Bristol people share their funniest misheard lyrics from popular songs

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Bristol World readers have shared their funniest misheard lyrics from famous songs.

A mondegreen is a word or phrase which has come into existence due to someone mishearing a different word or phrase and repeating the original in an incorrect manner. The result of such an error often creates humorous alternatives that sometimes even over take the original phrases in popularity.

Mondegreen’s are particularly common with song lyrics as rhyming and repetition opens up the door for easy errors. An example of a famous mondegreen is the line “and as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our souls” in the track Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

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It is often misheard as “and there’s a wino down the road - I should have stolen Oreos.” Another example is “we built this city on rock ‘n’ roll” from Starships’s song We Built This City.

People often sing a humour alternative “we built this city on sausage rolls” instead. Mondegreen’s range from the silly to ones that make very little sense but are still used widely.

ABBA’s Dancing Queen is an example of this, the correct lyric is “see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen,” but it is sometimes sung as “see that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen.”

The Eurythmics song Sweet Dreams is also a victim to this trend. Instead of “sweet dreams are made of this” people sing “sweet dreams are made of cheese.” Madonna’s song Material Girl has a weird mondegreen in which people switch out the word “material” for “Cheerio” a popular brand of breakfast cereal.

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Some modegreens change the tone of the song altogether. The Robert Palmer song Loving you has a lyric that goes “I’ve got a bad case of loving you” but it is misheard as “I’ve got a backache from loving you,” which is considerably less romantic.

Bristol World asked its readers what the funniest misheard lyric that they have ever heard is. Ian H Clode said that Shania Twain’s You’re Still the One is his top pick. “Looks like we made it” is often confused for “looks like we mated.”

Roger Webster suggested Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, the lyric “but the kid is not my son” was misheard as “the chairlift isn’t my son.” Ian H Clode said that the song Bush by Gavin Rossdale often has people mistaking the word “glycerin” for “listerine”.

It’s not just adults who make these mistakes, Russell Copsey shared a story about his son mishearing the lyrics to a hymn he was taught at school. He said: “Our son, who had just started school, was walking home with my wife singing part of a hymn chorus of Sing Hosanna. “He misheard it and was singing ‘sing a spanner’”.

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