There’s nothing better than driving down the road on a hot day, windows down, radio blasting, and completely butchering your favorite song at the top of your lungs.
Even with our favorite songs, those we’ve heard hundreds of times, there are still those verses where we kind of back off and mumble the vague sounds of words before picking it back up later.
We all tell ourselves we’ll look up those orphaned lyrics one day, but who are you fooling? It’s been decades! Just admit you don’t know them and stop pretending. You had an excuse in the ‘90s since your only real option was to hope the lyrics were in the little book that came with the CD, but now you can literally ask your smartphone to tell you — or read our list.
The latter will be way more fun anyway.
Smells Like Teen Spirit — Nirvana
Everyone knows the chorus to Nirvana’s biggest hit, but what about the rest of the song? You might be able to piece together the first verse, but after that Kurt’s lyrics basically dare you to understand them.
The most mumbled portion is undoubtedly:
“A mulatto/ an albino/ a mosquito/ my libido, yeah!”
Seriously, what in the hell is that supposed to mean? No one had a prayer piecing that together.
What’s My Age Again? — Blink-182
More like, what are the lyrics again? Shut up, it sounded good in my head. But what’s even more embarrassing is that you’ve been singing the opening lines to this banger wrong all along!
Let me guess, you think it goes:
“I walk alone, to get the feelin’ right?”
Well, you’re not alone, as a massive (now deleted) Twitter thread erupted over this misheard line which is actually:
“I wore cologne, to get the feelin’ right.”
Informer — Snow
If you thought the lyrics to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” were off the wall, Snow’s “Informer” might as well be in another galaxy.
This Canadian rapper with a Jamaican accent was already pushing the limits of identifiable language speaking normally, let alone rapping.
This set of lyrics, are so random that even if you thought that’s what he was saying, you’d still probably assume you were wrong:
“A licky boom boom down”
You Oughta Know — Alanis Morissette
Alanis hits us with a double-whammy of misheard lyrics, one after another!
We all know how it starts:
“It’s not fair / to remind me…”
…but not so fast, hotshot, because you already messed up! I bet you were expecting it to be “of the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me” you got wrong, and you’re right! You’ve been double-wrong, dumbass!
The full bar goes:
“It’s not fair / to deny me / of the cross I bear that you gave to me.”
Close on the second one, but that sneaky remind/deny swap gets everyone without even realizing it.
Blue — Eiffel 65
Yo listen up! This song spawned so many crazy potential lyrics for the da-ba-dee-da-ba-daa parts. Some favorites were: “If I were green I would die,” “I believe I’m a guy,” and “I’m in need of a guide.”
The real lyrics are that, well, there are none! He really is just shouting out “da-ba-dee-da-ba-daa” over and over. I guess they figured anyone listening would be high out of their minds at some rave and not care.
Rockafeller Skank — Fatboy Slim
For a song with only a handful of words, somehow people still managed to completely butcher the lyrics on this one. We have to give credit to some of you lunatics out there for hearing “bread consumer” instead of “trouble shooter.” That takes skill.
The real trouble comes from the innocent “Funk soul brother” line. People say “freak show brother,” “I f***ed your brother,” and “fat shoe rubber.”
Try Me Out — Corona
Is it something about fast-paced music with a heavy beat that turns people’s language skills off? I mean, this one is especially bad because people mess up the part of the song with THE TITLE IN IT!
“Try me out / please baby, try me out.”
It isn’t “Sing me up,” “dry me up,” or “tie me up.” Get your mind out of the gutter!
Champagne Supernova — Oasis
For the most part, Oasis does a good job of speaking clearly for all those lyrically challenged out there. All those guys with the acoustic guitars on the college quad in particular would owe them a debt of gratitude if everyone didn’t hate them.
One line here sometimes gets an odd interpretation as, “Slowly walking down the hall/ faster than a cannibal.”
The real line is “faster than a cannonball,” which actually makes less sense since cannonballs don’t walk, nor are they slow. On this one, we have to side with the wrong lyrics.
Even Flow — Pearl Jam
Okay, I’ll throw myself under the bus with everyone else for this song. Aside from “even flow” and “he’ll begin his life again,” I won’t even pretend to know what the hell is being said.
Where I draw the line is people who even get “even flow” wrong! If you hear anyone say it as “even though / it’s a lot like buttered rice” instead of “even flow / thoughts arrive like butterflies” you have my permission to defenestrate them.
Santa Monica — Everclear
Let’s end with fixing a song you’re instantly tripping over your own shoelaces on. The second this song starts, you’re already embarrassing yourself, at least before today when you get set straight.
There’s some variation, but if you think the song begins with: “I am still living with your goat / lonely and dreaming of the wet coat / I don’t wanna be your downtown / I don’t wanna be your stupid game / with my big black boots and a can of moose” — please sit down. We need to talk.
There’s no goat, no coat, chicken, moose, or any animal! It’s:
“I am still living with your ghost / lonely and dreaming of the west coast / I don’t wanna be your down time / I don’t wanna be your stupid game / with my big black boots and an old suitcase.”
I mean, come on, who would put up living with an ex’s goat? Be realistic.