Hearing It Wrong

Ever listen to a song and hear something that was never said? A phrase you thought was one way but it was actually another? Name the song and what you thought you heard. Did realizing the mistake alter your feelings towards the music?


Blinded By the Light - what I heard ‘wrapped up like a douche’.


I plead guilty on hearing “douche” myself. For years.


I maintain that he sang exactly that. (The Manfred Mann version.) He sure didn’t sing “revved up like a deuce” as Springsteen wrote it. Always thought maybe they didn’t have a copy of the sheet music and had to do it all by ear.


How they went with it on the day of the recording?

Somewhat obscure, but there’s a version of the Irish folk song “Star of the County Down” by a group called Enter The Haggis that had a line which goes: “Sure the coaxing elf, I’d to shake meself to be sure I was standing there”. First few times I heard it, I heard: “I’d to shag meself”, not shake.

You can hear a performance of the song here:

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Not music related but I always misheard the catch phrase for Cambot during season 5+ intro as “kill yourself” Instead of “show yourself”

Kind of a big mistake to make!!


Big chunks of Nena’s 99 Red/Luftballoons, because my child’s ears didn’t parse her accent very well. For years I heard such things as “everyone’s a souvenir, and everyone eats Captain Kirk!”

It’s actually “everyone’s a super hero, everyone’s a Captain Kirk!”



I still eagerly look forward to hearing the Brenda Lee version of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree each holiday season.

“Later we’ll have some f**kin’ pie, and we’ll do some caroling.”

I can’t hear it any other way.

Also, this:


Purple Haze by Jimmy Hendrix. I heard “Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy” for the longest time. When actually it’s “Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky.” I’m not alone though. It’s #1 on this list.

Funny cuz this just came up on my greatest hits playlist random play just the other day… “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz. The original lyrics are:

And now you’ve given me, given me
Nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams
Feel like I could run away, run away…
From this empty heart…

but I swear it sounds like:

And now you’ve given me, given me
Nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams
Feel like I’ve got water wings, water wings
In this empty house…

That’s the way I sing it. Alot. They were a mid-level one hit wonder in the late 80’s… but that song drills into your BRAYNE… :brain:


beetlejuice is not my thing…

As a young’n, I misheard “she loves you, and you know that can’t be bad” as “she loves you, and you know black cats be black”…


For a long time I thought the opening line to Madonna’s “Hung Up” was “Time goes by so silly.”

To this day, if I listen for it as the true lyric (“Time goes by so slowly”) it obviously sounds like that, but if I listen for the “silly” version it sounds like she’s clearly singing that.


I have a reverse situation. A friend was trying to parse the lyrics, so I listened and said:

Heavenly bound
cause heaven’s got a number
when she’s spinning me around
Kissing is a colour
her loving is a wild dog
she’s got the look

But he did not care for those lyrics. I think the World Wide Web had to be invented before we could confirm.

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The chorus to “Rocket Man” messed me up for years (I don’t think it’s just me though — I remember seeing a commercial where everyone was singing wildly inaccurate variations of what it sounded like he was saying haha)

Also Toto’s “Africa.” I always thought it went “I guess the rain’s down in Africa” instead of “I bless the rains down in Africa.”

These are just a few of many examples (I may have a bit of an auditory processing problem. Lol) But the worst one is “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. I would always sing the end of the chorus as “Get a load of these Starbucks lovers/they’ll tell you I’m insane.” Which made no sense, of course. It was until just a couple months ago that I learned she actually says Got a long list of ex lovers. 🥲🤦🏻‍♀️


For a long time I thought the opening line of Brown Eyed Girl was “Hey there, amigo”


I always thought it was “I miss the rains down in Africa.” In fact, I learned the correct lyrics about a month ago. :slight_smile:

Bon Jovi’s song “It’s My Life”. I always heard as “Like Frankenstein, I did it my way.” The real words? “Like Frankie said, I did it my way.”

I maintain that my version makes a kind of twisted sense, too. :slight_smile:


It’s much more clear in the original German.

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Also, I prefer “Hold me closer, Tony Danza” so I continue to sing it that way regardless.