The Music in Me

cartoon radio with cassette player

Derek and I sing. A lot. Not that anybody asks us to. I sing more than he does but not necessarily better. We experience life in music. By that I mean, we turn everyday events into songs.

It’s routine for one of us to sing made-up lyrics to a popular song about taking out the garbage or rain or whatever is going on, like a couple of weirdos. And this is one way misheard lyrics get found out.

Misheard song lyrics are nothing new. But I’m surprised that I’m still discovering lyrics I didn’t know I got wrong.

For instance, Indiana Wants Me by R. Dean Taylor came out in 1970 and until not that long ago, I had a line messed up in my head.

When he sang, “I wish I had you…to talk to” my brain sang, “I’m as shy as you…to talk to”. Oh sure, it’s easy to see NOW that it doesn’t make sense!

Another one I carried for years, but thankfully figured out long before I sang it in front of anyone, was in Billy Joel’s Piano Man.

The line is: making love to his tonic and gin. My young brain decided it was, making love to his tiny can gin! I wasn’t thinking about cocktails when the song was released in 1973.

My all-time classic, though, was Rock and Roll All Nite by Kiss. I sang – aloud on more than one occasion – I wanna rock and roll all night, and part of every day! They’re KISS, I reasoned, and they’re busy! They can’t rock and roll all night and ALL day. When would they sleep? (The accurate line is, and party every day!)

Recently, I caught a closed-caption writer in a lyrical error. We’ve been binge-watching Lost – it’s Derek’s first time seeing the series – and the Mamas and the Papas’, Make Your Own Kind of Music comes up a few times in season two. The closed caption read “…sing your old-fashioned song”! I couldn’t believe it! I’d always thought it was, “sing your own special song”. Turns out I was right. Everybody makes mistakes!

There have to be a lot of examples beyond Slow Walkin’ Walter (Smoke on the Water) and “the girl with colitis goes by” (the girl with kaleidoscope eyes) from Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – two of the most common pop lyric errors.

When it comes to difficult lyrics, this one from my childhood takes the lyrical cake! I know it by heart because I taped it from the radio and taught myself the words in hopes of winning a contest on CKOC. I didn’t win, but I etched the lyrics on my brain for life. Life is A Rock by Reunion – they were rapping before rapping was cool!

3 thoughts on “The Music in Me”

  1. Raspberry Beret by Prince – I thought the lyrics were Rags Merry old Rags. I was embarrassingly corrected while singing it out loud once. I really try not to sing out loud anymore!

  2. Hi Lisa…Creedence Clearwater Revival….circa 1969. In one of their hit songs, the words in one line sound like they are saying…”there’s the bathroom on the right”…but actual lyric is “there’s a bad moon on the rise”! You think we would have clued in as the actual song title is “Bad Moon on the Rise”! LOL!

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