This misheard lyric changed my life!

Well no, not actually. But it did change the meaning of the song completely.
Like the example of my aunt, who loved All By Myself by Sappy McWhiteguy*. One day she’s belting this song out while washing dishes and I tell her, “All these years you’ve been singing that song. He’s not singing: All by myself, I wanna be all by myself anymore. It’s: Don’t wanna be all by myself anymore.” Don’t ask me how she justified that “anymore” at the end.

And boy was she mad at me for ruining one of her favorite songs.

Not long ago I heard the original I Just Don’t Wanna Be Lonely by Blue Magic. I was used to the Main Ingredient’s version where it seemed the singer was quite the self-centered egotist when, after his girl said she’s leaving him, he sang: I’d rather be loved and kissed, depending on a love I can’t get when your gone.

In Blue Magic’s version, it is quite clear he’s singing: I’d rather be loved and needed; depended on to give a love I can’t give when your gone.

Completely different sentiment. Makes me like the song more.

Any other “that song is not what I thought it was” moments?

*O.K., I felt guilty and looked up the singer. Eric Carmen. Sappy McWhiteguy fits much better.

I didn’t even have to look up the name of the singer! I thought to myself, Oh, she’s talking about Eric ‘Sappy McWhiteguy’ Carmen. :wink:

When I realized that Elvis wasn’t the son in Don’t Cry Daddy but the father, it changed the entire song for me. I liked it a lot better when he was the son.

There was a thread about songs with lyrics that are especially creepy that would apply to this thread in some cases.

I am thinking of that song named after a park by the Toadies, where the singer sings “And I promise you: I will treat you well, my sweet angel, so help me Jesus.” There were elements of creepiness in the song, but I really loved the riff and all. But when I found out it was about

a guy who lured a girl to her death in that park - with the song obviously taking the killer’s perspective

I could think about the song conceptually and go “wow, risky choice, and they do a good job of pulling it off and the song stands on its own as a piece of music” I can’t listen to it anymore. At all.

I thought it was about

vampires?

Oh, and the title is “Possum Kingdom.”

Dammit! :smack: At least I didn’t ruin the other spoiler box too.

No worries. And I kinda got that vampire vibe, too which made it kinda Buffy-ish and cool. Then I heard someone from the band interviewed and it just upset me. Weird, because I can listen to Peter Gabriel sing “Intruder” and just appreciate the vibe of that song (about a robber/potential rapist breaking into a house) - maybe because Gabriel typically assumes roles for a lot of songs so I can easily remind myself that this is art - but this other song has no touchstone like that…

I use to think that the song Drift Away was a tribute to a popular group, because, at least in the origional song, I’d allways thought that the first part of the chorus was “Give me the Beach Boy’s and free my soul.”

Too late now, but to correct my numerous errors

I use to think that the song Drift Away was a tribute to a popular group, because, at least in the original version, I’d always thought that the first part of the chorus was “Give me the Beach Boys and free my soul.”

sigh
I always heard Elton John singing “Hold me closer Tony Danza”

regretfully, when I mention it to people, they can no longer remember the real words.

I’m convinced my never-ending string of Mondgreens stem from a compulsive attempt by my subconscious to make the song better, like my version of Riders on the storm.

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
And Edgar Allen Poe

Is so much better than that hack Morrison’s version.

WordMan: I used to love “Possum Kingdom,” but it always sounded vaguely creepy to me, too. Now, having read your explanation, I’m not sure I can listen to it again.

He’s actually singing “Hold me closer Tiny Dancer.” Given Elton’s sexual inclination, perhaps he was thinking of Tony Danza subconsciously. One would hope he’d have better taste than that though.

I’m pretty sure the song was written before Tony Danza became a star. :wink:

I’m sorry - I completely relate to that, obviously. Maybe I should just keep that background story to myself, although the band is pretty up front about its origins…

I thought that, too, when I first heard the song.

It wasn’t until I heard a different version, I think off of one of my Rod Stewart albums, that I realized that I was hearing it wrong.

The Who’s Join Together, and it still pisses me off:

For maybe 10 years, I understood the the lyric to be:

Well we don’t know where we’re going,
but the sea isn’t right for knowing

To me, this conveyed the concept that not everything needs to be planned out; rather, it is just as valid (or more so) to go with the flow. A decade later, it was pointed out to me that the lyric is actually:

Well we don’t know where we’re going,
but the season’s right for knowing

Which makes more sense, I grant you, but sends the opposite message. Now, instead of going with the flow, we are expecting to discover the “correct” path, and right soon.

I always thought Alanis Morissette’s “Hands Clean” was about her relationship with a teenage co-worker (I’m not entirely sure where I got the co-worker ide, but I always pictured her exchanging glances with a young man in an office building.)

I always thought “my goodness, she’s kind of a creep.”

until I saw her in concert a few weeks ago and she explained that the verses were the man speaking and the chorus was her part. totally changes the song.

In a similar vein, when I first got my first Sarah McLachlan CD, I LOVED the song “Hold On” and my sister always turned up her nose and told me how much she hated it. One day, I asked her why and she told me, "because she’s so full of herself. "

“what are you talking about?”

“well, she’s breaking up with some guy, isn’t she? and telling him that it’s going to ‘hurt like hell’ when she’s gone.”

“um… no. The guy is dying.”

“… oh.”

it’s been one of her favorite songs since then.