The Misheard Lyrics Thread

  • If this thread already exists, feel free to merge or close.

    We used to have this thread on the old forum, for some reason it went back and forth between the 'Other Bands' sections and the 'Genesis' section, which caused some amount of confusion - let's use this one for any music. :thumbup:

    So I'll start:

    "Annie are you walking with your turtles, are you walking Annie?"
    (Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal)

    "Hey Andy did you hear about the swan?"
    (R.E.M. - Man in the Moon)

    "Relax! Come to West!"
    (Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax)

    I have to add a note to this one, there's a story behind I mentioned years ago on the old forum:

    I had this song on a cassette when I was a little kid and as soon as I got my first English lessons at school (being a non-native speaker) I swear I heard them sing "Relax, come to West, don't you wanna *mumble mumble* come to West?" I really believed this was some Cold War themed phrase, "the Western world is so much more awesome", something like that. So I was really surprised when I first read in a rock encyclopedia about the real content of that song. Homosexuality? I listened again and I heard it as "Relax, come to wet". Until much later in the internet days I saw it's actually "Relax, don't do it". 8o

    Also, as a non-native English speaker, "The Battle of Epping Forest" had a surprising number of German sounding bits. Right before the Reverend part begins, Phil and Peter sing something that appears to be just "lalala" - I heard it as "Oh Liebling!" ("oh darling!"). The first two words of "Georgie moves in on the outside left" made my brain understand something which translates as "idioty mousse".

    And of course, always remember

    "The seat bunny!"

    (Phil talking to the audience on Seconds Out, first few seconds of The Lamb)


  • For me:
    “666 is no longer below” (Supper’s Ready)

    “And God, he’s writing the lyrics, of a brand new tune” (Virtually every live version I’ve ever heard of Supper’s Ready with Phil on lead vocals).

    “Dark hope with fear on its side” (Dodo)

    “Darth Vader, agitator” (Dodo)

    At least half the lyrics to All in a Mouse’s Night.

  • David Gilmour - Cruise (from the About Face album):

    "Cause you know you can always make not more hot milk"

    Dire Straits - Skateaway

    "Fish let a big truck grease her hip"

    Peter Gabriel - Intruder

    "I know something about opening windows indoors"

    "Intruder come and he be smart"

    Edited once, last by Metheny ().

  • There was this song where I always misheard the lyrics as "driver's seat." Obviously. Doesn't make sense, right? It must, of course, be "privacy."

    Do you remember this song? The song begins with the lines "Doing alright, a little jiving on a Saturday night..." and it is called... Driver's Seat.

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.

  • There was this song where I always misheard the lyrics as "driver's seat." Obviously. Doesn't make sense, right? It must, of course, be "privacy."

    Do you remember this song? The song begins with the lines "Doing alright, a little jiving on a Saturday night..." and it is called... Driver's Seat.

    I've got it. It's by Sniff 'n' the Tears. Bad English Pun.


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Return of the Giant Hogweed:

    correct: "made a present of the hogweed to the royal gardens at Kew"

    I heard: "made a present of the hogweed to the royal gardens, thank you"

    correct: "Mighty hogweed is avenged"

    I heard "fighting hogweeds is a bitch"

    Battle of Epping Forest:

    correct: "the Woodstock nation"

    I heard: "the word stagnation"

    The Seat Bunny!

  • I'd Really Love To See You Tonight by England Dan and John Ford Coley:

    I'm not talking 'bout the linen (I'm not talking 'bout moving in)

    There's a warm wind blowing the stars around (There's a warm wind blowing, the stars are out)

    - I was disproportionately annoyed by that one when I believed it was my mis-heard version as I thought it was such a stupid line.

    La Isla Bonita by Madonna:

    Young girls with eyes like potatoes (A young girl with eyes like the desert)

    Last night I dreamt of some pebbles (Last night I dreamt of San Pedro)

    I realise these both sound fanciful. It was an unfocused hearing of it combined with her rather blurred vocal delivery and I didn't think it for long.

    You're So Vain by Carly Simon:

    I had some dreams there were clouds in my coffee (I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee)

    On that last one, I'd thought it was 'my' version since the age of about 7. It was only when I mentioned it to Mrs Backdrifter a couple of years ago that she put me right. I wonder how many other mis-heard lyrics involve incorrectly or non-applied punctuation. For decades I'd wondered about that strange image of clouds in someone's coffee.

    There used to be a website called Kiss This Guy dedicated to supposedly mis-heard lyrics but it seemed to me to be full of entries from people working from the correct lyrics and deciding what they might be mis-heard as. A possible example of that, and since people are of course mentioning Genesis ones, is a guy who said at the end of Supper's Ready he heard "Can't you feel arseholes ignite". I might be doing him a disservice, maybe he genuinely did hear it as that.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • Peter Gabriel: "Games Without Frontiers"

    On first listen in my late teens I heard "She's so popular" (instead of "jeux sans frontier").

    Bad Company: "Rock-n-Roll Fantasy"

    I heard "Here come The Jetsons, 1, 2, 3" (instead of "Here come the jesters 1, 2, 3"). For those who may not know, The Jetsons were a popular Saturday Morning kids cartoon show in the US in the 1960s and 70s.

    Eagles: "Life in the Fast Lane"

    As a young teen when the song came out I heard "The doctor say he's coming, but you got a permanent rash" (instead "you gotta pay him cash").

  • Seven Stones:

    correct: "the changes of no consequence will pick up the reins from nowhere"

    I heard: "the change is of no consequence, we'll pick up the reins from nowhere"

    Get' Em Out By Friday:

    correct: "a block of flats with central heating, I think we're going to find it hard"

    I heard : "a block of flats with central heating, I thing we're going to find it hot"

    correct: "restriction on humanoid height"

    I heard: "restriction on humanoid hide"

    The Seat Bunny!

  • Reelin' In The Years - Steely Dan

    Until I had the album in my collection, I thought the line was

    "Are you gathering up the teas?"

    (As a tea lover, I quite liked the idea of cups of tea being gathered and served).

  • I used to have a book of misheard song lyrics. Some were fanciful, some a bit weird. Two Genesis related entries were:

    Illegal Alien:

    Original: "It's no fun being an illegal alien" becomes, bizarrely,

    Misheard: "It's no fun living in a neon arena."

    (I'm sure it isn't, but I just don't hear that.)

    Invisible Touch:

    Original: "She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah"

    Misheard: "She sees the hat-rack, is she gonna touch it?"

    (Probably a euphemism for something...)

    Two others I've always remembered are:

    Bad Moon Rising:

    Original: "There's a bad moon on the rise"

    Misheard: "There's a bathroom on the right"

    Smoke on the Water:

    Original: "Smoke on the water, fire in the sky"

    Misheard: "Slow motion Walter, fire engine guy"

    (So completely not actually that, but in my head it is now!)