You know that embarrassing moment when you’re part of a bar sing-along, and as you confidently wail gibberish lyrics to a classic song, the other patrons turn to look at and silently judge you for being totally clueless? Misheard lyrics, while hilarious, are a sure way to lose your credibility as a music lover. Help prevent a friend or even yourself from ruining a sing-along to a classic hit by finally learning the real lyrics to these often misquoted hits.
“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix
This is one of Jimi Hendrix’s most famous compositions. However, it also contains one of the most commonly misheard lyric lines in history, “… ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky,” which countless listeners have heard as, “…’scuse me while I kiss this guy.” In fact, this misquote is so ubiquitous, it’s the name of a website devoted to misheard song lyrics.
“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John
One of the funniest and strangest misheard lyrics of all time comes from Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” While the music was composed by Sir Elton, the lyrics were written by songwriter Bernie Taupin, who based the title line, “… hold me closer, tiny dancer” on his then-girlfriend. She was a dancer, not a 1980s sitcom star, as suggested by the popular misquote, “… hold me closer, Tony Danza.”
“Royals” by Lorde
Lorde’s Grammy-winning single “Royals” put her at the forefront of American pop music. However, the lyrics of this song have earned a bit more than top-level music recognition. The line, “Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen bee” is the source of one of the funniest musical malapropisms in recent memory. For some, royalty is not about being “queen bee,” but about being a “green bean.”
“Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé
The true Queen B, Beyoncé, churns out so many hits that it’s difficult to keep up with her newest chart-toppers. “Drunk in Love” is one of her biggest in recent memory. Being such a popular club song, the lyrics “I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking…” kept club-goers partying all night long. However, some seem to believe that Beyoncé is a bit of a Game of Thrones fan, as “I’m a dragon, I’m a dragon…” is commonly heard in place of the real lyrics.
“Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
America’s first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, is one of the few winning Idols to have a legitimate music career, and it all began with her first big hit, “Because of You.” Kelly reassured listeners that, “Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk,” but many buffet enthusiasts seem only to hear “Because of you, I never stray too far from the salad bowl.”
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival is the quintessential classic American rock and roll band, and the famously misinterpreted lyrics in their hit song “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” are equally iconic and memorable. The real lyrics say, “It will rain a sunny day; I know, shinin’ down like water,” but the admittedly anachronistic misheard lyrics go a little something like, “It will rain of Sunny-D; I know, China don’t like water.”
While these are some of the more hilarious misheard lyrics out there, we all know that there are countless songs with even more twisted and hilarious translations. Which of these are you most excited to correct your friends and family about next time you hear them belt out the wrong words?