Misheard song lyrics

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People sometimes mishear song lyrics, which is in part due to misunderstood linking, like these examples. The time index is the time point in the song where the misheard lyrics first appear.

Students can try to identify linking and other features in spoken English, and pronounce the correct lyrics together (sing them, if you know the songs). These are sometimes called mondegreens - misheard or misinterpreted lyrics or phrases due to phonetic similarities.

Link Song Time index Original lyrics Misheard as ...
[1] “Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix (1967) 0:49 Excuse me while I kiss the sky → Excuse me while I kiss this guy
[2] “I’m A Believer,” The Monkeys (1967) 0:27 Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer → Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her
[3] “I Can See Clearly Now,” Johnny Nash (1972) 0:07 I can see clearly now, the rain is gone → I can see clearly now, Lorraine is gone
[4] “Bad Moon Rising,” Creedance Clearwater Revival (1969) 0:34 There’s a bad moon on the rise → There’s a bathroom on the right
[5] “Beast of Burden,”[1] Rolling Stones (1978) 0:15 I’ll never be your beast of burden → I’ll never leave your pizza burnin’
[6] “Dancing Queen,” Abba (1976) 0:30 See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen → See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen
[7] “Sweet Dreams,” Eurythmics (1983) 0:08 Sweet dreams are made of these. Who am I to disagree. Travelled the world and the seven seas → Sweet cream is made of cheese, Who am I to disagree, Travelled the world in generic jeans
[8] “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John (1973) 3:00 Hold me closer, tiny dancer → Hold me closer, Tony Danza[2]
[9] “Got my mind set on you,” George Harrison (1987) 0:05 Got my mind set on you → Thought my mom sat on you
[10] “Another Brick in the Wall,” Pink Floyd (1979) 2:39 No dark sarcasm in the classroom → The ducks are hazards in the classroom.
[11] “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Bob Dylan (1963) 0:42 The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind. → The ants are my friends, they’re blowin’ in the wind, The ants are a-blowin’ in the wind.
[12] “Aquarius,” Fifth Dimension (1969) 0:36 This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius → This is the dawning of the age of asparagus
[13] “Losing My Religion,” REM (1991) 1:03 That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight → Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight
[14] “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion (1997) 1:07 I believe that the heart does go on → I believe that the hot dogs go on
[15] “I Can’t Fight This Feeling,” REO Speedwagon (1984) 0:19 I can’t fight this feeling anymore. → I can’t climb this ceiling any more.
[16] “Blinded By the Light,” Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (1976) 0:15 Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

Wrapped up like a douche[3], you know the rumor in the night

[17] “Oh Canada,” Canadian National Anthem 0:52 Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee. → Oh Canada, we stand on cars and freeze.

1 Notes

  1. Beast of burden= an old expression for an animal used for carrying heavy loads or burdens
  2. Tony Danza was a minor TV actor in the 1970s and 1980s.
  3. ‘Deuce’ is an old slang term for a racing car, which can be ‘revved up’ – pressing the gas pedal to increase the engine revolutions and engine noise; ‘douche’ is a feminine hygiene product (피임법의 하나로 하는) 질 세척), and in modern slang, also a vulgar insult.

2 Links

  1. Humor genres
  2. Genres