Can You Name These Popular Songs If We Mess Up the Lyrics?

By: Ashley Ehman
Estimated Completion Time
9 min
Can You Name These Popular Songs If We Mess Up the Lyrics?
Image: Darkroom / Interscope

About This Quiz

Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize you've been singing the lyrics to your favorite song wrong this whole time? (Who would actually think that Starship was singing "We built this city on sausage rolls"?!)  Sometimes people sing the wrong lyrics on purpose. Other times, their ears lead them astray, and they don't even know they're wrong! Make no mistake about it; we purposely messed with the lyrics of some of the most popular songs throughout the decades. We've included songs from all the way back to the groovy 1970s up to some of today's most popular hits to grace your radio dial.

From power ballads to soul tunes, we've covered every genre of music in the questions of this quiz. There's something for everyone, so it's time to prove just how musically sound you are! Consider yourself formally warned: There are some iconic jams in this quiz, so the likelihood of getting a song stuck in your head is extremely high.  

Earworms aside, did you know that Elvis had a thing for blue suede shoes? Or will you mistake his footwear choices for dew shaded shoes? Just 35 questions stand between you and the title of Lyrical Genius. 


"Best friend sat me down in a restaurant chair / Panini press, get you out of my hair." What messed-up chart-topping song is this?
"bad guy" by Billie Eilish
"Lover" by Taylor Swift
"Truth Hurts" by Lizzo
Melissa Viviane Jefferson, known as Lizzo, recently climbed to the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 after releasing her iconic bop, "Truth Hurts," more than two years ago.
"Sucker" by the Jonas Brothers

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"Well, since my woman left me / Well, I found a new place to sell / Well, it's down at the end of Lonely Street" are the first lyrics heard in which well-known song?
"Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry
"Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley
The very first record that Elvis Presley ever recorded was for his mother as a gift. He was eighteen at the time and had to pay a whopping $4 to press and record the musical gift.
"Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins
"Angie" by The Rolling Stones

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"I'm talking toe rings on our toes, toes / Ripping up all our clothes, clothes / Boys calling up our phones, phones" is actually what song in disguise?
"Friday" by Rebecca Black
"TiK ToK" by Kesha
Kesha's primary musical influence is her mother, Pebe. Her mother's songwriting talents can be seen most notably in the song "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You," which was sung by Joe Sun and Dolly Parton.
"Boys" by Charli XCX
"Timber" by Pitbull featuring Kesha

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"Her hair is classic gold / Her lips are a nice disguise / Her hands are never old / She's got Sasha Cohen eyes." When they aren't completely messed up, these lyrics belong to which song?
"Blue Eyes" by Elton John
"Eyes Without a Face" by Billy Idol
"Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who
"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes
"Bette Davis Eyes" is arguably one of Kim Carnes' most notable achievements, but she has other impressive songs under her belt. She collaborated with Kenny Rogers in "Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer" and did a well-received cover of "More Love."

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"I saw him standin' there by the soft-serve machine / I knew he must a been getting some ice cream." These tangled-up lyrics actually belong to which song that was covered by Britney Spears?
"The Beat Goes On" by Sonny & Cher
"My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Joan Jett received a lot of rejection when she originally tried to pitch her solo album. In fact, the album was rejected by more than 20 different music labels. In order to remedy this problem, she co-founded a label of her own.
"You Got It All" by The Jets

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"On a dark deserted highway, cool breeze in my hair / Warm smell of Febreze, ya, rising up through the air" is the incorrect opening to which song?
"Hotel California" by The Eagles
The "Hotel California" album was met with a lot of success, and it became one of the top-20 best-selling albums in the U.S. The other Eagles' album to do this was "The Eagles Greatest Hits."
"Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits
"California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & the Papas
"Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin

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"You're still the one I run from / The one I got away from / You're still the one I hate for life" is the twisted chorus to which tune?
"You're Still the One" by Shania Twain
Shania Twain has always shown a love for music, even from a young age. She was performing at nearby clubs as early as eight years old, and by the time she turned ten, she had already written an original song.
"Remember When" by Alan Jackson
"Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers
"Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden

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"Risin' up, back on my feet / Did my time, took my advances / Went the distance, now I'm back on the streets / Just a man and his will to survive." This animal-themed tune is called what?
"A Horse With No Name" by America
"Panda" by Designer
"Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
Best known for their song "Eye of the Tiger," Survivor came into existence in 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. The original band was made up of Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, and they were most successful during the 1980s.

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"Just dust those old records off the shelf / I'll sit and listen to 'em on my couch / Today's top hits ain't got the same soul" are the jumbled opening lyrics to what song?
"Old Town Road" Lil Nas X
'Old Time Rock & Roll' by Bob Seger
Despite growing up in the era of The Beatles, Seger was more drawn to the music of James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Little Richard. His most valued album was "James Brown Live at the Apollo, Volume 1."
"We Will Rock You" by Queen
"Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley

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"I guess I should of closed my heart / When you drove me to the site / Where your mustangs run free." When written with the correct words, these lyrics come from which song?
"Modern Love" by David Bowie
"Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna
"Higher Love" by Whitney Houston
"Little Red Corvette" by Prince
In addition to being a talented songwriter for his own music, Prince was also responsible for the music of tons of other artists. One such song was "Manic Monday" for The Bangles.

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"Life in Saran wrap, it's all plastic / You can braid my hair, undress me everywhere / Imagination, life is your creation." What is the name of this song that has had its lyrics toyed with?
"Barbie Girl" by Aqua
While they grew to global fame with their hit "Barbie Girl," the Danish-Norwegian group Aqua was originally called Joy Speed. They got the inspiration for their name from a poster.
"Lego House" by Ed Sheeran
"Kite" by U2
"My Toy Soldier" by 50 Cent

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What song opens with almost these lyrics: "She take my spirit when I'm in need / Yeah, she's a bad person indeed / Oh, she's a gravedigger / Keeping me down, that digs on me"?
"Gold Digger" by Kanye West
Despite his fame as a singer, Kanye West produced music for other singers before he laid down vocals to his own songs. Some of the people he has worked with the likes of Jay-Z, Drake and Justin Bieber.
"In Da Club" by 50 Cent
"Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G.
"Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg

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"Susie Ann is not my mother / She's just the girl who claims that I am the son / But the kid is not my one" is the discombobulated chorus to what pop song?
"Vogue" by Madonna
"Who's Lovin' You" by The Jackson 5
"Two of Hearts" by Stacey Q
"Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was obviously good at what he did, but he is the most decorated artist ever! Even since his passing, Jackson still holds this title, with over 800 awards to his name.

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"Oh, her stars, her stars make the eyes look like they're not shinin'" is a muddled lyric from which song?
"Please Me" by Cardi B
"Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran
"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars was born with the name Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez, which is quite the mouthful! He got his stage name from a wrestler named Bruno Sammartino. The 'Mars' part came from girls describing him as "being out of this world."
"Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" by Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus

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"You can prance / You can thrive / Having the time of your life" are inaccurate lyrics to which song?
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
"Night Fever" by the Bee Gees
"Dancing Queen" by ABBA
Despite never formally announcing the end of the musical group, ABBA last performed together on December 11, 1982. They have reportedly been offered up to $1 billion to tour again but have turned it down.
"My Sharona" by The Knack

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"I saw him today at the reception / A can of pop in his hand" are nearly accurate lyrics from which song?
"Whole Lotta Rosie" by AC/DC
"Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who
"Hey You" by Pink Floyd
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones
The group originally got their start in London, where Jagger, Richards, Jones, Watts and Wyman came together to form one of the most popular rock groups ever. By 1965, the only group who could compete was the The Beatles.

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"I've never felt a dinosaur in the flesh / I rip my meat on wedding rings in the movies" are the incorrect opening lyrics to which popular jam?
"Burn" by Ellie Goulding
"Get Lucky" by Daft Punk
"Royals" by Lorde
"Royals" was the hit single that brought Lorde much of her initial fame. The popular single reached the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 100 in 2013 and won the young artist two Grammys.
"Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus

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"Every step you take / Every sound you make / Every branch you break / Every snack you take / I'll be watching you." What song do these inaccurate lyrics belong to?
"Every Breath You Take" by The Police
Despite their immense success, The Police band members went their separate ways in 1984. Sting went on to a successful solo career, and Copeland made a name for himself in scoring movies.
"I Will Possess Your Heart" by Death Cab for Cutie
"Sunglasses at Night" by Corey Hart
"Obsession" by Animotion

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"You may say I'm just creamer / But I'm not the only one" are false lyrics from what soft tune?
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
"Let It Be" by The Beatles
"I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
"Imagine" by John Lennon
John Lennon's musical success was cut short when he was assassinated by Mark David Chapman. Prior to following through with his plans to shoot Lennon, Chapman had received an autograph from the singer.

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"Well, I've heard there was a secret gourd / That David played and it pleased the horde" is the incorrect opening to which song?
"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
Despite it being a Leonard Cohen original, "Hallelujah" has seen the most success when it was covered by Jeff Buckley. It has also been covered by Pentatonix, Tori Kelly and Rufus Wainwright.
"Shallow" by Lady Gaga
"Mad World" by Gary Jules
"All of Me" by John Legend

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"Hating you / Isn't the right thing to do / How can I ever change things / That I do" are the incorrect opening lyrics to which famous tune?
"I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty
'Go Your Own Way' by Fleetwood Mac
The very first time that Fleetwood Mac performed together was at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival in England. At the time, Stevie Nicks was not a part of the original lineup, so she was not there.
"Lyin' Eyes" by The Eagles
"Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin

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"Too late, my ride has come / Sends shivers down my spine / Heart's aching all the time / Goodbye, everybody, I've got a show." This is only one part of what power ballad?
"Miles Away" by Alias
"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen
Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury, is said to have invented the art of stand-free mic singing. During one performance, his mic stand broke, and he saw this as an opportunity to use it as a prop and continued to do so in other performances.
"Purple Rain" by Prince
"Always" by Bon Jovi

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"She was pure like fresh bread / No one could ever burn / The memory of my bread pan / Could never cause me pain." This stanza of incorrect lyrics belongs to what song?
"Centerfield" by John Fogerty
"Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles
"(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon
"Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band
While they've been known to open for Bob Seger in more recent times, the J. Geils Band has had a number of memorable acts open for them! Some of the openers for their shows included The Eagles, ZZ Top and The Allman Brothers.

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"Name me your name, baby / Name me your car / Name me your color, darling" are the almost correct lyrics that open what song?
"Take on Me" by A-ha
'Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Cyndi Lauper
"Manic Monday" by The Bangles
"Call Me" by Blondie
Despite the success that Blondie had with the song "Call Me," it was not originally supposed to be sung by the band. When it was first written, the song was going to be recorded by Stevie Nicks.

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"I'll be your cream, I'll be your dish, I'll be your fantasy" is the altered opening line to what song?
"Amazed" by Lonestar
"Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton
"Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden
Formed in 1994, the Australian group Savage Garden was made up of lead vocalist Darren Hayes with Daniel Jones playing the instruments. The band got their name from an Anne Rice novel.
"You're Still the One" by Shania Twain

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"Stroke that tattoo on your shoulder / Drive the streets right off the corner / Of the apartment that you stole / From your roommate back in Boulder / We ain't ever getting older." These muddled lyrics belong to what ear worm of a song?
"Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran
"Faded" by Alan Walker
"Closer" by The Chainsmokers
From New York City, Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall are the dynamic duo that comprise The Chainsmokers. They first rose to fame with their popular song "#SELFIE," which became a viral sensation.
"Let Me Love You" by DJ Snake

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"All the lonely Starbucks lovers" is a mixed-up lyric to what song?
"All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor
"Blank Space" by Taylor Swift
Despite her success at singing and performing, Swift had originally dreamed of breaking into musical theater. After years of trying out and never earning a role, she stuck to songwriting.
"Someone Like You" by Adele
"Friday" by Rebecca Black

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"No one looked as I walked by / Just an invitation or a quick hi / Said no to him again and again / First, he took my shirt, then he ran" are the mixed-up opening lyrics to what song?
"The First Cut is the Deepest" by Sheryl Crow
"Don't You Want Me" by The Human League
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston
"Stand Back" by Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks caught her first break with one of her Fleetwood Mac band members, Lindsey Buckingham. The first group they were in together was called Fritz, where Nicks sang lead vocals.

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"Through the shore we reach the storm / I give it all but you want more / And you're waiting for me" are almost correct lyrics from which popular ballad?
"Every Breath You Take" by The Police
"Viva la Vida" by Coldplay
"With or Without You" by U2
In addition to a strange band name, one particular member of U2 also has a bizarre stage name. Born Paul David Hewson, Bono got his show name from an advertisement for hearing aids.
"Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd

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"We're all dying people / With so much to live / Understand me, sugar / Since we've got to be here / Let's live / I love you." In their correct form, these lyrics belong to what song?
"Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye's original name was Marvin Gay. During his youth, because of his last name and his father's tendency to crossdress, Gaye was bullied. He added the "E" to his name when he started to gain fame.
"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
"Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas
"Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran

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"Ridin' on a pony / Lean all in my Sony / Cheated on my baby / You can go and ask her." This little hit that we've messed up goes by what title?
"Thotiana" by Blueface
"God's Country" by Blake Shelton
"Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X, or Montero Lamar Hill, broke into the rap scene with his hit "Old Town Road" that he made with Billy Ray Cyrus. The song achieved a large amount of its popularity from the TikTok app.
"Sunflower" by Post Malone

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The correct version of the lyrics "I'm in the bar with my besties, try'na get a lil d- / I keep it down on the low-key, 'cause I don't want to feel / I said shawty he was checkin' up on me" can be found in what song?
"Get Low" by Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz
"Yeah!" by Usher
Terry Raymond IV, or as he's more popularly known, Usher, was destined to be a singer. He first began performing when he joined his church choir at six years old. Later in his young life, he was discovered through a show called "Star Search."
"My Boo" by Alicia Keys featuring Usher
"The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" by The Flaming Lips

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"Up in the tub / Just filled up / I'm doing my own little thing / You decided to strip / But now you wanna drip / 'Cause another soap is foaming me." Which queen sang this discombobulated jam?
"Single Ladies" by Beyonce
While she seems completely comfortable on stage, Beyonce actually has a tendency to be shy when she's in front of large crowds. In order to get over this, she created her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce.
"She Wolf" by Shakira
"Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

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"Let's pee in a corner / Let's pee in the spotlight" is a messed-up lyric from what song?
"Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.
When they were originally trying to figure out what they were going to name the band, R.E.M. members were considering "Cans of Piss" for their band name. They randomly found R.E.M. in the dictionary, however, and settled on that.
"Fortunate Son" Creedence Clearwater Revival
"It Ain't Me, Babe" by Bob Dylan
"Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash

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"Old friend, why are you so sly / Ain't like you to hold back / or hide from the fight." Released in 2011, what emotional ballad is this?
"Someone Like You" by Adele
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was inspired by the likes of the Spice Girls and Ella Fitzgerald during her younger years. It obviously paid off because her album "21" is the fourth-highest-selling album of all time in the United Kingdom.
"We Found Love" by Rihanna
"F**kin' Perfect" by P!nk
"Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum

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