Ever been singing along to a favourite hit in the pub, putting your heart and soul into the performance, only to have a friend tap you on the shoulder and explain that the lyrics you’re singing are wrong. Only, you could swear you’re singing exactly what you’re hearing.
Inevitably, you and the friend get into an argument, until finally someone Google’s the lyrics. Chances are you’ve been singing incorrect lyrics for months, or even decades. Don’t be too ashamed though, because not only are song lyrics infamously misheard, the fan versions are often a great deal funnier than the actual lyrics.
Consider for a minute that some people have admitted to singing Wanna Do to ABBA’s Waterloo, Ohh, dyslexics on fire instead of Sex on Fire and We don’t need no sex vacation to Pink Floyd’s We Don’t Need No Education, and you get the idea!
For some more laughs we’ve rounded up a few commonly misheard song lyrics that might as well just be the real lyrics, given that this is how most people hear them.
Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
Hendrix is arguably one of the most influential musicians in history, boasting some of the most well-loved songs in the world. Though, just because he’s awesome at making music, it doesn’t excuse him from a few lyrics are a little tricky to make out. Purple Haze has the classic line; “Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”
What has it been misheard as, time and time again? “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.” You have to admit; it sounds almost identical, and rolls off the tongue equally as easily. Sing it in the right pub, at the wrong time, and a sparkling romance for the ages may blossom, depending on who hears you.
The Monkees – I’m A Believer
In some cases hearing, or mishearing in this case, the lyrics is a bit like a roulette game, sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss, but at the end, you’re always a winner. Point in case is the classic rock love song from The Monkees. But hey, when they can’t even get the spelling of a common primate right, how can we be expected to understand all their lyrics correctly? The actual line; “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer.”
The greatest mishearing of all time? “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.” Rather a different, more tragic spin on the whole song, isn’t it?
Queen – We Will Rock You
Another incredible, influential band that set the world alight with a number of classic hits is Queen. Put it on in any pub, anywhere in the world, and virtually everyone will jump up and start singing along. However, one lyric is often largely misheard. “Kickin’ your can all over the place.” What is this can, why would it be getting kicked all over the place, and how does it relate to the rest of the song?
Not much of a surprise then that many have been assuming that the can is, in fact, a cat, apparently in need of kicking. “Kickin’ your cat all over the place.” Makes way more sense, even if it is cruel for felines in general.
R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
You either love R.E.M, or think that their songs all start to blend together after you hear them consecutively. Either way, for the most part their songs have fairly easy to understand lyrics, at least in comparison to some other songs. Still, there is some potential for misunderstandings aplenty, especially if you’ve had a couple of beers. “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight,” are the actual words.
When you’re in a pub, however, it should be kept in mind that bathroom trips are often more common than usual. Which might be why some have been singing; “Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight.” We’re going to suggest you at least make it to the bathroom, and avoid peeing in any corners.