I Mishear Lyrics

‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy


One day, Dave and I were driving home from a trip, and I was suffering the effects of what must’ve been a food-poisoned Burger King shake (so delicious . . . so deadly). I lay fully reclined in my seat, rubbing my grumbling belly and praying for a quick death.

“What a Wonderful World” came on the radio. Now, that’s a beautiful song with lovely lyrics. But whenever I hear Louis Armstrong sing, I just want him to clear his damn throat already. You know, go “EEEEhhhemmmggggg.” Thinking about throat-clearing is unwise when you’re already overly conscious of your gag reflex, but I soon forgot all my gastric misery when Dave asked, “Did he just sing ‘Dogs say good-night'”?


The lyrics are actually “Dark, sacred night,” but isn’t the idea of dogs saying good-night even better and somehow more fitting with the song’s message?

I see skies of blue . . . clouds of white
Bright blessed days . . . dogs say good-night
And I think to myself . . . what a wonderful world

Sigh. Indeed. What a wonderful world it would be if dogs actually said good-night to each other at the end of the day.

Usually with misheard lyrics, you know the version you’re hearing doesn’t make any sense, but once that version gets stuck in your head, that’s the way you hear it forever, leading to such ridiculous mishearings as

Mirrors on the ceiling
Pictures of Jim Rice

instead of

Mirrors on the ceiling.
Pink champagne on ice
(“Hotel California”)


And it’s holy moley in the deep dark night

instead of

Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep, dark night
(“Paradise by the Dashboard Light”)

Then there are those nonsense songs. When you’re dealing with lyrics like this:

Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

you can’t blame people for hearing this:

Ripped up like a douche, another roamer in the night
(“Blinded by the Light”)

These are the actual lyrics:

A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido

But these make as much sense:

I’m a lotto, I’m a find-o, I’m a skater, I’m a beetle!
(“Smells Like Teen Spirit”)

I can’t figure out how people mishear lyrics in songs that are just so obvious. Take the Commodores’ “Brick House,” for example. Who would hear

She’s been pricked

instead of

She’s a brick

and why, in a song titled “Little Red Corvette,” would you hear these lyrics:

Dear Aunt Colette
Why do you move so fast?

instead of these:

Little red Corvette
Baby, you’re much too fast


But my favorite mishearings are those that do kind of make sense in the context of the song—like dogs saying good-night in “What a Wonderful World.” For example. Chrissie Hynde sings in kind of a weird accent. I can’t describe it; you either know or you don’t. Anyway, given her strange way of pronounciating, you can’t blame me for thinking that this line from “Don’t Get Me Wrong”:

Don’t get me wrong
If I split like I defected

sounds more like

Don’t get me wrong
If I spit like a defective

And it kind of makes sense, too, in the context of the song, even tho it’s not terribly politically correct. (Sorry, any defectives out there! I know you don’t all spit!)

More of JD’s Misheard Lyrics

Instead of

The tomahawk and the bow and knife

I hear

The tomahawk and the bowie knife
(“Cherokee People”)

Instead of

All the way the paper bag was on my knee

I hear

All the way the paperback was on my knee
(“Back in the USSR”)

Instead of

No dark sarcasm in the classroom

I hear

No dogs of hazard in the classroom
(“Another Brick in the Wall”)

Instead of

Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there

I hear

Mamas come out of the sky and they stand there

More of Dave’s Misheard Lyrics

Instead of

I blew out my flip flop
Stepped on a pop top

he hears

I blew out my flip flop
Stepped on a Pop Tart

Instead of

If everybody had an ocean
Across the USA

he hears

If everybody had a notion
Across the USA
(“Surfin’ USA”)

What are some of your favorite misheard lyrics?