By Deana Nall
"Your love is like bad venison! Bad venison is what I need!" -- Misheard lyrics to Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine"
Ever notice how finding out the real words to a song makes you realize the song wasn't nearly as interesting as you thought it was?
I don't know if I have a hearing problem or what but I'm always mishearing the words to songs.
It could be genetic. My dad spent much of his life thinking The Chordettes wanted Mr. Sandman to bring them a tree.
And thanks to www.kissthisguy.com, I know I'm not alone. You can sit for hours at this site and scroll through scads of misunderstood song lyrics sent in by people just like me.
The Kiss This Guy site was started by a guy who thought that in "Purple Haze," Jimi Hendrix was singing, "Excuse me while I kiss this guy," instead of "...kiss the sky." The guy realized his mistake and a Web site was born.
And it's a funny Web site. I mean a laugh-until-you-have-to-change-your-pants kind of funny.
There's the person who thought Michael Jackson was singing "Fettuccine’s at my door” instead of “Billie Jean’s not my lover.”
There’s also the guy who thought “Oh beautiful for spaceship guys” were the real words to “America the Beautiful.”
I have my own compilation of misheard song lyrics that I’ve been too embarrassed to submit to the site.
I’m dating myself just a tad here, but there used to be a band named Quarterflash that was famous for about a week in 1981. The lead singer was a girl who played saxophone and had spiky hair. Quarterflash’s one hit went like this: “I’m gonna harden my heart. I’m gonna swallow my tears.”
Well, I thought saxophone girl was threatening to swallow her teeth. For years, every time I heard that song, I would think, “If she’s whining about losing her man, she’d better get used to it because no one’s going to want to date a girl with no teeth.”
And that's not all. Most of the world heard Don Henley sing “Your brown skin shining in the sun” in his song “The Boys of Summer.”
Me? I heard “Your brains get shattered in the sun.”
My worst misheard lyric was from Toto’s “Africa.” For about 18 years, the most I could make out of one line in the song was “Sure is killin’ the jerro rising like the limpers above the surrogate eaves.”
Now, I didn’t know what a jerro was, or why anyone would want to kill one, or who the limpers were, or why they were limping, or how eaves could be surrogate, or what any of those things had to do with Africa.
Then I ran across the actual lyrics: “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.”
Kilimanjaro...the Serengeti...those are places in -- Africa!
Finally, it all made sense.
My all-time favorite misheard lyric isn’t mine. It’s one I found at kissthisguy.com. Remember “You’re the One That I Want” from “Grease?” John Travolta didn’t sing the words to this song very clearly -- possibly because it happened toward the end of the movie when Olivia Newton-John was hopping around in front of him in those black leather pants that actually had to be sewn onto her body.
Anyway, the song opens with John wailing, “I got the blues, they’re multiplyin’!”
My fellow lyric mishearer understood him to say, “I got shoes! They’re made of plywood!”
Enough of this for now. My husband just came home from work, and in the spirit of the words Jimi Hendrix never sang...
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”