Your favorite misinterpreted songs

  • Alan

Anyway, on topic:

When I was a kid and less wise in the way of the world, my mother would often tell me that someone was ‘special’ when I asked why that Downs kid looked different to me. As a result, for the longest time I was convinced that ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham was about a Downs kid.

Hard to explain if you don’t know french, but Serge Gainsbourg’s song Les Sucettes talks about a girl who likes lollipops, who loves the feeling of barley sugar running down her throat, how she pays her lollipops with pennies (!) and so on…

You don’t have to be a genius to understand what the song is really about, but what’s really funny is that it was sang in the 60’s (very prude times) by a truly innocent and naive girl, France Gall, which added to the fun of it.

It was broadcasted in every music show at the time, sometimes with Gall singing in front of people disguised as giant lollipops. I don’t know if everyone was actually that naive or if they were aware of the double meaning, but in retrospect that is hilarious.

Edit : found the video :

I have a pretty good idea of what Reznor and Cash are singing about. There are differences perhaps, but they’re more about perspective. Neither of them is singing about Unicorns, e.g.

Is Sixpence singing about drug addiction in their version of There She Goes? I wasn’t under the impression they were, so I may be mistaken.

Totally true story. The children singing at the beginning of Everything Is Beautiful by Ray Stevens:

I thought those were the words until I was well into my twenties and the classic country station out here decided to work that horrible thing into their rotation. My ears are kind of weird, though - might be broken.

Strangely enough, I don’t remember ever having nightmares about Dinosaur Jesus chasing me through the prehistoric jungles of the afterlife.

Conversation at my girlfriend’s house, a few years ago:

Housemate, singing: “Stop, in the neighbourhoooooooood!”

Girlfriend: Haha, you’re such an idiot! It’s “stop in the name of God!”

I shed a silent tear.

That was great, although in the spirit of the thread I would argue that while nobody knows the actual words to the song, somehow everyone has a pretty good idea of what it’s about.

I’m a huge fan of the Nightwish misheard lyrics myself.

Yeah, that really peaked with the Jessica Simpson cover, which was at one point used as a soundtrack for a really creepy montage of Iraq war casualties.

My favorite along those lines is the Toadies’ Possum Kingdom which has some Nick Cave caliber “love” in it and yet parades down the 90’s replay lists without anyone batting an eye. I’m usually pretty good about lyrics but I’d completely missed that until someone pointed it out to me, although I’d like to think that Guitar Hero 2 would have given me enough exposure to know better.

TV show Scrubs recently played a nice acoustic version of Outcast’s “Hey Ya” during a wedding episode.

The song is a breakup song. Doesn’t quite fit the ‘Wedding’ motif.

“Why are we so in denial
When we know we’re not happy here?”

Kind of like on ER when, at the funeral for a boy who died of cancer, they played the Greenday song Time Of Your Life. Except the song isn’t really called Time Of Your Life. It’s called Good Riddance.

Hmmm… It’s almost as if a comedy show employed irony as a comedic device. Almost.

Every time Ghostface Killah says “Staten Island” I hear “stag nylon”.

Misunderstood song: “You’re Gorgeous” by Baby Bird

Misheard lyrics:
“She knows just what it takes to make a crow blush.” --Kim Carnes
“Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you.” --Paul Young

That’s based on Matt Weddle’s cover, and it is really nice.

QW? That guy’s really kickin’ it old school.

Yep I love the song and I own it in fact! Still doesn’t change the fact that it’s not really a love song though.