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Thread: Misheard prog lyrics

  1. #101
    On Gentle Giant's "Raconteur Troubadour", I always thought that Derek Shulman was singing "organ play the part". I only learned when reading the lyric sheet for "Octopus" that he sang "all can play their part".

    And on Rush's "Seven Cities Of Gold", I thought that Geddy sang "wakey wakey goal" (and the real lyrics are "wake to aching cold").

  2. #102
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Not prog, but I just found
    out I was always mishearing this line from A Horse With No Name. Thought it was "On the desert you can't remember your name, cause there ain't no one for to give you no name." Apparently it's "On the desert you can remember your name cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain."

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    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.
    I've heard there's also a cultural problem: In Japan, it's considered bad manners to make definite statements, and in fact polite Japanese often eliminates the verb from a sentence. The result is fairly impenetrable and grammatically vague manuals that hint at such concrete matters as, "Knob 6A controls the filter opening" or, "To defeat traction control, rotate the traction control knob to the far left and push in."

    So as a result, the Japanese have become very good at extracting clear meaning from confusing and poorly written manuals. And as a further result, they tend to assume both that other people are also accustomed to doing that, and to translate vague writing fairly literally, leaving the vagueness intact.

  4. #104
    Member Boceephus's Avatar
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    Not Prog, but in Alanis Morrisette's You Oughta Know, my wife heard "death row hard-on" when the actual lyric is "death row pardon." Further on, "Cross Eyed Bear" is really, "cross I bear."



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  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by Boceephus View Post
    Not Prog, but in Alanis Morrisette's You Oughta Know, my wife heard "death row hard-on" when the actual lyric is "death row pardon." Further on, "Cross Eyed Bear" is really, "cross I bear."
    They Might Be Giants took that second misheard lyric from an older religious song and used it in one of theirs. Original lyric: "Gladly, the cross I bear". Theirs: "And Sadly, the cross-eyed bear's been put to sleep behind the stairs, and his shoes are laced with irony."
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  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    "Go, Stanley Snail" rather than "gold stainless nail."

    The Keneally/Gilbert/D'Virgilio tribute act Stanley Snail is famously named after this misheard lyric from Siberian Khatru.
    I believe it's really "cold stainless mail" (as in armour).

  7. #107
    The lyric sheet (not sure if Anderson was involved) says "gold stainless nail."

  8. #108
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    ^ I believe "gold stainless nail" is correct. I just googled it and that's the lyric that came up.

    I used to think it was "cold stainless nail." Also, I always suspected that's where Stanley Snail got their name from.

    On an unrelated note I heard a guy on a prog video say that the Yes lyrics "craving penetrations" from the revealing science of god makes no sense. Actually if you are a horny guy it makes perfect sense.

  9. #109
    Stevie Wonder's "Power Flower" - lyrics say

    "He's a power flower, protecting all the flowers"

    I thought:

    "He's a power flower, technicolor flowers"

  10. #110
    make UωU, not war Czyszy's Avatar
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    Banaau - Unreal City
    I heard:
    in the sheeps that I lead
    It was actually:
    in the ships at Mylae
    I found out I was dead wrong after I'd read the lyrics were adapted from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot and looked the poem up! :D
    NG ~ BC ~ PA
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  11. #111
    I always thought ZZ Top was singing Tube Steak Boogie
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  12. #112
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I thought Peter Gabriel was singing San Jacinto as Silent Central.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound (2112)

  13. #113
    Until a few years ago I thought Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue" was "Tiger Lovin' Blues". I like mine better. And you are welcome, that is what you will hear every time you listen to it from now on.

  14. #114
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteranof1000psychicwars View Post
    Until a few years ago I thought Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue" was "Tiger Lovin' Blues". I like mine better. And you are welcome, that is what you will hear every time you listen to it from now on.
    As a youth, I heard Tang Luck In Blues. My older sister was gentle in correcting me.
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  15. #115
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteranof1000psychicwars View Post
    Until a few years ago I thought Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue" was "Tiger Lovin' Blues".
    I'm not the only one who thought the couple in that song "Split up on the docks that night" (rather than "on a dark, sad night"). Well, he does go on to get a job on a fishing boat in the next verse, so a waterside setting makes sense.
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  16. #116
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    The delightful Thigh-di (Heidi of her real name) once asked me if Jimi was gay, because he sang: 'scuse me while I kiss this guy.

    I quickly kissed her and told her my name was Jimmy.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  17. #117
    My older brother had a couple of gems:

    "Bingo Jet With A Light On" (Jet Airliner by Steve Miller), and

    "When Tookie's stoned, Tookie lies" (the first line of Somebody To Love by Jefferson Airplane). Like, wow, ok man.

  18. #118
    make UωU, not war Czyszy's Avatar
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    Thigh-di sounds like a drag queen name. :P
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  19. #119
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    I listened to Peter Gabriels's first album on a tape with no lyric sheet for a better part of the decade. Getting the sheet finally revealed to me that he sings "I don't know why they leave me in the lurch" in the middle eight of "Modern Love". I had heard it as "I don't know father, lead me to lunch". Have to admit that Gabriel's makes more sense.

    Many have wrote about mishearing Jon Anderson lyrics, me included. Another example is the second verse of "Owner of the Lonely Heart". I still hear the line as "the evil in the sky. Makes more sense with the preceding "Watch it now".

    One example of mishearing a lyric in German, where I'm even more rubbish than in English. Once listening to "Scherbenglas" by Lift, I caught what sounded like a reference to "die finnischen Bergen. That sounded strange, because here in Finland there a thousands of lakes but sod all mountains. So for years I was under the impression that the geography tuition must have been really bad in the DDR. Later, I of course realised that the lyric is "die finnischen Birken", and the "Bergen" is mentioned in the next stanza. That made sense, for we have birches up the jacksie. Literally, as quite a few of them have been turned into toilet paper over the years.

  20. #120
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    Many sources, including the lyrics on Spotify and a google, say that Caravan's "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" says "You're not here if you really do believe / that the world is so full of sin." Other sources, however, (as well as my own ears) say that he sings "You're naïve if you really do believe-" which seems like the better rhyme anyway. Which is it, for real? I figured if any forum would know for sure it's here.

  21. #121
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snikle View Post
    Many sources, including the lyrics on Spotify and a google, say that Caravan's "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" says "You're not here if you really do believe / that the world is so full of sin." Other sources, however, (as well as my own ears) say that he sings "You're naïve if you really do believe-" which seems like the better rhyme anyway. Which is it, for real? I figured if any forum would know for sure it's here.
    I've certainly always heard "naive."
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  22. #122
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snikle View Post
    Many sources, including the lyrics on Spotify and a google, say that Caravan's "The Dog, The Dog, He's At It Again" says "You're not here if you really do believe / that the world is so full of sin." Other sources, however, (as well as my own ears) say that he sings "You're naïve if you really do believe-" which seems like the better rhyme anyway. Which is it, for real? I figured if any forum would know for sure it's here.
    I've always heard naive and Calyx (Aymeric) confirms

    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    Thigh-di sounds like a drag queen name. :P
    Heidi's amazing thighs were more of a curse for her, as both men & women were predators (well this also caused also animosity amongst the girls).
    She often tried or chose to hide them and sometimes chose to open them to someone (a cunning stunt ) for protection rather than love.

    On more than one occasion I was the protector.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  23. #123
    make UωU, not war Czyszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Heidi's amazing thighs were more of a curse for her, as both men & women were predators (well this also caused also animosity amongst the girls).
    She often tried or chose to hide them and sometimes chose to open them to someone (a cunning stunt ) for protection rather than love.
    GYATT basically. :P
    NG ~ BC ~ PA
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  24. #124
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    GYATT basically. :P
    I suppose that means
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    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  25. #125
    Member proggy_jazzer's Avatar
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    I know I've posted this in another thread - but evidently not this one: I was embarrassingly close to my current age when I realized the lyric from 'Yours Is No Disgrace' is not "shining flying purple bullfrog".
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