Top 10 Commonly Misheard Lyrics

Mishead Lyrics - Girl with Headphones

Photo: Flickr user carolyn.will

It’s happened to us all. We’re cruising in the car with our best bud, belting out the lyrics to a song, when all of a sudden, our pal bursts into firecrackers of laughter. “What’s so funny?” you ask. “Those aren’t the lyrics!” your friend sputters. Oops. Well, you’re not alone. Want to know what other lyrics people have hilariously misunderstood?

10. “I’m a creep, I’m a widow.” Real lyrics: “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.” From Radiohead’s “Creep.”
9. “You made the rice, I made the gravy.” Real lyrics: “You may be right, I may be crazy.” From Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.”
8. “Possum in a daze.” Real lyrics: “Blossoms in the trees.” Muse’s “Feeling Good.”
7. “You’ve been outright offensive for so long now.” Real lyrics: “You’ve been out riding fences for so long now.” From the Eagles’ “Desperado.”
6. “Red, red wine/Steak, lobster meat.” Real lyrics: “Red, red wine/Stay close to me.” From UB40’s “Red, Red Wine.”
5. “Sunday monkey won’t play piano song.” Real lyrics: “Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble.” From The Beatles’ “Michelle.”
4. “Love is a big, fat quivering slug.” Real lyrics: “Love is a big, fat river in flood.” From Sting’s “Love is Stronger than Justice.”
3. “Olives have feelings.” Real lyrics: “Our lips are sealed.” The Go-Go’s “Our Lips are Sealed.”
2. “I’ll never leave your pizza burning.” Real lyrics: “I’ll never be your beast of burden. From the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden.”
1. “There’s a bathroom on the right.” Real lyrics: “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” From Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.”

‘Fess up – which lyrics have you misheard? We know you’ve got some good ones!


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  1. Avatar
    Nicole (ModCloth) 06/23/2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Ahh! This is amazing!! So good!

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    Jenna 06/23/2010 at 1:18 pm #

    When I was growing up, my dad listened to a lot of Western music, like Roy Rogers. I would have SWORN to you that the song “Here’s Hopin’ ” was called “Ears Open” and that Roy and the gang were telling us that “if you’re trying to outrun that big ol’ setting sun, ears open that you do.” No wonder I never understood Western music.

  3. Avatar
    Stephanie 06/23/2010 at 1:20 pm #

    From my 5 year old daughter:
    “Get outta my way or I’m gonna beat you”
    Real lyrics: “Can get in the way of what I’m feelin.” From Alicia Key’s “No One.”

  4. Avatar
    Laura 06/23/2010 at 1:22 pm #

    For a long, long time I thought the background chorus of “whooooo are you” (from the Who song) was saying “Neeeeew Orleans.” Listen to it again and you’ll see what I mean!

  5. Avatar
    Brian (ModCloth) 06/23/2010 at 1:38 pm #

    “Hold me closer, Tony Danzaaaa”… I was way off. Tiny Dancer, Tiny Dancer!

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    Stephanie 06/23/2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Ha! Those are all so funny. I have 2 for ya…

    “Of the crossed-eyed bear that you gave to me.” Real lyrics: “Of the cross I bear that you gave to me” Alanis Morissette You Outta Know

    “Marcus Swaim” Real lyrics: “walk this way” Aerosmith – it’s kind of an inside thing because it’s my hubby’s name and his sister has claimed those were the lyrics since she was little. But it really does sound like it!!

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    Eia 06/23/2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Don’t forget the classic Jimi Hendrix line: “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”! Years ago I rememer seeing a book called that was basically a collection of misheard lyrics. Awesome stuff.

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    Lisa 06/23/2010 at 2:10 pm #

    “There’s a bathroom on the right.” OMG thats totally what I thought it was! Hahaha….thanks for clearing that up!

  9. Avatar
    Dee 06/23/2010 at 2:11 pm #

    – “Fly away on my cell phone” (fly away on my zephyr– “The Zephyr Song,” Red Hot Chili Peppers)

    I only remember part of my other favorite personally misheard lyrics from Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle”– “elephant, elephant” instead of “everything, everything”.

    • Avatar
      Microbru 10/25/2018 at 7:34 pm #

      OMG, I have been trying to find what that song was, but telling people, “You know, the elephant, elephant song” doesn’t help much!!!

  10. Avatar
    Julie 06/23/2010 at 2:11 pm #

    “Donkey chains, darlin’ donkey chains, thank you for all the joy and pain..” oh – it’s Danke Schoen?! (saw this on a tv show and it made me laugh)

    gotta love Wayne Newton

  11. Avatar
    Vicki 06/23/2010 at 2:19 pm #

    This is great!

  12. Avatar
    Melanie 06/23/2010 at 2:27 pm #

    haha, these are funny, although I can’t say I’ve ever made any of these mistakes.. Beyonce had a song called “Lose my Breath”, and in the chorus she said Can You Keep Up, several times, I always thought she was saying Kenyan People..

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    Mary 06/23/2010 at 2:37 pm #

    The worst of all time is Aerosmith’s line “Dude looks like a lady” that I had assumed for so long was “do it like a lady”

  14. Avatar
    Mandy (ModCloth) 06/23/2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Blinded By the Light.
    I always think its: “Revved up like a douche another roller in the night”
    When really its: “revved up like a deuce,
    another runner in the night”

    yea… haha

  15. Avatar
    Crystal (ModCloth) 06/23/2010 at 2:50 pm #

    awesome post!! i’ve heard that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of easiest songs to mishear. A group of stenographers were tested on typing the lyrics, and everyone in the room created a different version of the song…

  16. Avatar
    Charlotte 06/23/2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Someone I know once misheard the REM song Losing My Religion as “Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight” instead of “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight.”

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    Holly 06/23/2010 at 2:52 pm #

    I once got into an argument with my boyfriend over the Pixies song, “Where Is My Mind?” I was totally convinced that Frank Black was singing, “and there’s nothing in it, an Alaska sound,” rather than “and you’ll ask yourself.” I thought “an Alaska sound” was quite a poetic metaphor for an empty brain – I imagined the roar of a rushing wind ravaging desolate glacial landscapes. Then again, I’ve never been to Alaska, which I’m sure is far less like Antarctica than I imagine it to be…

  18. Avatar
    Susan 06/23/2010 at 2:53 pm #

    “Making carrot biscuits” – real lyrics “Taking care of business”

    i’ve gotta confess, stole this from a (anonymous) friend

  19. Avatar
    Lorna 06/23/2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Definitely Blinded by the Light!!! I always hear “wrapped up like a douche” instead of “revved up like a deuce” and I know at least 5 other people who thought that too!

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    leslie 06/23/2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Macy Gray’s I Try:
    Heard: “I blow bubbles when you are not hear!”
    Actual: “My world crumbles when you are not near!”

  21. Avatar
    Brittany 06/23/2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden

    Until I was 17 (26 now) I thought it said BIG SUBURBAN…..uggghh. So embarrasing.

    Mandy – I also thought Blinding by the Light said, revved up like a douche – but up until about a year ago. took me a little while to catch on to that one : )

  22. Avatar
    Katie 06/23/2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Heard: “We be German”
    Actual: “We be jammin;”

    I only hope Marley can forgive me.

  23. Avatar
    Melissa 06/23/2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Until recently, I thought Alanis was singing about a “cross-eyed baby that you gave to me” (instead of cross I bear) in You Oughta Know.

  24. Avatar
    Christa 06/23/2010 at 3:51 pm #

    for my whole life until like…two years ago i always thought prince’s song “little red corvette” was “baby come back” i personally think my version is much more touching…

  25. Avatar
    Sophie 06/23/2010 at 4:01 pm #

    haha! I actually thought “our lips are sealed” was “I love Cecile” I was like… who’s Cecile??

  26. Avatar
    mimi 06/23/2010 at 4:01 pm #

    In the song ‘ Set fire to the third bar’ by martha wainwright ans snow patrol theres a line that says ‘Of distance dark places’ BUT ive allways heard ‘Ive p***ed in dark places!’ OH DEAR!! listen and im sure yourll see what i mean!

  27. Avatar
    Mia 06/23/2010 at 4:02 pm #

    This post is great! I always sang the correct lyrics for “Felling Good”, but I think I like “possum in a daze” better. I’ll start singing that instead.

  28. Avatar
    Keira 06/23/2010 at 4:06 pm #

    “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you.” When I was little, I asked my mom what that guy did with all that meat! 🙂

  29. Avatar
    Katharine Ellis Tapley 06/23/2010 at 4:37 pm #

    One day I was talking about Christmas songs with a couple of friends. My friend Trish told me how her sister had always thought the lyrics to “Sleigh Ride” were “Let’s take that ropey forrest” (really, it’s “road before us”). While my other friends laughed, I gave a nervous giggle.

    I thought it was “ropey forrest”, too.

  30. Avatar
    Katharine Ellis Tapley 06/23/2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Also, I know how to spell Forest!

  31. Avatar
    Susie 06/23/2010 at 4:51 pm #

    I used to think that Springsteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” was actually “Dead devil in the freezer”, which for some reason made complete sense to me.

  32. Avatar
    Jessica 06/23/2010 at 5:24 pm #

    I too misheard Blinded By the Light. Thought it was “rewed up like a douche.” Glad I’m not the only one.

  33. Avatar
    Genevieve 06/23/2010 at 5:29 pm #

    I always thought in the Gwen Stefani song, they were saying “Sweet as cake, sweet as cake” instead of “Sweet escape sweet escape!”

  34. Avatar
    Zoë 06/23/2010 at 5:37 pm #

    HA HA! My girlfriend always thought it was, “I don’t need a pink suburban” (beast of burden). I like this take, too.

  35. Avatar
    Kaitlyn 06/23/2010 at 6:34 pm #

    blinded by the light! wrapped up like a douche…haha I always thought it said that!

  36. Avatar
    Meredith 06/23/2010 at 10:18 pm #

    10,000 Maniacs version of Peace Train always sounded like “Pee Stain” to me. That and on Blondie’s Heart of Glass the line “If I fear I’m losing you.
    It’s just no good, you teasing like you do” always sounded to me like “You’re cheezy like a dildo”

  37. Avatar
    em 06/23/2010 at 10:37 pm #

    I thought “Love Shack” was “Love Shot” and “You give love a bad name” was “You think love is a battlefield”. until senior year of highschool, when i was belting them out with a bunch of classmates and somebody noticed. i don’t even know how i got the second one.

  38. Avatar
    Myka 06/24/2010 at 12:20 am #

    Once my sister thought that the line “I swear it was in self defense” from I Shot The Sheriff was “I swear that it was salty fresh”

  39. Avatar
    Kaaaate 06/24/2010 at 4:46 am #

    In Chop Suey by system of a down it sounds like ‘Wyd you leave the ketchup on the table?’. I think its really keys upon the table.

  40. Avatar
    Nicole 06/24/2010 at 9:33 am #

    My best friend thought that the world follow in the chorus of Paparazzi by Lady Gaga was “fondle”. She didn’t even question it because, well, it was Lady Gaga.

    “I’m your biggest fan. I’ll fondle you until you love me…”

  41. Avatar
    Erika 06/24/2010 at 9:53 am #

    Rolling Stones- Beast of Burden

    What I hear:

    “Aw yes he does, I can suck a duck”

    What he’s singing:

    “All this sickness, I can suck it up”

  42. Avatar
    Katie 06/24/2010 at 11:12 am #

    I have *totally* heard that on Blinded by the Light, *and* I used to think the Who was singing about New Orleans (not “who are you?”), *AND* I’ve heard Macy Gray sing about blowing bubbles when you are not here.

    The one nobody’s posted yet that I hear, though, is Natalie Merchant’s song “Thank You,” for which I always hear “I want to… vacuum, vacuum. Vacuum, vacuum…”

    And in the song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” I can swear she sings, instead of “later we’ll have some pumpkin pie,” “later we’ll have some f***in’ pie.” Seriously!

  43. Avatar
    Erika 06/24/2010 at 11:40 am #

    Bruce Springsteen “Blinded by the Light”

    What he says:
    “Cut loose like a deuce”

    What I hear:
    “Wrapped up like a douche”

  44. Avatar
    Teresa 06/24/2010 at 12:22 pm #

    for years my dad thought the chorus in the sly and the family stone song “Family Affair” was “It’s a family of bears” not “It’s a family affair.”

    i like my dads version better

  45. Avatar
    Tara 06/24/2010 at 2:17 pm #

    For years I thought the chorus of “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & The Techniques was “I’m gonna eat this pumpkin pie.” But the ultimate is my co-worker, Kelly, who was convinced that in “Benny & The Jets” Elton John was singing, “she’s got electric boobs, her mom does too.”

  46. Avatar
    Danielle 06/24/2010 at 2:37 pm #

    AFI real lyrics: your sins into me
    Lyrics my sister YELLED to the song: YOU’RE SIMPLY TOO LATE

  47. Avatar
    Danielle 06/24/2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Also: I sang along “Drop it like it’s hot” as “pop it like a tire.”

  48. Avatar
    Chuck 06/24/2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Def Leppard’s “Love Bites:”

    I hear “It’s bringin’ me to my knees” as “It’s bigger than Germany.”

  49. Avatar
    Jess 06/24/2010 at 9:52 pm #

    My friend and I always sing the chorus of “Rock Me Amadeus” as “hot potatoes! hot potatoes!” instead of “Amadeus! Amadeus!”

  50. Avatar
    Cupcakemobster 06/25/2010 at 12:42 am #

    That is so awesome! Earlier today I was listening to “Michelle” by the Beatles and was attempting to sing along. At least now I know which words completely fit the tune!

  51. Avatar
    Stephanie 06/25/2010 at 1:53 am #

    In Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nervana I heard “Whip your a** out” instead of “With the lights out.” Haha at least I haven’t sung it out loud.

    Another problem I had was with California Girls by Katy Perry. If you listen to it in the car with the volume a bit low, you can’t understand anything!

  52. Avatar
    Kalli 06/25/2010 at 11:10 am #

    “I wanna be a Menorah King” In reality: I wanna be a minority by Green Day

  53. Avatar
    Kim 06/25/2010 at 12:41 pm #

    when i was little i always used to think in david bowe’s suffragette city it went “chocolate cip city!!” lol

  54. Avatar
    Monica 06/25/2010 at 1:03 pm #

    I found out about this singer not too long ago too, and I love how they put together their videos for the songs!

  55. Avatar
    HollyG 06/25/2010 at 1:33 pm #

    “Hold me closer Tony Danza…count the head lice on the highway.” (Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”)

  56. Avatar
    millia 06/25/2010 at 4:07 pm #

    WOW, really?

    well, when I was in JR high, that Blue song was out, and my friends and I had now idea what they were saying, it was a toss up between “i’m in need of a dime” and “i’m in need of a guy” (i thought the later was a riot, still do to this day)
    so I was rather diaspointer when i found out the lyrics were really simply daba dee daaba dii

  57. Avatar
    emma 06/25/2010 at 4:58 pm #

    ha…i thought Blue was “I’m blue I believe I can fly…”

  58. Avatar
    RachelC 06/25/2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I Hope You Dance: “Don’t let some helping heart leave you butter”
    real lyrics: “Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter”
    Don’t know how I messed that one up, lol. 🙂

  59. Avatar
    RachelC 06/25/2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Oh, and I used to think Colbie Callait’s “Bubbly” used to say “The smell of my toes makes me crinkle my nose” 😉

  60. Avatar
    samantha 06/25/2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Manfred Mann’s Earth Band blinded by the light “revved up like a deuce” I hear “wrapped up like a douche”
    every time I hear this song that is what I hear

  61. Avatar
    steph 06/26/2010 at 1:29 am #

    “She’s got a chicken to ride” instead of the beatles originally intended “ticket to Ride”.

    also: terrible new song on the radio these days, apparently it says “How could you be so heartless?” but friends and I thought it said “horny” and then “hard-ass” before we looked up the right word!

  62. Avatar
    Nat 06/26/2010 at 6:16 am #

    My friend actually thought ‘Ours lips are sealed’ was ‘Alex the seal.’ I still think that would have made a great song!

  63. Avatar
    Kristen Renee 06/26/2010 at 8:49 am #

    Totally thought Alanis was griping about a cross eyed bear in “You Oughta Know” too…

    My grandmother heard “I believe I can die” when the song was “I believe I can fly”. I guess that doesn’t count; she did have hearing problems. But I was 13 so I laughed. Bad me.

  64. Avatar
    Chow 06/26/2010 at 3:15 pm #


    Where It’s At

    Wrong lyrics:

    Sing to the devils in the microphone

    Real lyrics:

    I got two turn table and a microphone

  65. Avatar
    Amanda 06/27/2010 at 2:03 pm #

    In high school, my friends thought the song “Independent Ladies” by Destiny’s Child said “Throw your hands at Batman” instead of “Throw your hands up at me.”

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    Julia 06/27/2010 at 7:27 pm #

    “Olives have feelings” XD

  67. Avatar
    Alexa szotka 06/27/2010 at 10:07 pm #

    haha So one of my dads was instead of
    “little deuce coupe” by the beache boys he said “little blue scoop”

    and then when i was little instead of “Angel is the centerfold” by j. geils band I used to say “Angle is the the centipold”
    so i basically was speaking gibberish hahaha

    I still say it now because me and my dad continue to laugh about it

  68. Avatar
    Jessica 06/28/2010 at 1:55 pm #

    My dad thought the Colbie Callait song “Bubbly” was “mucus my nose the feeling shows” instead of “when you kiss my nose the feeling shows”

    haha gross.

  69. Avatar
    Emmy 06/28/2010 at 2:08 pm #

    “Oh-woah, oh-woah, leave me breakfast!” instead of “Leave me breathless” by the Coors.

    I would prefer my guy leaves me breakfast, actually!

  70. Avatar
    Daniela 07/01/2010 at 2:25 am #

    Oh my… I love it!!!

    to me, bon jovi sang “you give love, a band aid!”

    and from earth wind and fire Devotion, “Deliverance from the fruits of evil” to me is “toma tu Sopita”- translated as eat your soup…lmao

  71. Avatar
    Hannah Elisabeth 07/01/2010 at 1:42 pm #


    i thought for a long time that in purple haze by jimi hendrix he was saying “excuse me while I kiss this guy.” real lyrics: “excuse me while i kiss the sky.”

  72. Avatar
    rachey 07/02/2010 at 7:58 am #

    For the “blue” song, we would always sing “im blue if i was green i would die.”

    And with the song “boys of summer”, my mum always thought the chorus was “after the poison summer is gone” instead of “after the boy of summer is gone”

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