Access To Rock

Access To Rock

Access To Rock

David Bowie wrote the lyrics to “Changes” with such great insight about how to handle the fear of uncertainty.

His advice to show bravery with a bold approach to change is an encouraging message that’s consistent with the empowerment that comes from song lyrics.

Turn and face it straight
Ch-ch-changes, don’t want to be a richer man
Turn and face it straight
Ch-ch-changes, just gonna have to be a different man

There’s only one problem. That’s not how the chorus of “Changes” goes.

Turn and face the strange

Misheard Lyrics

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t embarrassingly misheard lyrics at one point or another. There are worse mistakes to make in the world. 

Word Finder even conducted a poll of over 1000 Americans to see which songs across all music genres have the most commonly misunderstood lyrics.

Fans of EDM might understandably have a hard time understanding the words to their favorite songs, and it’s not too surprising that some people thought Rihanna was saying “We fell in love, and I bought this place.”

Misheard lyrics can be funny, bizarre, and sometimes even thought-provoking in a very original way.

Which classic rock songs might listeners confuse the most often?

  • "Changes" by David Bowie

    It was the song that sparked the conversation at MGK about misheard lyrics.

    At least the mistaken lyrics mean the same thing as the real ones in this case.

  • "Purple Haze" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

    It’s probably the most famous and most commonly misheard line in any song. 

    ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

    What a lot of people heard when the song debuted in 1967:

    ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy

  • "Rock the Casbah" by The Clash

    The Clash didn’t write a song telling people to “lock the cashbox” or “stop the cat box” like you heard in an old commercial.

    Casbah refers to a citadel area commonly used to monitor cities in Middle Eastern countries. “Rock the Casbah” was meant to encourage freedom from music bans enforced by some governments in the region during the early 1980s, according to American Songwriter.

  • "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" by Pink Floyd

    For people who aren’t familiar with classic rock, “Another Brick in the Wall” might not be such an easily recognizable song title.

    Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone

    It’s logical to wonder what the teacher did wrong.

    Another breaking the law

  • "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

    Nirvana exploded with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in 1991. When a new band hits the scene, “Weird Al” Yankovic naturally must make a clever parody of one of their hit songs.

    According to Far Out Magazine, Kurt Cobain initially thought the parody might be about a food pun like other Weird Al covers. “Smells Like Nirvana,” however, just simply pointed out how hard it is to understand the lyrics. 

    What is this song all about?
    Can’t figure any lyrics out
    How do the words to it go
    I wish you’d tell me, I don’t know

    What did you think the real lines of the chorus to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” were before you read them in print?

    With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
    Here we are now, entertain us

  • "Blinded by the Light" by Bruce Springsteen/Manfred Mann's Earth Band

    Bruce Springsteen has written some of the most inspirational lyrics of any musician in the modern era.

    However, the version of “Blinded by the Light” covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band isn’t always heard correctly.

    Revved up like a Deuce, another runner in the night

    If you don’t listen carefully, you might hear:

    Ripped up like a douche, another rumor in the night

  • "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John

    It was a masterpiece from Elton John. 

    Hold me closer, tiny dancer
    Count the headlights on the highway
    Lay me down in sheets of linen
    You had a busy day today

    Fans of Friends know that Phoebe doesn’t always follow the norm. 

    Hold me close, young Tony Danza

  • “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles

    “I Want To Hold Your Hand” became one of the biggest hits of the British Invasion of Rock & Roll in the United States during the 1960s.

    It’s such a feelin’ that my love
    I can’t hide
    I can’t hide
    I can’t hide

    The Beatles didn’t mesh well with the older generation of Americans during the 1960s who labeled them as dangerous, pot smoking revolutionaries.

    It might’ve had something to do with how people misinterpreted the lines of one of their first major hits.

    It’s such a feelin’ that my love
    I get high
    I get high
    I get high

  • "Enter Sandman" by Metallica

    “Enter Sandman” is one of the most electric rock songs ever written. Metallica fans know the repeated chorus well. 

    Sleep with one eye open
    Gripping your pillow tight
    Exit light
    Enter night

    It’s not about the end of daylight savings time.

    Extra light
    Ends tonight

  • "Don’t Bring Me Down" by Electric Light Orchestra

    According to Rolling Stone, ELO used the word “groose” as part of their lyrics to “Don’t Bring Me Down” after hearing from an audio engineer that the word could be used as a German greeting.

    Don’t bring me down, groose

    It sounds an awful lot like:

    Don’t bring me down, Bruce

  • "Summer of ‘69" by Bryan Adams

    Bryan Adams sang a simple first verse about his first six-string guitar.

    I got my first real six-string
    Bought it at the five and dime
    Played it ’til my fingers bled
    Was the summer of ’69

    However, you can’t blame participants of the Word Finder poll for having dirty thoughts about a song that Adams chose to write about ’69.

    I got my first real sex dream

  • "American Pie" by Don McLean

    “American Pie” has some of the most creatively constructed lyrics you’ll ever hear, and the chorus is iconic.

    So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
    Drove my Chevy to the levee
    But the levee was dry
    Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
    Singing, ‘This’ll be the day that I die’
    This will be the day that I die

    Don McLean could’ve made it much simpler by singing:  

    Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and wine

  • "The Zephyr Song"

    What’s a zephyr anyway? Would anyone have bothered to look it up if it weren’t for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the most recent song added to this list?

    Fly away on my zephyr
    I feel it more than ever
    And in this perfect weather
    We’ll find a place together

    It could easily be confused with:

    Fly away home my zipper

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