Friday, January 28, 2011

"Kiss This Guy" Is WAY Less Funny Than Singing About Boogers

Generally speaking, I'm good with words. Generally speaking, this means I can figure out lyrics when I don't know what they are, or at least make some incredibly good substitutions. (Obviously this was a handier skill before you could look up actual lyrics on the internet.)

But even though I'm now older and wiser and good at the Google, it turns out that old habits die hard. I still mis-sing many lyrics out of habit when I'm not paying attention.

Now, I know a million blog posts and websites and silly books ALREADY exist to capitalize on this humorous phenomenon. Like, do you remember when Crazy Aunt Purl wrote her post about how she thought the song "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean was actually a song about a man named "Harry Dupree"?

That's a lot funnier than thinking the lyrics "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" are actually "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" (which was the basis for an entire book).

Anyway, I was just reminiscing about my sister and the hilarious language "challenges" she faced as a kid*, and decided it was time for another version of "let's share our hilariously wrong lyrics." Besides, it's Friday.

The most egregious error I've ever made (and continue to make) is thinking that the song "Our Lips Are Sealed" by the Go-Gos was "Honest I See You." In fact, JUST NOW? As I went to Google to confirm that yes, that was indeed a Go-Gos song? I started typing in "Honest I see--" before I realized I was still doing it wrong.

I will point out that my version is incredibly poetic, regardless.

But back to my sister, Healy.

Healy's language "issues" went well beyond songs. For example, perhaps you know this Nursery Rhyme?
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle
 of her forehead
And when she was good
She was very, very good
And when she was bad
She was horrid


Well, Healhy didn't quite get it. And so when she'd recite it, it went:
There was a girl
Who had a curl
In her whore-hen
And when she was good
She was berry, berry good
And when she was bad
She ate soup

I couldn't make that up, right?

So you can imagine Healy's creative lyrics to songs mostly only she knew in the first place.

Like, well, we were Cabbage Patch Kid enthusiasts in my household, despite their being ugly and horrible and inexplicable.

[sidebar]
If for some reason you don't remember or didn't know, the rush on Cabbage Patch Kids was ridiculous. They were un-gettable for the longest time, except that you HAD TO HAVE ONE. And these were in the dark ages before eBay, so every family in America had to just call every store and family member they could think of trying to locate these plastic-headed, nylon-bodied dolls that came with birth certificates.

My grandparents in MINNESOTA finally got hold of three of them and sent them to us. Their arrival was epic. 

Behold:
We are so excited about their showing up at our house that Healy and I look positively POSSESSED.
[end sidebar]


One Christmas, we got a cassette tape that accompanied a book? A movie? about this Cabbage Patch Kid saga. I can't really remember the story, except there was a bad guy named Cabbage Jack, who kidnapped Cabbage Patch kids (I think?) and a hero Cabbage Patch kid named Otis Lee.

I remember Otis Lee because there was a song on the cassette about him that Healy particularly liked. And that recorded her own version of.

The original song went:
[sung by Otis Lee, a tough young boy]
I got myself a bulldog
I got a load of friends
Every day is so much fun,
I'm sorry when it ends
[everyone joins]
When you've got a problem
He's the one you gotta see
There ain't no match 
In the cabbage patch
for good ole' Otis Lee

Note: THIS IS STILL IN MY HEAD. I left the house without my wallet TWICE last week. But I can still sing about fucking Otis Lee.

Anyway. Healy's recorded version went:

[Healy, singing as a tough young boy]
I got myself a booger!
I got a lotus friend!
Every day is so much fun
I'm sorry now and then!
[she'd sing the rest correctly and WITH GUSTO]


Our house was fun.

Um, so what are your favorite mis-heard, mis-sung, misunderstood lyrics or nursery rhymes? I'll bet they don't involve boogers OR whore-hens.

*And adult. She still gets some words mixed up if she's not careful. Like the time a few years ago when she shouted to all the rowdy fans around her at the ballpark that they'd be "ejaculated" from the premises for using foul language. (OH, THE IRONY.)

40 comments:

  1. Great post!
    For a long time I thought the Gogo's song was "honest, I feel"

    And until I'd heard it multiple seasons on Gilmore Girls, I thought the Carol King song started: "Get your ass on the road."

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  2. I had to click over when I saw your tweet about this because yeah, I'm one of those who gets the lyrics wrong too. Mostly themes to prime time TV shows. For the longest time, the opening song to CSI, you know the famous song, "Who Are You," by The Who, was sung, "Ooooooooh Ollie. Oh, oh. Oh, oh." And when So You Think You Can Dance first came on, I thought the song went, "Shoo-ba-do-ba-do-ba DANCE." (Although, I think I might not be the only one who thought that because I swear they've slowed it down in consecutive years. Now you can actually understand thy are saying, "So you think you can DANCE.")

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  3. Just now, JUST NOW, my ten-year-old daughter sang:

    "You could travel the world/But nothing comes close to the girl in clothes!"

    Actual "California Girls" lyrics? Nothing comes close to the Golden Coast. Kids are the best at this.

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  5. OMG for the longest time I sang our lips are sealed as 'eyelids of steel'. I had no clue what it was and I still sing it wrong to this day

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  6. when i was teeny tiny, i used to think that the lyrics for the "three's company" theme song were complete gibberish. i guess i hadn't learned the word rendezvous yet. so the part that goes "down at our rendezvous," i literally thought went "comanananeynooo."

    i also used to think that at the end of the alpha-beta supermarket commercials, that "tell a friend" (their slogan) was telefriend. like telephone. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbew8NpLBMQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtOcX5tbvLg)

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  7. I love this game! So, up until a few years ago I thought the lyrics were :

    "Dirty jeans,
    Dun-gar-rees"

    Instead of :

    "Dirty Deeds,
    Done dirt cheap"

    Also, Karyne- I thought the telefriend thing too!

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  8. From INXS "Need You Tonight" the chorus says "you're one of my kind." I was convinced it was "You wanna buy a kite?" Hahahaha! To this day I still hear it.

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  9. I overheard my high school boyfriend singing, "Let Milo open the door" instead of "Let my love open the door."

    "James, who is Milo?"

    "Huh?"

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  10. I could've sworn The Clash was singing "Rock the Gasbar" instead of the Casbah. I didn't even know what a Casbah was.

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  11. 1) My cousin was quite sure that "dude looks like a lady" was "do the naked lady" and sung it loudly at every possible opportunity. He's over thirty and still does it.

    Jury is out on whether he actually still thinks that is what the song says.

    2) My sister, age three at the time Dirty Dancing came out, embarrassed my mother almost as much as she did me (age fifteen), by singing the lyrics to the song that goes "I can mash-potato, do the twist, now tell me baby do you like it like this" as "I can masturbata, do the twit, now tell me baby, do you like me like this." Yep.

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  12. Oh.My.Gosh! My sister and I aren't the only ones listening to Cabbage Patch Kids Songs. (We have them on our ipods.) We used to be Ramie and Sybol Sadie and sing that song back and forth to each other. . .

    I still think the Bad Romance song says "caught in a pair of pants. . " instead of caught in a bad romance.

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  13. The only one that comes to mind (because my sister used to tease me horribly about it) is that
    "Awake on my Airplane" song.

    I always thought it said "Let go of my ice cream"

    Because, hey, I was like 10 and being awake on an airplane made no sense to me. Telling someone to let go of your damn ice cream? That I could identify with.

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  14. I though "our lips are sealed" was "I love Cecile"

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  15. I also thought "Clap for the Wolfman" was "Black Water Woman" until last year and I actually argued with my husband about it... embarrassing.

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  16. I had a roommate long ago that constantly told me about a song she loved by ABBA called Amarang. I of course said I knew of no such song. For months she would tell me that she heard it. Finally, one day she came running into the apartment, flipped on the radio and said "Amarang, ABBA" and I said, "I'm Alright, Kenny Loggins" and she said, "whatever" and smiled and walked off.

    My sister had a roommate that thought the song "Daughter" by Pearl Jam actually said "Don't call me Dauber" like the character on the TV show "Coach".

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  17. OH MY GOD someone else knows of that Cabbage Patch Tape. Somewhere, there exists a video of my little sister sitting on the stairs singing "Cabbage Patch Dreams." In the middle, the cat walks by, she picks it up for a loving interlude in the middle of the song, and the cat totally claws her face. I'd give anything to see that again.

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  18. I LOVED the Cabbage Patch Tape. My best friend and I would perform the whole thing and make my mother watch us. I swear we wore out that tape. My memory is something about bees? Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. I'll need to look for a copy and see how much I remember

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  19. "Big Love" by Fleetwood Mac. Dear God. For the longest time I thought the lyrics "big big love" were "big pig o' love." TRAGIC. I imagined a giant sow with red construction paper hearts glued unceremoniously to her hide. Understandably she seemed displeased.

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  20. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I thought KC & The Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight" was "Get Thousand Island"

    I was young. I was confused as to why they were singing about salad dressing.

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  21. That crappy Offspring song, Keep 'Em Separated. I know I have the lyrics wrong and even though I've looked them up in the past I still have to re-convince myself that "Take him out, you gotta keep 'em separated" isn't, "Drink your milk, you gotta keep 'em separated." Some anti-homoginization anthem, not sure what I was thinking?

    And it was only when my husband overheard me singing Van Halen's "Animal" that he corrected me...I guess its Panama, but old habits die hard.

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  22. The woman who led my video conference training at work was(and I imagine still is) named Healy. Apparently they're all funny!

    It's not a misheard song lyric, but I was convinced for the first 7 years of my life that parmessan cheese was in fact "Farmer John" cheese. I also still have my Cabbage Patch doll. I'm told she's incredibly creepy and needs to be put away.

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  23. I heard one Strokes album for the first time when I was taking a Shakespeare class in college and we were reading Othello. I knew that Julian Casablancas was singing, "I hate them all," but what I heard (and still hear) is, "I hate the Moor."

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  24. Jess - That's actually the same Healy. (She leads vid conferences as part of her work; I'll bet you're working with my sister!) :)

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  25. I had a co-worker once whose sister sang "Big Ol' Chad with a Lighter" instead of "Big Ol' Jet Airliner"

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  26. My mom is bad with lyrics. I don't know the singer of this 80's song...but the chorus goes something like...
    "Stay the night,
    don't say you don't know
    Stay the night,
    it's alright"

    Mom always sung "Steve and Eddie, don't say you don't know. Steve and Eddie, it's alright".

    It was awhile before we realized what she was saying, and even after she knew, she still usually got it wrong.
    Apparently she was okay with this gay couple, Steve and Eddie and thought it was okay for them to come out.

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  27. Oh yeah, in the process of commenting about my mom and Steve and Eddie, I remember that for most of my life I though MJ's Billy Jean lyrics included "but the chair is not my son" instead of "but the kid is not my son". I think it's one I actually had to look up to find out. It NEVER made sense to me! I'm shocked that no one ever caught me singing that!

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  28. My husband thought Mykonos by Fleet Foxes went, "And you would go to Mykonos, with a vision of your genitals." I corrected him, "Dude, its 'gentle horse." I looked it up just now to verify and it appears we're both wrong. It's 'gentle coast'. It clearly makes more sense that way.

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  29. i thought i was the only one with the cabbage patch tape! my best friend natalie and i used to dance around the living room when we were ~7 with our cabbage patch dolls singing at the top of our lungs "cabbage patch kids! growin' in the garden. cabage patch kids! growin' in the sun. and the most amazing thing about a cabbage patch kid! is that each one grows to be a SPE-CIAL! ONE!"

    jesus i can't believe i remembered that.

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  30. I thought that GoGos song was "A la piscine" (by the pool), and I felt very cosmpolitan and 'kewl' while singing that with a very dedicated french accent. I was very disappointed to find out the actual words. Logic be damned!

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  31. I'm sitting alone in my house howling with laughter at these comments! My dog's giving me a wierd look. And I'm an Aerosmith fan so I'm shocked to learn it's not "do the naked lady"? For real?

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  32. What I thought: "To me you're like a broken dictionary, canned and dry." Of course a broken dictionary is canned and dry.
    Actual lyrics from Seal's Kiss from a Rose: "To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny."

    What I thought: "I want to rub you with some lotion."
    Actual lyrics from Color Me Badd: "I want to love you in slow motion."

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  33. George Harrison's "I've got my mind set on you" = "Wake up, I might sit on you"

    It was 5:30am...and the radio was low, as to not wake sleeping family members. I still like my version better.

    Just didn't understand how it was going to take a lot of money to do it.

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  34. Fiance' thought it was "give me the beach boys and free my soul"...and sang it with gusto.

    I think as long as you "own it" when you are singing, you can convince people it's right.

    My favorite is catching my mom singing the wrong words to a song and her looking at the radio and saying "You'd think after ALL these years they would know the words to their own song!"

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  35. I had completely blocked this from my head until I started reading these comments and must share my shame....Beck's "Loser?" That bit in Spanish where he goes, "Soy un perdedor?" I totally thought was, "So, I walk through the door."

    What makes this a miiiiiiiillion times hilarious to me?

    My. First. Language. Is. Spanish.

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  36. I work with her via magical technology. The picture sort of creepily sealed it for me. I was like, that's TOTALLY a young Healy!

    Small world!

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  37. Tactless Wonder - until I read your post, I thought it was "So, I don't care to talk". HAHAHA!

    My husband thought that the line in Pinks new song was "oh hot damn, what about her body don't you understand" and would sing it all the time. It's actually "what part of party don't you understand".

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  38. I was convinced for years that "Love is a Battlefield" was "Love is a Ferris Wheel".

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  39. I was convinced, still am really, that it's "papa don't preach, i like ovaltine"

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  40. I LOVE that you posted about the Cabbage Kid tape. We played it over and over when we drove from Boston to NH, until it eventually warped. I still have "Laaaavenderrrr, Lavender McDade. Say 'Welcome' to the star, of this evil escapade. (Now this part I may have wrong. How fitting.) Everyone needs a little bit of (pause) lemonade. Because it's me, Lavender, Lavender McDade.

    The other thing I JUST learned is that Prince is actually singing "Ain't no particular sign that I'm compatible with" in Kiss. I had been singing "Ain't no particular size and no compatible weight." I like my version way better.

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