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Subject: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Spaff.com on 12/27/04 at 10:36 pm

Ever hear a cover version of a song where the cover band got the lyrics wrong?

I heard Jimmy Buffett's cover of "Mele Kalikimaka" on the radio the other day. The original goes:
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Instead of "Hawaii's way," JB repeatedly (and quite clearly) sings "the wise way."

I can think of another glaring (albeit more obscure) example. I have a CD called "20 More Explosive Fantastic Rockin' Mega Smash Hit Explosions!" which is a very fun collection of 90s bands (The Smithereens and Uncle Tupelo being among the bigger names) covering 70s AM-radio hits.

One of the tracks is a cover of Abba's "Dancing Queen" by Milo Binder. Instead of "You've come to look for a king," MB sings "Here comes the newborn king." (It can't be an intentional rewrite, because no other lyrics in the song have been changed.)

If this sort of thing arouses your music-geek interest the way it arouses mine, be sure to check out this story of how "the pompatus of love" in Steve Miller's "The Joker" is a lyric misheard by Steve Miller himself:
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_065.html

Also, check out how Donner and Blitzen (the reindeer) are misheard "lyrics" themselves, originating as "Dunder and Blixem," the Dutch words for "thunder" and "lightning":
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/donner.asp

Know of any others?

xoxox
Spaff



Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Claude_Prez on 12/28/04 at 4:51 pm

I have a couple of those mega-super-cover collections; I LOVE weird covers.  I can't remember who it is but one of those bands on that K-Tel-type cover CDs did Crocodile Rock and instead of going "The years went by and rock just died", they went, "the years went by and ra-ta-ta"; I swear.  So do you have the one where "Enormous Richard" does "Music Box Dancer"?  That rules.

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Spaff.com on 12/28/04 at 5:41 pm


So do you have the one where "Enormous Richard" does "Music Box Dancer"?  That rules.


Roger that. Who knew that "Music Box Dancer" had LYRICS? Not me, that's who.

My fave is the Squirrels' "Seasons in the Sun," which segues into "The Hustle." ("I pulled a muscle!")

xoxox
Spaff

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Amber on 01/09/05 at 7:14 pm

How about one of the most famous?  10cc's version of Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light."  "Wrapped up like a douche" is what 10cc sings (they have said they were too cheap/broke to buy the sheet music so they got the words by listening to Springsteen sing).  So, what does dear Bruce actually sing?  "Wrapped up like a duce," as in rolling snake eyes in craps.  One tiny difference but, BOY OH BOY does the meaning change!

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Spaff.com on 01/16/05 at 7:08 pm


How about one of the most famous?  10cc's version of Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light."  "Wrapped up like a douche" is what 10cc sings


Wow. "Douche" is a famously misheard lyric, but I had no idea that a big-name band actually recorded it that way. That's hilarious.

I thought of a couple more:

The original Supremes version of "Where Did Our Love Go?" says "You now wanna leave / You wanna leave me." Soft Cell's cover (most frequently heard appended to "Tainted Love") has the first of those two lines as "You know I believe..."

And Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" contains the line "This-ism, That-ism, -ism, -ism, -ism." I've seen sheet music where the "ism ism ism" is transcribed as "Isn't it the most?" And I know of at least one cover version where it's sung that way - Mitch Miller's. (I have it on Golden Throats Volume 2, which is a hilarious collection of horrible covers.)

xoxox
Spaff

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: agrimorfee on 01/17/05 at 2:08 pm

A Saucerful of Pink, which is a compilation of goth/psychedlic/techno bands coveriing Pink Floyd songs, has many horrendous lyrics errors.

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: cnbpjb on 08/20/05 at 7:56 am


How about one of the most famous?  10cc's version of Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light."  "Wrapped up like a douche" is what 10cc sings (they have said they were too cheap/broke to buy the sheet music so they got the words by listening to Springsteen sing).  So, what does dear Bruce actually sing?  "Wrapped up like a duce," as in rolling snake eyes in craps.  One tiny difference but, BOY OH BOY does the meaning change!


10 CC also did not record, Blinded By The Light.  The band that re-recorded Blinded and took it #1 in 1977 was, Manfred Mann's Earth Band.  Get that straight and correct. 

Yes I would agree that Manfred Mann and Chris Thompson the lead singer of that band at the time, may have misheard the lyrics, but they do not sing "Wrapped up like a douche."  Thompson sang, "Revved up like a deuce." (As compared to Springsteen on his original singing, "Cut loose like a deuce.") And the next lyrics he sings are, "Another runner in the night."  This goes back to what Springsteen was orginally intending, to equate running away to running like a car.  (A deuce-coupe was a car used a great deal back in the 1960's.   

Again, Springsteen and Mann's versions have nothing to do with a femine hygenie product. >:(

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Luke Brattoni on 08/24/05 at 3:22 am

Original lyrics by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: "I love rock 'n’ roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby."
Lyrics sung by Britney Spears: "I'm a commodified blow-up doll with a pulse who is butchering this song to death with a blunt hatchet."

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: ChuckyG on 08/24/05 at 7:56 am


Original lyrics by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: "I love rock 'n’ roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby."
Lyrics sung by Britney Spears: "I'm a commodified blow-up doll with a pulse who is butchering this song to death with a blunt hatchet."


hey, she said she loved that Pat Benatar song growing up!  I doubt she'd get the lyrics that far wrong...


excellent idea not only for a messageboard topic, but for a section on amiright as well.  I'll have to add this to my list o' things to do.

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Foo Bar on 08/26/05 at 9:13 pm


Original lyrics by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: "I love rock 'n’ roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby."
Lyrics sung by Britney Spears: "I'm a commodified blow-up doll with a pulse who is butchering this song to death with a blunt hatchet."

I don't know which DJ did it, but if you want to make your ears explode, try the following two mash-ups:

Girls Aloud vs. Duran Duran - Girls On Film (aka Girls on Film Aloud)
Joan Jett vs. Britney Spears - I Love Rock and Roll

For anyone unfamiliar with mash-ups and two-trackers - we're talking about playing the original track in one ear, and the cover version in the other ear, with tempo adjusted so that the two tracks are always in sync with each other.

Both of these mash-ups are so wrong they're almost right.  *Almost* right. 

My nomination for "Most unlikely cover ever"

Kim Wilde - Born to be Wild (aka Born to be Wilde).

Yep - the 80s star ("Kids in America") doing a euro/techno cover of the Steppenwolf rock classic. If you'd never heard of Steppenwolf, you'd actually be pretty impressed; as dance music, the track stands on its own. For anyone who *has* heard of Steppenwolf.  Well, listen at your own risk.  Do *not* play this track anywhere near a motorcycle, however.

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Powerslave on 08/28/05 at 5:24 am

Spiderbait (Australian punk band) did a cover of the Go-Gos "Our Lips are Sealed". They called it "Alex the Seal", although they did sing the right lyrics.  :)

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: GoodRedShirt on 08/28/05 at 6:05 am


Spiderbait (Australian punk band) did a cover of the Go-Gos "Our Lips are Sealed". They called it "Alex the Seal", although they did sing the right lyrics.  :)
Didn't they do a remake of "Black Betty"? (Not that it has anything to do with this thread)

Subject: Re: Misheard lyrics perpetuated in cover versions

Written By: Foo Bar on 08/31/05 at 12:47 am


I LOVE weird covers. So do you have the one where "Enormous Richard" does "Music Box Dancer"?  That rules.


Speaking of Richards with a little innuendo in their names, someone's posted the entire "Richard Cheese" discography in alt.~mumble~mp3.comedy a few days ago.  I've already ordered my copies on CD; while listening to it, this stuff made me spew bee...coffee over my keyboard twice in the past two days.  Great stuff if you dig weird covers and occasionally get in a lounge mood.

Richard Cheese specializes in doing Las Vegas lounge-singer music.  He covers everybody from Metallica and White Zombie to the Prodigy and Depeche Mode, stopping off at Garbage and Alanis Morissette.  It sounds as ridiculous as... well, a lounge cover of the past 10 years of top 40 oughta sound.

"Yeah!  Yeah!  Uh-Huh!  Yes!  Oui!  Si!  I - agree!
More human than human... more human than human..."
- Richard Cheese, "More Human Than Human", from _Tuxicity_

"And now on drums... on skins... on the trap set, the cocktail kit, the... thing that you hit with the thingies. He's a slick click to pick with a stick!  He's back with another one of them block rockin' beats!  His middle name is Tom!  He's symbolic!  We're talkin' brush-with-greatness!  He likes to bang the drum slowly if you know what I mean AND I THINK YOU DO, AM I RIGHT, PEOPLE? GOOOOOOSH!!  Mister! Buddy! Gouda!"
- Richard Cheese, "Smack My B*oing*itch Up", from _Lounge Against The Machine_

There may be no _misheard_ lyrics in his covers, but as you might have guessed, there are some pretty hysterical riffs on the originals.

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