Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's Too Damn Hot

to sit at the computer - leather chair, you know. Hence, no real updates or stories, just a general wondering about an important question:

What song lyrics did you completely misunderstand for a long, long time?

Yes, yes, I know there's this whole site already dedicated to it, but the site's too big and I'm too lazy, and I had these stories LONG before that site existed.

A few of my favorites:
  • I thought the Clash's Rock the Casbah was Gobs of Tampons. Yes, there are lots of entries for this song in the Archive of Misheard Lyrics, but I don't think that one is there. Even as an awkward pre-teen, I was already becoming a sex educator. Who knew?
  • A college pal honestly thought Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar on Me (in the name of love) was Poison Shooting on Me, in the neighborhood.
  • My brother (when he was much, much younger, of course) thought Billy Idol's Hot in the City was actually Hot! Diddle, diddle.
  • This one isn't an especially original "mishearing," but for years, I thought Manfred Mann's song Blinded by the Light was Blind Date by the Light, (wrapped up like a douche) - again, a career in sex education was already in my future!

So, tell me: Which song(s) did you get wrong? Don't be shy - we've all been there!


Blogger Sue said...

Not me, but my mother. She always thought Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" was called "Iron Lung". As in, "bring me an Iron Lung, I need an Iron Lung". I think I choked on my gum when she started singing that in the car one day.

To this day that song will send me into monstrous fits of hysterical laughing.

August 01, 2006 2:51 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

OMG - Sue, I've never heard that before, but I LOVE it! It's laugh-out-loud funny.

August 01, 2006 3:15 PM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

My favorite has always been Credence Clearwater Revival's "There's a Bathroom on the right."(There's a bad moon on the rise). We cought our kids in the backseat one night singing the Go-go's "Our lips are sealed" except their lyrics were "I am Cecile" LOL

August 01, 2006 3:27 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

You know that new Jessica Simpson song "A Public Affair"? If not, listen to the sample on iTunes. Every time I hear it, I think, Is she singing 'All the camels come out for a public affair'?? I just looked it up. It's not "camels" (of course) - it's "cameras."

My dad always used to sing Rusted Root's "Send Me on My Way" as "Simi and the Whale." He was just trying to be funny and I guess it worked because to this day it makes me giggle.

August 01, 2006 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

This is not really me mishearing lyrics since my parents did it on purpose, but it still goes w/ the theme of things...

My name is Nicole and since I was little, my parents have always put my name into songs. The thing is that I didn't know that wasn't how they really went until I was about 15. That definitely led to some embarrassing arguments with my friends. The really obvious example is the Toni Basil song "Micky". Still to this day I can't help but sing "Hey Nicki, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind, hey Nicki!"

August 01, 2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Also, I have a friend who totally did a Weird Al and re-wrote the lyrics of Night Ranger's "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" to "Don't Tell Me You're Pregnant". I wish I could remember all the verses.

P.S. - I still tease my mother about Iron Lung. Hmmm, maybe I should buy it for her as a gag birthday gift. LOL!

August 01, 2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

First off, I don't like Reggae, but it's my brother's favorite. That song "Buffalo Soldier." When I was younger I thought it said "Buffalo Soda." That really creeped me out on those pot-smoking, dread-locked, hippies. I used to think "how gross! What is wrong with them. Buffalo soda?!"

August 01, 2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger Gwen said...

For the longest time, I thought the lead singer for Berlin was swimming through a pile of cheese while she was riding on the Metro. I knew it didn't make sense--swimming through apologies actually does--but once your brain is convinced those are the words, you just can't hear anything else.

August 01, 2006 8:51 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

These are all excellent - I especially LOVE Buffalo Soda. How could you NOT hate hippies if you thought they drank that stuff?

August 01, 2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

My sister and I loved Madonna when we were little. LOVED her. We dedicated entire weekends to choreographing dance performances to "Where's the Potty?"

August 02, 2006 6:28 AM  
Blogger Erika said...

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Islands in the Stream, I thought it was "I love industry..."

August 02, 2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger Fraulein N said...

Heee, Iron Lung.

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but for the loooongest time I thought Alanis was singing about "the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me." (When it's really "the cross I bear," ohhhh.) I'd built up this little backstory about this stuffed bear the guy'd won for her at a carnival, and now that they were through he was trying to take it back. D'oh!

August 02, 2006 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Alexandrialeigh said...

First, yours are hilarious.

Second, a friend of my mom used to think the lyrics to some 90s song were "put a knife through me, baby." The real lyrics: "Would I lie to you, baby?"

Third: When I was little, Sade's song "Smooth Operator" was constantly playing on the radio. And I loved it. Except, I didn't sing "Smooth Operator," I sang "FOOL OF THE RED EYE". No, I have no idea what that means, or where I got it.

There, now I'm embarrassed.

August 02, 2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger butterfly angel said...

My daughter, who is now 24, loved to listen to Cher. "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" sounded like 'Gypsies, Chimpanzees' to her! (lmao) the first time she told me. I am probably going to be 'dead meat' if she knew I was sharing this!!!

~butterfly angel~

August 02, 2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

This isn't poular music, but a little girl in my church used to sing the last line of the Gloria Patri ("world without end. Amen, amen.") as "world without men. Amen, amen."

I'm guessing this probably was her view of heaven.

August 02, 2006 9:59 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Two come to mind. First, in Toto's song "Africa," I always thought they were saying "There's nothing that a hundred men on Mars could ever do."
Second, and my husband's personal fave: in that song "I Want to Rock n' Roll All Night" by, I think, KISS, I always thought the chorus went: "I want to rock n' roll all night, and part of every day." Like, you know, they're showing some serious restraint here -- they'll rock all night long, but when it comes to the daytime hours, enough is enough.

August 02, 2006 10:14 AM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Oh, Alexandraleigh and Fraulein N., don't be embarrassed. I just remembered another one: I thought that song "Eye of the Tiger" was "I am a Titan." I think it's because that deliciously bad movie "Clash of the Titans" was out around the same time. Or not.

August 02, 2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger Kevin Charnas said...

"Gobs of Tampons"??? HA! hysterical! you screwball.

I thought Devo's "A Whip It Good!" was "A Rip-a-curr!"

August 02, 2006 12:55 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

My favorite childhood one was where I'd sing "She's got a chicken to ride, and she don't care!" to the Beatles' Ticket to Ride

Also, not that I'm obsessed with Rocky or anything, but the part in the theme, where the chorus is singing something like "getting stronger" I heard, and maintain to this day, that they say "chicken spy dad". That doesn't even make sense!

A good friend thought that Soul Asylum's Runaway Train was On a Freight Train. Good times.

August 02, 2006 2:50 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

"She's Got a Chicken to Ride" beats Bob Marley's "Buffalo Soda." Oh my G-d. This list is too funny. Between this and the Broadway and Off-Broadway shows I'm seeing out here in NY my laughter does not stop. I'm trying to think of more but the laughter is killing it. This is great.

August 03, 2006 12:41 AM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

A college friend thought that song "When Smokey Sings" was really "When smoking's a sin".
I also thought the Blinded by the Light song had the same douche reference. I never knew what the hell they were saying in "Lay down, Sally."
We had a big debate after a John Mellencamp concert over the lyrics from "Pink Houses". Is it "I can remember when you could stop a clock", which is what I say it is, or is it "I can remember when you could starve a flower", which is what Mr. T's boss insists it is?

August 03, 2006 12:55 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Didn't everyone think it was "wrapped up like a douche?"


Two notable misheard lyrics for me. First, remember that song "Have a Coke and a Smile?" I thought it was "Have a Coconut Smile."

Also, I thought the song "Spirits in the Material World" by The Police was "Spareribs in the Maternity Ward."

So sue me.

August 08, 2006 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Vaguely Urban said...

My brother also mis-heard Rock the Casbah. He thought is was "Fuck the Castoff" Pretty violent interpretation - especially since he was like 8 years old at the time.

August 09, 2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger Pixigal said...

Okay so first off I'm a new blogger and was lurking among random blogs and I just want to say I have completely enjoyed your's. Now on to the real issue at hand... I know I had many mis-hears over my lifetime, but none come to mind. My husband on the otherhand has many, two of which stick out in my mind. The first is "secret asian man," which brought up a great convo about a secret asian agent man and could he then be a secret asiant man. (Just roll with it). The other one, which I actually laughed til I cried the first time I heard him sing it was "lightning strikes chicken head" instead of "lightning strikes again and again."

August 13, 2006 10:50 PM  
Blogger Silliyak said...

Again, late to the party, but here's another web site.

August 14, 2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger Ryan Kelly said...

Just found your it a lot.

I misunderstood for a long time the line in "America the Beautiful" that said, "Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law." I never thought closely enough about it and thought it was something like "Liberty-in-law," maybe Lady Liberty was our relative?

But no - as we are to confirm our soul in self control, we are also to confirm our liberty in law. What a difference the lyrcis make now...

September 17, 2006 2:34 PM  

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