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Thread: Misheard prog lyrics

  1. #76
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    Well, talking of non-English speakers mishearing lyrics...

    Everyone will move with you now to the lyracite.” What's a lyracite? I have no idea, but I was sure that's what Jon Anderson was singing on the third verse of ”I Would Have Waited Forever” when I was first heard the song. Only when I got the music book for Union did I realise that the word is actually ”riverside”. It makes sense, but I still have trouble hearing the letter ”r” at the beginning. It's Jon Anderson, afterall, and making sense has always been optional with his lyrics. Which is probably why he can actually be quite creative as a lyricist.

    I was quite convinced that Van der Graaf's ”The Siren Song” contained the line ”when Mars becomes a platform” and was astonished not to find it on the lyric sheet. When I couldn't find it again on the song itself, I had to accept that it was my imagination playing tricks with the line ”when mast becomes a flagpole”. What can I say, I had just read an interview of Peter Hammill talking about his readings of science fiction, and that must have planted the idea in my head.

    So that's how I tend to mishear songs. Nothing funny, just awkward or strange. Or perhaps against the grain, as in GTR's ”Here I Wait”, where the line ”where love is sure to find me” transformed into ”where love is shooting by me”.

  2. #77
    OK...not prog...but worth an "honorable" mention. There is a Japanese lyric sheet in the Japanese LP of Led Zeppelin IV (released in 1976). Also when this LP was initially released in the US (maybe elsewhere too) the inner paper sleeve contained the lyrics to "Stairway To Heaven" only. Even with the lyrics very plainly written out, we get such gems in the Japanese translation as:

    There's a lady whose sure all the "gritters" is gold
    Cause you know sometimes words have two "means"
    All our thoughts are "misgiving"
    Who shines white light and "wan" show

    Typos...maybe???

    But then there's the best one...saved for the last line. Ready...wait...OK...

    To be a rock, a "natural".

    Many Japanese LP's at that time had a notation on the Japanese lyric sheet "Transcription By [All Lyrics Transcribed By] – Linda Henrick (sometimes Hennrick)". Anyone know who she is/was?

  3. #78
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    The first time I listened to the Egdon Heath album "Him, the Snake, and I" I was sure I heard the unlikely words "let's eviscerate a donkey." When I checked the lyric booklet, I couldn't find it. Not sure I ever gave the album a careful enough listen to try and figure out what I misheard.

  4. #79
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    The first time I listened to the Egdon Heath album "Him, the Snake, and I" I was sure I heard the unlikely words "let's eviscerate a donkey." When I checked the lyric booklet, I couldn't find it. Not sure I ever gave the album a careful enough listen to try and figure out what I misheard.
    I don't have that album, but it's on one of the early demos. I believe the line is "this eviscerated dung heap, this degenerated realm."

  5. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
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    Yes, it is hideous but I can't look away.

    That is why it is the "hipster doofus" of fonts!

  6. #81
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I don't have that album, but it's on one of the early demos. I believe the line is "this eviscerated dung heap, this degenerated realm."
    So what I heard wasn't so crazy!

  7. #82
    I have the German CD of Curved Air’s Second Album, which duplicates the Japanese booklet, complete with hilariously wrong lyrics. I still get a giggle out of “Puppets.” “See the merry-a-mess” instead of “See the marionettes” is forever stuck in my head.
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  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by progcd54 View Post
    OK...not prog...but worth an "honorable" mention. There is a Japanese lyric sheet in the Japanese LP of Led Zeppelin IV (released in 1976). Also when this LP was initially released in the US (maybe elsewhere too) the inner paper sleeve contained the lyrics to "Stairway To Heaven" only. Even with the lyrics very plainly written out, we get such gems in the Japanese translation as:
    The Japanese were (maybe still are?) notorious for badly translated lyric sheets. I gather it's common practice to have Japanese language lyric sheets over there, and there's reportedly all kinds of mistakes on virtually all of them.

    One I remember was the song Blue Oyster Cult song ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence), where the lines "Three men in black say/Don't report this/Sentient/And that's all she said" is rendered as "Three men in black say/Don't report dissension/And that's all she said".

    As for the Stairway To Heaven gaffe, maybe they didn't consult the lyric sheet before translating it into Japanese?

    If I'm not mistaken, the Japanese also regularly had difficulty with things like owner's manuals for synths, cars, etc. All kinds of weird spelling and grammatical errors seem to crop up. I was told once that it's because they don't hire professional translators who actually know both languages well enough to do it correctly, they just get people who kinda sorta know English to translate the Japanese text. Maybe the same thing goes with the people who do the lyric sheet translations.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Speaking of Yes, I had a music book that had printed the lyrics to ISAGP as "send an instant comment."
    The line I heard once was that it's actually "instant comment" on the original record, but Jon changed it for live performances after the John Lennon song came out.

  10. #85
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    The Japanese were (maybe still are?) notorious for badly translated lyric sheets. I gather it's common practice to have Japanese language lyric sheets over there, and there's reportedly all kinds of mistakes on virtually all of them.

    One I remember was the song Blue Oyster Cult song ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence), where the lines "Three men in black say/Don't report this/Sentient/And that's all she said" is rendered as "Three men in black say/Don't report dissension/And that's all she said".

    As for the Stairway To Heaven gaffe, maybe they didn't consult the lyric sheet before translating it into Japanese?

    If I'm not mistaken, the Japanese also regularly had difficulty with things like owner's manuals for synths, cars, etc. All kinds of weird spelling and grammatical errors seem to crop up. I was told once that it's because they don't hire professional translators who actually know both languages well enough to do it correctly, they just get people who kinda sorta know English to translate the Japanese text. Maybe the same thing goes with the people who do the lyric sheet translations.
    With the lyric sheets I think someone just listened to the album and wrote down the words as he heard them. I never understood how they couldn't have one Brit or American read them to tell them that "the dij and" should be "the pigeon!"

  11. #86
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    The line I heard once was that it's actually "instant comment" on the original record, but Jon changed it for live performances after the John Lennon song came out.
    That doesn't work because "Instant Karma" was a hit months before the recording sessions for The Yes Album. Considering the other obvious Lennon reference in the song--the background vocal quote of "Give Peace a Chance"--how can there be any doubt about the "Instant Karma" reference?
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  12. #87
    I always thought Jon sang, y'know, "Cha-cha-cha'h ch-chah! Cha-cha-cha'h ch-chah!" when apparently, according to my late grandma, the "Sound Chaser" tune is actually about axemurders and he actually sings "Chop-chop!". Opening sequence of the song goes out of its way to describe those wicked actions instrumentally.
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  13. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    The line I heard once was that it's actually "instant comment" on the original record, but Jon changed it for live performances after the John Lennon song came out.
    That's what I think too. I also think they're singing "send out instant karma", not "send an instant karma".

  14. #89
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I hear it as "send that instant Karma to me..." I don't think for a minute though that it would ever have been "send an instant comment to me."

  15. #90
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    And there's a wino down the road.

  16. #91
    Member Joe F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    One I remember was the song Blue Oyster Cult song ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence), where the lines "Three men in black say/Don't report this/Sentient/And that's all she said" is rendered as "Three men in black say/Don't report dissension/And that's all she said".
    The lyric is this:

    Three men in black said, "Don't report this"
    "Ascension," and that's all they said
    Sickness now, the hour's dread

  17. #92
    RE: Curved Air’s “Puppets”

    The right lyrics

    The wrong lyrics

    “Making the most of their teeth and toast...”

    I’m flashing back to laser karaoke now.



    Scoot ahead to 36:50. “Sort of stand some glitter...”
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  18. #93
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe F. View Post
    The lyric is this:

    Three men in black said, "Don't report this"
    "Ascension," and that's all they said
    Sickness now, the hour's dread
    That's actually pretty cool. I know very little BOC.

  19. #94
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    Yes Revealing:

    "Of old fighters past" heard as "I hope I just passed".

    Really.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    That's actually pretty cool. I know very little BOC.
    They're kinda like Adele.

  21. #96
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Anyone remember way back I think on a Floyd list or somewhere there were people who thought that on Every Stranger's Eyes Waters said "choo" train instead of "tube" train? I think it was that song, unless it was something earlier and Floyd. Anyway, LOL.

  22. #97
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHORG View Post
    And there's a wino down the road.
    Yep and there's a lady who's short.

  23. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Yep and there's a lady who's short.
    "Trying to find a woman who's never, never, never, never been boned"

    "But Gollum, the evil one, crept up and slipped away with her... her.. her chair!"

  24. #99
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    "We come from the land of the ice and snow. From the midnight sun where the huskies go."

  25. #100
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    "We come from the land of the ice and snow. From the midnight sun where the huskies go."
    --Led Zappalin
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