Can You Recognize These Songs By Their Commonly Misheard Lyrics?


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We’ve all done it. We’ve listened to a song over and over again for years, thinking we know the lyrics like the backs of our hands. Then, one day, we have the opportunity to see the lyric sheet and learn that we’ve been hearing them wrong the whole time. For years. Decades, even.

If this applies to you, feel no shame! We’ve all done it. However, as you forgive yourself for the crime of getting some lyrics wrong, we ask you to do your due diligence and read these 13 examples of lyrics that everyone gets wrong, with the correct lyrics included. Please internalize all the entries in this article before you perform at your next open mic night.

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1. ‘Saving His Life from This Warm Sausage Tea’

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Answer: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen

Actual lyric: “Spare him his life from this monstrosity.”

This lyric from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is not the only misheard one from the song’s six-minute running time since there’s a whole opera section with all kinds of bizarre multi-tracked utterances, some of which may or may not be made up. That said, this is the one that people get wrong most often, and when they see the actual lyrics, they may believe they’ve fallen victim to a cruel prank.

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2. ‘Take Me to the Doctor’s…’

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Answer: ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ by ABBA

Actual Lyric: “Take me through the darkness to the break of the day.”

 “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” is a truly great song from ABBA, a group that wrote almost nothing but truly great songs. Despite being from Sweden, they sang in English, and while many Swedes speak better English than many Americans, their accents might have interfered slightly with their diction, leading to this mistaken interpretation.

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3. ‘Papadam Peach’


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Answer: ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ by Madonna

Actual Lyric: “Papa don’t preach.” 

Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” is about the travails of a young woman faced with the moral and ethical conundrum of an unplanned pregnancy. Apparently, a lot of people completely tuned out all the verses and only listened to the choruses without the benefit of a lyric sheet, leading them to believe the song was about the crunchy flatbread that Indian food enthusiasts dip into chutney.  


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4. ‘Then I Saw Her Face, Now I’m Gonna Leave Her’

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Answer: ‘I’m a Believer’ by the Monkees

Actual Lyric: “Then I saw her face now I’m a believer.” 

Written by the mighty Neil Diamond, “I’m a Believer” was recorded and made famous by the Monkees, and it remains one of their best-known songs. While there’s no excuse for people who owned the single to get the lyrics wrong – the title was printed in large type right there on the cover – people in their cars listening to AM radio may have mistakenly believed it was a song about a man fleeing his arranged marriage upon seeing his intended for the first time.


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5. ‘Bald-Headed Woman… Bald-Headed Woman to Me’

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Answer: ”More Than a Woman’ by Bee Gees

Actual Lyric: “More than a woman, more than a woman to me”

Here’s another one that seems like it would be hard to get wrong since it’s the title of the song, yet many people have managed to do exactly that anyway. The song appears twice on the track list to the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, one of the highest-selling albums of all time, so you’d think people would have gotten it straight by now. But who has time to read eight words on the back of an album jacket?

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6. ‘You’re the Wobbly One’

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Answer: ‘You’re the One That I Want’ by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

Actual Lyric: “You’re the One That I Want”

 1978’s “Grease” was one of the worst movies ever made. FACT. Having said that, there’s no arguing with album sales, and the movie’s soundtrack remains popular to this day. Be that as it may, a lot of people clearly never looked at the track listing, which features the song’s real title in plain English for anyone to see. If you have friends who erroneously sing “you’re the wobbly one,” have them sing it at a karaoke bar, where the correct lyrics will be displayed on multiple very large screens for their edification.

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7. ‘Take Your Teeth Out, Tell Me What’s Wrong’

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Answer: ‘Chiquitita’ by ABBA

Actual lyric: “Chiquitita tell me what’s wrong” 

Poor ABBA. They may have added as much to the gross domestic product of Sweden as the Volvo Group, but even that won’t make people get their lyrics right. Look no further than the couplet “take your teeth out, tell me what’s wrong,” which is sung in error by people listening to the ABBA song “Chiquitita,” which sold a kajillion copies internationally by people who, apparently, think getting the lyrics right is no big deal.

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8. ‘Touched for the Thirty-First Time’

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Answer: ”Like a Virgin’ by Madonna

Actual Lyric: “Touched for the very first time.”

 “Like a Virgin” was the song that brought major international stardom to the artist known as Madge, and honestly, it doesn’t seem that hard to discern the fact that she’s singing “touched for the very first time,” especially if you already know what a virgin is. Maybe there are places in the world where one’s status as a virgin can remain in effect for the first 30 times one is touched, with only the 31st time bringing permanent ruin.

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9. ‘I’m Feeling Ill Like Drake Tonight’

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Answer: ‘’Summertime Sadness’ by Lana Del Rey

Actual lyric: “I’m feeling electric tonight.” 

 We don’t know how Drake is feeling at this moment, but if he’s feeling physically ill, he has our sympathies. When pop siren Lana Del Rey dropped “Summertime Sadness” on an unsuspecting public, many people found it plausible that she was “feeling ill like Drake” as opposed to “feeling electric,” despite not knowing what Drake’s physical condition was. We suggest Mucinex if he’s congested.

Image Credit: Lana Del Ray by Harmony Gerber/ Flickr (None).

10. ‘It Doesn’t Make a Difference If We’re Naked or Not’

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Answer: ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi

Actual lyric:  “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.”

 The lyrics to “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi depict a working-class couple whose combined salaries are insufficient to meet their financial obligations, yet they love each other. You can’t really pay the heating bill with mutual love, but you can’t pay it with nudity either, so people who misheard the lyric were wrong about the lyric sheet but right about the issues.

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11. ‘It’s Such a Feeling That My Love, I Get High’

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Answer: ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ by the Beatles

Actual lyrics: “It’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide.”

 It’s a well-known fact that the Beatles indulged in substance use during the time they were together, but when “I Want to Hold Your Hand” took the world by storm, they were still innocent-seeming, chirpy mop tops who didn’t sing about drugs yet. Nevertheless, many people have misheard the lyrics “I can’t hide” as “I get high.” They would need to wait until 1967’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” to hear those actual words sung by a Beatle. 

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12. ‘ ’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy’

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Answer: ‘Purple Haze’ by Jimi Hendrix

Actual lyric: ” ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.”

Jimi Hendrix was the greatest guitar player who ever lived, and his singing voice is quite pleasant, too. His lyrics, however, tended to be magical mystical drivel, and those featured in his best-known song, “Purple Haze,” are no exception. Many people have misheard the lyric “kiss the sky” as “kiss this guy,” and while that’s wrong, very few people ever listened to Jimi Hendrix for the lyrics, so don’t lose sleep over it.

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13. ‘Four Calling Birds’

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Answer: ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ (Traditional)

Actual lyric: “Four colly birds”
OK, technically, this lyric isn’t wrong. Colly is simply colloquial for calling and the lyrics are changed today to reflect that. But the original lyrics did, in fact, reference “colly” birds. 

It turns out that “colly” birds were so named for the coal-like dark coloring of the common blackbird.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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