Wednesday, July 11, 2007

hold me closer, tony danza

There was a show on MTV in the mid-90s that was called something like X-Treme Karaoke, or So You Think You Know The Lyrics But You Really Don't, Dumbass. I could probably Wikipedia it, but where's the fun in that? Anyhoo, my only recollections of it are that it was hosted by one of the more rotund male veejays and people sang popular songs without the lyrics in front of them and the audience laughed at their boneheaded attempts. Oh, and that I would never, ever go on it in a million years.

Because, you see, I am notorious for misunderstanding song lyrics, singing along to a song only to mangle innocent words into something completely unrelated and entirely stupid. Something that a person with common sense, an attribute I rather noticeably lack, inevitably notices, forcing them to burst my bubble and say things like "I'm pretty sure Alanis Morrisette was not singing about a cross-eyed bear."

It wasn't until I was reading the New York Times review of Xanadu: The Musical (don't say a word; I assure you that no one is judging me more harshly than me right now), that I realized I've heard the lyric wrong for all this years:

I always thought it was "med-ie-val woman!" and not "e-e-vil woman!"

Of course, my way is more amusing. The thought of Electric Light Orchestra writing a disco number about a 13th century European peasant matron is way more fun than just another song about just another bitch. And, given the substances that the members of Electric Light Orchestra likely had coursing through their bloodstreams circa 1975, would anyone have really been surprised if they wrote a song about a Medieval Woman? Would this be so shocking when compared what other 1970s artists were singing?

I know I'm not alone in this quirk. What's the most ridiculous song lyric that you've misheard and sung incorrectly, blissfully unaware until someone pointed out that you were very wrong, and maybe should get your ears checked?


Jen said...

"Say What?! Karaoke" I believe.

Lexa said...

Brian Adam's "Cuts Like a Knife". I thought he was saying "Nice F*cking Night". My mom was quick to clear that one up.

Libberash said...

I was the first one to get my license so I was constantly driving my friends around. "Brick" by Ben Folds Five was really popular and I took to singing it in the '91 Caravan with six of my nearest and dearest singing along as well. It wasn't until my friend Shosh unceremoniously told me that they lyrics weren't "she's a-breaking up California" that I even realized the song was called "Brick." I just really liked the song and decided that I had to sing along no matter what.

She's a-breaking up California! I don't have a good defense besides the fact that I spent so much time in my car that year chauffeuring everyone around and listening to the radio that I sang along to anything I heard.

Patricia said...

I'm sure there are many, but the most memorable is a song from Pearl Jam's Vs. album. The lyrics were actually "glorified version of a pellet gun," but I thought the lyrics were "glorified virgin of a pelican," which of course made no sense at all.

I think I've also had some interesting lyric interpretations with Rage Against the Machine, but almost 15 years later, I still think of that Pearl Jam misinterpretation.

elaine said...

until I was 21 I thought the lyric to Teddy Bears picnic was
"watch them catch their underwear!"

instead of

"watch them catch them unaware"

my friend thought Madonna's La Isla Bonita contained the lyric

"young girls with eyes like potatoes"

instead of "young girls with eyes like the devil"

In both instances, as with all the ons above, I prefer the mis-hear.

Lillian said...

When my father was in college, he and his friends thought that "Do The Hustle" was actually titled "You're an Asshole." Thus, they spent their entire junior year shaking their collective groove thang and proclaiming each other assholes. It took all year for someone to figure out the real lyrics.

My best one, though, continued from age 8 until 22: I could never understand why Billy Ocean was refering to his love interest as a "Caribou Queen." (Why would anyone want to be likened to a large arctic animal? So gauche!) I wondered this out loud to my boyfriend at the time, and was informed that the song was actually "Caribbean Queen." Oops. My bad.