Tag Archives: Jackie Chan

Why Misheard Lyrics are Good for You

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Tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Misheard lyrics are high on my awesome-o-meter. This is especially true when other people mishear lyrics, and I catch them doing it. But it is equally awesome when I finally realize the real words to a song. You mean, it’s not Stairway to Kevin’s? Why didn’t someone tell me that earlier? That makes so much more sense now.

I also love the humanity of misheard lyrics. We’ve all had the words wrong to a song before. Even those of us that memorized the lyrics from the album jacket of every new record we bought from Tower Records. One song always slips through, taunting us with a jumbled verse that we usually mumble along with while driving in the car. Then someone hears you and opens their eyes wide in astonishment. “Did you just say, ‘Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight’?”

That’s when you laugh nervously. “No.” Then after a moment you shrug and ask, “what the hell are the real words anyways?”

I have a new iPhone 4S, and Siri and I are getting acquainted. I’m learning to ask her for what I want, which isn’t easy for me, even when I’m talking to a phone-bot. Caught in traffic on 405 the other day, I thought I’d give Siri something to do. She seems to like little tasks. So I asked her, “Why am I stuck in traffic?”

She thought I said, “Why am I stuck entropic?” To which she answered, “This is about you not me.” Which is probably true, and when you think about it a pretty existential question to be asking while stuck in traffic. Siri probably thinks I’m really smart. Maybe a little too smart.

But it got me thinking about misheard lyrics for some reason, because let’s face it. I’d rather consider “kissing this guy” than my own state of entropy. Of course, “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”, is one of the better and most often quoted misheard lyric around. Here are a few others:

  • “Catch that bus baby, we were born to run”
  • “Wrapped up like a douche, another rinny ninny night”
  • “People are strange, women are stranger”
  • “See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen”
  • “There’s a bathroom on the right”
  • “You might as well face it, you’re a dickhead in love”
  • “If you change your mind Jackie Chan, I’m the first in line Jackie Chan”
  • “West Virginia, mount your mama”

It’s not just me is it? I’m not the only one that belts out misheard lyrics with great aplomb am I? My grandmother used to say that if you don’t know the answer to a question just make something up and “say it with much aplomb.” I totally live by this advice. I’m always offering up random bits of information that may or may not be correct, such as how to clean a chandelier with a q-tip and Witch Hazel or why that joint pain means you need to get more sun or how the phases of the moon are all backwards. Don’t bother looking these things up. Just trust me on this one.

Extra points for anyone who knows the real words to these songs or has more awesome misheard lyrics to share. And Siri? I’ve been thinking about my state of entropy, especially my lack of creativity lately and have decided that what I really need is a good personal assistant. But that’s more about you than me, now isn’t it.