Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lyric deafness

Have you ever listened to a song again and again and belt out the lyrics, only to find out later that you're completely wrong? I must be part deaf or my brain synapses aren't all connecting right because I am notorious for this problem. You've heard of people being tone deaf...I'm 'lyric deaf.' A few examples:

* Weezer's Why Bother? -

Real lyrics:
'Why bother? It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me'

For at least a year, I had been singing this song like this:
'My father is gonna hurt me
He's gonna kill when you desert me'

Don't worry that my substituted lyrics make absolutely no reasonable sense...I figured that Rivers Cuomo had a sort of dysfunctional family and this was his punishment for when girls dumped him. Ok, honestly, I didn't put two and two together that this isn't a coherent chorus. How did I find out that these were not, in fact, the right lyrics? I was looking through the Pinkerton album track listings and saw "Why Bother?" and wondered what song that was. All the sudden, a little light in my brain turned on, and like a brick to the head, I realized how stupid I had been.

* Alien Ant Farm's Smooth Criminal -

Real lyrics:
'Annie, are you OK?
Will you tell us that you're OK?'

I honestly thought the words were:
'Annie, are you OK?
But you're jealous...but you're ok?'

Come on, why wouldn't Annie be jealous? I mean, that could be the reason the singer is asking if she's ok, right? Come on, at least give me a little credit does make sense the way I sang along. And in my defense, my co-worker at Burger Bar sang it that way alllllllll the time. How was I to know it wasn't right? The Internet, Annie, the Internet. I'm obviously not ok.

* Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby -

Real lyrics:
'Santa honey, there's one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a platinum mine'

As a small child, though, I was apparently not familiar with the glories of this precious metal, because I heard it like this:
'Santa honey, there's one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a-plattin' the mind'

Yes, I know there's no such word as 'plattin',' but I thought I was just too young to understand what Eartha was warbling about. And it didn't help that as we did the little dance to it (see #9 from this post...this song had a big impact on my life apparently...), we even did actions like touching our fingers to our temple. Whatever it was, she really wanted it for Christmas...

There are really many more funny instances like that. Come on, everyone misunderstands lyrics, right? I think I struggle in general with singing along with songs. How come I can never remember the verses, let alone the chorus? And I'm always singing the right part...just at the wrong time. I have so many friends who are music afficionados...maybe I'll leave it to them! However, I do ask for your patience and only minor mocking, should you catch me in my bumbling.


Blogger HelloKitty said...

Annie, hi!
Let me tell you, I have the same problem. And so does my mom. Maybe it's one of those things that get handed down from mother to daughter, who knows. But we make up words when we don't understand them. I usually use the "but English is my third language!" excuse, but I think I've overused it by now. I wrote "but" a lot in this post.

December 17, 2008 at 8:01 AM

Blogger Erika said...

This post was SO funny!!! I KNOW that I do the same thing but of course I can't think of any examples off the top of my head except when I was REALLY little, on the song "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man" I sung for a long time "The rains came down and the FLUTS came up" and I pictured fluts as like these little butterflies... anyway it's funny how your mind fills in words for you.

December 17, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Blogger Adrianne Miller said...

I think I was with you both times that we discovered the words were different (Weezer and Alien Ant Farm)
and I remember how funny and shocked we were.

December 22, 2008 at 6:37 AM


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