My Real Life

January 25, 2010

Wrong Lyrics Contest

So, as the musical director of our spring musical, I memorize all the songs in the show each year, so that on the performance nights, I can sit in the pit and mouth the words to any middle school performer who may have forgotten the words to their song.

This year, we have 25 songs in the play, however, they are all 80’s songs, so it is the easiest I’ve ever had it!

I grew up in the 80’s!

I know every single 80’s song!

I know every word to every single 80’s song!


Ummm…not so much with the whole every word thing.

As I read the music and teach the songs to the kids, it turns out that I was quite creative with my lyrics in the 80’s. 

In more than half of the songs we are singing, I’ve found myself saying, “Wait?  Those are the words???”

Believe me when I tell you that this comes as no surprise to my childhood friends.  I guarantee they are reading this shaking their heads saying, “Yep…she sang at the top of her lungs, but always the wrong words.”

Who knew?

Some of it is pretty tame.

For example, in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” I always thought the words were, “When in the world can they have fun?  Oh, when in the world can they have fun, oh girls…Girls just wanna have fun!”

It seems as though the actual lyrics are “When the working day is done, oh, when the working day is done, oh girls…Girls just wanna have fun!”

Not too terribly wrong.

Yet, still wrong.

Or, let’s examine “Footloose.”

I always thought that it was “Jack, get back, come on the four way crack.  Loose, you’re loose. Everybody cut footloose.”

Apparently Kenny Loggins thought this sounded better:

“Jack, get back, come on before we crack.  Lose your blues, everybody cut footloose.”

Oh, and this part (which I thought was) “Somebody to tell you, that life ain’t passing you by, I’m trying to tell you, in the middle of a whittle don’t really cry,” really goes like this, “Somebody to tell you, that life ain’t passing you by, I’m trying to tell you, it will if you don’t even try.”


If you like lyrics that make sense, I guess his version is okay.

We aren’t singing “Flashdance” in the show, but that’s another example, albeit a bit dirty, considering that I thought the line “Take your passion and make it happen” was “Take your pants down and make it happen.”  I could never believe they played that on the radio, although today, it probably wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

Ooh, ooh…or how about Manfred Mann’s “Blinded by the Light?” (Granted…it’s from 1977 when I was 5, but let’s consider it anyway.)  Even though I know the words, I still believe that “Wrapped up like a deuce, another runner in the night” is about a feminine hygiene product being rolled into the night and you can’t convince me otherwise.

I simply cannot be the only person who has gotten this many lyrics wrong.

So, our next contest is this:

Leave a comment below with a song to which you always sang/sing the wrong lyrics.

(I say “sing” in the present tense, because given the percentage of lyrics I had wrong in the 80’s, I’m predicting a high percentage of wrong lyrics coming out of my mouth in the 90’s and into the present.)

Winner will be chosen at random, however, I’m hoping for some really funny stuff, because I could use some laughs!

The prize for winning the contest will be a $10 gift card to Old Navy.

Contest will run through Wednesday night, January 27th, 8 pm.

So, tell your friends, and share your lyrical shame!


  1. I’m like you Amy…I’ve led a lifetime of singing songs wrong, and judging by my daughter singing “I kissed a squirrel and I liked it” instead of “I kissed a girl”…it runs in the family.

    The most recent “mistake” of mine is to the song “Umbrella” by Rhianna. For at least a year (actually longer) I thought “When the sun shines, we’ll shine together, told you I’ll be here forever, said I’ll always be a friend, took an oath, I’m a stick it out to the end” was…”took an old thumb, stick it out to the end.”
    It wasn’t until about 6 months ago when the song came on and my hubby was in the car with me that I said “What does that mean anyway…taking an old thumb and sticking it to the end? Is she hitchhiking?!?” My poor husband couldn’t breathe he was laughing so hard…and then he politely corrected me. I still didn’t believe him, it still sounded like “took an old thumb” to me, and I had to go home and listen to it online over and over again until I was convinced that he was right. Now it’s a big family joke…anytime we hear the song, we all sing real loud the WRONG words at that part, and all start giggling! Who knew! LOL

    Comment by Gretchen — January 25, 2010 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

  2. One of my favorite songs of all time – I have listened to it for ten years – it is on almost all of my playlists – have no freakin idea what the words are! The song…Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam. The lyrics…

    Unsealed, on a porch a letter sat
    Then you said I wanna leave it again
    Once I saw her on a beach of weathered sand
    And on the sand I wanna leave it again yeah
    On a weekend I wanna wish it all away yeah
    And they called and I said that I want what I said
    Then I call out again
    And the reason oughta leave her calm I know
    I said I know what I wear not the boxer or the bag

    Ah yeah can you see them
    Out on the porch yeah but they don’t wave
    I see them round the front way yeah
    And I know and I know I don’t want to stay

    Thanks Amy for making me actually look up the words – but I know that I will most likely continue to hum and make up my own words throughout the song as it blares in my car.

    Comment by Dan Johnson — January 25, 2010 @ 10:39 pm | Reply

  3. I can never remember the words to Bobaran. Is that even how you spell it? But I love to sing it at the top of my lungs to irritate my son. And my mom, when I’m home. My version goes a little something like this: Bobbobobbobbabaran bobbobobobobobbbaran, BOBORAAAAAAAAN, she took my haaaaaaaaaaand, she got me rocking and rollin’ rocking and rollin’, rocking and a rollin’ boboran bobbob, bobbabaran. Wesley asked me to kindly stop singing.

    ANd in other musical related news, I was in the bar with friends on Saturday night when the song “Shook Me All Night Long” came on. And for the first time, at the age of 24, with 2 kids, I understand the meaning behind, “She told me to come but I was already there.”

    Comment by Nichole — January 25, 2010 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

    • 🙂 It’s Barbara Ann, you goof! 🙂

      Of course, who am I to talk?

      Comment by abozza — January 26, 2010 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  4. There are too many to count!! That is one of the reasons I like to cantor at Masses…I always get the words!! I was never one to get the right words either. More of a tune girl. One of my most recent word mix-ups is from the Glee CD 🙂 Rain on my Parade….I thought some of the words were “and if I stand out” and “the cinder or the apple of its eye” and it is actually:

    And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
    The Cinderella or the shiny apple of its eye

    I am sure I can find many more, but I will spare you all.

    Comment by Alicia Bozza — January 26, 2010 @ 6:52 am | Reply

  5. Guess what….apparently the first lyric website was wrong…or Glee changed the words…not sure of which. According to another site, I was right on the 2nd phrase…The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye…maybe I’m not as bad as I thought with those words! 🙂

    Comment by Alicia Bozza — January 26, 2010 @ 7:13 am | Reply

  6. Here’s two:
    1. “I’m every woman” by Whitney Houston – I was in a car with a group of girls singing at the top of my lunchs “Climb every mountain”
    2. “That’s Not My Name” by the Ting Tings – she sings “Mary Jo Lisa…that’s not my name” but I thought she was saying one name “Maryjalisa….that’s not my name”. Ryan and I even started calling each other Maryjalisa!

    Comment by Kim — January 26, 2010 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  7. The one that sticks out the most is “Put Me In Coach” by John Fogerty. I was singing it in front of my now ex-husband one day: “Put me in a coal mine, I’m ready to play”. He just stared at me like I had 4 heads for a few seconds and then cracked up laughing! I didn’t know why! LOL. He finally told me what the real lyrics were… I’d had no idea! It was quite embarassing.

    Comment by Stephanie (Kitten20) — January 26, 2010 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  8. […] I’ve written posts about misheard song lyrics before, (WrongLyrics Contest), but we were in the car the other day and “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” came on and […]

    Pingback by I Wear My Sunglasses at Night | My Real Life — August 16, 2015 @ 6:01 am | Reply

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