up), Now I must say more than ever
    Grade: D
  4. Our House – Madness
    What I heard: I remember weather came and everything was sooner when we would have such a very good time, such a fine time
    The real words: I remember way back then when everything was true and when we would have such a very good time such a fine time
    Grade: C (Even knowing the lyrics now, I still can’t hear them singing that.)
  5. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
    What I heard: This thing called love, geh by, leh no meh no
    The real words: This thing called love, it cries in a cradle all night
    Grade: F. I have no excuses. I didn’t even try.
  6. It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.
    What I heard: Beating up an ox read front no snit the ladder starts to clatter with a beer fight down height
    The real words: Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt, no, strength, the ladder starts to clatter with a fear of height, down, height
    Grade: C (Because it’s Stipe, and the lyrics go by so quickly, but it’s a mark of a true fan to know all the words to this. It’s like memorizing the preamble to the Constitution.)
  7. Little Red Corvette – Prince
    What I heard: A body like yours ought not be in jeans, hurts on the verge of bein’ obscene
    Move over baby, gimme the keys, I’m gonna try to turn you into a love machine
    The real words: A body like yours oughta be in jail ’cause it’s on the verge of bein’ obscene
    Move over baby, gimme the keys, I’m gonna try to tame your little red love machine
    Grade: C. Mumbling would have been better.
  8. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
    What I heard: Spinning on that dizzy egg a distant fay and insta hair
    The real words: Spinning on that dizzy edge I kissed her face and kissed her head
    Grade: D-.I should do better with one of my favorite bands.
  9. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
    What I heard: lu duh ba ga bi strayer te come be nom an do be den
    The real words: Load up on guns Bring your friends, It’s fun to lose and to pretend
    Grade: F. To be fair, Kurt Cobain was the first yawper – that generation of masculine lead singers who muscled their way through a song. Even if it was unintentional, he begat…
  10. With Arms Wide Open – Creed
    What I heard:
    The real words: With arms wide open, Under the sunlight, Welcome to this place, I’ll show you everything
    Grade A+. I have never heard this song all the way through. I count my blessings for that.