“Might as well face it you’re a dick with a glove.” Eh? What do you mean that’s not how it goes? Standard Issue writers ‘fess up to their own moments of lyrical oh-so-wrongness.
We’ve all done it. Merrily sung along to a tune until all eyes turned to you and someone smirked, “What did you just sing?” Or, you know, pointed out that “it doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not” is a really stupid lyric, only for everyone to point that Bon Jovi aren’t really the idiots. In this situation at least.
Once, my brother, who was too tiny at the time to even remember this story, watched The Jungle Book and came away with the impression that Baloo was singing about Bambi sausages. It’s got a beautiful logic to it and was a sign of the wonderfully funny and dark creature he grew up to be.
So, I’ve challenged the women of Standard Issue to tell me their tales of lyrical wrongness for this 7 Wonders. You’ll probably notice there’s more than seven. They misheard.
Dire Straits – Money for Nothing
As a kid I thought the lyrics were “money for nothing and cheques for free.” Like it was about a really amazing bank. Taylor Glenn
The Shirelles – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
I honestly thought it went: “Is this a lasting treasure? / Or just a moment’s pleasure? / Can I believe the magic of your size?” Like she’d found a man with a massive wang and she couldn’t believe her luck! But that isn’t exactly a mishearing as they are homophones. I just made it dirty in my brain. Alice Sanders
Mel & Kim – Respectable
My bro thought this was about Decepticons, admittedly a more pertinent issue to a five-year-old boy in the 1980s than respectability. Also, “It feels like the perfect night / to dress up like Hitler“, Taylor Swift DID NOT sing. Jen Offord
Macy Gray – I Try
I thought she was singing, “I wear goggles when you are not near” instead of “my world crumbles when you are not here.” I still prefer the more health and safety-conscious version. Dotty Winters
Joni Mitchell – River
They’re cutting down trees. They’re putting up reindeer. And singing songs of Joy and Pete, my parents’ friends. VERY confusing to a young me. Hazel Davis
Kenny Rogers – Lucille
My college friend Claire thought The Verve were singing “but the trucks don’t work / they just make it worse”. Best one remains my sister-in-law who, my husband assures me, spent a childhood thinking Kenny Rogers sang “You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille / with 400 children and a cat on the pill.” Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
Meatloaf – Bat Out of Hell
“I’m a Cilla Black fan, I’m bad.” Jane Hill
The Go-Gos – Our Lips Are Sealed
“Alex the Seal.” Also, “It’s much too late, porcupine”, instead of “It’s much too late for goodbye” by Julian Lennon. Julie Balloo
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
My mum thought that when it said “bismillah” in Bohemian Rhapsody it was going “wish me luck.” Sooz Kempner
Robert Palmer – Addicted to Love
One of my most favourite ones ever: “Might as well face it you’re a dick with a glove.” Anne Richardson
Sting – An Englishman in New York
I thought it had the line “I’m an alien – I’m an evil alien.” Was a bit scared. Lucy Reynolds
Jason Derulo – Want to Want Me
I hear that that line as: “It’s too hard to sleep. I’ve got the shits on the floor.” Julie Mayhew21467 Views
Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.