Monday, April 21, 2008

Do The Fonga!

I've been mulling over this post for a while now. I wanted to strain my memory back to my earliest days of listening to music to try to get the best examples.


We've all done it--heard a song, sung along to it at the top of our lungs in the car a million times, and then one day we are riding with someone else in the car when we sing our song (not as loudly this time, of course), and they say to us, "THAT's not the right words!" Our cheeks flush as we realize we've been singing the wrong lyrics for years. Sometimes our missed lyrics are understandable and not that far off from the real thing. Like when I thought the lyrics to Janet Jackson's Nasty said "Prophecy is my middle name, my last name is Control." The lyrics actually say her middle name is Privacy. But Privacy and Prophecy aren't that different. And neither one makes any sense, really. So no biggie. But sometimes your mistakes are more glaring, more ridiculous, and in my case, more made-up. That's when people really start to laugh at you. A few classic examples that come up at every family gathering include:

Alanis Morisette's You Oughta Know where she says "Would she go down on you in a theater?" For some reason when I first heard that song (and I have to at least partially blame my super crappy am/fm car radio) I thought she was saying, "Would she go down on you in a thither?" What is a thither, you may ask? I figured it was a really short period of time. Like, "I'd go down on him in a heartbeat." See, "Would she go down on you in a thither" makes sense now, huh? Oh sure, you can laugh. But really, I'm just more creative than you. My mind made up its own word rather than fill in the blank with something boring and predictable like "theater."

And another one that set my sister laughing so hard she almost peed her pants was Do the Fonga by Gloria Estefan (Do the Conga, supposedly). The Fonga, I thought, was a spicy latin dance I had never heard of or maybe one that was made up, like the Lambada. Far be it for me to assume I know more about Latin dances than Gloria Estefan! And I swear if you listen to it it sounds like she is saying Fonga!

I just barely found out that "I bless the rains down in Africa" (Africa, by Toto) isn't "I miss the waves down in Africa." Don't you think my way makes more sense? They have great surfing in South Africa!

The next two aren't mine. I have to credit my childhood next door neighbor, Kelly Matelski, for these two. Breathe did a song called Hands to Heaven in the 80's where the line says "Tonight you calm my breathlessness" and Kelly thought it said "Tonight you call my brass nuts glass." That has GOT to be the most creative mishearing of all time. And another favorite, Jack Wagner's All I Need has a line that says, "I guess it's true we've all been hurt before." Which she thought said "I guess it's true with all them Hershey bars." Must have been lunch time.

So what are your misheard lyrics? I know there is a whole website devoted to misheard lyrics (, but I want to hear YOURS. Come on, fess up! If you're not too chicken to share, consider yourself invited to play along.


Kristine said...

Oh man, I have a million of these! LOL! Too bad I can't think of any right now. Oh wait, there is one song on a CD we play in the car for Josh. I actually have no idea what they are saying, but it sounds a lot like "Fruit Loops", so that's what I sing when we're driving down the road and that song comes on. I'll play it for you sometime :)

Logan said...

Kristine showed me this - and it reminds me of the time my older brother brought home a Tears for Fears record. I thought for sure they were saying, "Everybody! 1, 2, 3, 4 - WORLD!"

I didn't get the lyrics right until my mom bought a Top 40's piano music book and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was in it.

Awesome post, BTW

Tiburon said...

I am not too bad with the lyrics - but Adam is HORRIBLE.

I remember being a kid and hearing
"Blinded By the Light" and thinking they were saying "wrapped up like a douche" (whatever the heck that means) instead of "revved up like a deuce".
Or in Bad Moon Rising - "There's a bathroom on the right..."

Tee hee hee

Sara said...

oh my gosh arianne, you are so funny! i'd be to embarrassed to admit all the song lyrics i've sung wrong over the years!

Jennifer said...

Ok so mine that cracks Andre up every time is Survivor's "Eye of The Tiger" Where it says "its the eye of the tiger, its the thrill of the fight" but every time I hear the song for some reason no matter how hard I try to sing those words what comes out is this: "its the eye of the tiger, its the cream of the crop" lol yeah do ask me!!!

McKell said...

When Dan and I were dating, we had a big 'ol argument about the song "Cecilia" by good 'ol Simon and Garfunkel. He thought it said "Jubilation, she DOES me again"... when in fact it said "Jubilation, she LOVES me again" Even when I verified it on the wonderful internet, he still didn't believe me.

Bagiera said...

Best ever- The Go Go's "Our lips are sealed." Honestly for over ten years heard and sung out loud "Alex the seal" Beat that!

CaraDee said...

As far as the other 2 comments "our lips are sealed"...All I could figure was it said "Olive Cecille" Or I love cecille" couldn't figure it out. Also, I thought it was "wrapped up like a douche" too. What else could it have been? ha.

When I was a kid, I thought the second line to I Am a child of God, was "And so my knees are grey".

Also, Enjoy the Silence by DM, there is a line, where it says "Pleasures Remain, So does the Pain"..I never knew, so I would say "Soldiers Burping". I have plenty.

Omgirl said...

Hahaha. I thought the words were "I love to see you." I think I only figured out it was "Our lips are sealed" a year or two ago.

alex dumas said...

I have all kinds of fun with Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Starting Something." Since you're so creative, you can imagine. But he really does say "you're a vegetable."