Being a songwriter I can’t help but notice lyrics in popular songs I hear so, when people misunderstand lyrics or (just as often) I am misunderstanding lyrics, I find it very funny. I mean, here’s a song that you like and listen to all the time but you are misunderstanding lyrics and that seems to change the song considerably, at least to me. For example this song they play on the radio all the time now where this guy is singing ‘don’t call me daughter.’ That just can’t be right. If those are the lyrics, he needn’t worry on that account. In the first place I don’t have a daughter and, if I did, she wouldn’t be a dude so he doesn’t have to worry about me calling him daughter.
Then there’s that Yes song where the backup vocalists sound like they are singing ‘toast on a stick.’ Well of course that’s not right; they’re singing ‘time stands still.’ So obvious. And that Peter Gabriel song where he sings ‘give me a tire lug.’ Of course he’s singing ‘bring me a higher love’ or something like that. You just have to listen very closely.
There are those songs, however, that simply defy close scrutiny lyric-wise. I’m talking about “Blinded By The Light,” for example.
Now ‘blinded by the light’ I get. It’s the next part that, to this day, I have never been able to figure out what the heck the guy is singing; the closest I can get is;’wrapped up like a duchion in the roller of the night,’ which can’t be right. It does, however, invoke colorful and strange images.
One of my favorites was a close friend of mine who liked the song that went ‘heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song,heard it in a love song, can’t be wrong,‘ from the song of the same title, I believe. Now he swore that the last bit, the ‘can’t be wrong’ bit was really ‘ten feet long.’ Now I hated this song but I knew that that just can’t be right. But you know, if a person has a song they like I suppose you shouldn’t go and spoil it for them by telling them what the lyrics really are. They probably like the song because of what they think the lyrics are. (Heaven help us!) But I still think it’s funny. I’ll never forget the expression on my friend Raj’s face when I told him that Queen was a gay band and most of their songs were about gay love. Now how hard is that to figure out? But that just spoiled his day because that was his favorite band and he was your basic homophobe. I don’t think that is funny; I think it’s hysterically funny. So remember; you can call be Joe or you can call me Pete or you can call me Dizzy but just don’t call me daughter.