Clise’s Cornucopia– The Saga of Misheard Lyrics

By John Clise

I was listening to some music the other day, and it occurred to me that some of the lyrics aren’t the same as what I have been hearing. Some of those I’ve been mishearing for decades.

I always heard the lyric from the Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart “Livin’ in a powder keg and puttin’ off sparks” as “lookin’ at a frog’s legs at the city park.”

I’m not sure how I misheard that lyric so wrong. Also, I don’t know why I didn’t look it up sooner. I didn’t check it out online until last year.

 A few friends who heard the Bruno Mars Lyric from Uptown Funk as “better than a freeze-dried hippie” when it really says “smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy.” That one really cracks me up good.

This one is especially funny to me. Seems more like a parody than an actual misheard lyric. “Sweet dreams are made of cheese” from The Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (are made of this)’. The lyric is actually “Sweet dreams are made of these.” I remember watching that video on Night Tracks on TBS otherwise at the time known as “The Superstation.” That was Ted Turner’s baby down in Atlanta.

I never really did hear this one before, but I do remember the song and its role in the 1979 World Series. Pirates took that one from the Orioles four games to three I believe.

I was sort of rooting for the Orioles because I had met Eddie Murray just a year before through my cousin. He was a super nice guy when I met him. I thought Jim Palmer was a great pitcher.  

In the end I was happy to see Willie Stargell win a World Series and get a ring. Pops was great to watch. He was a first ballot hall of famer and played his entire career with the Pirates. That’s a rarity in pro sports these days.

Anyway, back to the song lyrics.

A lot of people heard the lyric from We are Family by Sister Sledge, the anthem of the 1979 Pirates as  “Let me just staple the vicar” when the correct lyric is actually “Just let me state for the record.”

Here a few more you might find funny or may have even heard.

 “All the lonely Starbucks lovers”. Correct lyric: “Got a long list of ex-lovers” from Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’.

 “I can see clearly now, Lorraine is gone”. Correct lyric: “I can see clearly now; the rain is gone” from Johnny Nash’s ‘I can see clearly now’.

 “Gimme Gimme Gimme a man after midnight, take me to the doctors at the break of the day”. Correct lyric: “Take me through the darkness to the break of the day” from ABBA’s ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’.

 “Poppadom Peach”. Correct lyric: “Papa don’t preach” from Madonna’s ‘Papa don’t preach’.

 “It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not”. Correct lyric: “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not” from Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’.


 “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you”. Correct lyric: “Every time you go away take a piece of me with you” from Paul Young’s ‘Every Time You Go Away’.

 “Sue Lawley”. Correct lyric: “So lonely” from The Police’s ‘So Lonely’.

 “We built this city on sausage rolls”. Correct lyric: “We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll” from Starship’s ‘We Built This City’.

 “Saving his life from this warm sausage tea”. Correct lyric: “Spare him his life from this monstrosity” from Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

 “See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen”. Correct lyric: “See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen” from ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

 “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”. Correct lyric: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” from Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’.

 “Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tangerine”. Correct lyric: “Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine” from ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

 “Calling Jamaica”. Correct lyric: “Call me when you try to wake her” from REM’s ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’.


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