Uh…what was that?

7 May

Watching American Idol contestants forget their lyrics this season, I’ve thought if they could just think a little faster on their feet they could totally make something up and throw it in there and most people probably wouldn’t even notice (actual words, though, not just some da-di-da’s or hmm-mmm’s).  I mean how many times have you discovered you’ve spent the last several years singing the wrong words to songs?

Here are just a few from personal/family experience that I can think of off the top of my head:

My mom used to sing this They Might Be Giants song:

Don’t, don’t, don’t let’s start. I’ve got an aardvark.

And the right line:

Don’t, don’t, don’t let’s start. This is the worst part.

With TMBG “aardvark” would almost make more sense.

Here’s one from my girls doing Ashlee Simpson:

Pieces, pieces, pieces of meat.

And of course the right, more PETA friendly line:

Pieces, pieces, pieces of me.

Too bad, the “meat” makes the song much more interesting.

My husband singing along to Angels and Airwaves:

I cannot live, I can’t breathe unless Judith’s with me.

But really:

I cannot live, I can’t breathe unless you do this with me.

Judith, you’re so vain I betcha think this song is about you. Sorry.

Again, my girls (and me, to be honest) with Avril Lavigne:

It’s a damp cold night.

But she’s really saying (gasp!):

It’s a damn cold night.

I haven’t bothered to tell my girls the real line.

For years I had no idea what Seal was saying here:

Baby, to me you’re like a bowl of dictionaries that I can’t die.

I had to look it up online:

Baby, to me you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny.

OK, I guess that makes more sense.

And 500 cool points to whoever can give me the right line and band for this one (also courtesy of my mom):

That’s what my heart yearns for now—when doves cry.

Hint:  it’s not Prince.


So what lyrics have you been singing wrong all these years?


13 Responses to “Uh…what was that?”

  1. cheryl May 7, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    Ooh! Now I can listen to Avril’s song in front of the kids without guilt. Cool!

    I have no idea what song you are referring to. I’m not that cool, I guess.

    Okay, for me? Let’s see…ooh! This one is embarrassing.

    “You’re ugly the boy”

    Yeah. Never connected that the title of the song (“Unbelievable”) would actually be in the song. I wasn’t exactly paying attention. (I’d sing “You’re Ug-a-lee thuh boy!”)

    I know there are others, but my brain is too tired now. I may come back later with some more…

  2. cheryl May 7, 2008 at 11:54 am #

    Obviously, I don’t do well with parenthesis and commas –they all turn into winking faces! I promise, I’m not winking.

  3. Susan M May 7, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    Good question. Can’t think of any at the moment. I’m sure it’ll come to me when I’m nowhere near the computer!

  4. Jamie J May 7, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    For a long time when I was a kid I sang “Heading to the mountains, living in the 80’s” instead of “heading for the 90’s, living in the 80’s” in Wild, Wild, West http://youtube.com/watch?v=23nqInkEDTc (I hope that link works)

  5. Julie May 8, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    You’ve got the most stumbling e-e-vil blue eyes I’ve ever seen.

  6. bythelbs May 8, 2008 at 8:47 pm #

    OK, I give up. Where are the e-e-vil blue eyes coming from?

    And no guesses on my obscure wrong line? Think 80s and New Wave and some other kind of royalty besides Prince.

    Or maybe y’all were just babes back then and that’s why you’ve never heard it. Sigh. I’m feeling old again.

  7. Julie May 8, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    You’ve got…the most unbelievable blue eyes I’ve ever seen — Natalie Imbruglia I think? I’m thinking it was ’97ish? And I got nothin’ even with those hints. Hmmmmm….

  8. madhousewife May 9, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    I know what that line is, but only because I’m old and related to you. Maybe if you gave another hint, like the way most people misheard it in those days, which was

    That’s what my heart yearns for now,

    I think the whole world has forgotten this band. I have tried in vain to find MP3’s of Bitter Sweet, which is one of my favorite albums.

    Baby, to me you’re like a growing addiction that I can’t deny.

    Oh, I don’t think so. More like “to me you’re like a bowl of dictionaries in my eye” or “to me you’re like a bowl a dictionary can’t deny.” I’d believe my own ears over the internet.

  9. bythelbs May 9, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Of course—I forgot Lowenbrau!

    I had a great time watching old videos on youtube—Love and Pride (there I gave the answer), Won’t You Hold My Hand Now, Alone Without You, Torture, The Taste of Your Tears. No mp3’s? How can that be?!

    Oh, it was King, people. And Bitter Sweet is awesome.

    Here’s Love and Pride:

  10. Boquinha May 10, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Of course we can thank Friends for illuminating us on the Elton John song about “Who’s the Boss?”:

    “Hold me close, young Tony Danza!”

  11. Boquinha May 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm #

    Argh. Is there a way to subscribe to this post (and others) for updated comments? Sorry, I’m not that familiar with WordPress . . . 😛

  12. madhousewife May 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    So here’s what I found myself singing over the dishes this afternoon:

    “Now that your rose is in bloom, the light hits the broom on my brain.”


    Because after a while it just isn’t worth trying to understand the words.

    Oh, and thanks for the Amazon linky-loo for Bitter Sweet. I wonder how long it’s been out on CD. I had pretty much abandoned all hope.

  13. bythelbs May 12, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    Boquina—I’d forgotten about that one from Friends—classic! I’m not very wordpress literate yet—I’m not sure how to get updated comments. Guess you’ll just have to come back and visit regularly. 😉

    madhousewife—I think the lyrics we think we’re hearing are usually better than the real ones. At least more interesting.

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