Can You Complete These Often Misheard Song Lyrics?

About this Quiz

Popular songs are important parts of the soundtracks of our lives. The combinations of the melody and the lyrics form an experience that gets imprinted deeply in our minds, often bringing back floods of memories that remind us of a specific time in our lives, even if we are hearing the songs many years later. That is why it is often such a shock to learn that the words to a song we thought we knew, and had memorized in our minds, was in fact the wrong lyric all along!

Mis-hearing lyrics is understandable, since most of the time we are lost in the feeling or emotion of the song, and are not concentrating on the exact words. On top of that, so much popular music came out before the advent of the internet, so the only way to double check lyrics was to actually buy the cassette tape, CD, or record, and check the liner notes! Today it is easily as Googling the song, but who wants to do that while rocking out? So test your knowledge here, and see how many lyrics you've been singing wrong your whole life! Don't worry though, the wrong lyrics are often way more fun, so just keep singing them!

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1. Every time you go away, you take ______

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  1. a piece of me with you
  2. a piece of meat with you
This lyric from "Every Time You Go Away" by Paul Young refers to the emptiness you feel when a loved one leaves you, like they have taken a part of your soul with them. If they have taken a piece of your *meat* with them, then you might want to go to the hospital.
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2. We built this city _____.

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  1. on sausage rolls
  2. on rock 'n' roll
This lyric from "We Built This City" by Starship most likely refers to San Francisco, where the band came from and built its rock-n-roll reputation. San Francisco is not really known for its sausage rolls, but you could say the City was built on sourdough bread!
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3. See that girl, watch ____, ______

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  1. that scene, digging the dancing queen
  2. her scream, kicking the dancing queen
This lyric from "Dancing Queen" by ABBA, refers to watching "the scene" of a dance club, and admiring (or "digging", in 70s lingo) the dancing of a young girl in the club. You should probably call the police if there is any screaming or kicking going on in the club.
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4. Excuse me while I _____

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  1. kiss this guy
  2. touch the sky
This lyric from "Purple Haze" by Jimmy Hendrix describes the experience of taking drugs to the feeling of kissing the sky. This lyric is so commonly mis-heard as "kiss this guy" that Jimmy Hendrix himself alluded to the mis-heard lyric by pretending to kiss his bassist Noel Redding once while performing this song.
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5. Dancing queen, feel the beat from the _____

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  1. tangerine
  2. tambourine
This lyric from "Dancing Queen" by ABBA refers to feeling the rhythmic beating of the tambourine while listening to music. Beating a tangerine produces only tangerine juice, which is also nice.
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6. Sweet Dreams are made of _____

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  1. cheese
  2. this
This lyric from "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics was written at a time when lead singer Annie Lennox was feeling nihilistic and hopeless from her experience in the music industry, so this lyric ironically points out that all these "sweet dreams" people think they want, are really just made up of all "this" despair. So "cheese" would have definitely been a more uplifting and delicious lyric.
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7. _____ when you try to wake her

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  1. Call me
  2. Calling Jamaica
This lyric from "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" by REM refers to calling someone on a nearby payphone, because he does not have a direct phone line. REM band-member Mike Mills admits the exact meaning of the song is not really clear, so your guess as to who "her" is as good as mine!
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8. I can see clearly now, _____

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  1. the rain is gone
  2. Lorraine is gone
This lyric from "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash describes the relief and clarity of mind that comes after a dark period, like when it is raining. So Lorraines around the world can breathe a sigh of relief that this lyric is not about them.
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9. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme a man after midnight, ______

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  1. take me through the darkness to the break of the day
  2. take me to the doctors at the break of the day
This lyric from "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" by ABBA refers to wanting a one-night stand to ease the loneliness of night, until the sun comes up the next day. If that same man also takes you to your doctor's appointment the next day, then maybe he's more than a one-night stand.
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10. It doesn't make a difference if _____

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  1. we're naked or not
  2. we make it or not
This lyric from "Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi means that so long as he and his love are together, then it does not matter if they are successful ("make it") or not. But if they are so in love, maybe it also does not matter if they are naked or not!
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11. Then I saw her face, _____

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  1. now I'm a believer
  2. now I'm gonna leave her
This lyric from "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees describes the feeling of falling in love after seeing someone's face. The mis-heard lyric is basically the total opposite meaning.
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12. I want to hold your _____

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  1. ham
  2. hand
This lyric from "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles describes the simple joy of holding your lover's hand. If you are a pig in love with another pig, then "ham" would also be appropriate.
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13. Kicking your _____ all over the place.

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  1. can
  2. cat
This lyric from "We Will Rock You" by Queen refers to what kids do when they are playing in the street, kicking cans to make noise for fun. Kicking cats, on the other hand, is terrible and not fun.
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14. ____ in the sky with diamonds

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  1. Blue Seal
  2. Lucy
This lyric from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles is often thought to refer to the drug "LSD" which contains the same capital letters, however John Lennon had said the lyric refers to a drawing his young son Julian made in school and called "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Either way, no seals were involved, blue or otherwise.
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15. Here we are now, _____

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  1. entertain us
  2. in containers
This lyric from "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, as Kurt Cobain told Rolling Stone, is something he used to say as an ice-breaker at parties, explaining that if you are invited to a party, then it seems to be the host's job to entertain the guests. Arriving at a party in a container would also be a pretty good ice-breaker. Our favorite rendition of this mis-heard lyric is by the lovely Rose Byrne in the rom-com, "I Give It a Year".
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16. _____, I'm in trouble deep

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  1. Papa don't preach
  2. Papadum peach
This lyric from "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna, the namesake of the song, refers to a girl asking her father to speak to her as an equal, rather than preaching and talking down to her. Papadum, on the other hand, is a delicious Indian cracker, that can go nicely with a peach chutney.
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17. You’re the _____, oh yes indeed

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  1. one that I want
  2. wobbly one
This lyric from "You're The One That I Want" from the musical Grease, is sung by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, as an expression of their desire for one another. Calling someone a "wobbly one" would be quite the insult.
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18. A year has passed since _____

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  1. I broke my nose
  2. wrote my notes
This lyric from "Message in a Bottle" by The Police refers to the long time that has gone by since the singer wrote his note, put it in a bottle, and threw it into the ocean hoping someone would find it and read it. If he really is stuck on an island though, he may very well have broken his nose, too.
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19. Hold me closer, ____

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  1. Tony Danza
  2. Tiny Dancer
This lyric from "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John is quite literal, asking his girlfriend who is tiny in stature and likes to dance, to hold him closer. Though in real life, Elton John has been seen hugging his friend, actor Tony Danza.
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20. _____, tell me what's wrong

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  1. Take your teeth out
  2. Chiquitita
ABBA - This lyric from "Chiquitita" by ABBA uses the Spanish word "chiquitita", which is a term of endearment for women, meaning "little one". Knowing another language can sometimes avoid some mis-heard lyrics!
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21. I like big butts _____

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  1. in a can of lime
  2. and I cannot lie
This lyric from "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot means what it says, that the singer likes large behinds. So large, probably, that they would not fit in a can of anything, much less limes.
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22. ____ I'm in love

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  1. Fried egg
  2. Friday
This lyric from "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure describes the progression of the week, identifying Friday as the highlight, as the day the singer falls in love. Fried eggs are also good, but my true love is poached.
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23. ____, is this me your looking for?

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  1. Sharon
  2. Hello
This lyric from "Hello" by Lionel Richie describes a young man too shy to speak to the beautiful women passing by him, instead thinking this lyric to himself only in his head. One of those women passing by may very well have been named Sharon, but he'll never know if he doesn't talk to them!
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24. _____ are made of this. Who am I to disagree?

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  1. Sweet Dreams
  2. Tight Jeans
This lyric from "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics refers to "Sweet Dreams" to mean "motivations in life", which the singer is saying are personal to each individual, so she cannot judge them or disagree with them. If you like wearing tight jeans, then you do you!
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25. Don't stop believin'. Hold on to that _____.

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  1. meaning
  2. feeling
This lyric from "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey works surprisingly well with both lyrics, though "feeling" is the correct one. One must hold onto both meaning and feeling in life!
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26. Money for nothin' and ______

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  1. chicks for free
  2. chips for free
This lyric from "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits refers to the ease with which rock stars make money and attract the opposite sex. But they probably get chips for free too, either Vegas-style for gambling, or corn-style for crunching!
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27. Those were the best days _____

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  1. with my wife
  2. of my life
This lyric from "Summer of 69'" by Bryan Adams refers to the summer of 1969 as the best days of the singer's life, though I'm sure his wife wouldn't mind if you kept on believing the lyrics were about his wife.
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28. You gotta fight, for your right, _____

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  1. to party
  2. tsunami
This lyric from "Fight for Your Right" by the Beastie Boys is a party boy's anthem for not going to school or listening to their parents. But if a tsunami is coming, you better postpone your partying for some disaster preparedness.
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