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Nobody Knows What They're Saying In Stayin' Alive

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Momo Fali's: Nobody Knows What They're Saying In Stayin' Alive

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nobody Knows What They're Saying In Stayin' Alive

My husband likes to be right. Okay…I do too. But, it seems that whenever we place wagers regarding music knowledge, he always wins.

It started years ago, when he had attended an Aerosmith concert and I asked him if they played "Home Sweet Home". But, what I was actually referring to was the song "Last Child". Just because, “home sweet home” is in the lyrics, doesn't mean it's the title. I lost some money on that one.

After we started dating, we found that we both liked the band Silverchair. Their most popular, ever-present radio song was one that I believed to be called "Fatal Massacre". My husband quickly corrected me saying the title was "Pure Massacre". What? That makes no sense. He may have been right, but Silverchair clearly didn’t see that “fatal” works better than “pure” next to the word “massacre”. And, they call themselves musicians?

This was followed by a discussion of Led Zeppelin’s "Ramble On"…quite possibly my favorite song EVER. My husband told me that the song was based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but I couldn’t figure out how he knew that. When he said that Gollum was mentioned in the song, I went through the lyrics in my head and found no mention of that rotten Hobbit.

But, it turns out that Robert Plant wasn’t singing, “Gaw if that evil one…”, but instead was saying, “Gollum, and the evil one…”. I was wrong again. That's right. I didn't even know the lyrics to my favorite song...or even know what it was really about.

Quite frankly, I have made enough mistakes that I could make this the longest post in all of blogging history.

Of course, I’m not alone. Lots of people screw up song lyrics. At least, that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.

I had a friend in high school who thought the Grateful Dead song titled "Might as Well", was actually called "Minus Twelve". We let him think that for a long time too.

Recently, someone said they misunderstood the song lyrics in "Hotel California". Instead of, “What a nice surprise…” she thought Don Henley was singing, “When your rabbit dies…”

And, who actually knew the correct lyrics in "Blinded by the Light" were, "Revved up like deuce..."? You know you've all said, "Wrapped up like a douche...". Don't lie.

What I’d love to know boys and girls, is what song lyrics have you messed up?

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I think you mean, What song lyrics haven't I messed up?
lol - oh h*ll - I'm right there with Jodi!
When I was a kid, I said "It'll Fire Up" instead of "Elvira" by the Oak Ridge Boys. No one told me for YEARS!

And I sang "Secret Asian Man" instead of "Secret Agent Man".

I even posted about this.
All I know is that Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers were NOT singing about "Ireland's Industry" I thought for 20 years.
Bossy has a whole feature devoted to the lyrics she gets wrong, it's called Sing Along With Bossy. Here is an example using the always impossible to understand band, REM:
Ok...back in the early 80s I bought one of those magazines that had hit song lyrics in it. The lyrics for Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light were said to be "Wrapped up like ADOUCHEN..." and for ALLL these years now, I thought I knew what millions of people didn't - except I didn't know what 'adouchen' meant! I guess those magazines were today's equivalent of some websites that any one can put info on for all to think of as gospel!
Uh, this isn't quite going to fit in with the Aerosmith and Don Henley stuff but I always get hip-hop songs wrong. For years I'd sing "Bottle of Liquor" when Tupac was really telling people to "Pour Out a Little Liquor."
I knew the Manfred Mann one, no problems with it. But back in the day, I thought Garth Brooks song "Friends in Low Places," said "I'm not big on sausage gravy," as opposed to "I'm not big on social graces." Which admittedly did NOT make sense, but hey, I was just out of high school and had never actually HEARD of Garth, so I still think it was an honest mistake.
well, though I have, I can't think of any off the top of my head. Now, my husband...

EVERY song lyric.
I went to see Tesla in around 1994 or 95 and I remember thinking, in my altered state "that's what they are saying". I can't remember what I thought they said but I was mistaken ☺
Pearl Jam - Better Man. Sing along with me here ... "Can't find the butter man..."
Another Pearl Jam- maybe Eddie should work on his ennunciation- Jeremey smokin' grass today- probably because at that time in my life, I was! Little did I know(until the video) that it was the deep meaning "Jeremey spoke in class today".

My daughter asked about Kenny Loggins (a Christmas favorite) Celebrate Me Home- "Mom, why are they celebrating meatballs?" To this day, in our house, it is a Christmas tradition to celebrate meatballs!
I giggled all the way through this. So funny.
I can't think of which ones I've messed up right now, but I know that I have. Thanks for the giggles.
Our family is the other way around. My husband is notorious for making up his own lyrics to songs. It's weird!
You didn't know it was about LOTR? Oh, we might have to break up.

"theeeeere's a bathroom on the right." -- CCR
OMFG! Just this weekend we heard that song "Blinded by the Light" and both me and my husband were singing "Wrapped up like a Douche" and my 8 year old son asked "What's a douche" and I told him it was a bag like thingy that women cleaned their ho-haas with. And he just looked at me and blushed. Shit now I've ruined him forever and that isn't even what the song says!
In high school, my best friend and I were HUGE Adam Ant fans, and we got endless giggles out of the fact that her mom (our English teacher!) thought our favorite song [Stand and Deliver] was actually "Standing in Liver!"
ENJOY!! I did:
That Blinded by the Light one I swear THEY SING THE WRONG LYRICS. Drives me insane. I am married to your husband, but I have learned to no longer bet.
Oh! We mess up constantly! My husband will sing the first line of a song wrong, (For instance he'll start by singing the 5th line) And I'll Say "Oh Damn babe! They went and changed the words on you again!"
Wrapped up like a douche is definitely one that took me years to figure out.

I really hate that song.

There are so many songs that I plain don't know the lyrics, too. I'm okay with just making up my own.
"Big old Jed had a light on"...Don't carry me too far a way....
I know I've screwed up lyrics, but they're escaping me at the moment. I'll keep thinking about it though, and will report back.
It's called Lyricosis and it's a very serious disease. I have it. It's not terminal but it sucks. I've been plagued by it my whole life and I have met many people who also suffer.
There's a name for messing up the lyrics in a song. It's called a mondegreen My husband does it all the time and boy we've had some fun over the years :)
I can't tell you exactly what I have messed up but I can tell you what I haven't messed up and that's any JOHN DENVER songs! That's right!
well the only words i know out of louis louis are : louis and louis.

i have sung my share of 'watermelons'. (i think that's the word you're supposed to sing when you don't know the words...)
The funniest one I've ever heard was my daughter singing, "Take all the cheese and put it in a cheese museum."
Big Yellow Taxi lyrics.
OMG... I get so many, many wrong. My worst offence is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. I have no idea what I sing, but it DEFINITELY is not the real lyrics. But it sounds good.

At least in my head, it sounds good.
Before the hubs and I started dating, we argued for 2 full days on who sang *Dream On*. I, being the always right one, said it was Aerosmith and I don't remember who he said it was but we had to call a radio station to confirm my awesomeness and crown me as the winner! ;op
Well... my wife is always the one that gets the lyrics right, while I slaughter them... I can though say that musically I always get the music right, while my wife on the other hand... So to answer your question...there are too many songs to count where I have screwed up the lyrics.
I am great at song lyrics - usually. My husband always mucks up. And the daughter most definitely takes after him - after discovering last week that she was singing "Kevin has a Place on Earth" (Belinda Carlisle - please note off the childrens CD) I sort of explained about Heaven.

Today she told me she didn't want to die and go to Kevin.
I, on the other hand, have this thing with lyrics: I never ever get them wrong. I'm like that character in the Ben Stiller movie, always singing perfectly, in tune, knowing when the chorus comes in, singing the second vocals... but for this one song, "I get knocked out, but I get up again"... I always got knocked up instead... and my best friend thought "Everybody needs a bosom for pillow" (Brimful of asha, by Cornershop) said "Everybody needs a pushing from below" That one is really good...
The song that goes " It's too late to apologize", my 5 yr old sings, with all sincerity, "It's too late to call the judge". I about wreck the car every time I am laughing so hard. She gets it from me. She also gets her inability to carry a tune in a bucket from me. Poor girl.
Yeah, I pretty much mess them all up! I don't even try anymore. I just make up my own words. :D

My wife corrects me ALL the time. :D
Probably all of them! I love to sing, I'm no good at it but I love to. And then we got a karoake machine "for the girls" and it might have come out sometime while everyone was at school. And I would stop lots of times and say OHHH, that what's they're saying!
I clearly remember messing up a lot of Madonna's lyrics. Then I got wise and started deciphering them with the help of my tape player. Thank God we have the internet now. No more mess ups here!

I'm the lyrics nazi at my house - partly because I used to have this OCD tendancy to read the lyrics as I listened to the songs on my tapes/cds as a kid. Nowadays I have the internet. :D

As a kid though, two that I remember are "Call it...Heather [Heavy] Metal" and I used to sing My Country Tis of Thee , "E-evry Dumb Ring" instead of "Le-et Freedom Ring" - and as I AM a singer - that one got belted out at a school program. Woops!
Hilarious topic!
My husband used to sing "give me a laaaser gun for the road that I must travel" in Kyrie Elason.
And, wrapped up like a douche....what? It's NOT that? ha ha! Thanks for schooling us!
I will continue to sing Wrapped up like a douche .. it makes the song just that much better..haha
Apparently I was a warped kid, since I used to sing "I sure would be delighted with you pumpin' me" in Jailhouse Rock. (You know, the "I sure would be delighted with your company" line?) Yeah, I was waaaay ahead of my time.
There are tons but I can't think of them right now. There is a song Mr B likes that Miss E and M always sing wrong even though they know what it should be.

In the UK there's a show called Never Mind the Buzzcocks. It's a music quiz show with comedians and musicians as the team members. They used to have a round called missing lyrics where they made up words to songs where the lyrics were impossible to work out. It was very funny. :D
"pulling muscles for Michelle".

need I say more?
The only one I can think of is, You don't have to Say you love me by Dusty Springfield, which for years I thought went:

You don't have to say you love me
just because you're mad
OK I went to Ohio State and I always sang 'Hang on Sloppy' as 'Hang on Snoopy'--thankfully that was mostly at 1 am at papa joe's :)
Hey, thanks for the link! Out of all the bazillions of people you know, you picked me as the one most likely to screw up song lyrics. Such a smart cookie!

Anyway, these days I don't hear much that wasn't written by Mother Goose. I thought for years that London Bridge is Burning Down was "London bridges burning down" and wondered how more than one could have caught fire at the same time. Yeah, I know. That's pretty weak...

How about this one? There's a song by Fuel called Hemmorhage. The words to the chorus go "leave love bleeding in my hands" and it sounds exactly like "blee blah blee blah imma haa!" Yep, that one's weak too.

How 'bout the Chumbawumba song Tubthumping? My mom thought that they were singing "I got no job!" when the lyrics actually went, "I get knocked down."

That's all I've got for now. Great topic! I've had a few good laughs over this one.
I'm not alone!!! I'm not alone!!!

Watermelon . . . la, la, la . . . watermelon . . . la, la, la . . .
Hmm, I know I want more cowbell. Revved up like a deuce? Huh? Nah...Brim Full of Asha and Walking in Memphis...always get them wrong.
I can't think of any off the top of my head...but I'm sure there are dozens.

A friend in high school used to mess up lyrics to just about every song. My other friends and I would just let her sing, at the top of her lungs, while the rest of use died of laughter. And she would never let us correct her!
I always thought Kenny Rogers said "four hundred children" instead of "four hungry children" in Lucille.
In the Irish version, Kenny IS singing four hundred children...
Am I the only one who thought of "Don't Forget the Lyrics" while reading this?

And there's just too many I've screwed up to list, but the last line of the chorus for "Karma Chameleon" is NOT "those golden dreams".
not only messed them up, but sang them out at the top of my lungs...!
GREAT post! "I believe in miracles...where you from; you sexy thing?!" For me, this went, "I believe in miracles...wear your bra, you sexy thing!" I may have to link to this one!
Here's another one! Temptation by The Tea Party came on the radio today. When they sing the word "temptation", it's long and drawn out. My 3 year old thought they were singing "let's paint now!"
My sister always sang wrong to the Bee Gee's "How Deep Is Your Love?" Instead of "And you come to me/On a summer breeze" she'd sing "And you come to me/On a submarine!"

My friend's brother sang "Johnny B. Goode" wrong. That log cabin, made of earth and wood? He sang, "There stood a log cabin named Irvin Wood"

I, too, thought Kenny was singing to four hundred children...
You HAVE to go to and add your song mistakes! This was a very funny post!! lol
Ive messed up more lyrics that Id like to admit. least Ive never lost $$ because of it!

Thats too funny
I must've been, like, four or something, but I vaguely remember a song that said something like, "Big ol' jet airliner...don't carry me too far away..."

I never understood it. Thought it said, "Big O, tear that line up."
Didn't understand what the heck that would mean, either, but...

Oh my god where has your blog been all my life?

Big ol Jed left the light on...oh and PUSH IT by Salt n Pepa

Pus say real Good! OMG I about died when I first heard this song and my parents were in the car. I turned beet red.
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