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LTP 10/24/11: ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy

We’ve all done it. Misheard the lyrics to popular songs. If you’re lucky no one else is around to catch your mistake, but more often, you’re singing along with the car radio and have no idea why your friends have suddenly burst out laughing. (Wait, Lucy isn’t in disguise with diamonds?) Even more fun for us olds is when for years you’ve only ever heard the radio edit of a song and suddenly hear it with all the glorious profanity restored. (Seriously, “Santeria” is WAY more messed up than I ever realized as a teenager.)

What are your favorite lyrical misunderstandings? Or have you ever just flat-out forgotten the lyrics and made up something absurd, hoping no one would notice? My personal low happened while singing “The Ants Go Marching” to my (fortunately very young at the time) daughter. I forgot what happened at “eight by eight” and accidentally sang “The little one stopped to masturbate.” I blame sleep deprivation.

By [E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

12 replies on “LTP 10/24/11: ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy”

I grew up in a very, very charismatic pentecostal church, and the guy who led worship there liked to fancy himself some kind of very talented musician. Unfortunately this led to the confusing mispronunciation of many words and phrases, that, as children, my brother and I completely failed to comprehend. Examples include hearing “the power of his outstretched arms” as “the power of his ostrich arms,” and “Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide” as “pink and white, pink and white, there’s a fountain flowing pink and white.” I had a very colorful impression of God from these songs, for quite a while. I still like my versions best. Ostrich arms indeed.

I misheard a lot of church songs too! like “Gladly the Cross I Bear” was always “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.” I thought it was about a teddy bear. and an old Easter hymn when everyone else sang “Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes” I sang “a mighty triumph o’er his toes“, because I thought it was some fancy way of saying Jesus was standing up again.

For an embarrassingly long time, I thought the lyrics to Paradise City were, “Take me down to the very nice city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.” I guess I didn’t realize the name of the song or something because a coworker completely busted out laughing at me when I was singing along the one day, and then he was like, “WHY DID YOU THINK IT WAS CALLED PARADISE CITY THEN?”

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