Now when we say ‘misundrstood lyrics’, we’re not talking: ‘was Don McClean referring to Buddy Holly or the Cold War in ‘American Pie’, and couldn’t he have done it in less than 924 verses’?
We’re saying: ‘I’ve been singing ‘scuse me while I kiss this guy’ just like Jimi Hendrix did!’ (and it’s ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky’, for you newly enlightened Hendrix fans).
So here’s a list of some of the most misunderstood (and funniest) lyrics in pop music:
10) ‘Carry a laser down the road that I must travel… ‘ That’s right, the great Mr. Mister hit, ‘Kyrie’, from the `80s makes the list, and you wouldn’t believe how many people misunderstood the chorus (which really is “Kyrie Elesion down the road that I must travel’; a reference to lyricist, John Lang’s religious upbringing).
9) ‘Jo Jo was a man who thought she was a woman, that was until he looked down’. From the Beatles’ seminal ‘Get Back’. Not quite as funny as ‘Tarzan running from a Jedi Knight’ in ‘Blackbird’, but pretty good!
8) ‘There’s a bathroom on the right’. Fogerty singing ‘Bad Moon Rising’ for Creedance could go a lot of ways, but this is one of the most universally misunderstood lyrics of all time. So much so, he might as well go ahead and change the name of the song (and send the royalties to me).
7) ‘I’ll never pee… your pizza’s burnin” Mick Jagger must have a zillion slurred lines and misunderstood lyrics anyway, but this Stones classic becomes even more of a classic with this reinterpretation.
6) ‘I feel two pigs, in containers!’ And following in Jagger’s tradition, Kurt Cobain apparently cut many of his vocals with a retainer and several radishes in his mouth (which is why ‘Come As You Are’ is a whole SONG you could misunderstand if you wanted to… ‘I’m a night owl! I’m a night owl!’)
5) ‘Warm smell of mojitas, rising up through the air… ‘ First of all, it’s ‘mojiTOES’, and they are always served cold! And if anyone would know about drinks served cold, it would be Joe Walsh and The Eagles hanging out in the ‘Hotel California’.
4) ‘When I hear that old song, that used toupee… I see my derriere walking away… ‘ Okay, I’m a huge Boston fan, and this classic mishearing of ‘More Than a Feeling’ had to go on the list (and, it’s a ‘song they used to play’ with ‘Mary Anne’ walking away, by the way).
3) ‘Gimme two! Gimme Five! Gimme dollar fifty-five!’ Metallica has their share of high-octane lyrics that make you go: ‘what did he just yell?’ But this intro from ‘Fuel’ ranks right up there with the best of them.
2) ‘Hey baby! Ooo baby! Pretty lady! Wanna get yer boobies now!’ Seriously, I defy you to tell me Robert Plant is singing anything different than this in Led Zeppelin’s hard-rock classic, ‘Black Dog’. Don’t even get me started on ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
1) ‘Beat it! Beat it! No one wants to feel your penis! Show them your monkey! Show them your mice! It doesn’t matter poo is alright! Just beat it!’ What better tribute to the King of Pop than this fabulous mishearing of one of his coolest hits? And frankly, if there were references to Jesus Juice and taking baths with kids, I’d probably think it was a pretty legit lyric. But this incredible string of pretty hard to argue lyrics in MJ’s classic makes it to the top!
Yeah, we could go the easy route with ‘poke her face’ for Lady Gaga or ‘fill up my cup, muffin top’ with Black Eyed Peas, but we’re going for serious quality in our misunderstood lyrics here. And with that said, back to my mp3 player and Rush’s ‘Fly By Night’… ‘It’s time I was keen now, and just want my bong!’