Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wait, What Do They Say?

You know those songs you've heard hundreds of times, maybe even thousands, the ones you sing along to, mostly out loud and in the presence of company, the ones in which you know maybe 98 percent of the words and not a clue as to the other 2 percent.

Take Sister Sledge's We Are Family for example. You know almost every line to that song, right? You heard it at Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings, at baseball games (especially in Pittsburgh) and repeated watchings of the underrated flick The Birdcage. There aren't even that many words, so you think you have it covered. But then what happens after this stanza, besides faking like you know the words:

All of the people around us they say
Can they be that close?
Just let me state for the record...

We give them love with the family doors? We gulfin' muff that our family loves? We grab earlobes in the family dome? We gettin' soap that our family does? We golfin' butts with the Fanta dolls?

I have no idea, so I looked it up (incidentally, what the shit did people do before the Interweb?). The next line of the song apparently goes: "We're givin' love in the family dose." Have you ever, in the history of that song, heard that lyric correctly? I'm calling bullshit.

I know there's a whole cottage industry built around misheard lyrics, but that's not what this is about. I'm not talking about the guy who thinks the Beatles' Paperback Writer is "Pay the Black Writer." This is about songs that are played millions of times a year from childhood to the present that people still have no clue what the lyrics are. And for some reason this morning, I find that absolutely fascinating.

Bohemian Rhapsody fits the description at some parts of the song. So does something like Magic Carpet Ride. Elton John's got a slew of songs that fit. What other songs can you think of that go along with this post? Let's be interactive today.

Slack Link of the Day: I missed the slow boil of this story, but I'm here for the full roll -- apparently Kevin Costner's in hot water for trying to turn a regular massage into a rub n' tug. On his honeymoon. Awesome. I wonder if Cal Ripken kicked his ass this time.

Slack Video of the Day: A buddy showed me this yesterday, a clip of the Cubs' Glenallen Hill mashing a shot that cleared Waveland Ave and landed on the roof of a building across the street from Wrigley. Glenallen Hill, that's a name no Yankum fan can ever forget, what that man did in the summer of 2000 should have been illegal.

Slack Song of the Day: I listened to Dave Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk -- one of the cooler jazz tunes ever -- on the way to work this morning, and felt the need to post some of the devil's music up here today. Coincidentally, someone showed me the following link as soon as I walked in, so here you go: Jazzification podcast. This is sweet.


At 11:29 AM, Blogger ethan said...

i don't even know all the words to "happy birthday", so i'll have to pass on that topic...

re: glenlivet hill - did you hear how loud the crack of the bat on that jack was? holy bejesus. and i really dig the extra highlight they threw in at the end there - especially all the empty seats in florida.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're dead on with the Elton John reference. It took me years to figure out that he was saying "lay me down in sheets of linen" in Tiny Dancer and I'm still not sure if those are the right words. It has also been the source of several disputes.

And, of course, in Blinded by the Light, I refuse to sing anything other than "wrapped up like a douche in the middle of the night"

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Some Dude said...

I think one of my favorites is all the idiots that thought CCR was singing "There's a bathroom on the right"

At 12:00 PM, Blogger MDS said...

I once spent like an hour in my car with dhodge (where are you, dhodge? You never comment here anymore) trying to figure out the lyrics to "Stayin' Alive." "We can try to understand the New York Times' affect on man" is such an odd non sequitor of a lyric that I don't know how anyone is ever supposed to guess it.

Of course, the most famous misunderstood lyric of them all, "Excuse me while I kiss this guy," might not really have been misunderstood.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me". Somehow people fuck up the hook in that song, when it's the damn title to the song. I had one kid in grade school who sung "Pour some, sugar me all the wayyyy"

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous JMONKEYLOVE said...

The entire song Mr Completely... blah blah blah blah compleeeeetely...

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Rashid Muhammad said...

I used to think that "Pour Some Sugar on Me" was "Pour Some Sugar on My Head/Legs"

We just couldn't figure out what body part needed sweetening. Plus he talks about being sweet from the head to the feet.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

My favorite misheard lyrics are Manfred Mann's version of "Blinded by the Light." For the longest time I thought it went, "Wrapped up like a douchebag in the middle of the night." In fact, I think that whole song has confusing lyrics.
Personally, I always forget the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. I guess Enrico Palazzo and I have that in common

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Some Dude said...

Here's another great Elton John one "She's got electric boobs, the girl has two"

At 12:30 PM, Blogger MDS said...

Do you realize that when you google Enrico Palazzo, Slack Lalane is the first site that comes up? No such luck when you google Vincent Ludwig, though.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Don Fiedler said...

For the longest time, I thought that Michael Jackson was singing "Titties on parade" instead of "Thriller"

'Cause This Is Titties on Parade, Titties on Parade Night
And No One's Gonna Save You From The Beast About to Strike
You Know It's Titties on Parade, Titties on Parade Night
You're Fighting For Your Life Inside A Kitties on Parade, Titties on Parade Tonight

Anyone else hear that?

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Apples said...

How about Elton John's, "Hold me closer Tony Danza." The signs were there forever. His obsession with Whose the Boss? was not because of Alysa Milano.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

I think "Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza" was the Jonathan Pintauro version.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Don Fiedler said...

Funny that you mention that. A joint research team from Yale and the University of Connecticut recently published the findings taken from a 12-year study of Who's the Boss. In a somewhat surprising twist, the study revealed that Mona was actually the boss. Some have criticized the research team, pointing out that the members may have been swayed by her trusty grandma breasts and taboo secual innuendo. Countering his critics, Yale Professor Mort Bentley insisted that it was because of, not in spite of, those breasts and her wily, old lady sexy talk that Mona was, indeed, the boss.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger dhodge said...

Here I am, MDS. I've always found Led Zeppelin to be a great source of lyrical misintreptation. Anyone want to settle the score on whether or not Plant is singing "With the butler and the maid and the servants three" or "With the butler and the maid and the servantry" in "Living Loving Maid"?

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I mean, when it comes down to it, who really is the boss? Mona is more like the Chairman, and Angela is the CEO. Incidentally, who do you think has blown more dudes, Mona or Blanche Devereaux?

Mr. Completely...ha, I don't know a single word to that song. I bet Atlanta hears it tonight.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger DannyNoonan said...

I'd say Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter." Nobody on the planet really knows what Eddie is saying in the song but everyone sings along when they play it.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

"Lukin" - Pearl Jam
"The National Anthem" - Radiohead (not the National Anthem, but the same title)
"Suck My Kiss" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Send Me on My Way" - Rusted Root
"Disarm" - Smashing Pumpkins
"Master Blaster" - Stevie Wonder

any song by Andrea Bocelli, mainly because I don't speak Italian. I just don't SEE what the big deal is about him. (don't worry, I'm already punching myself in the neck for that awful joke)

At 3:29 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

The Theme Song to Tiny Toon Adventures:

There's Hampton, and Plucky...

What the hell is the next line?

I remember seeing a little musical skit of tiny toons once in the Macy's T-Giving Day Parade in which some people same the song, and even they mumbled that line.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hampton and Plucky
Dizzy Devil's yucky-
blah blah blah
At Acme Looniversity we earn our toon degree


At 7:47 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

By the way, are the actual lyrics to "Blinded By The Light"

"Blinded by the light
wrapped up like a deuce
Another runner in the night.
Blinded by the light
wrapped up like a deuce
Another runner in the night.
Blinded in the night
wrapped up like a deuce
Another runner in the night."

Really any better? Is this song about Najeh Davenport?


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