Monday 18 October 2010

I am a lyricist

Sometimes a tune is so beautiful that one can't help but trying to sing that song with our own lyrics. This is a trait mostly seen in kids who just invent their own words to a song they don't know very well. But somehow I don't seem to outgrow that trait. And this can be quite embarrassing at times. But I can't be blamed you see as the lyrics I invent fit in so very well.

Sometimes the singer's voice is not quite clear and the lyrics are misheard. But it so happens with me that I don't mishear the song but think that what I sing is THE right one. Finally one day I get to hear the song and then I realise my mistake. But whatever said and done, the original lyrics never replace my old lyrics.

I thought this problem was unique to me (as I always do) but there are many like me:

* When Bob Dylan first met The Beatles, he told John Lennon he liked that song of theirs where they sing, ‘I get high, I get high’. Lennon embarrassingly pointed out the line was: “I can’t hide, I can’t hide.”

* This song is one of the most misheard songs out there. "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix. The lyric is:
“Scuse me, while I kiss the sky.”
It is often heard as:
“Scuse me, while I kiss this guy.”
“Excuse me, while I zip my fly.”

“Excuse me, while I eat this pie.”

* This is a 1970s song that was often misheard by a lot of different people. The song is "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedance Clearwater Revival. The lyric is:
“There’s a bad moon on the rise."
It is often heard as:
“There’s a bathroom on the right.”
“There’s a baboon on the right.”
“There’s a fat man on your wife.”
“There’s a bad move on the right.”

“There’s a bathroom on the rise.” 

Well, I told you I was not the only one out there who hears wrong lyrics.

And I know for sure that there are many of you who are also budding lyricists. Right?

Misheard lyrics courtesy: Internet
Image courtesy: Internet


  1. I've got company! A bathroom singer, I just make up my own lyrics most of the time. More than getting the lyrics wrong, for me I'm bad with memorizing lyrics, so I just makeup for the portions I forget with my own. I've done that for competitions, on the spot, on the stage, and got away with it!

  2. Deborah, I thought this was so funny. You always touch those little fragments of human nature we rarely think about. And you're so right, I guess we all make up stuff.

    Spanish is my first language, so when I was learning English I did make up lots of words not only to songs but to speech. One of my favorite games was to pretend I spoke English fluently and I just mimicked the sounds I thought I heard.

    Thanks always for your insights.

  3. This is a funny post... Bathroom singer I am not nor am I any kind of singer but I do fall into the category of getting the words mixed up!
    A nice goodnight post for me... will be smiling in my sleep! Thank You

  4. hehe. i am a singer from way jamming along with the stereo in the car...and when you get to the part you dont know you dont want to drop it...might as well make them up as you go where did my baboon go...oh yeah on the right...

  5. Oh, boy! Am I ever a budding lyricist. Though, I daresay not quite so budding. I've been writing my own lyrics since I was a child, too. And like you, Susan, I won't give up my version of the song. Somehow, it is stuck inside my head, and it will not become unstuck. My version is always more exciting because... well... because it means something to ME. And so, it stays... forever.

    Lovely to know I am not the only one guilty of this lovely pastime. Another thing we share, dear Susan. No surprises, though!


  6. Oh I have friends who do that... and boy they do that so well!!

    +1 to lyricists I know. ;)

    (lol! I can't hide/I get high)

  7. Susan D it is intriguing how you so-well present your own very interesting thoughts or behaviors in a post...then ask, "Anyone else out there DO that?" Or you ask, "What do YOU think about that?"

    I LOVE it!!!

    OK--only hours ago friends and I were doing that very thing, re-wording song lyrics. Me, usually in a place where I had forgotten the originals.

    BTW, I always thought there's a barroom on the right...

    Your posts, always entertaining, forever show the sameness in us Peeps, our behaviors, thoughts, goals, desires, goods and bads.

    Steve E

  8. Thank you Susan, you just made me a lyricist :D and I'm so happy with this bit of discovery :P

    you have a knack to bring out the best in everybody

    Huggsss on that thought

  9. Oh, this made me laugh dear Susan! What a great post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the misunderstood lyrics.;)
    Yes of course, English not being my native language, I totally misunderstood many lyrics in my youth.
    The one that comes to mind just off the top of my head is the chorus in the lyrics to *Stop, Stop* by The Hollies. The line goes "Stop, stop, stop all the dancing" while when I was about thirteen I heard (sang) it as "Stop, stop, stop halo lancing". Hehe.;)
    As always a pleasure to stop by here my dear friend,

  10. You are such a crack up! My husband does this all the time, but not because he hears it wrong, but because he can't remember the order of words.

  11. I get the words mixed up sometimes too...hehe. So when i see the original lyrics,i go ahhh!

  12. Ah the pleasure of singing a song
    with words that are all wrong
    I see there is a crowd where I belong
    and may this tribe grow strong.

    I do this especially with Hindi songs since my Hindi is very basic,which makes my wife rolling on the ground.

  13. You really captured the essence of hearing correctly, or NOT, very funny by the way, but in a different vein is it any wonder that we often mistake or misunderstand others? My mother was hearing impaired and many people never knew however, and thought her a good listener of all their woes, but at times she would not catch their lips and would fill in and invent what she thought they said. They loved her for her patience in listening to their woes, but at times thought her a bit eccentric in her remarks.

    Have a wonderful day,

    Thank you for your comment on my blog,,,I agree with your comment on pottery and the arts, it is true liberation of our creative spirits.

  14. This post had me laughing! I loved the "can be heard as" suggestions.

    There are songs that I "understood" when I was learning English and the way I understood them, remains what my mind wants to sing when I hear them. One of them is "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees. When it says "and everybody is shakin" I hear "Everyone's chicken" and to me everyone is chicken, that's the end of that.

  15. Ha ha! I would've loved to see the look on Dylan's face.

    My friends are always making fun of my lyrics! Great post, Susan! :)

  16. RGB:

    Glad to know that I am in good company here :) Smiles.


    I think this is a common trait with most second-language speakers of English but many native speakers also muddle up lyrics. You're always welcome, dear Myrna.

  17. Savira:

    Glad to see a comment from ye. Welcome back. I wish you more smiles and cheers.


    Baboon is really funny. Glad that many of us are baboons (in lyrics, though).

  18. Nevine:

    And I am not surprised as well :) Glad. Big hugs back to you dearest Nevine.


    I thought you would do that as well. Maybe sometime in the future.

  19. Steve:

    I LOVE it too when you come here and comment and Grinnnnn. Peace back to you dear Steve. Much love and boy! how I love these comments :)


    I knew you would do this. I could have bet a hundred pounds. Love you.

  20. Zuzana:

    We love the lyrics we compose and we never give them up, however embarrassing. Your misheard lyrics made me roll with laughter. Thanks for sharing your quips with us dearest Zuzana.


    I bet you have a great time when your husband starts singing!

  21. Blogoratti:

    Ahhhhh :) I go ahhhh but then I don't change my lyrics.


    Hindi!!! I should have heard you which would guarantee a bang on your head!

  22. Joanny:

    I like the way you add a philosophical colour to everything in life. A very reflective being, I reckon. Glad that our paths crossed. There is a dearth of listeners in today's fast-paced world.

    I wish you joy always :)


    Everyone'c chicken!! Lol. How funny we can be. If only more people knew how to laugh at one self, the world would be a lovelier place.

  23. Mridula:

    I know. Dylan would have just smiled and carried on. Maybe he would've said: "Well . . ."

    I even translate Hindi songs in my own way into English and sing them. Very funny.

    "Don't tell anything, please don't tell anything" (kuch na kaho, kuch bhi na kaho).

    So much so for lyrics and songs.

    Have a kick-ass remainder of the week :)

  24. Ah yes... In those good moments of life when for not apparent reason (though all the reasons in the world) I find myself making up the best of lyrics and tunes... shame they are all gone....

    great post Susan...

  25. Su, Where are you... u've been so busy the past so many days,


  26. Sus, I don't know if you have seen this. Just check it out you will like it.

  27. When my older son try to sing some song, the younger one who can not speak properly repeats it in his own words in the same tune.

  28. Ash:

    You are on a posting frenzy these days and I cannot keep up. Whats come over you? A demon writing and writing? Those were the days when dear Ash was never to be seen and today . . . tables turned. Awwww.


    I saw that video. Oh my God! So so funny.

  29. Rajesh:

    Welcome and thanks for the lovely insight. Children always do this kind of thing but some of us never grow up, you see. Just read all the comments above and you will be sure that there are many competitors for your youngest!!!

    Hope to see you again. Joy always :)

  30. Dulce:

    Please do start them all over again. It is real fun. Big hugs to you, dearest :)

  31. Woa... this is ridiculous, I have missed so many of your posts. I'm very disorganised ... must find a way to track my favorite blog. As for writing lyrics, I wanted to give it a try with my boy.. haha looked so easier on the movie 'Music and Lyrics' with Drew Barrymore and what's his name or goodgrief how could I forget his name. cutie pie.

  32. Gaia:

    "Music and Lyrics" is a lovely watch esp that song. The name is Hugh Grant! and how can you forget him?

    I can just imagine Sage and Gaia jamming together. Must be a lovely sight to behold.

    Joy always :)



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