Fun with Misheard Lyrics

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Years ago, I was in a loud power trio with my best friend, Charlie, and a guy named Darren who was a ringer for a young Eddie Van Halen. As the singer (he got the job even though it took two triple-rye-and-cokes to get up of the nerve to step up to the mic), Charlie kept transcriptions of all the lyrics to the songs in a notebook he took everywhere with him.

For some reason, he was extremely protective–paranoid really–about that notebook and wouldn’t let me or Darren look at it. One day, though, he left it at our rehearsal room. We just had to look at it.

Truth be told, there wasn’t much to see other than page after page of lyrics, handwritten in Charlie’s distinctive scrawl. But then we came to the words to the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” which we performed Van Halen style.

We’d played the song dozens of times in front of hundreds of people and were too busy playing to notice what Charlie was singing.

Girl

You really got me now

You got me so you don’t know what I’m doin’

Girl

You really got me now

You got me so I don’t know what you weigh

Wait. What?

Charlie had fallen prey to a mondegreen, those occasions when you mishear a lyric. Think that part of “Purple Haze” where Jimi Hendrix doesn’t sing “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”

Which brings me to this video that was forwarded by Danny.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Fun with Misheard Lyrics

  • September 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm
    Permalink

    For the longest time I thought they were in love with Diane, not dyin’. Pepper makes more sense now

    Reply

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