Excuse Me While I Kiss That Guy

benson111benson111 Eater of Fine Cupcakes
edited February 2009 in History of Rock
We all love to sing along with our favorite songs. We sing in the car, in the shower, and at the karaoke bar. The problem is that half the time we don't know what we're singing. We're making up lyrics as we go along and hoping no one will notice. We presume that our secret is safely buried under the pumping bass coming through the speakers. Or else we're certain that NO ONE really knows the lyrics, so it's cool that we're winging it.

Wrong. Everyone knows. They may not know the exact words, but they know it's definitely not what you're singing. In fact, there's a word for this phenomenon. It's called "mondegreen," and it means "the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase, such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song." (There's a great website called kissthisguy.com that's named after the frequently misheard Hendrix song listed below and is dedicated to the cataloging of mondegreens.)

So now that you've been outed, here are a few favorite misunderstood lyrics. Who was it that said, "No one pays attention to the lyrics?" Well, here's the proof....

TOM PETTY: "American Girl"
What people sing: "That Wonderbra that she was gonna keep"

The actual lyric: "She had one little promise she was gonna keep"

This is the second single from Petty's 1977 debut album. Frankly, Tom mumbles so much when he sings that one could be forgiven for misunderstanding him.


QUEEN: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
What people sing: "Scare a moose, scare a moose, will you do my fan Van Gogh?"
The actual lyric: "Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango?"

Immortalized by everyone from Wayne & Garth to Mig (from "Rock Star: INXS"), Queen's 1975 six-minute single is a lesson in rock grandiosity and made-up lyrics. When the band is coming up with words like "Scaramouche," who can blame someone for writing their own lyrics?

JIMI HENDRIX: "Purple Haze"
What people sing: "Excuse me while I kiss this guy"
The actual lyric: "Excuse me while I kiss the sky"

The granddaddy of famous misunderstood songs, this one has been a joke for over 40 years since its 1967 release. Hendrix said the lyrics were inspired by a dream in which he was walking under the sea. Between the crazy dreams and the crazy stuff running through his veins, Jimi himself probably wasn't sure what he was singing.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: "Blinded by the Light"
What people sing: "Wrapped up like a douche, another loner in the night"
The actual lyric: "Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night"

Springsteen's tune from his debut album is full of inside Jersey references and non sequitur silliness. A listener can misinterpret lyrics for days. It's the '76 Manfred Mann's Earth Band cover that's responsible for the signature mondegreen on this one.



BECK: "Loser"
What people sing: "Someone get the door"
The actual lyric: "Soy un perdedor"

Beck only has himself to blame for going bilingual here. No one was ready for that one in 1994. He started a Spanglish craze.




STONE TEMPLE PILOTS: "Plush"
What people sing: "Where you going with the master plan?"
The actual lyric: "Where ya going with that mask I found?"

Frankly, I like the made-up version better. Stone Temple Pilots could use a little help anyway in the lyric-writing department. There's some questionable stuff going in their songs, aside from the stolen Zep sounds.

Comments

  • benson111benson111 Eater of Fine Cupcakes
    edited February 2009
    This is from a Yahoo Blog, and the Dude actually has the Manfred Mann's Earth Band cover lyrics wrong....Its Revved up like a Deuce..? Duh??
  • instantdeath999instantdeath999 Washed Up
    edited February 2009
    Miranda Cosgrove- Headphones On

    Correct lyric: You would think I didn't want to get paid

    Misheard lyric: You would think I didn't want to get laid.

    I'm seriously tired of hearing this song.
  • Meatwad555Meatwad555 Merch-Table
    edited February 2009
    What the hell? It isn't "Excuse me while I kiss this guy"?

    My world was just turned upside down.
  • Alright_ComputerAlright_Computer Butt Neck
    edited February 2009
    benson111;1957930 said:
    BECK: "Loser"
    What people sing: "Someone get the door"
    The actual lyric: "Soy un perdedor"

    Beck only has himself to blame for going bilingual here. No one was ready for that one in 1994. He started a Spanglish craze.
    So Beck's the reason that muchas, muchas personas speak Spanglish...
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited February 2009
    i always thought the misinterpretation for the springsteen lyrics was "another BONER in the night".
  • HungryfreakHungryfreak Headliner
    edited February 2009
    I usually have some pretty weird ones. For example, the first time I heard "Freebird" and heard the lyrics "If I stay here with you, girl", I thought it was saying "If I stay here in Yugert", as if it was a town or something, haha.
  • supernova1324supernova1324 Headliner
    edited February 2009
    I heard that purple haze lyrc as "Excuse me while kiss that bride." Strange...
  • Cruithne-MoonCruithne-Moon Unsigned
    edited February 2009
    Okay. Here's one where I only learned the right words when singing it in Rock Band.

    In Carry on Wayward Son, toward the end, there's a line which I've always heard, bizarrely, as:

    Surely Hemingway saw you.


    The actual line, I now know, is:

    Surely heaven waits for you.


    Personally, I think my version scans better.:p
  • furious_stylesfurious_styles Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    Hungryfreak;1958409 said:
    I usually have some pretty weird ones. For example, the first time I heard "Freebird" and heard the lyrics "If I stay here with you, girl", I thought it was saying "If I stay here in Yugert", as if it was a town or something, haha.
    I lol'd. Yugert. lmao.
  • wolfbanewolfbane Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    i have heard a few mess ups in my time, these are a few of my favorites

    jet airliner-steve miller band
    correct verse- big ol jet airliner
    winged verse- big ol jet had a light on

    i'd really love you see you tonight-england & coley
    correct verse- i'm not talkin bout movin in
    winged verse- i'm not talkin bout the linen

    rock the casbah-the clash
    correct verse- the sharif dont like it
    winged verse- sherry dont like it
  • aremisaremis Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    What about the biggest of them all

    Styx - Mr. Roboto.

    Correct: Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
    Incorrect: Don't no body got to, Mr. Roboto
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    I don't generally have trouble hearing words, but if I don't know them I just mouth along...
  • Cruithne-MoonCruithne-Moon Unsigned
    edited February 2009
    I have been thinking of writing filk lyrics to some of the Rock Band songs, just to make them more interesting. Of course, I'd have to keep the rhythm the same.
  • HungryfreakHungryfreak Headliner
    edited February 2009
    I feel nerdy for knowing what filk is, haha.
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Hungryfreak;1959188 said:
    I feel nerdy for knowing what filk is, haha.
    I feel like I've just stumbled upon the most ******ed thing ever.
  • StewieStewie Stewie Star
    edited February 2009
    wolfbane;1958862 said:
    i have heard a few mess ups in my time, these are a few of my favorites

    jet airliner-steve miller band
    correct verse- big ol jet airliner
    winged verse- big ol jet had a light on

    i'd really love you see you tonight-england & coley
    correct verse- i'm not talkin bout movin in
    winged verse- i'm not talkin bout the linen

    rock the casbah-the clash
    correct verse- the sharif dont like it
    winged verse- sherry dont like it
    I always thought rock the casbah was sherry you like it.
  • GalacticVirusGalacticVirus Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    A friend of mine told me that she always heard the Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising lyric as "there's a bathroom on the right" instead of "there's a bad moon on the rise"

    Maybe not as well known, but for a while I thought the chorus of Oingo Boingo - Stay said "Wont you stay with me one more day / If we get the room one more night" but it is really "If we get through one more night"
  • Cruithne-MoonCruithne-Moon Unsigned
    edited February 2009
    Lolicat;1959258 said:
    I feel like I've just stumbled upon the most ******ed thing ever.
    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to poison your mind.
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Cruithne-Moon;1959902 said:
    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to poison your mind.
    It's too late. Sorry ain't good enough.
  • spongemonkey95spongemonkey95 Unsigned
    edited February 2009
    Plush - Stone Temple Pilots

    Correct lyric - To find it, to find it, to find it

    Misheard lyric - toboggan, toboggan, toboggan
  • MronoCMronoC Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    The only lyric that comes to mind is from Black Sabbath's "Behind the Wall of Sleep"

    Actual lyric: visions cupped within the flower

    misheard lyric: ...i don't even want to say what I thought Ozzy was singing there...
  • Nitz13Nitz13 Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    One that immediately sticks out in my mind is Space Truckin'
    For the longest time I thought it was "Come home!"
    when they were really singing "Come On!"
    There's a few others but I can't think of them off the top of my head.
  • timmay9timmay9 Washed Up
    edited February 2009
    I actually convinced my mom that Fatboy Slim's song Praise You has the lyric Praise you like a shoe instead of should, because that's how my sister and I used to sing it back when I was a kid.
  • BubBub Generic Person
    edited February 2009
    My dad screwed up the lyrics to "Ocean Size" by Jane's Addiction. My dad screams "Dave Fueller!" when the actual lyrics are "Three, Four!". It's in the very beginning of the song.
  • iNeedXBLiNeedXBL Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    GalacticVirus;1959456 said:
    A friend of mine told me that she always heard the Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising lyric as "there's a bathroom on the right" instead of "there's a bad moon on the rise"
    That misheard lyric was one of the questions on Jeopardy. lmao.
  • koolwankkoolwank Opening Act
    edited February 2009
    My favourite, from the Dutch Idols (right at the beginning of the video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVvBnTvoaRI
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Every Creedence song. In particular, Down on the Corner.

    Actual Lyric: Willie and the Poor boys are playing, bring a nickel, tap your feet.
    Misheard: Ummmm... I can't say. John Fogerty's "Nickel" sounds a lot like a different word to me. :)
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine

    I just thought Bob sang, 'I'll lick your ass', not 'I'll let you pass'.
  • sonicnerd23sonicnerd23 Road Warrior
    edited February 2009
    Megadeth - GM/BF

    Misheard as: The mad destroyer will cut you down!
    Actually: I'm out to destroy and I will cut you down!
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