Sometimes songs are like audible Rorschach tests — it’s what you hear in the lyrics. When you listen to Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” some people hear “There’s a bathroom on the right” while others hear the actual lyric, “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Such a misheard lyric is known as a Mondegreen. Thanks to the rise of overproduced albums, poorly mixed music and vocals, and singers who do not enunciate clearly (Frank Sinatra represents the quintessence of diction and phrasing), funny and silly mondegreens abound, sounding like passages out of James Joyce or Lewis Carroll. Here are some of the most popular misheard lyrics from 2015:
Song: “Animals” by Maroon 5
Misheard lyric: Just like animals, animals, like animals’ balls
Actual lyric: Just like animals, animals, like animals — mals
Song: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
Misheard lyric: Take me into your lemon arms
Actual lyric: Take my into your loving arms
Song: “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift
Misheard lyric: Got a lot of Starbucks lovers
Actual lyric: Got a long list of ex-lovers
Song: “Bang, Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj
Misheard lyric: Bang bang into the womb
Actual lyric: Bang bang into the room
Song: “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, featuring Charli XCX
Misheard lyric: Can’t you taste this scone?
Actual lyric: Can’t you fast this gold?
Song: “Cool kids” by Echosmith
Misheard lyric: I wish that I could be like the cookies.
Actual lyric: I wish that I could be like the cool kids.
Song: “She Came to Give it to You” by Usher, featuring Nicki Minaj
Misheard lyric: So many benefits to being white
Actual lyric: So many benefits to being quiet
Song: “Mediocre” by TI featuring Iggy Azalea
Misheard lyric: I don’t want no mini yogurt
Actual lyric: I don’t want no mediocre
Read related posts: Mondegreen
The Most Misinterpreted Songs
For further reading: When A Man Loves A Walnut and Even More Misheard Lyrics by Gavin Edwards (1997)
The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker (1994)
Brewer’s Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fableby John Ayto and Ian Crafton (2006)