We’ve all been there. You’re cruising along in the car, windows down, radio blasting, everyone belting out a song like it’s an American Idol audition, when someone gets the words hilariously wrong.
It’s not entirely our fault, of course. Have you listened to Nirvana? Consider that thanks to Auto-Tune, actual singing talent isn’t even required to be a megastar anymore. Do you think diction is high on the priority list? And who has those handy little CD booklets with lyrics when so much music is purchased through digital downloads nowadays?
In honor of every mondegreen you resolutely stuck with until that fated karaoke night, here are seven treasured screw-ups I’ve personally heard over the years (ages and identities of the offenders will remain protected . . . because some of these are possibly mine):
7. You may be wrong . . .
The song: “You May Be Right” – Billy Joel
Actual lyric: “I walked through Bedford Stuy alone”
What was heard: “I walked the road with Sly Stallone”
6. Awkward . . .
The song: “One Week” – Barenaked Ladies
Actual lyric: “I’d like a stinkin achin shake”
What was heard: “I’d like to see you naked”
5. Angsty carnie love . . .
The song: “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette
Actual lyric: “It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me”
What was heard: “It’s not fair to deny me the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me”
4. You know you’re a child of the 80s when . . .
The song: “Tiny Dancer” – Elton John
Actual lyric: “Hold me closer, tiny dancer”
What was heard: “Hold me closer, Tony Danza”
3. Only in America . . .
The song: “The Star Spangled Banner”
Actual lyric: “O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming”
What was heard: “Over hamhocks we watched, were so gallantly streaming”
2. Second door down . . .
The song: Creedence Clearwater Revival - “Bad Moon Rising”
Actual lyric: “There’s a bad moon on the rise”
What was heard: “There’s a bathroom on the right”
1. Mark it eight, Dude . . .
The song: Cheap Trick – “I Want You to Want Me”
Actual lyric: “I’ll shine up the old brown shoes”
What was heard: “Shine up my bowling shoes”
There are those who mumble through the unclear verses, and then there are those who supply their own lyrics. To the latter, I salute you.