Top 10 Misheard Lyrics

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
A mondegreen is a mishearing of a phrase or lyric. Considering the number of songs written in the history of music, it is unsurprising that mondegreens actually happen very often. So for this list, we've chosen five of the most popular misheard lyrics based on their pop culture recognition or acknowledgement by the artists themselves and chosen five other hilarious misheard lyrics that we wish were the real thing. Join as we count down the top 10 misheard lyrics in music.
These are known as mondegreens. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down the top 10 most popular and hilarious misheard lyrics in music.

For this list, we’ve chosen five of the most popular misheard lyrics based on their pop culture recognition or acknowledgement by the artists themselves. We’ve also chosen five other hilarious misheard lyrics that we wish were the real thing.

#10 – “Africa” by Toto

Misheard: I left my brains down in Africa
Real: I bless the rains down in Africa

Though the actual lyrics of “Africa” are more spiritual in tone, it isn’t hard to see why people have hilariously misheard what Toto’s David Paich is singing on the track. After all, if you’re missing your brain, it certainly makes sense that it’s “gonna take some time to do the things we never have” – especially if you’re “frightened of this thing that I’ve become!”

#9 – “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.

Misheard: Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight
Real: That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight

Who knew that spirituality and bodily functions could equal chart success for these alternative rockers? Okay, so Michael Stipe has said the song is actually about unrequited love, but either way: here’s hoping you’re always able to find a bathroom when the need arises and that you don’t ever feel the compulsion to sing about it in public.

#8 – “Dancing Queen” by ABBA

Misheard: See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen
Real: See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen

While feeling the beat from the “tangerine,” is there a better way to have “the time of your life” than to kick down a dancing queen and watch her scream? Apparently more than a few fans think the Swedish pop group is singing about just that. While we’re not condoning violence in any way, you’ve gotta admit that such dark lyrics in an upbeat disco song would make quite an unexpected but humorous scene.

#7 – “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath

Misheard: I tell you to end your life, I wish I could but it's too late
Real: I tell you to enjoy life, I wish I could but it's too late

With heavy metal blamed for various societal evils and with controversy surrounding the Prince of Darkness wherever he goes, people probably didn’t think it was out of character for him to be encouraging suicide in Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” Though these interpretations of his music were later reinforced by lawsuits that blamed his lyrics for two youth suicides, Ozzy Osbourne has since set the record straight about the track.

#6 – “Everytime You Go Away” by Paul Young (originally by Hall & Oates)

Misheard: Every time you go away, take a piece of meat with you
Real: Every time you go away, take a piece of me with you

Paul Young took the Hall and Oates’ tune to the top of the charts in 1985 and made sure that carnivores around the world didn’t go hungry with this simple reminder. Alright, so this is actually a love song and the real lyrics ask the subject to “take a piece of me” – but you never know when a good piece of meat just might come in handy!

#5 – “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Misheard: There’s a bathroom on the right
Real: There’s a bad moon on the rise

As the world inches closer to its end, making sure you know where the closest bathroom is seems to be a major priority for John Fogerty. At least, that’s what many CCR fans think the singer is talking about in their top two hit. This mishearing has become so common that Fogerty has even taken to singing it during live performances!

#4 – “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (originally by Bruce Springsteen)

Misheard: Wrapped up like a douche, another rubber in the night
Real: Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night

When Manfred Mann’s Earth Band covered Bruce Springsteen’s track, the group gave The Boss his only chart-topper as a songwriter. However, this version contained some changes that resulted in a feminine hygiene product getting some serious airtime in the process. The often-confused lyrics were even the subject of a comedy skit on “The Vacant Lot.”

#3 – “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones

Misheard: I’ll never leave your pizza burning
Real: I’ll never be your beast of burden

Is the way to a woman’s heart through her stomach? Stones’ fans seem to think so. Maybe they’re on to something here: after all, who doesn’t like a good slice of pizza after you’ve made some “sweet love”?

#2 – “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

Misheard: Hold me closer, Tony Danza
Real: Hold me closer, tiny dancer

Though the electric boots and mohair suits in Elton John’s “Bennie and Jets” have been the subject of several mondegreens, it’s actually “Tiny Dancer,” that continues to pervade pop culture. While the song came out years before Tony Danza’s acting debut, that hasn’t stopped people from thinking Sir Elton was declaring his love for the “Who’s the Boss?” star; both “Will and Grace” and “Friends” have played with this idea.

#1 – “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix

Misheard: ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy
Real: ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

By the time The Jimi Hendrix Experience released “Purple Haze,” it was well-known that Jimi Hendrix was no stranger to drugs. Add the fact that the title is another name for LSD, and maybe it wasn’t so strange after all that people thought Hendrix was expressing some homosexual tendencies. The electric guitarist didn’t take offense and even sang this version in concert.

These misheard lyrics crack us up: which mondegreens do you think we’ve missed? For more top 10s, be sure to subscribe to
Journey Who's Crying Now Misheard:: My one love, Who's Crying Now Real: I wonder who's crying now
Once in an Uber with the radio on/woman singing, and I asked him, am I crazy or are you hungry for breakfast, too? He says yeah she keeps singing about "bacon eggs"!! (Thank You Next)
Well they think they're so cute when they got you that black carnation? (Ohhh,, when they "got you in THAT CONDITION)!! Authority Song/Mellencamp
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