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The Best Misheard Lyrics From The 80s & 90s

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There is nothing quite like maxing your speakers to your favourite old skool song (from when you were able to get up off the sofa without hurting something!) as you perfectly execute a few choice dance moves… in your kitchen… while holding a cuppa… and getting a stitch because you’re no longer 17. You then scream the lyrics as if shouting makes the hideous display of your crumbling youth any better! Kitchen dancing is one of my favourite pastimes. So is singing wildly out of tune to my Spotify playlists that are full of 90s hits from pop to RnB, 80s power ballads and that one time I experimented with Metallica and then realised I was too black for that! Some people say, “Hey Shem, what new music are you listening to?” and then I reply, “Hey friend, sorry I couldn’t hear you over Gangsta’s Paradise from 1995!”


My other favourite pastime is misheard lyrics. There is an actual science to mishearing song lyrics and it’s called Mondegreen. There is essentially a breakdown between the sound and the part where your brain tries to interpret the sounds and give it significant meaning. If the sound is unclear, then this then opens up an ambiguous area that needs to be filled with pure guess work. With song lyrics there is usually a lot of noise to get through especially if you are listening to a tune on a radio for example because you can’t see the singer’s mouth. Throw in various different accents, stresses on words and the ‘joy’ of musicians forcing certain words to rhyme, it’s no wonder our brains get muddled and take creative liberties with lyrics!

After chatting to some friends, I pulled together the top 10 best (and funniest) misheard lyrics from the 1980s and 1990s all for your viewing pleasure!

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit 1991


What you hear: “Here we are now, in containers!”

The actual lyrics: “Here we are now, entertain us.”


Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love To You 1994

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What you hear: “Pour the wine, like a child!”

The actual lyrics: “Pour the wine, light a fire.”


Corona – Try Me Out 1995


What you hear: “Tie me up! Please baby tie me up!”

The actual lyrics: “Try me out, please baby try me out.”


Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer 1986

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What you hear: “It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not!”

The actual lyrics: “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.”


Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69 1984

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What you hear: “I got my first real sex dream!”

The actual lyrics: “I got my first real six-string.”


Gala – Freed From Desire 1995

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What you hear: “My love has got no money, he’s got his trampoline!”

The actual lyrics: “My love has got no money, he’s got his strong beliefs.”


Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It 1997

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What you hear: “Kick a chicken with it!”

The actual lyrics: “Gettin’ jiggy wit it.”


C+C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat 1990

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What you hear: “Everybody’s dead now!”

The actual lyrics: “Everybody dance now.”


Spice Girls – 2 Become 1 1996

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What you hear: “Wanna make love to your baby!”

The actual lyrics: “Wanna make love to ya baby.”


Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love 1985

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What you hear: “Might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove!”

The actual lyrics: “Might as well face it, you’re addicted to love.”