Friday, May 22, 2009

Wait - what is he saying there?

I love music. When I'm in my car by myself, I'm pretty much the most amazing singer EVER. As you'll never be in the car with me when I'm, you know, by myself, you'll just have to take my word on this one. Sometimes I'm jamming away to some great song when it occurs to me that I need to make a call. Most people would turn the song down when they pick up the phone to actually make the call. Not I. I keep it cranked up so I can keep jamming until the person on the other end picks up. This way, I don't lose any "I'm freakin' awesome at this song" time. My best friend, Jill, has the uncanny knack of picking up the phone right at the end of a ring so that I don't actually realize that anyone's on the other end of the line until it seems like there's been an unusually long interval between rings. I quickly turn down the radio, say "helloooooooo??" hoping that my signal just died, and then hear just enough noise to know that Jill is the middle of the silent laugh. You know the silent laugh - where you're laughing so hard that no sound is coming out? Jill enjoys those moments . . .

It's funny now to hear songs that I loved when I was younger and to realize that I've had the words wrong all these years. These are a few of my favorites:


"No More Rain" by Blind Melon (1993). The chorus of this song goes:

I just want some one to say to me
I'll always be there when you wake
Ya know I'd like to keep my cheeks dry today
So stay with me and I'll have it made

I realize that now. But when I used to sing this song at the top of my lungs in my car back in high school, I didn't get those words right. Instead of singing "you know I'd like to keep my cheeks dry today," I sang: "you know I like to keep my teenage drogeny." I had no idea what a drogeny was but I figured it was some form of the word androgenous - perhaps the noun? Like maybe an androgenous person was called a drogeny? I wasn't sure but it made sense to me. I thought "You know, it's about the time the drogenies had a love song written about them!" I wasn't sure it was entirely appropriate for him to be wooing a teenage drogeny but who am I to judge?


"Saving All My Love for You" by Whitney Houston (1985). The bridge of this song goes like this:

You used to tell me we'd run away together
Love gives you the right to be free
You said be patient, just wait a little longer
But that's just an old fantasy

If you remember the song, my girl Whitney goes up really high on the end of "fantasEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" and really holds it out. I used to sing (with all my heart, mind you) "but that's just an open tuxEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE." Had NO idea what that meant. But that was okay because I knew enough to know that these lyrics were about "mature" things so I just figured that an open tuxee was something that adults talked about. I felt really worldly singing it.


"How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston (1986). The chorus goes:

How will I know if he really loves me?
I say a prayer with every heartbeat.
I fall in love whenever we meet.
I'm asking you
'cause you know about these things.
How will I know if he's thinking of me?
I try to phone
but I'm too shy - can't speak.

Whitney tripped me up again! Instead of singing "but I'm too shy - can't speak, I would sing "but I'm too shycastic." I thought that "shy" was just the shortened form of "shycastic." Like slang, if you will. I thought I had stumbled across a new vocabulary word and you can bet I used it conversation. I would say things like "she is so shycastic." It never really caught on . . . my friends continued to use the word "shy." Poor uneducated fools.


"Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle (1977). Every verse ends with the same line. Like so . . .

I didn't mean to treat you bad
Didn't know just what I had
But, honey, now I do
And don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes blue

When I was a kid, Crystal Gayle was my FAVORITE singer - nay, my IDOL. Loved her and loved all her music. I wanted to grow my hair out like her but it was too hard to brush everyday so that didn't work out. I'm sure that Crystal didn't use "No More Tears" to wash her hair - she probably utilized a conditioner . . . that would make it SO much easier. ANYWAY, back then I used to lament that I didn't have blue eyes like my sisters. The color of my eyes were a curse upon me and I hated that I was the only kid with brown eyes. And, perhaps it was wishful thinking, but I thought Crystal was singing "Darnit! Make my brown eyes blue!" And, believe me, I sang that with ALL my heart.


"Redneck Girl" by The Bellamy Brothers (1982). I think we all know the words to this song but the chorus goes like so . . .

And I pray that someday I will find me a redneck girl
Oh give me a give me a give me a redneck girl
Give me a give me a give me a redneck girl

Oh give me a give me a give me a redneck girl
Give me a give me a give me a redneck girl


When I was a kid, I thought he was saying "Oh give me a give me a give me a big black girl." This was way off. I know that now. And he says "redneck girl" A LOT in that song, by the way. I was singing (again, at the top of my lungs . . .) lyrics like "big black girl likes to cruise in Daddy's pickup truck" or "big black girl got a name on the back of her belt." It's seriously in almost every line. It never crossed my mind that I was singing it all wrong. I just thought he knew EXACTLY what he wanted and I, for one, hoped he found her. With her name on the back of her belt and all . . .


So those are the highlights of the lyrics I've messed up in my life. I know that all of you have at least one song like this - a song that you realize now you were singing ALL WRONG. Most of you read this blog without commenting and that's okay. But not today. Take a second to share YOUR messed up lyrics with all of us . . . come on, don't be shycastic.

15 comments:

The Queen of my Domain said...

I NEVER hear the Redneck Girl song without thinking about you singing, at the top of your lungs, Big Black Girl!! Cracked me up then & still has me laughing :)

Erin said...

Winter Wonderland was when I made my classic lyric change. "In the meadow we will build a snowman and pretend that he is parse and brown". As I got older it bothered me more because I got to thinking that parsing someone might actually hurt them. Short of hurting Frosty, I thought parsing him would at least make him melt. Come on, even as a child you instinctively know that parsing a person will not end well. Add to that the fact that parsing makes him turn brown, well, it just gave my bad dreams! So I started just humming through that part! -- Until I was about 35 and finally figured out it was Parson Brown! Even at 35 I felt relieved, ignorant, but relieved about his fate!

Erin said...

The last post was from Nora. I'm at Erin's house using her computer.

Alana said...

My parents favorite story of me messing up lyrics- is of Silent Night.

the lyrics are:

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child

P.s. The song sounds much more current with my amazing rendition:

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Brown Suburban, mother and child

I mean when you are young- nobody knows what a Round YON virgin is anyway!

ellen said...

I, too, got the lyrics wrong on "Saving All My Love for You;" I believe mine was "But that's just an old man to see." I thought she was making a comment on the guy's age. And it NEVER dawned on me that she was the guy's mistress. I remember when you burst my bubble on that point--the second year of law school!

And I always thought "Just As I Am" said in the chorus, "Oh, Lamb of God, Michael; Miiiichael." I remember asking my mom once who was Michael, and she totally didn't get it.

Anonymous said...

Here are just a few of mine. Too embarrassed to even say who this is.

"Wrapped up like a dusch another rover in the night" It is supposed to be wrapped up like a duece......

"Electric boobs she still has moves" it's electric boots....I totally sang this even before that movie came out.

Of course there is R E S P E C T. take care of tpc???? I still don't know what those words are exactly

And then my favorites to sing is Heart of Glass by blondie. I usually wind up sing in wanna wanna wanaaaa heart of glass....

Catherine said...

Oh my gosh - y'all are cracking me up! I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who has messed up songs. I'm so glad y'all shared. Any more????

Nora said...

I am still laughing about Round Yon Virgin! You are right. What the heck does round yon mean. Seriously. I believe I always sang "ron yon" virgin, which I guess makes as much sense as "round yon" anyway!! Good one Alana!

Diana said...

I just heard another that I still can't figure out. It's old country. "The sweetest thing I've ever know is lovin you. And I have never been afraid of .....this is where it gets tricky. Is it "loosinnnn yyaaaa" or is it "Louiiisiiiaannaa" ? Catchy can you help?

Catherine said...

That's funny, Diana! What I always sing is "And I have never been afraid of loooooo-hooooooo-saaaaaaaaaaaang." Good song, by the way!!

Erin said...

GOOOD times. Cat, I would have bet my life that I was the one that said shycastic, so I'm sooo thrilled that it was you! In all your Master Works glory, YOU are the one that came up with that one. :) I do have a couple, but this one really sticks out because I just realized my mistake on this one a few months ago. Not good. It is the Willie Nelson song, Pancho and Lefty.

It goes:

All the federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness, I suppose.

Well, my brilliant take on this was, "out of kind the size of gold". What? What sense does that even make? I mean, I was a 30 year old woman when I figured out that something was a bit off about that.

oh and just one more...Careless Whisper by George Michael...I never knew his guilty feet have got no rhythm. I thought he was guilty feeling got no rhythm.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I still sing "shycastic" thanks for clearing that one up!!! Tiffany

Catherine said...

Erin, I messed up BOTH those songs in the EXACT SAME WAY!!! One of us probably influenced the other all those years!

Catherine said...

Tiff, I'm cracking up . . .

Anonymous said...

My husband used to sing the song Down on the Corner "Down on the corner, out in the street Willie and the Poor Boys are playing bring your nickle, happy feet". It is supposed to be "bring your nickle tap your feet". That cracked me up the first time I heard it and it took a bit to convince him he was wrong.
Ann W