My PopWatch compadre Gary Susman recently sent me a video of Joe Cocker singing “With a Little Help From My Friends” at Woodstock, back in 1969. (I’ll take this moment to ‘fess that I had no idea that Cocker was still alive — according to IMDB, he played a bum, a pimp, and a “mad hippie” in last year’s Across the Universe. I smell a tasteless PopWatch item in the making: Stars you thought were dead, but no, just fallen off the radar. ANYWAY.) While I’ve tried to decipher Cocker’s lyrics for years, this video (watch it below) offers up helpful subtitles, with even more helpful illustrations of said lyrics. Of course, it doesn’t help matters that the lyrics are totally WRONG, and quite hysterically so, but I think I prefer “Whoa, I let the river out / and I don’t know why” as opposed to… whatever he actually sang.
This got me thinking: What song lyrics have you repeatedly misheard? Have you ever embarrassed yourself in front of friends? (Check out KissThisGuy.com for inspiration.) I’ll go first. When I was growing up, it seemed like my local radio station had Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” on every 15 minutes. And I’d dutifully sing along every time I heard it, even though I thought the lyrics were awfully morbid: “Out on the road today / I saw a dead head sticking on a Cadillac…” Ick! (Henley was actually singing “I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac,” but this was some years before I knew what a “Deadhead” was. My parents were that good.)