The Most Misheard Lyrics In Rock History

Posted on by Jay Hale

BLINDEDOnce upon a time, in my first job upon landing in Los Angeles, a co-worker once randomly asked “Do you like the Cult?” “Sure!” I replied, having seen them on the Sonic Temple tour not long before relocating. “My favorite song of theirs is ‘Party Woman’!” he exclaimed. “What?” I was momentarily confused. “What are you talking about? Pretty sure they don’t have a song called ‘Party Woman’.” I said, matter-of-factly. “YEAH THEY DO! (sings) Partaaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaay! Smoke she is a’risin’! Partay!” He was dead serious, too. After I regained my composure, I explained the song was actually called “Fire Woman”. I hadn’t thought about that in years until recently, when Seymour Duncan asked readers on Facebook what their favorite misheard lyric was. Suddenly, instant comedy flashback, and a tidal wave of responses. Some of them are at least as, if not even more comical.

Long before anyone with an internet connection could Google a set of song lyrics on a whim, you either waited for the OFFICIAL “song book” (usually piano charts and lyrics), or you guestimated. The problem with guessing, of course, is that unfortunately you have a better chance of being wrong. Probably THE most infamous mishearing of a lyric would have to be Jimi Hendrix’ “Purple Haze.” A timeless rock classic, sure – but what’s that about “‘Scuze me, while I kiss this guy”?

Okay, so apparently it was a running  joke he’d say occasionally, but by all accounts (or the biography I read needs to change its title) the actual lyric is “while I kiss the SKY”. Seems legit. But there are so many other hilarious examples of lyrical misinterpretation, from classic rock to metal and beyond. Duncan readers came up with a ton of them – some too racy to reprint here (but no less hilarious), and some I’d never heard! And to be clear, we’re not talking about “mispronounced” examples, like Iron Butterfly’s singer being so hammered in the studio that “In the Garden of Eden” became “Ina Gadda Da Vida” (which I think you’re supposed to sing with a slur if doing an accurate cover, FYI). We’re talking more er..organically-induced “WHAT did they say?” moments.

Another classic example, whether you’re a fan of the original Bruce Springsteen version or the Manfred Mann’s Earth Band cover, is the line in the chorus of “Blinded by the Light.”  The two examples offered in the Duncan thread are probably the most popular mishearings “Wrapped up like a douche, another odor in the night” or “another rover in the night”. Let’s not even get into the psychology behind why both mishearings incorporate the word “douche”, okay? (It’s actually “duece”.)

TONYOr what about that timeless Creedence Clearwater Revival Classic “There’s a Bathroom on the Right”? Or their murder mystery song “Who Shot Lorraine?” And while we’re on the subject, who ever had a clue what Elton John was singing about, seriously? One minute it’s “Someone shaved my wife tonight” (uh, “Saved My Life” maybe?) and then “Hold me closer, Tony Daaaaaaaaanza!” (“Tiny Dancer” perhaps?) See what I mean? But one thing the Rolling Stones made sure you can be absolutely certain of – Mick Jagger will NEVER leave anyone’s “Pizza Burnin'”!

Wait, what? OK, easy mistake to make. But who, who could forget Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Pet Shark”? Not a very nice thing to do to your (or anyone else’s) pet shark, Pat. Just saying. And hey, speaking of the Cult in the original example, what’s up with that “The dogs lay at your feet, Edie… We caressed your sheep” bit, anyone? Never mind that, no one could ever, possibly forget the mighty Van Halen’s ode to fine women’s wear – “Padded Bra”? could they? I didn’t think so!

How about the Blue Oyster Cult classic where they urged people  “Don’t Fear the Reefer” (so ahead of its time)? Whoever suggested that surely would have loved AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way To The Shop If You Want a Sausage Roll”. Or the classic line in Stone Temple Pilots’ “Interstate Love Song”: “Feelin’ – like a ham and mustard shake.” No wonder a couple of lines later he’s talking about having trouble breathing. Then there’s the Steve Miller classic “Big Ol’ Jed Had A Light On”. The list goes on and on.

What’s YOUR favorite misheard lyric?

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  • John Hellert

    “Take a can of biscuits” by Bachman Turner Over-eat. er Overdrive.

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  • monsterzero

    this is terrible.

    monsterzero did not rate this post.
  • Rob Bethune

    in Jet airliner by the Steve Miller band, i always thought he said “were gunna tear down a lighthouse”

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    • Arno

      well thanks.. that’s all i’m hearing now :p

      Arno did not rate this post.
  • Adrian Smith

    Hamish, the Tambourine Man.

    Adrian Smith did not rate this post.
    • Ga Calford

      Brilliant! lol

      Ga Calford did not rate this post.
  • Richard Nance

    Bee Gees – “bald headed woman…. bald headed woman for me”

    Richard Nance did not rate this post.
    • thrashking666

      Could they be referring to Heather from the Total Drama series after she gets her head shaved (and when she isn’t wearing a wig)?

      thrashking666 did not rate this post.
  • Lou Cifer

    Can’t believe you left out “Don’t let me down, Bruce” in the ELO song… Jeff Lynne was saying groosss, just something he made up… not Bruce.

    Lou Cifer did not rate this post.
    • Jeph

      a) it’s Dont BRING me down (pretty clear if you listen)
      b) the real “Bruce“ is actually Gruß (pronounced gruce or grus) which is German with a similar meaning to “Hey!”

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    • Darryl Kerney

      it was Bruce, the engineer.

      Darryl Kerney did not rate this post.
  • David Mabe

    I know that all the lyric sheets for the Beatles’ song, “Come Together” say “He holds you in his arms, yeah you can feel his disease….” But I swear it still sounds like John is saying “Holds you in his armchair, you can feel his disease…..”

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    • Fern S.

      the armchair one is what it says in my book of Beatle’s guitar chords and what I thought it was, lol.

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    • IggyK

      Pretty sure that’s the lyrics, and you got a bad lyric sheet.

      IggyK did not rate this post.
  • thresholddweller

    “I’ve got …. two chickens to paralyze!”

    (Eddie Money – Two Tickets to Paradise)

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    • Craig Schwarzbek

      Parsites not paralyze.

      Craig Schwarzbek did not rate this post.
  • xbrico

    Might as well face it, your a dick in a glove!!! 😛 Google Mondegreens (apparently thats the proper word for misheard lyrics)

    xbrico did not rate this post.
    • Jeff Eshbaugh

      I was about to suggest the mondegreen reference. Apparently it was a mishearing of an old song with words something like “Laid him on the green” that was misheard as “Lady Mondegreen.”

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  • Mundharp

    “Climb every woman” or is it “I’m every woman”?

    Mundharp did not rate this post.
  • E

    My fiance thought that “dirty deeds done dirt cheap” was “dirty deeds and the Thunder Chief.” HAHA! He’s adorable and I love him so!

    E did not rate this post.
    • Reevo

      For a few years back when i was about 13 i think i believed that for about a week before someone corrected me

      Reevo did not rate this post.
    • Chris Brennan

      thought the same

      Chris Brennan did not rate this post.
      • Marc Stager

        You know her fiance?

        Marc Stager did not rate this post.
        • Olle Isaxon

          Yes, he’s a fine chap.

          Olle Isaxon did not rate this post.
          • Marc Stager

            Isn’t that something worn by a one-legged cowboy?

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    • Kevin

      thought it was dirty deeds done to sheep

      Kevin did not rate this post.
      • Graham Rod

        Hey Macleod get offa my ewe

        Graham Rod did not rate this post.
  • Fern S.

    Charlene don’t like it…robbin’ the cash bar, robbin’ the cash bar…

    Fern S. did not rate this post.
  • http://www.myspace.com/flemingokey ConchRepublican

    Walk like an Egyptian

    “The school kids so sick of school the like to f**k in the middle bed”

    :-)

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  • Arnoo

    dance, boobies never dance…. (boogie wonderland)

    Arnoo did not rate this post.
  • Renee Carter

    Climax Blues Bands song Couldn’t get it right, my husband thought the words were Klepto stealin all my shit in the middle of the night

    Renee Carter did not rate this post.
  • Andy ‘Dweezz’ Hoerzig

    Living on a fish island (fish eye lense) – rush, limelight

    Andy 'Dweezz' Hoerzig did not rate this post.
  • Marcus Wanner

    Hey baby, oh baby, pretty baby, I’m gonna touch your booty now! – Robert Plant (Black Dog)

    Marcus Wanner did not rate this post.
  • Berzerker37

    A guy I went to high school with INSISTED that Van Halen’s “Panama” was actually “Cannonball”. He’d get so mad he’d want to fight. It was hilarious…

    Berzerker37 did not rate this post.
  • PostalJedi

    Free Bird….”I’m a speed-traveling orb, now”

    PostalJedi did not rate this post.
  • Isaac

    A co-worker of mine pointed out “just like a one wing dove” haha Stevie Nicks

    Isaac did not rate this post.
    • Doug Green

      I thought it was, “just like the white ranger…”

      Doug Green did not rate this post.
  • john

    Hit me with your pet shark? No wonder our singer looks at me weird when I do the background vocal as “you sleep on the wet spot”…..

    john did not rate this post.
  • Peggy

    My cousins thought it was “Pike in the bass lane” Eagles life in the fast lane…hahaha

    Peggy did not rate this post.
    • mrz80

      WHAT? My little bitty brain just imploded from THAT one :)

      mrz80 did not rate this post.
  • Sir Taffey

    A metal band called This or the Apocalypse, in the song Hell Praiser he says “Welcome to America, more wealth per capita” But I heard it as “Welcome to America, more milk than Canada

    Sir Taffey did not rate this post.
  • Leigh Taylor

    LOBO – “Me And You And a Dog Named Boo” (second half of the chorus).
    Me and you and a dog named boo – how I love being a female

    Leigh Taylor did not rate this post.
  • Richard Bonn

    The Rolling Stones, ” I saw a rickshaw and I want to paint it black “.

    Richard Bonn did not rate this post.
  • Joe Rock

    “Creamer. I’m just a coffee creamer…”

    Joe Rock did not rate this post.
  • Joe Rock

    “Doughnuts make my brown eyes blue”

    Joe Rock did not rate this post.
  • Marco

    While many like to think otherwise the end of Queen’s One Vision does in fact end with “gimme, gimme, gimme, fried chicken”. My favorite ‘misheard’ lyric, that isn’t misheard. As for real ‘misheard lyrics, my favorite has to go to Prince’s Baby I’m a Star….”Might not know it now, baby Imma Toyota, Imma car!”

    Marco did not rate this post.
  • Kerrie

    “Lets pee in the corner…..lets pee in the spotlight…losing my religion”

    Kerrie did not rate this post.
  • Kerrie

    “I’m also evil…I’m also into cats”

    Kerrie did not rate this post.
  • ItGeekBoy

    CCR’s – “Who saw Lorraine on Sunny D”
    The Who – “Let Milo Open the Door” …. that is your’s Grant A.

    ItGeekBoy did not rate this post.
    • Yada Yada Dada

      That’s Pete Townsend sans the Who, From “Empty Glass”…

      Yada Yada Dada did not rate this post.
  • Craig Schwarzbek

    Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love,”Might as well face it I’m a d**khead on drugs”.

    Craig Schwarzbek did not rate this post.
  • Ian Gordon

    “I Think I Smell A Rat” by the White Stripes actually sounds like “I Think I Smell Alright” In the recording.

    Ian Gordon did not rate this post.
  • GParty

    Creedence cover of “I Hurdled through the Grape Vine”

    GParty did not rate this post.
  • Shamus Olarry

    In “Rock Me, Amadeus”, it sounds like he’s saying “hot potatoes” over and over again.

    Shamus Olarry did not rate this post.
  • Ozzie

    “A gathering of angels are peeing above my head…” from “Come Sail Away” by Styx, lol…

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  • marlon

    Bon Jovi You give love a band-aid

    marlon did not rate this post.
  • Stefan Hansson

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg5_mlQOsUQ

    Stefan Hansson did not rate this post.
  • England Dan & John Ford Coley

    I’m not talking ’bout the linen

    England Dan & John Ford Coley did not rate this post.
  • kentlfc

    “With Bert the Shed is a lonely view” from RHCP’s Scar Tissue!

    kentlfc did not rate this post.
  • Gregory Rowe

    How about “Odor of bologna farts” (Owner of a lonely heart) lol

    Gregory Rowe did not rate this post.
  • Jody

    Always thought Meatloaf was singing Don’t feel bad, cause You’ve Gotta Free Bed

    Jody did not rate this post.
  • EddieFan@mailinator.com

    Pearl Jam’s the ultimate band for misheard lyrics due to Eddie Vedder’s singing style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLd22ha_-VU

    EddieFan@mailinator.com did not rate this post.
  • Doy Bowers

    One of my all time favorites is the infamous Gary Wright hit from the ’70’s “Jim Weaver”!!! (or was it Dream Weaver?)

    Doy Bowers did not rate this post.
  • mesatone01

    .38 Special Hold on Lucy
    “Don’t hold too tight now.. You might lose a toe”

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    • Mama Squatch.

      And it’s hold on loosely not Lucy. Lol…

      Mama Squatch. did not rate this post.
  • http://www.johnnybeane.com/ johnnybeane

    I play guitar.
    I don’t even know the lyrics.
    I just listen for the key words before the chorus.

    johnnybeane did not rate this post.
    • Labrat

      That!

      Labrat did not rate this post.
  • Mikias Sisay

    Motorbreath by Metallica – The third line in the second verse sounds like “Eating your pizza and shooting the lights” while it’s in fact “getting your kicks and shooting the lights.”

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  • Name

    Speaking of STP, here’s one I encountered on a very first encounter when they first got famous in 1993. I forgot the song’s name but the refrain goes something like: “Where you gone for tomorrow…where you gone when you masturbate…(or when your master found)”.

    Name did not rate this post.
    • IggyK

      The song is Plush

      IggyK did not rate this post.
  • Sandow Sinai

    Meshuggah’s Rational Gaze “Our light induced image of truth filtered blank of its substance”, or as I hear it “I like juice, finish your juice, it’s a vitamin substance!”

    Sandow Sinai did not rate this post.
  • darryl

    CCR theres a bathroom on the right -bad moon on the rise

    darryl did not rate this post.
  • IggyK

    Still love the opening to Black by Pearl Jam which was ruined by a misheard lyrics video. “Sheeps on empty canvas, under cheese souffleeeaaaeeaayaaaa”

    IggyK did not rate this post.
  • Kevin

    sweet dreams are made of cheese- annie lennox , Dirty deeds done to sheep- AC/DC

    Kevin did not rate this post.
    • mrz80

      This crops up everywhere – restaurant menus and signboards, t-shirts…

      mrz80 did not rate this post.
  • Gazdgod

    Mt friend knows someone who thought “I’m blue, bada be bada die”, was “I’m blue and I could beat off a guy”…

    Gazdgod did not rate this post.
  • RxCowboy

    My (now ex) Sister-in-law, “Every girl crazy ’bout a shark man man.”

    RxCowboy did not rate this post.
  • Leo

    Ultimate misheard ear-worm… ‘Neville’s island’ by Megadeth. :)

    Leo did not rate this post.
  • Davo

    Mick Jagger – “I’ve never seen your feet so dirty”
    Great White – “One spit and dry shine baby”

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  • Doug Dash

    “I”m up on Mexican lucky.” instead of “I’m up all night to get lucky.”

    Doug Dash did not rate this post.
  • Digestive Pyrotechnics

    see these misheard lyrics, hilarious and has illustrations:

    http://digestivepyrotechnics.blogspot.com/2014/06/21-hilarious-misheard-songs-with.html

    Digestive Pyrotechnics did not rate this post.
  • Danny Uzilevsky

    Slow Motion Walter ( And Fire Engine Guy ) – Deep Purple

    Danny Uzilevsky did not rate this post.
  • Alex

    “I like juice. Finish your juice. Filtered vitamin substance.”
    Meshuggah-Rational Gaze

    Alex did not rate this post.
  • Choob

    Heard a drunk Indian singing in a bar once. A Deep Purple song, “slow motion Walter, fire engine guy.” I kid you not.

    Choob did not rate this post.
    • Omri KB

      Smoke on the washer, the fire in the dryer…

      Omri KB did not rate this post.
    • k-rann

      My friend thought they were singing

      k-rann did not rate this post.
    • Walter Mirren

      You are just a fucking rascist. I heard the same urban legend 30 years ago. Then he went into “Super summer sleepin bag”:, right? What a piece of shit you are.

      Walter Mirren did not rate this post.
    • Darryl Kerney

      i’ve heard it many times.

      Darryl Kerney did not rate this post.
  • Vic Payne

    Madonna…
    “Last night I dreamt of some PlayDoh… Young guys with eyes like potatoes”

    Vic Payne did not rate this post.
  • Goliath

    Metallica’s “gimme two, gimme five gimme that which i desire”

    Goliath did not rate this post.
    • Dylan Dempsey

      GIMME FU GIMME FA GIMME DAWICHADAZA

      Dylan Dempsey did not rate this post.
    • Justin

      GIMME FOOD GIMME FRIES GIMME SALAD ON THE SIDE

      Justin did not rate this post.
  • SG400

    Ricky Martin. For a week I thought he sang: ‘She looks like a flower, but she stinks like pig’. Actual line: ‘… she stings like a bee’. For a week I respected the guy…

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  • thrashking666

    Many people think the opening line in the Beach Boys’ song “Help Me Rhonda” goes “Well since she put me down/there’s been owls pukin’ in my bed”. The actual lyrics are “Well since she put me down/I’ve been out doin’ in my head.”

    thrashking666 did not rate this post.
  • Demetrios Sobliros

    my daughter thought Breakin the law was Rakin the lawn.

    Demetrios Sobliros did not rate this post.
  • Austin

    The sheepdogs I don’t know, I could swear they’re singing “hot dog bun”

    Austin did not rate this post.
  • DK

    Metallica’s “The Four Horsemen” was filled with misheard lyrics, search for misheard lyrics four horseman for a laugh…

    DK did not rate this post.
  • DK
  • Dawid Petryniak

    Slayer – Hey Johnny Depp ‘The wig that I want you to DYE <3
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRk9ugM_tDY

    Dawid Petryniak did not rate this post.
  • George Price

    Mine was from The Beach Boys (hey,I was seven when I heard this song!): “pink spaghetti” instead of “pink slip daddy” in “Little Deuce Coupe”.

    George Price did not rate this post.
  • Logan Moriarty

    What about “I want to rock and roll all night, and part of everyday?”

    Logan Moriarty did not rate this post.
  • Matt

    Al Stewart’s “Mimes Passing Gas”

    Matt did not rate this post.
  • Trebor Tuhalb

    i always thought that the doors were “making kiddie porn” (riders on the storm)

    Trebor Tuhalb did not rate this post.
  • Scott Bishop

    Elton John ” Count the head lice on the highway”

    Scott Bishop did not rate this post.
  • Frobo

    Justin Timberlake’s “sexyback” I thought he said “go hippie go” when he actually said “go ahead be gone with it” really quite embarrassing when I sang my lyrics in front of my new crush..

    Frobo did not rate this post.
  • kevin

    sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am i to dis the brie

    kevin did not rate this post.
  • rodhorn54

    I couldn’t even begin to list them. I grew up in the late 50s when sound equipment was less than adequate–going all the way back to my first 4-track tape player

    rodhorn54 did not rate this post.
  • Brad Ion

    GIMMIE FOOD, GIMMIE FRIES, GIMMIE SALAD ON THE SIDE, OOOHHH!

    Brad Ion did not rate this post.
  • Strom Thurmond 2016

    Harry and Rick…
    They are sharing the same chick…
    (Caribbean queen….?? Sharing the same dream??)

    Strom Thurmond 2016 did not rate this post.
  • tkellybal

    “fire all of your guns at Watson / explode into spaaaace”

    I thought Watson might have been some politician that Steppenwolf didn’t like

    tkellybal did not rate this post.
  • Snake Plissken

    A buddy of mine singing Running With The Devil in the car one day

    I got no love … no love in Korea, all I’ve got is a head of steel.

    Snake Plissken did not rate this post.
  • Tony

    Carly Simon’s You’re so vain “I had a dream there were clowns in my coffee”

    Tony did not rate this post.
  • Henri Vaenerberg

    Hamster / A Dentist / Hard Porn / Steven Seagull / Warrior / This Rifle / In me / The fishmaster

    Henri Vaenerberg did not rate this post.
  • James Gandy

    Sade – Cold Radiator (smooth opperator)

    James Gandy did not rate this post.
  • Tony Robinson

    Cummin in Cheryl Baker.

    Tony Robinson did not rate this post.
  • antiheros

    In The Doobie Brothers racist hit What a Fool Believes, Micheal McDonald clearly sings: ”The White Man Has The Power”

    antiheros did not rate this post.
  • Someone else

    “Down on the corner, out in the street, Willie and the four boys are playing, playing fickle can’t be beat”

    Someone else did not rate this post.
  • Guest

    Thought Jump Jaivin was Drunk Drivin !

    Guest did not rate this post.
  • Neil Brundidge

    Thought Jump Jivin was Drunk Drivin !

    Neil Brundidge did not rate this post.