Song Lyrics Threads Ad Nauseum: Purposely Mis-song Lyrics

Actually, I enjoy all the stories behind song lyrics, but do you ever get so annoyed, or for whatever reason, that you sing a song wrong on purpose?

Example, though I enjoy 99% of his work immensely, and quote him in my sig, John Mellencamp’s song “Pop Singer” annoys me for whatever reason and I sing the song thusly (and never fail to amuse myself, I’m easily amused, I suppose): “Never wanted to be no Bob Segar; Never wanted to write no Bob songs.”

And anytime I can degrade by using crude sexual lines for the original lyrics, I usually do. Sometimes I can be a 37-year-old Beavis and Butthead.

And don’t get me started on that long story that Springsteen tells on the live album before he sings “The River.” It was a cool story the first few times I heard it, but by now it is so old that I have him doing and saying all sorts of nasty things to his girlfriend whom he calls from the phone booth, to his father after he fails the Army physical, I have the barber coming in to circumcize him when he’s laid up sick, etc., etc.


There’s a long and honorable tradition for this. The first one that jumps to mind is The Young Rascals’ “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore,” which of course became “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Girl Anymore.”

Also, I had band back in the mid-70s, and my songwriting partner (who remains a close friend today) and I developed a tradition of making up dirty song titles. We never got to the point of actually writing the songs for most of them, but we still laugh about them some 25 years later.


“I Didn’t Know You Had It In Ya”

“It’s as Broad as It Is Long”

“I Can’t Put My Finger On It”

“Let’s Get Something Straight Between Us, Girl”

“It Just Slipped Out”
…and my favorite, sung to a girl who misrepresented the size of her tits:

“You Said a Mouthful!”

On a sort of related note, this same guy and I met while working at a country music radio station in 1973. This was about the time that singer Tanya Tucker first burst on the scene. She was only 14 then, but her early hits were notable for trading in some very adult themes.

She was a pretty young lass back then, and still retained a certain innocence (that all-too-soon went right out the window). I actually had the opportunity to interview her once, when she came to our little podunk 500-watt station, escorted by her dad (who no doubt travelled with his shotgun close at hand).

Anyway, I’m sure my friend and I weren’t the first to begin referring to her as Can Ya Fuck Her.

Dont’ forget Sheryl Crow’s “Are You Wrong Enough To Be My Fan.”

A song called “The Fool” by, I believe, Leeann Womack, which is about a woman whose SO is still in love with his ex, and is written as the woman speaking to the ex (“I’m the fool in love with the fool who’s still in love with you”) has a line that goes “It’s so hard holding onto my dreams when he’s holding on to the past”. I always sing “…when he’s holding on to your ass”