by Leslie Noyes
Standing tall and proud
Voices raised in joyful praise
An anthem for us
My family has a long history of misunderstanding song lyrics. For example:
A line from The Eagles song, “Lying Eyes” as heard, and sung, by Studly Doright: “She is headed for the cheapin’ side of town.” When I asked him to explain the meaning of the lyric, he said, “you know, she went cheapin’!” Alrighty then.
A line from the 1985 hit, “Every Time You Go Away” by Paul Young as sung by our then five-year-old daughter, Ashley, “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you.” To be honest, I like Ashley’s lyrics better. We never quite convinced her that she was wrong.
Back in the days of my youth, I thought that Judy Collins was singing about clouds instead of clowns in her 1973 hit “Send in the Clowns.” Conversely, I thought that Joni Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now” featured the lines, “I’ve looked at clowns from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow. It’s clown illusions I recall, I really don’t know clowns, at all.” I’m sure if I had a therapist she’d draw a few conclusions about my psyche from my misinterpretation of cloud/clown references.
Some misheard lyrics are so universal that the artist incorporates them into his/her act. I saw John Fogerty in concert several years ago and he sang the line, “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
Check out this website dedicated to misheard lyrics: