Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Most Garbled Lyrics Ever

I just read an online article about people's misunderstanding of popular song lyrics over the years, and some of them I found hard to believe.  I mean, seriously, would anyone really think that ABBA's singing "Feel the beat from the tangerine" or that Toto sings "I left my brains down in Africa"?  Really?
But occasionally stars slur their words and songs can be a bit tough.  I was at least 20 before I figured out half of what's going on in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but, then again, maybe it was really because I had to study Camus and Nietzsche in order to grasp things.  And Elton John's "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road" confused me for years until I figured out he's saying "let the dogs of society howl."  (Er, I think that's what it is, anyway.)
I remember being six years old and arguing with my mom over the lyrics to Don MacLean's "American Pie."  She claimed that "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie" made no sense, and that the lyrics had to be "Bye, bye, Miss America, bye."  Well, her version, wrong though it is, does make more sense than the original line.
But, the grand champion of all music groups in need of serious elocution lessons is Creedence Clearwater Revival.  And their most garbled song ever?  This one:

I think the only clear lines in the whole thing are "Down on the corner, out in the street."  After that, I'm lost.  ("Billy and the poke boys are playin'/ bringin' nickels can't be beat" ???   What?  That can't be right.)  And I love this song!  I've just never been able to sing along.  Not once.

How about you?  Do you have any nominations for popular songs with garbled lyrics?


  1. "Blinded by the Light" by Manfred Mann and "Benny and the Jets" by Elton John. I garbled both of those songs in very unique ways!

    1. Oh, you are SO right! "Blinded by the light. Wrapped up like a [...?????? something that rhymes with light].