Misheard Words: The Mondegreen Quiz

By: Sarah Gleim

Misheard Words: The Mondegreen Quiz
Image: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

About This Quiz

What's a mondegreen, you ask? It's when we you mishear song lyrics and, well, make up your own. There are songs so many of us butcher the lyrics for, and these are the most common. Take this quiz to see what you know about mondegreens.
Many people think Jimi Hendrix crooned "excuse me while I kiss this guy" in what song?
"Purple Haze"
The lyrics are actually "excuse me while I kiss the sky" in Purple Haze.
"Hey Joe"
"Foxy Lady"

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"And there's a wino down the road" is misheard in what Led Zeppelin song?
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Stairway to Heaven"
The actual lyrics in "Stairway to Heaven" are "and as we wind on down the road."
"When the Levee Breaks"

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Elton John did NOT sing about Tony Danza in which of his hit songs?
"Tiny Dancer"
Many listeners mishear the lyric "hold me closer, tiny dancer" as "hold me closer, Tony Danza."
"Your Song"
"Sacrifice"

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Which Beatles song lyrics are misheard as the unfortunate line "the girl with colitis goes by"?
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
The Fab Four actually wrote "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" with the line "the girl with kaleidoscope eyes."
"Revolution"
"Can't Buy Me Love"

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"Wrapped up like a douche, another rumor in the night"? Um no. A song by this English band is one of the most butchered.
the Who
Rolling Stones
Manfred Mann
The correct lyrics by in Manfred Mann's "Blinded by the Light" have nothing to do with feminine products. Instead they read, "revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night."

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Bryan Adams' ode to 1969 took on an unintended tone when many listeners misheard the opening lyric as what?
I got my first real sixteen.
I got my first real sex dream.
The song became sexual in nature when it was misheard as "I got my first real sex dream," when it really says "I got my first real six string."
I got my first real six string.

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In the Police's hit "Message in a Bottle," a year did NOT pass since I broke my nose. But a year has passed since what?
I wrote my note.
A year has passed since I wrote my note.
I wrote that note.
I wrote that nose.

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Queen's "scaramouch, scaramouch, will you do the fandango?" from what song is misheard as "will you do the banned tango?"
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"Bohemian Rhapsody." Duh.
"Under Pressure"
"You're My Best Friend"

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"Shamu is the mysterious whale" are NOT lyrics from this U2 song.
"Mysterious Ways"
"She moves in mysterious ways" is the correct line from "Mysterious Ways."
"Kite"
"The Unforgettable Fire"

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The Bee Gees sang "it's alright; it's okay; you may look the other way" in what song?
"Stayin' Alive"
Apparently these lines in "Stayin' Alive" are commonly misheard as "it's alright; it's okay; you make love the other way."
"Jive Talking"
"More Than a Woman"

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R.E.M. never sang about calling Jamaica in what song?
"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight"
"Call me when you try to wake her" is often misheard as "calling Jamaica" in R.E.M.'s song "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight."
"Superman"
"Man on the Moon"

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Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty has played along with the lyrical misunderstanding from which of his band's famous songs?
"Proud Mary"
"Fortunate Son"
"Bad Moon Rising"
In "Bad Moon Rising," "there’s a bad moon on the rise" is commonly misunderstood as "there's a bathroom on the right," and Fogerty often sings that live in concert.

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Madonna's first No. 1 hit includes a misheard lyric. What's the song?
"Borderline"
"Material Girl"
"Like a Virgin"
Like a virgin, touched for the 31st time. Enough said.

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Jesus don't fear the reaper. (He don't. Trust me.) What really does fear the reaper in this Blue Oyster Cult hit?
reason
seasons
Seasons don't fear the reaper.
treason

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What Black Eyed Peas huge hit has two lines that are commonly misheard?
"I Gotta Feeling"
"Boom Boom Pow"
In "Boom Boom Pow," "gotta get get" is often confused as "gotta Kit Kat," and "sexy ladies extra longer" is often heard incorrectly as "textin' ladies extra longer."
"Let's Get It Started"

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"The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind." Well, not really. According to Bob Dylan, what is really blowing in the wind?
the answer my friend
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind. No, ants are not your friends.
the ants and my friends
the answer might end

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Which song is Bon Jovi's "it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not" from?
"Never Say Goodbye"
"Living on a Prayer"
The line in "Living on a Prayer" is often misheard as "it doesn't matter if we're naked or not."
"Runaway"

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She didn't come in like a rainbow. What does Miley Cyrus come in like in her 2013 hit song?
wrecking ball
Miley came in like a wrecking ball.
orange ball
raining ball

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Complete this Queen lyric: "Spare him his life ___."
from this monstrosity
The actual line in "Bohemian Rhapsody" is "spare him his life from this monstrosity."
for this one cup of tea
from this one ounce of sea

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Guns N' Roses didn't sing about being taken down to a very nice city. What did they sing about?
our city
Paradise City
The grass is green and the girls are pretty in "Paradise City."
next city

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Who was Annie Lennox talking to?
baby
a ninja
an angel
Annie Lennox must have been talking to an angel in her hit song "Must Be Talking to an Angel." Many listeners thought she was talking to a ninja.

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Pink Floyd's hit song "Another Brick in the Wall" talks about NOT needing what?
education
Of course the lyrics say "we don't need no education." Apparently a lot of people thought they said "we don't need no sex vacation." Huh?
sex vacation
music station

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In what song did listeners think Ricky Martin sang "she smells like a flower, but she stinks."
"Livin' la Vida Loca"
"Come With Me"
"She Bangs"
The correct lyrics to "She Bangs" are "she smells like a flower, but she stings like a bee." Poor Ricky.

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Lady Gaga never wanted you to poke her face in this song.
"Bad Romance"
"Poker Face"
Of course it's "Poker Face," but a lot of people thought she was singing poke her face. Easy mistake.
"Alejandro"

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Taylor Swift has a long list of these in her song "Blank Space."
ex-lovers
Taylor's "got a long list of ex-lovers," apparently easily misunderstood as "long list of Starbucks lovers."
lovers
boys

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What huge Alanis Morissette hit has a butchered lyric about a cross-eyed bear?
"You Oughta Know"
The actual lyrics to "You Oughta Know" are "it's not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me." There's no mention of any cross-eyed bears at all.
"Ironic"
"Hand in my Pocket"

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So many lyrics were misconstrued in this song by Nirvana, but the most common is "here we are now, in containers."
"Lithium"
"Smells Like Teen Spirit"
That famously misheard line in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" really says "here we are now, entertain us."
"Come as You Are"

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"Let's drink pop" was the commonly misinterpreted refrain in what song by the Ramones?
"Hey Ho, Let's Go"
"I Wanna Be Sedated"
"Blitzkrieg Bop"
"Blitzkrieg Bop" is often misheard as simply "let's drink pop." Totally what the Ramones were going for.

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What band performed "Rock the Casbah," not "Rock the Cat Box," as many people heard it?
the Clash
The Clash wrote the hit song "Rock the Casbah."
the Ramones
the Who

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David Lee Roth and the boys in Van Halen didn't sing "animal"! What did they sing about?
eruption
Panama
Apparently a lot of people thought David Lee Roth was saying "animal" in the song "Panama." And with David Lee Roth, you never know.
jump

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Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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