Sometimes an artist writes a song with a powerful or interesting message, but the lyrics get jumbled in our heads and we miss the point completely. It’s fair to say that we’ve all had those confusing moments when song lyrics either turn out to be completely different than you originally thought, or were just damn confusing to begin with.

Today we look at a couple of my personal favorite Misheard Lyrics and analyze how a simple misinterpretation can distract from the entire message of a song:

  • Artist: Florence and The Machine
  • Song: The Dog Days are Over
  • What I heard: “Run Vampire Mother, Vampire Father. Run for your children, for your sisters and your brothers”
  • The Real Lyrics: “Run fast for your moher, fast for your father. Run for your children, for your sisters and your brothers”

I was incredibly disappointed when I learned that the song was not about people hunting down and killing families of vampires. When I had first heard this song my initial thought was “Yes, finally a song about brutal Vampire hunting!” but alas I was put in my place one day while singing along with some friends. Their looks of confusion conveyed the message that I was saying the lyrics wrong.  I have to say, now that this song isn’t about vampire murder…I find it hard to enjoy. Especially because it became aggressively over-played.

These kids deserve a song.

  • Artist: Katy Perry (feat. Kanye West)
  • Song: ET
  • What I heard: “Kiss me, hit me Bruce Lee. Prick me with your love pen, fill me with your poison”
  • The Real Lyrics: “Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me. Infect me with your love and, fill me with your poison”

Honestly, what I originally heard didn’t make much sense; but it was much better. In my mind Katy Perry was some sort of alien woman who was super horny for Bruce Lee, and for some reason she was hanging out with Kanye West who basically wanted to rape her; and I was alright with that. The realty of this song is a bit disappointing. There should really be more Bruce Lee references in songs.

Can I take a moment here to express how pointless Kanye’s role in this song was? He adds nothing but a layer of creepiness and further confusion.

  • Artist: Jay-Z (feat. Alicia Keys)
  • Song: Empire State of Mind
  • What I heard: “New York, I’ve become a wet dream tomato. There’s nothing you can do!”
  • The Real Lyrics: “New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do!”

The actual lyrics are a bit more inspiring, but a lot less funny. When I first heard this song, I was pretty impressed. My impression was that Jay-Z  was rapping about real life, and then Alicia Keys  kept cutting in and trolling the shit out of him. At first I was like “Wet dream tomato” what the hell is that supposed to mean!? But then I decided that it’s kind of like “I’m a wet dream tomato, your argument is invalid”

Sadly this was not true. It’s just a normal-ass song about how inspiring life in New York is. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t the only one to hear these incorrect lyrics: YTMND


  • Artist: The Kooks
  • Song: Naive
  • What I heard: “I know that she knows that I’m not from the roster”
  • The Real Lyrics: “I know that she knows that I’m not fond of asking”

Actually, the words “from the roster” were a complete guess. This is one of those times when I liked the sound of the lyric but had no idea what the fuck was being said. Between Luke Pritchard’s accent and the strange inflection he decided to give that line, I was completely lost. The line might as well have gone: “I know that she knows that I’m not FAFAFAFA”

Am I happy now that I know the  real lyric? Sure, but I still like mumbling nonsense to myself when this song comes up on shuffle.

  • Artist: Neon Trees
  • Song: Animal
  • What I heard: “Oh Oh, I walked to Mordor”
  • The Real Lyrics: “Oh oh, I want some more”

This was a crushing realization for me, because after hearing that line I was convinced that the whole song was about Lord of the Rings. My imagination went wild. I began misinterpreting lyrics like “say goodbye to my heart tonight” and in ending up with “take a bite of my hand tonight”. If you know your hobbits and elves, then I’d suggest listening to this song and reflecting on the events of the LOTR. A little Tolkien makes a good song so much better.

Gollum took a bite of his hand that night.

~Darion

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Comments
  1. HO HO! The Katy Perry one made me LOL big time. Here’s one:

    Artist: You Say Party! We Say Die!
    Song: ‘Laura Palmer’s Prom’
    What I Heard: “My heart needs a lap dance”
    Real Lyrics: “My heart needs a love dance”

    When I first heard the song, I thought “damn! those are some really good lyrics”. I mean, WTF is a “love dance”. That’s some bullshit.

  2. Km says:

    Lawls, love that you tagged this as “wet dream tomato”. I search that shit all the time.

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