History of Misheard Lyrics: a live-performed montage of 70 years of "kiss this guy."

Joe Sabia and the CDZA project have released a fantastic new episode of their weekly musical experiment videos: "History of Misheard Lyrics," with 70 years of botched words from popular music.



  1. So today I heard The Whispers sing, “Barak Steady, Barak steady all night long.” I wonder why I heard that instead of “rock steady, rock steady all night long.”? 

    BTW, if you actually DID hear the lyrics right but don’t know what they meant there is a great book called, “Blinded by the Lyrics” that looks into the meaning of real lyrics like, “”pompitous of love” and learn what a “fried out Kombi” is or the story behind the meaning of “Bohemian Rhapsody” 


    It’s a fun read and a great “bathroom book” since their are a lot of self contained short fun stories. 

  2. This series is pretty great: Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy by Gavin Edwards.

    He has a bit in one of the forwards breaking down the types of mishearings, and a majority include food substitution, something I think might have rattled Freud, had he heard it.

    The current one for me is the “like some cheese sticks” song.  I eventually looked it up using that line, which worked on Google.  The actual lyrics are way more moronic.

  3. Manfred Mann totally did say douche. They misheard the Springsteen original. So I guess it still counts as a mondegreen even though it was on the part of the artist not the audience!

  4. i was suprised/disappointed not to hear some take on “jeux sans frontieres” by peter gabriel, or as it seems to be known by so many, “she’s so popular”. oh well. 

  5. Devil’s Advocate here:  does anyone REALLY hear these lyrics this way?
    “She’s got a chicken to ride?”  Listen to 2 more seconds of the song and that makes no sense.  Or, “Hit Me With a Pet Shop?”  the real lyrics are in the TITLE OF THE SONG.  There are definitely indecipherable songs out there, but 75% of these are made up, IMHO.

    1. Well, I always head “no Dukes of Hazzard in the classroom” (followed shortly by “all in all you’re just a mother breaking the law”)…it pains me to admit I was in my late twenties before I realized what the actual lyrics were. I *knew*, even at a young age, that ‘no Dukes of Hazzard in the classroom’ made no sense at all, but I was too young to know what dark sarcasm was (and wouldn’t have heard it in any case). To this day, I still hear “a mother breaking the law”.

  6. In related news, when you listen to Handel’s Messiah, they really are singing:
    All we like sheep!
    All we like sheep!

  7. Jon Carroll over at the San Francisco Chronicle runs an annual mondegreen round up. Here’s one of my faves:


    He’s got a ton of them because readers send him submissions. They are pretty amusing.

    Eh here’s one of his http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/Lean-Mean-And-Mondegreen-3317608.php that has the amazing lyric

    he sang the lovely Christmas carol “Atomic bomb, atomic bomb . . .” Who knew what a “tannenbaum” was, anyway?

    Sigh. Mondegreens are like salted nuts… hard to stop. “Oh, beautiful, for spaceship guys.” … “America, America, God is Chef Boyardee.”
    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/JON-CARROLL-I-m-Not-Blue-I-m-Mondegreen-3320697.php#ixzz2BVN1zPz5

  8.  I’m pretty sure that actually is what Eddie is singing when he sings Even Flow.  Great voice, terrible enunciation.  (I’m still not sure what the lyrics for Yellow Ledbetter are either)

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