This Might Be A Wiki:Misheard Lyrics

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I've turned off my hearing aid...

Every band produces songs with lyrics that are misheard by their own fanbase, but They Might Be Giants are among a notable, smaller group where their lyrics are often somewhat surreal in the first place so misheard lyrics (also known as mondegreens), can go unnoticed by the listener for a long time.

To check to see if you have been hearing a TMBG song correctly, check the lyrics page for the song in question.

Contents

200 Sbemails[edit]

"The thought of all those Sbemails makes me weep"

2082[edit]

"Action figures unmistakably your own"

32 Footsteps[edit]

"32 footsteps, counter myself, 32 footsteps"
"32 footsteps, count the numbers up, 32 footsteps"
"32 footsteps running down the road where the door reaches the skies"
"32 infant tree men running the place"

A Self Called Nowhere[edit]

"...where they tore down the garage to make room for the tall damn garage"

"I'm sitting on the cab of the empty parking lot of the star where they let me play the organ"

A Ton Of Stuff[edit]

"Planting a broom!"

Aaa[edit]

"Why'd you had the table was the thing you were about to say?"
"Don't you think it's time that we removed these appendages?"
"If you peel a potted golf haul that deep inside, you'll find some alien blood"

Absolutely Bill's Mood[edit]

This is actually a misreading, rather than a mishearing: until very recently, I could have sworn that the title of this song was
"Absolutely Billy's Mood!"
-- Tutt (MasterChivo) 16:03, 12 Oct 2005 (EDT)


"I've been saying" [instead of "I'm Insane"]
"My room is comfortably small
With rubble on the walls"

After realizing the real lyric, my whole personal interp of the song changed. I get it now.


"Life's just a movie we're not allowed to see"
"I called school each morning when it occurred to me"

I honestly think this makes more sense than the real lyric. --ZippZapp 23:46, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

"My room's uncomfortably small"
"With rubber lined on the walls"
"Now listen all you swinger stones who'd try to tag along"
"With rubble lying on the wall"

AKA Driver[edit]

"We can fly like birds in the end
We could walk but we'd never get them"

Alienation's For The Rich[edit]

"But I'm working to make it better, with some sips of Miller high life"

All The Lazy Boyfriends[edit]

"Got a brand-new dick planner still snug in the wrapper"
"Die you say I lied? That you think you've lost your head?"
"Enough to erase all the previous lies"
"And all of the girlfriend's bias remorse"

All Time What[edit]

"The gas has left the room"
"I use my outside voice because I have no choice, the barn that I was raised in was constructed out of those"

Alphabet Lost And Found[edit]

"I-N-G, anybody lose an E?" instead of "I-N-G, anybody lose an ING?"
"Sign words, you're in the wrong building" instead of "Slang words, you're in the wrong building"
"Pages missing A's and R's" instead of "Paging Mr. Ames Ond"

Am I Awake?[edit]

"And something else besides my head is growing from my head"

Ampersand[edit]

"Explanation Point"
"you, ampersand me, comma"

it fit in with the theme of punctuation and whatnot

"Hidden from the moon and all its beans"

Anaheim[edit]

"All asleep with pizza crumbs on my clothes"

Ana Ng[edit]

"Eighty dolls yelling small world after all,
Who was at the DuPont Pavilion,
Why was the bed still warm, who had been there?
Or the time when the storm tangled up Newark,
At the horn at the hole at the busty pole,
Ana's back on the edge of hearing,
These are the words that the voice was repeating"
"Where the world goes by like the human hair" -- Tgies
Linnell says this line instead of humid air frequently in live performances. Maybe he's balding. -Ed
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! That would be so tragic! ~Anna Ng hears your words. 21:54, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
"All along at the '64 World's Fair
Eighty dolls yelling "small girl after all"
Who was at the DuPont Pavillion?
Why was the bench still one who had been there?"
"When I was driving once I saw this planet on a bridge"
"I Don't Want the World, I just want to wear hats"
"To the horn on the pole in the rusty hole"

I kind of thought like, pole and hole rhymed, so I just assumed that's what it was.. --Your Half 03:20, 5 July 2007 (UTC)


"I don't want the world, I just want your hat."
"I don't want the whirl, I just want your hand"
"To the horn in a hole at a busty pole"
"To the horn on the pole, oh, that rusty pole"
"Listen in and hear my words"
"Anna Thang and I are getting old
and we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestic parents
Listen Anna hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was one before you"
"Who was at the pied pavillion?"

I always thought that it was referring to a pavilion with a picture of the Pied Piper or something.


"Who was at the DuPont pavilion?  Why was the vegetable one who had been there?"
"Who was at the warm pavilion?"
"Who was at the wide pavilion?"
"Ana Ng and I are getting cold and we still haven't locked in the glow of each other's majesting presents"
"I don't mock the world, I just want to know how"
"I didn’t kill the girl, I just cut her in half"
"Ana Ng and I are getting old and we still haven't walked in the glow of each other--but just a second..."

I heard this for the longest time.

"Listen, Ann, and hear my words"

Here are mine:

"Ana Ng and I are getting old and we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestically"
"Listen In and hear my words"
"To the horn on the pole at the busty pole"
"And it stings like a broken record"

An Insult To The Fact Checkers[edit]

"Try to trace out all the details"

Announcement Q[edit]

"There is a cock radio"

Another First Kiss[edit]

"Another furred kiss"

Answer[edit]

"It may take an ocean of whiskey and time / To wash all of the lint down out of your mind"
"All this time, interesting Asians have been eavesdropping upstairs"

Apophenia[edit]

"Seemingly random arrangement of turban material telling you what to do"

Applause Applause Applause[edit]

"Your kisses are your drugs"

Au Contraire[edit]

"Jodie Foster held two pair, Bobcat three of a kind"
"Jodie Foster held two pair,
Bar cats real kind,
'God!' he said, 'With my full house,
I will blow your mind!'"

Authenticity Trip[edit]

"I just thought it might be tough in the soft soft sand"

"I think your mom is nice"

"I think your mom is nuts"

"I'm like Ichabod Crane"

"I think your mom has lice"

"And now I'm in these glasses just to be your man"
"Back again the pit-tall savannah"
"I'm like Ichabod cream"

Backstabbing Liar[edit]

"Hear the scream leather turning someway new"
"Backstabbing liar, has learned turret songs"

Bangs[edit]

"Below my mind, your royal flyness"
"Bangs, are like a pocket teacher"

Bastard Wants To Hit Me[edit]

"And who the crud is he"

I still hear this, no matter how hard I listen or how many times in a row I play that line. Ahhh, my faulty ears.


"He's waving another so he can hit me"
"Pull onto the lever"

Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth[edit]

"Neither one is equal to the challenge of the frequel called
The bee of the bird of the moth"

It's such a shame. I thought "frequel" (freak + sequel) was ingenious. -pat 11:39, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


"Sani-tangerine colored nuclear submarine"
"Is it us or is that messed up?"


"With a sticker that says STD"

I'll admit this one, I didn't find out the actual lyric until about the 10th time I've heard it. Man, have I got a gutter-mind. -93Miles


"Neither one is equal to the challenge of the three-quel called
The bee of the bird of the moth"

The logic was if Cat-Bug was the original and Man-House was the sequel, then the BotBotM was the second sequel, the three-quel. Royalninja (talk) 20:02, 22 April 2018 (EDT)

Become A Robot[edit]

"Open you door, become a robot"
"Here's hoping you don't, harbour a dentist."

This is the live version that I'm referring to, of course.


"Here's hoping you don't harbor a penguin"

I don't even know. (message from You&Me!!: holy crap i'm not the only one)

same for me too --jimmyZenShinsThreeHundred11 (talk)

Best Regrets[edit]

"And I loved you when you ran, well in circles, round back when,
Without the mission horse's spicion, it even tolerated sand"

Birdhouse In Your Soul[edit]

"Blue canary in the alley by the lightswitch"
"Lukinary in the outlet by the lightswitch"

"Luke and Aaron in the outlet by the lightswitch"

"Blue canary in the attic by the lightswitch"

"Blue canary in the oven by the lightswitch"

"Blue washes over you"
"Say I'm the only B in your body"
"Say I'm the only B in your butthead"
"Say I'm the only East in your bunny"

"Say I'm the only one bein' your buddy"

"Who can hear you in the oven but the lightswitch?"

"Who can hear me in the alley by the lightswitch..."

"Bluebird of friendliness, like argent angels it's"

"Blue canary in the up ends by the lightswitch"

"Bluebird of friendliness, like guardian angel zits"

"Blue canary in the yellow by the light switch"

"After killing Jason off and countless screaming argument"
"Like the Longine's Symphony, it doesn't rest"
"Like the laundry, it's infinite, it doesn't rest"
"Like art and angels it's always here"
"There's a big chair opposite me of my primitive ancestry"
"Like the Launching Symphonette"
"Fill up busted vigilantly"
"Like the laundry's symphony"
"Like god and angels, it's always here"


My sister was singing:

"Bluebird of feminists"

I always thought it was

"Not to put too finapoinun it

Birds Fly[edit]

"Dogs fall from my thoughts"
"Birds fall out from my pockets, a cat stands under my feet"

Black Ops[edit]

"Torment the landing pad"
"Tom at the landing pad"
"You'll be standing when the music stops"
"Ripping up some lawn, and then we'll go"
"Stick to the Newsies child, the ghetto's wild"

Boat Of Car[edit]

"Can you sing bass?"
"Daniel, sing bass"

"Have you seen base?"

"Daniel sang bass"
"Daniel saying 'base'"
"Dancing bass"

"Dare you sing bass?"

"Dare to sing bass"


I SWEAR TO GOD IT'S DANIEL SING BASS

Blind[edit]

"Taking off my shit
I don't need to wear this shit
Shit is for squares"

This was while listing to Clock Radio with the sound turned up real loud!

Bread Hair[edit]

"If you're like me, then weed is the holy crop"

By The Time You Get This[edit]

"No more will the shattering glasses make a noise"
"But surely in the future there'll be no more kingdoms"

C Is For Conifers[edit]

"Large junipers and fir"

[This error went unnoticed on the wiki for sixteen months.]

Cage & Aquarium[edit]

"Somebody's reading your mind, pretend if you know who it is"
"Somebody's reading your mind, damned if you know who he is"

Call You Mom[edit]

I'm gonna go put on my sewer suit

This makes no sense in this context

I'm gonna go put on my simmer suit
"As I dream of a game where I'm throwing up poop"

This is disgusting.

Canajoharie[edit]

"When the prototype
Exploded on the lawn, she sighed"
"Canada Harry,
Canada Harry"
"Candidate Harry,
Candidate Harry"
"Where a daring mud skipped or dragged herself away"

Can't Keep Johnny Down[edit]

"Odds are a million to one"
"Outnumber the millions who walk"
"Ahh! All of the millions who walk"
"Fast food in his pants"
"Maaaaannn, powered up in a tailing mound"
"Remembering sights, I'm not a monument to justice, on which I don't forget a face"
"Some good" instead of "Some dude"

Careful What You Pack[edit]

"Look at what she found, digging all around by the goldfish mound"
"Swinging from that tree"

Careless Santa[edit]

"Done much him, he had came"

Celebration[edit]

"First, the DJ must power the magnifiers
To pay a ruckus, select an album and put it on the turntable
The reason is to attach five dollars to your card and drive to the DJ booth
Signal the DJ and bring in the bell"
"I see the banks, they left a post-it note"
"The moon beams strong on the open shelf"
"The unlikely crowd assembled here, like Sheronimous, block Sheronimous"

Cells[edit]

"Bug or a sunflower, like David Eisenhower."

As if Eisenhower was a sunflower. But TMBG have done some strange things.

Chess Piece Face[edit]

"There goes a-hey, but for my face"
"By the f*cks in the life of chess piece face"

Chip The CHiP[edit]

"Chip the chip, chip the chip, he's a humanoid, yes, he's a beast"
"He's the ugliest one officer"

Circular Karate Chop[edit]

"Never turned a plastic fork in self-defense"

As if Daffy Duck were wielding a plastic fork in his famous routine, Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!

"Think what you like, I'll keep on walking"
"Afternoon in the mirror doing off and on"

Cloisonné[edit]

I kept on hearing

"My craft is exploding"

as

"Minecraft is exploding"

I think we all did, buddy.

Columbia[edit]

"Sugar pump" or "Sugar pop" instead of "Sugar plum"

Contrecoup[edit]

"As if there's no cinnamon"


I completely misheard the word "contrecoup" itself, thinking the refrain instead went:

"God tricked you, on the rebound
God tricked you, hurt me again"
"And the second was worse my father the first"
"'Cause it made me lose my rent"

Counterfeit Fake[edit]

"Mystery wants you, they made a mistake"

Counterfeit Faker[edit]

"Aw, hell, [unintelligible]"

Courage The Cowardly Dog[edit]

"...Wants to destroy our humble nowhere chat"
"Creepy cereal, someone better get the door"

Cowtown[edit]

"The cows are friends with me"
"The yellow roads of elt have been newly overturned
The order of our glory add a T, is an adventure we have spermed,
We've spermed, it's a new leaf overturned
It's a new leaf overturned"

Crushed By Dust[edit]

I kept hearing the song starting like this:

"And life is a nurse"
"We are sped, we aren't dead, we're crush"

Cyclops Rock[edit]

"I'm fried, with a tombstone smile, all the children run away from me"
"It was sweet, like lipane [or "lippin'"] is sweet
But the after-effects left me paralyzed
I just stare, with my one-class eye, hoping
You won't be back again."
"Honey, Twist, Monkey, and Fugue
These are the things I taught to you
Hitch-hike, Boogie, Hypocrite Bop
I'm stuck in a vat outside of New York"

[These imply some sort of bad drug experience]


"I'm stuck in a vat of cyber-time pork"
"I told you how to cyclops rock"
"ITCHY BOOBIES, HYPOCRITE ROCK!!"

My reaction to the above mishearing was "HUH?!?!"


"It was sweet, like living is sweet
But the after-effects left me paralyzed"

Well, it makes sense, in a way.

"It was sweet, like lemonade is sweet"
"Hitchhike, boogie, hypocrite scum"

Makes enough sense.


"I'm a fry, with my tombstone smile, all the children run away from me"

Not a drastic mishearing, but I find it funny to imagine children running away from a smiling french fry.


IM STUCK IN NEVADA OUTSiDE Of NEW YORK 
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
--jimmyZenShinsThreeHundred11 (talk)

Damn Good Times[edit]

"When it comes to opera she is classified" 
"When it comes to opera she is awesome pie"
"When it comes to opera she is awesome bot"
"When it comes to opera she's an ocelot"
"And she cleans the store"

Dark And Metric[edit]

"No magazine bag"
"No trains rolling back"

Dead[edit]

"And I won't pay the rent ever anymore"
"I'll never see myself in a manner with my eyes closed"
"Now it's over, I'm dead and a half"
"Now it's either I'm dead"

Dedicated[edit]

"Naomi, but especially for the ladies! (on the floor)"
"Stop playing games on the lawn"

Destination Moon[edit]

"Soon the man who sweeps the room
Brings the secret telegram:
'Emancipation interplanetary exploration'"
"By golfing at the airport'"
"And woping out checking out and flying"

am i going crazy or is "woping out" not a phrase people use?

Some things I hear from the "secret telegram":

"EMANCIPATION AIRY INTONATION EXPLORATION"
"EMANCIPATE THE AIRY CEMETERY EXPLORATION"
"A MAN DEFLATES THE INTERPLANET GARY EXPOSITION"
"DEMAND CITATION OVERLAPPING EVERY EXPLANATION"

It's different every time, I swear to god

"By rocking to the moon"

Didn't Kill Me[edit]

"She shut down the sweets shop"

Dig My Grave[edit]

"Every time I look in your eyes I see St. Peter waitin'"

Dinner Bell[edit]

"Experimental clause"
"And then I swallow food"

(instead of the broken-up "And walk away")

"Shoulder, feces, elbow, aum
Forearm, thumpris, not cool, baum
Metal inky index rain
Dinner bell dinner bell ding"

D Is For Drums[edit]

"D is for drugs!  Yes, D is for drugs!"

Doctor Worm[edit]

"My friend Rabbi Bull will play the solo"

I always thought the combination of the words rabbi and Bible (Rabbi Bull) was absolutely ingenious and it turns out the combination didn't even exist. Frankly, I like my lyric better than theirs.


"My friend Rabbibo [pronounced rab-bye-boe] will play the solo"
"When I get intimate
I can't tell if you are watching me
Twirling the stick"

It seemed casual for TMBG to have a song that involved a worm being intimate with a stick. "Twirling the stick", huh? Is that what they're calling it now?

Don't Let's Start[edit]

I always thought that it was

"Who believed for all the world..."
"When you are alone, you are the cat ear on the phone"
"When you are alone, you are the cat, you're on the phone"


"Wake up
Smell the caffeine
in your bank account"
"Wake up
Smell the caffeine
In your back cow
Don't try to stop till
It wags the hound"

(Personally, I think "smell the caffeine" fits the Johns better than "smell the cat food", even if it doesn't make as much sense in the context of the song!)


"Wake up
Smell the cat food
in your bag of chow"
"Wake up, smell the cat food, then you're back down, and don't try to stop until it wags the hound"
"The world destruction, over an overture, and do I need, apostrophe T need this topshot?"
"The world destruction
Over and overture
And do I need a part of this
Tedious destruction?"
"Do you world destruction?
Over an overture
And do I neat a pot's trophy
Does he need this stop shot?"
"N, do I need
Apostrophe T, need this duck shot?"
"Everybody dies frustrated inside and that is beautiful"

Amazingly, though I have listened to this song regularly for over 20 years, I did not know until just now that "frustrated inside" were NOT the correct lyrics. Uncanny.


"Don't try to stop until it... wags the hound."
"And don't try to stop until the wax burns out."
"Don't try to stop until the world explodes."
"Wake up
And smell the cat poo
In your bank account"
"This is the worst part
To believe for all the world
that you're my precious little girl"
"Wake up and smell the cat food in your bag of cow"

I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be a bag made of cow (i.e., leather) or a bag containing cow (either a whole cow or some beef). Either way I figured said bag would be messed up if cat food got in it, so it didn't seem to make much less sense than their lyrics usually do.


"Wake up and smell the cat food in your bank account
Don't try to stop until the little axe hits the ground"

I like to make my own visuals for every song in my head, each "clip" corresponding to a line. For this one, I imagined a hatchet hitting wood. When I found the real lyrics, I just kept the image.


"D - World Destruction,
Over an overture
N, do I need a box?
TNT, destruction!"

24.250.52.40 16:24, 15 September 2013 (EDT)

"D was destruction
Over an archer,
And do I need to possibly be?
This is torture!"

I... did not realize that it was supposed to be spelling something out for a long time.

"And do I need a possibly teenage destruction"
"De-world-destruction
Over and overture
And do I need a box
To redeem this dunk shot"

I still think it sounds way more like "dunk shot" than "torture".

"T need this sunshine?"

Drink![edit]

"Just spitting that pool queue all over the room"

Drown The Clown[edit]

Even after already knowing the lyrics, while I was passively listening my first time I heard:

My ears are ringing from this City of It Singing

I mean It is a clown

"Someone spent 7th grade, 'ting to pearly or lay"

E Eats Everything[edit]

"And D is just as interested in anything you've got"
"And I tastes its smoke"
"U and V and W are worn out from the Sun"

ECNALUBMA[edit]

"That a day of impassive fun"
"The crowd takes up the crowd, he comes, he comes" 
"Before the lidder born by men in fancy uniform"
"A pageant on which a siren mourns"
"The vagal flashing lights and royal horns" or "The legal flashing lights and royal horns"
"Be by my side in the electric charade"
"Be by my side in the electric career"
"You've got an electric knife, and I've got the need despite my face"

Electric Car[edit]

"Roll past the duck"

Employee Of The Month[edit]

"Got a job at the Chrome factory"

Erase[edit]

"The mercy skull that can't be downed"

Everything Is Catching On Fire[edit]

For about 8 years, until I was 13 or so, I would have sworn on my life that the words were

"Everything is catching gas, everything is catching on fire"

--ant 19:23, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Everything Right Is Wrong Again[edit]

"Tell me that you like my flau top scream"
"Tell me that you like my flat top screen"
"Tell me that you like my flow tapestry"

"Every movement falls
Every floor is walls again"
"You've heard the voice that makes the silent nausea says that..."
"Every frog has warts again"

I was always vaguely worried about this as it is traditionally the toad (rather than the frog) that is considered to be the bearer/wearer of warts. Now thanks to TMBW I know the true lyric.


"Your reason's overcome with greed
Reason overcome, but not before the damage done by you doesn't stop the feeling"
"Don't you want to know the reason why the cover's not appealing?"

I imagined this was about an album cover, and thought it might have come from actual conversations with JF, being a graphic design artist.


"You're a weasel overcome with dues"
"Tell me that you like my phone tapestry"
"You're a weasel lover, come with me"


"Every moment's stalled, every floor is waltzed again"

I still like this, even after finding out the correct lyrics. It's got a poetic feel to it.

I feel like the line

"Every floor is walls again"

makes more sense with the trailer flipping over, like I thought the song was about

Experimental Film[edit]

"It's for this experimental film, which nobody knows about but Mitch"

Fake Out In Buenos Aires[edit]

"Bacon tubing!" [instead of "Fake it to me!"] 
"Facatoobe!" for me

Feign Amnesia[edit]

"With that crazy god damn thing behind us."

"With that crazy god dancing behind us."

First Kiss[edit]

"The black man, she's waiting"

Flying V[edit]

"The pointed N flies in the least"
"Now the flying V is made of raw guitar"

For Science[edit]

"You won't be killed right away"

Turns out it's an even smaller consolation than I thought. --ColorOfInfinity (talk) 19:34, 30 June 2021 (EDT)

"You knew they'd kill right away"

Fun Assassin[edit]

"Only strange as one can tell from the beach"
"Where did we bury the tide?"


"Fun assassin, take off your disguise, look me in the eye and cry"

This mishearing made me feel kind of bad for the fun assassin.


"Fun assassin, treat me like I'm stoned"
"You to me, like a magnet to a plane"
"Don't begin"
"And when I get there, I'll just fold up my mouth, drop in and never look back"

Greasy Kid Stuff[edit]

"I've got the head to off a child"

Great[edit]

"If you have a hundred Dollars,
I can take you to
Hundred-Doll Land"

Hearing Aid[edit]

"Frosty the super-highway
lives by himself"
"Frosty the silver lining"
"... for mean lazy folks like myself"

The backwards part sounds like

"A piece of all your mercy"

Hell Hotel[edit]

"Salutations paying customer"

Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal[edit]

"They saw a modest sun girl geometrically and then they had forgiven themselves"

This always made me thing of think of the girl on the Sun Maid raisins box.


"They said the net reward would justify the Colossum as it made up their lives"

I didn't know what the Colossum was, but it sounded like the Colossus of Rhodes, so I assumed it was something ancient and big.


"You scratch my back and I'll scratch your kid"
"I could never streak my way to the top"
"I struck a party with my radio DJ"
"Chess Piece Face's faces must be wearing thin"
"And the diss track team has moved out of town
To district corners where no one should be found"

Hide Away Folk Family[edit]

"Hide away, faux family"
"And sadly the cross-eyed bear's
Been put to sleep behind the stairs (Da-ddy)"

It's actually "sadly", but because a father is mentioned in an earlier line, it sounds like the background line is "Daaaaaaddy...."


"Hide away, Polk family"
"Dolores, contemplate domestic turmoil"
"And the sad little cross eyed bear's been put to sleep behind the stairs"

Here In Higglytown[edit]

The first two syllables are actually the character name "Eubie" but it still sounds like:

"You'll see Wayne, Twinkle, Kip and Fran
All hop and pop around"

High Five![edit]

I always thought it was:

"Slappy five!"

...which would have been a lot more funny!

Hot Cha[edit]

"Never came back to tell his wife."
"Bond two books for everybody."

Houston[edit]

"My radio!"

How Can I Sing Like A Girl?[edit]

"And all that ear of corn taught me"

How Many Planets?[edit]

"Asteroid belt (series, honest, pressed up!)"

How Much Cake Can You Eat?[edit]

"We can't trust you; we don't know you"

I Can Hear You[edit]

"The car is protected by vipers"
"I can supervise that"
"You will hear a buzz"

I Can't Hide From My Mind[edit]

"I've got my house around it"

I Got My T-Shirt Back[edit]

"And the bongos"

Meaning he got his T-shirt back and he got his bongos back.


"I thought that 'readers don't believe her' stands for 'extra sauce'"

I'm pretty sure this was a mishearing of a bad memory of what the song actually sounds like. To be fair, about half the words sound creepily accurate to the near-completely different actual lyrics.

I Haven't Been Right Yet[edit]

"I'm going to shut their mouse for them"
"I've got my reasons powed down bestore"
"From this park bench, you can see it off"

I Hear A New World[edit]

"Who can I tell them?"

I Left My Body[edit]

When asked to produce the first lyric, I sang

“I left my body, and then I forgot-y where I left my body!”
"I took the folding knife and the backward palette soap!"

I Love You For Psychological Reasons[edit]

"flammable lung diagrammable sentiments"
"Preferring instead your inspection"
"Tease and talk do not talk"
"For my late obligation of greatness and fame"
"Lately I've taken too vacantly making repair to-do movements"

I Never Go To Work[edit]

"On Wednesday, I never feel reclined"

I Should Be Allowed To Think[edit]

"I should be allowed to blur them Aristotle, if by random memoir occurs to me"
"I should have a calling tone"
"On the quilted utility poll"

I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar[edit]

"I was dancing in the lesbian bar alone, alone"

I'll Be Haunting You[edit]

"I'm the ringing in your ears
Rewriting all your fears
And you're the only one who cares"
"Telltale meaning forklift, on this one releasing dremix, that rises like a phoenix from the ground"

I'm Def[edit]

"I gotta listen to ya"
"I'm deaf"

Not so much misheard, but misinterpreted. Completely changes the meaning of the song.

"Gotta job as desk violet"

Impossibly New[edit]

"Better dudes throwing rocks and flipping birds"

I've Been Seeing Things[edit]

More like "I've Been Hearing Things"...

"That lady / Must have ditched the cab / Page look down / What's she up to now?"
"Trembling cold by the airport road"
"But I'm pretty sure there was a dollar sign"
"They gave me the sticks"
"They gave me the sticks, where they all just go"
"Later I'm watching a news reporter galavant across a crime scene"
"Seagulls, helicopter, window trash"

I've Got A Match[edit]

"I've got a match, you're embracin' my collapse."

Pretty much reverses the whole meaning of the song...XD


"Pick up that stupid looking hat, you ass."
"I've got to match your embrace in my collapse"


"I couldn't run if you caught me in your coffee mug."

I could've sworn this was the line he was singing. Like, 100 percent. I guess this is what I get for not listening to Lincoln that much.

If I Wasn't Shy[edit]

"I'd burn all the unicorns"

I am glad to see I was not the only one who thought this!

Iowa[edit]

"She likes the comical hat"

I didn't even know 'conical' was a word before reading the lyrics.

I Palindrome I[edit]

"Man, Oh man!"

(I'm quite sure it does say "Man, Oh man!" it makes more sense than manonam, because it is a word palindrome, and that is what the song focuses on. It also seems to fit the story better.) If anyone says anything to the contrary, they will find themselves exactly as they do now.

Instead of manonam, I thought, and argued relentlessly with my brother, that it was:

"In the middle, in the mid"
"Family"
"Beloved acid washed mascara though, said she, able am I son."


I could have sworn:

"Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age!"

was:

"You gotta be stoned to be nuts about this."

Alternatively:

"You've got to be stupid not to believe."


 “Beloved afro wash my car and though medley a bleu half-assin’”

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)[edit]

"Why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobodies business but the jerks"


"Now it's Turkish delight on movie night"


"Even Old New York was once New Hampsterdam"

When I was younger I seemed to have repeatedly heard nonexistent H's in song lyrics...

"Even Old New York was once New Hamsterdown"
"Now it's first of July on a moonlit night"

It's Fun To Steal[edit]

"It's fun to steal, it's fun to break apart"
"It's buns of steel" (My dad kept hearing this)

It's Kickin' In[edit]

"Shot to work in the middle of the day
In a fire overshadows of the night
And you wonder why the talk is so bold
When it's boring and the story's so cold, oh!
Panic call to her best friend on the phone
Won't sit down but she just can't sit alone
Hard to justify a pardon grand
To somebody with no potted plants, oh!"
"Going good up until we shot 'em down
Bubble wrapped to the other side of town
In a restaurant with so much class
If we'd stop laughing we could almost pass, oh!"

I like the song better like this.

"Shot work in the middle of the day
In the final shadows in the night
And you wonder why the top is so cold
When it's pouring all the soy so old, oho! 
Panic call to the person on the phone
Shot me down but she just can't sit alone
Had to open by a party band
Disinvited by the party plans, oho!
Call good up until we shot him down
And we ride to the western side of town
In a restaurant with so much glass
If we stop laughing we can almost pass, oho!"
"Stick it in ya"

I once listened to this song in my car while driving with my mother. She gave me a funny look, and asked if this is what the words were.

Similarly, but only at the beginning:

"It's kickin in ya!"


"Shots wake in the middle of the day
In a fight over shadows in the night
And you wonder why it took you so old
When it's pouring and the sewer's so old, oh!"

I've also been known to hear it as "When it's pouring in the suicide hole, oh-oh!".

"Bubble wrapping into the other town"

I should tell you that I didn't understand any of these lyrics before I saw the lyric page. Let's see a couple more of my antics:

"In a fight, and he shot us in the night"
"credit card to impress her on the phone"
"Panic call to the person on the phone"
"the disinfected waitress"
"Some disinfected waitress"
"The dissing spitting waitress"

You get the idea.

It's Not My Birthday[edit]

"It's not my birthday, so why do you lie? . . .
Set my hands on down, never-marble be around,
Though I wish you were there,
I was less than you could bear,
And I'm not the only dust-mop underage."

Alternately:

"I am not the only dust mite mother raised."
"It's not my birthday, so why do you laugh, shout at me?"
"When the world comes down, never marvel be around
Though I wish we were there, we were less than wicked there"

Jackie The Clipper[edit]

"Honing her art while she was holed up in that goddamned apartment"
"Honing her arm while she was hold up in the docking department"

James K. Polk[edit]

"Mr. James K. Polk, the boyhood of the stump"
"Young victory, Napoleon of the stump"

I actually heard it as sounding kind of like "vic-oh-ree", but seeing as how I had no idea what the heck THAT would mean, I just figured it was "victory".


"He was James L. Poke, the boy who knew all the stuff"
"Napoleon of the stone"
"He was James K. Polk, the boy who held the stone"

John Lee Supertaster[edit]

"Cover your beer, 'cause he's a Supertaster!"

John Postal[edit]

"And play the sort of music of New Orleans brass bands"
"Don't apologize, 'cause you're under it"
You don't need my gaze, cause you keep your gaze hid"
"This is for me, fancy this, specialtee/special tea"
"John Postal lost in the beams, John Postal thinks it's a she"
"John Postal maps out the scream"

Judy Is Your Viet Nam[edit]

"Back to Fortress Poorly-Drawn"

Kings Of The Cave[edit]

"Nothing left to say, situation's gray"

I think 'situation's grey' is an interesting way to say 'I'm not sure'.

Last Wave[edit]

"Linnell, you gotta buy me some antlers"
"Last week
Rolling by
Find a wave
Don't ask why"

You might be like "yeah, sure", but this is legitimately what I heard when the song was released a few days ago.

"the cat becomes a bug"

I swear this is what I heard during "I just mixed up the supper".

Leeds[edit]

"Muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-MILTANK!"
"Muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-muh-MILTON!"
"chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-chu-BUILD-TECH!"

Less Than One[edit]

"My god, about 6%"

Let Me Tell You About My Operation[edit]

"Are the eggs on?
 Oh, it was poison, baby
 Are the eggs on?"

I always thought the "operation" was needed because she poisoned the eggs.

Let Your Hair Hang Down[edit]

"Without a written guarantee a perfect same-length"

I always thought this was the lyric, because I always thought it referred to the person in question not putting their hair down because their hair was ridged, and every hair wasn't the same length.

Let's Get This Over With[edit]

"Hand extended waiting for a shirt"

Letterbox[edit]

"I would have a lot of eyes on the other side, wouldn't I?"
"Too late or soon to make notes about love and there's no time for sorrow"
"Run around in a ram with a hole in a drain till tomorrow"

Lie Still, Little Bottle[edit]

"Well I knew that pill was lying, too precarious tonight"

London[edit]

"At the store I ate"

Lord Snowdon[edit]

"Life through a shutter's lens"
"Words frozen like you, dear"

Lost My Mind[edit]

"Must've put it in amongst, and thanks for throwing out!"

Love Is Eternity[edit]

"And Lisa, when you're surrounded by Dan
Trapped on a cellphone"

Lucky Ball & Chain[edit]

"I lost my lucky ball and chain
Now she's forty years gone"
"Now I rock a barstool and I drink for two
Just pondering this time I'm in my mind"
"But now I rock a parcel And I drink or two"
"I just stood there whistling, there goes the pride as she walked out the door"

Lullaby To Nightmares[edit]

"Have you ever seen
A bloody head"

Alternatively,

"A bloody hand"

Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel[edit]

"I am a maid of honor"

The above one was heard by my dad


"Odie"
"That belt can't be on wrong"
"Madam, you mistake me for a pumpkin"
"My spirits talk to sing"
"Yes, you wouldn't let me hold the pistols"

This made more sense than the actual lyric, in my opinion.

Maine[edit]

"Maine is the whirliwind sound"

Still like this better than "world that went south", still sing it this way.

Mainstream U.S.A.[edit]

"Kids are real hoes at supper this morning (Can I have this glass apparently?)
Was a man with a boat beside me (Can I have this last egg steal?)
Where he tapped out rhythms with a smile on his face (I want to dance with all my time)
And the tip of his fingers (Can I have this last espanoluh?)
That he found on the floor (Can I have his last revenue?)
And these are the words that he told the fella next door
Mainstream USA! I flipped that guy the bird!
Mainstream USA! That’s all I want to say!
Mainstream USA! I flipped that guy the bird!
Mainstream USA! That’s all I want to say!
We are the whirl! (Back on the guru!)
We are! (I’m gone!)
We are the world! (Back on the hula hoop!)
Mainstream USA! I flipped that guy the brrr!!
Mainstream USA! That all I want to say!
Mainstream USA! I flipped that guy the bird!
Mainstream USA! That’s all I ever say"

Make It The Same[edit]

"It was the way you watched my weight!"

Memo To Human Resources[edit]

"Making mental notes of just exactly where I lost the blood"

"Making mental notes of just exactly where I lost the block"

Marty Beller Mask[edit]

"Marty gets the mention"
"Marty gets dementia"
"Marty gets dimension"

Meet James Ensor[edit]

"Belgium's famous waiter"
"He lived with his mother and he hated himself"
"He lived with his mother and the torments of cries"
"Raise the glass and sit and stare"

Meet The Elements[edit]

"Painting lead on all these elephants..."
"Hang on, who let in all these elements? Did you know that elements are made of elements?"

It was live, and I was very confused when I heard it.

Or alternatively...

"Did you know that elephants are made of elephants?"

Metal Detector[edit]

"Don't need no volleyball
Don't need no squawking dove
Don't need to look at any baby candy doll"

(No, I have no idea what that would mean.)


"Don't need to look at any bathing, any doll"
"I'm the inspector open your mind"

"I'm the inspector over the mind"
"Don't need to look at any babe or any doll"
"Metal detector, watch shit shine"
"I'm the inspector over the line"

Michigan[edit]

"Now, robot Michigan"
"Now, throw back Michigan..."

Microphone[edit]

"That it's old and it doesn't know it's old and it doesn't know"
"A voice is speaking from beyond the grave, from in a cave, we haunt the grave"

Mink Car[edit]

"She is reaching past my hovercar"

I actually think that in a way, this one makes a little more sense. Sort of. Okay, not really.


Moles, Hounds, Bears, Bees And Hares[edit]

"Rabbits work only out on this island right hare"

Moonbeam Rays[edit]

"You were warm"
"You were warned, with my pleas
Like a scope worth of peas"
"Hallway bulbs and peoples covered up"
"Singing out, Adele spinning round"

Morgan In The Morning ID[edit]

"Playing lots of wreck kids"

Mr. Xcitement[edit]

"They Might Be Giants, duty, the elegant two"
"Got 'dem goin' back"
"The beat is blubba being stingy on the pike collector, one into the otha"
"Chlorine in tandem, the seat into the landem, the people in the pics, they want to snarf and dig the clamdom"
"Scrooky tooky tookya"

Music Jail, Pt. 1 & 2[edit]

 "I am getting paid
Who could push my bed?"

My Evil Twin[edit]

"Searchlights look for an hour by"
"I know someday I'll be him"
"I know he looks like me, he twerks like me, and walks like me"

Sorry for ruining the song.

My Brother The Ape[edit]

"My brother the egg!"

...or something like that. It was a live performance.

My Man[edit]

"May I direct your attention to the following signaling, or like the coasts of an ocean"
"When something happens to drag on the floor on the ocean, for instance, an angled up mood ring"
"There is no way to repair the brain"

Nanobots[edit]

 "Sleeper cells awake"
 "Sleep yourselves awake"
"I turn my back for two minutes and I groan again"

Narrow Your Eyes[edit]

"Split up on the things that move our head"
"I don't want to shake your father's hand and walk in the same"
"I don't want to shake your fucking hand" (Flansburgh approached this line like he was going to say the f word)
"I just can't bare to tell you some guys Narrow Their Eyes"
"And we'll race to the back of the class"

New York City[edit]

"It's snowing. It's snowing. Gotta hate this weather"

Never Knew Love[edit]

"My dog Rufy, 
is all they understand
No cell phone or secrets,
Or just good old pretend"
"Cart of rufy, is not my matie
And the mountain side of daydreams, too stead for me to take
Lovers lost before us, and most did not return
The few still hell and hardy, now put them down and burnt"

Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon[edit]

"In the nightgown of the sun and moon"
"There's a feeling of boredom, of the decorum..."

"There's a feeling of boredom, one-two-three-four-dom"

(Here Come the 123s?)

"Space walk is like a space walk in the corresponding way"
"There's a feeling of boredom, mother-be-whoredom, follows then drags, sitting up"

No![edit]

"All no's need to no no no"

No One Knows My Plan[edit]

"I think I no one understands"
"In the allegory of the people in the cave by the creek"
"But unlike the people chained up in the cage"

Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes[edit]

"But I don't care if no one's good enough for hair"
"All the people are so happy now, their heads are kickin' in"

It's kickin' in, yeah!

"And nearer it reflects a tiny dense and skeleton..."

Now Is Strange[edit]

"I liked your hair, why did you change?"
"Have you seen that naughty whore?"
"Have you seen that omnivore"
"I'd like to hear what it should change?"
"Now we know it's not before anymore, it's gone, where? Now is strange?"
"I could remove my aparting bosom, and I know underneath that fire would be a six"

Now That I Have Everything[edit]

"The places I've been framed, just doesn't look the same"
"I wasn't always so functioning"
"Put down and suffer, no, please don't say"

Number Three[edit]

"So I went to the president, and I asked oh what's his name?"
"But I politely told the ladies they'll still have to call me sir"

Old Pine Box[edit]

"You old bait perhaps, under skillful of bats, there's no percentage in bats"
"Over the phone
And into the brain
The barrel rolls
And we go insane"

Omnicorn[edit]

"Now it's running past the hunting life sign"
"I've been to museums, I've seen the museums"

On Earth My Nina[edit]

"That's the wine of wine... ...that always keeps me earning"
"National hell a monument"
"Maybe I'll buy the world and..."

On The Drag[edit]

"He's a genuine assassin and he's come to make his case"
"...from this avenitive egg"
"The allure of The Hog's Mace"

This could be the name of a bar in a fantasy story.

One Dozen Monkeys[edit]

Thought the monkey's name was Berry.

"Which I named Berry"

and such.

Ondine[edit]

"What's left of that sinner"
"...is brushin'"

Oranges[edit]

"The chopping box spends their days growing oranges"
"We work the graveyard shit!"

Outboard Part Of Man[edit]

"I'm an outlet in the sun"

Out of Jail[edit]

"Two kittens out of jail"
"We're gettin' us out of jail"
"Just turned out that I prayed"
"Didn't want to be a sleigh"

To be fair, I was listening to the demo version.

"I caught my knuckles changing"

Part Of You Wants To Believe Me[edit]

Tiny voices trapped in a hen house

Particle Man[edit]

"Millenium hand and an egon hand"

Pencil Rain[edit]

"The possible dream, the nowly obscene"
"Now helmets on each head, awaken the first led"

Pet Name[edit]

"Cat's cradle for a commie"

No matter how hard I try, I hear this. Even knowing the actual lyric. - Thecapm (talk) 17:49, 30 December 2021 (EST)

"Cat's cradle or agave"

Pictures Of Pandas Painting (Elegant Too Remix)[edit]

"Pictures of Pandas Mating
Pictures of Pandas Mating
Pictures of Pandas Mating
Pictures of Pandas Mating Again"

It's manifestly easier to mishear this on the remix version, if you haven't heard the original.

Pittsburgh[edit]

"Mr. Small's Theatre
Park me up with half a freight"
"We were rocking so well that we rolled down the hill"
"Partly humping, half afraid"
"We would rocket so well we would roll down the hill"
"Called the Electric Bandanna floating into space"

Pretty Fly[edit]

"She had to relieve children"

Prevenge[edit]

"When free men take the stand" 
"Morimoto
On the headfo"

As in the chef.

Protagonist[edit]

"Woman enters a vague embrace"

Purple Toupee[edit]

"I remember the year I went to camp
Learned about a lady called Salma and Hayek"
"I remember the year I went to camp
Heard about some lady named Salma Handsome Blacks"
"Martin X was mad when they got long bell bottoms"
"Now i'm perfect, im a friggin barbie man"
"Purple toupee in gold and they..."
"Now we're all in rehab on a secret mission..."
"And the only thing that's different is I don't need my hat"
"Purple toupee and gold lime-aid"
"Chinese people were finding something in the park. We tried to help them find it. They appreciated that. Martin was a man, and he wore long bell bottoms"
"Til they stepped on my ear, and they told me was bad. Now currently, I'm a big important man."
"And it wasn't too much later they came out with Johnson's wife"
"Till they stepped on my hair, and they told me I was 5"
"Purple toupee and gold lamé will turn your grin around"
"I remember your eye went to camp"
"We're on some kind of mission / We have an obligation / We have to amputate"
"I remember the book about Ottari..."
"...when they had launched bell bottoms"
"Purple Toupee will show the way when summer brings you down"
"now I'm big, I'm a big, bargy man"

Push Back The Hands[edit]

"Endless vacay"
"It wouldn't help you if you had an egg slave 
It wouldn't save you from the missing crave"
"Endless day without a sun seperate vision
Endless gay"
"Endless gaze"
"Mission crêpe"

Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head[edit]

""Activate somewhere where the worker's son is trying to survive, Gossiping, dunno what he wants, just cruise somebody's head."

"And we'd better think for everyone involved, or you wouldn't have to cry"
"As you take a bath in the beating path that's pounding at your door"
"Shot down at the car wash, didn't have to leave no one a good-bye note..."
"And though the guy's a pig we all know what he wants is just to play somebody else"
"It'd been in the summer when a guy said he's something to put in once"

I don't understand it either.


"Quit it! Nooooowwww!"
"I should probably look down closely at the personal factory..."
"As your body goes down thirsty..."
"As a body flows down third street
The pers'nal [or "first small", or Burmswell] factory closing up"
"Well it's a mighty zombie talkin' up some love 'n' posterity"
"All the bugs on the sidewalk are the
work of someone trying to please the bugs"
"Ads up in the subway
Worker's summer tryin' to lose their boss
Another guy's opinion of what he wants
Just to screw somebody else"
"Act up in the summer at the
Work of sunshine to piss you off,
And the guys in pink who don't do what they want
Just to please somebody else"
"Grant - MAAAAA!!! [or "NOOOOWWW!!!"]
"Shut down at the carwash
Didn't have to write no one and nob'y I know
They said "The check's in the mail and I'll
See you in church and don'cha ever change"

[Interpreting according to these lyrics I got: A guy's little business shut down, and so his employee was sad, but he remembers the long hours and bad pay or whatever. He goes home, relaxes as he usually does by watching mindless daytime TV ("mighty zombie"). Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the station does a eulogy of the little business, and he realizes if he dwells on that he'll never get another job. So, in a burst of thinking, he decides to start his own business in some innovative way, but he loses his little epiphany when "Days of Our Lives" comes on and all that's left in his mind is the usual way to do business (putting his hand inside the puppet head). To work up some capital he gets a job writing ads but he hates his job and realizes after being fired that he was subconsciously doing bad work to get fired (conflict between his desire for pay and hatred of job). He realizes from this that the typical corporate structure is corrupt and ambition is stupid. Then he gets fired or the business failed ("shut down") at the car wash where he gets his next job. Apparently his vegetative lifestyle and hatred of his only social contact, work, have earned him no real friends: the ones who he might be friends with simply feed him polite nonsense when they see him leave.]


"Quidditch! Mom!!!"
"Quit it! Mom!"
"All the things he's done before"
"As you thought to say the only words there are..."
"Although he grabs a pig, you know what he wants is to kiss somebody else"
"GRAAAAAA-MAAAAAAAAAAAA"
"Had to write someone a good-bye note"
"As your body floats down (unknown) with your personal factory closing up"

Q U[edit]

"Make cool sounds together"
"Screw You!"
"Kill you!"

Rabid Child[edit]

"Rabid Child stays at home, talks on us TV"

Rat Patrol[edit]

"Mas speed on the windowpane!"

Re-PETE Offender[edit]

"Check out the frogs in this place"
"Even the prices are raised"
"GB bestseller"
"Roaming inspector"
"Grip the pretender, bar town dead ender, dead beat beats member, re-pete offender"

Rest Awhile[edit]

"I got friendly with Ruliard Repairs
The author of Works on Chess
Rudy, I said, you're incorrect
He cut me off at 19 met"

Rhythm Section Want Ad[edit]

"There's a place for those who love their poetry
It's just across from the sign that says, Prison Lee"
"So hit me with a band where the chicks here
Say grab you jesus at the wall with the Ramones
If you dig me into, or are NBC a loop to the way we know"
"On NBC with a note to the wayward gnome"
"plenty of time to turn the sticks into rhyme"
"plenty of time to turn the steaks into rhyme"
"It's just across the sign that says "Prism lei"
"So If you'd like a band with chicks here
Say let me dig into the wallet. come on.
Let me dig into the r & b. sing in the note to the way we know."
"You guys must be laughing into the room"
"It's just across from the sign that says, 'Birds are lame.' "
"Rhythm Section wanted."
"Rhythm Section one and"
"Plenty of time to turn my sticks into RAM"
"Do you sing like I'll live long on purpose"
"Forever one with dollar signs in his eyes"

Road Movie To Berlin[edit]

"Got this glass suburban"

"Stake out this last suburban"
"Road moving to Berlin"

Rocket Ship[edit]

"...I injured my hair when I fell from the thing..."

Robert Lowell[edit]

"Two-tone American flags, John is yellow, it's really tan"

Robot Parade[edit]

"Look at the stovetop the robots mate!"
"To build vagina sidewalk!"

(Admittedly, that was from a few rooms away)

Again, this makes the song a lot funnier...

Santa Claus[edit]

"...a twenty guitar.."

I assumed he was talking about a 20-string guitar. I'm not even sure if those exist.

They do now!

Santa's Beard[edit]

"I don't like that that got around"
"Lately she's been homing cheating songs, and I don't like that fact all around"
"He's breaking up my heart"
"Lately she's been home and cheating some"

Santa Cruz[edit]

Instead of:

"If you close your eyes Darth Vader is Naked"

I heard:

"Close you eyes!! Ralph Nader is Naked!!!"


Totally thought it was:

"Close you eyes, John Boehner's been taken!"

Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love[edit]

"Sapphire bullets
Bullets up your a..."

[This implied all kinds of interpretations...]

"John, often back"

Say Nice Things About Detroit[edit]

"I had no rehearsal, for this rogue reversal"

Scott Bower[edit]

"My lifestyle determines my desk style"

See The Constellation[edit]

"No sigargle lady on his arm"
"No cigar, no linear design"
"Nosegarnalani on his arm"

I was 15, and obsessed with finding out what a "Nosegarnalani" might be. I imagined some sort of weapon. Oddly enough, it wasn't in the dictionary.


"Stare at the sky, all painted black"
"Just a guy made of dancing lines"
"Just a guy made of dachshund lines"
"Just a guy and a thousand lights"
"Just a guy and a thousand lights"
"Can you hear what's icy in the sky?"
"See the constellation right across the sky"
"Just a guy and a dozen lines"

Sensurround[edit]

"When there was nothing to know what to think about"
"Sensible to eerie sternum"
"Accidentally in a cold, my name was found" 
"One degree shy optimistic"

"One degree shy of simplistic"

This was one of my favorite TMBG lyrics ever.


"If I could swim under the water
Would I be able to breathe?"

This, on the other hand, I just thought was stupid.

"...and I'd be differently farmed.."

S-E-X-X-Y[edit]

Cookie in one hand, one on her head...

(It's actually "wig on her head", but I always assumed she had a cookie in one hand, and her other hand was on her head.)

Shape Shifter[edit]

"I've got a B.O. problem"

[instead of "I've got a big old problem"]

"I've got a bagel problem"
"'Beware of love,' they said"
"Caught in the tank and the egg woo toppin'"

She Was A Hotel Detective[edit]

"She was a hotel detective, but now she's Vatican NECTed"

Northeast China Transect?

"She drove the Underwood crazy"
"She was a hotel detective, but now she's gotten her motive"

(She Was A) Hotel Detective[edit]

"When the bellhop is funky, put the weight in some monkey"
"Well the bellhop is fucky, and the waiters are mucky"

(She Was A) Hotel Detective In The Future[edit]

"My heart disintegrated in the phantom spade beyond the Milky Way
It shone to little boy, and then it's cardioid, and then it got destroyed"

She's Actual Size[edit]

"She's actual size, nationwide belief"

I honestly thought this made more sense than the actual lyric. Maybe I'm crazy?

She's An Angel[edit]

"Why did they send her? Was there anyone else?"
"When they sing you can't hear, there's no earth."
"When you're following an angel, physically you have to throw yourself off of a building.
"So when they're heating up a pinhead, calling you damn angel, calling you the nicest things."
"When you're following an angel, does that mean you have to throw everybody off a building?"
"I heard they had a space problem"
"Sometimes I think I'm kinda like that, and other times I think I have any cares"
"Gonna hold for a long long time"

Shoehorn With Teeth[edit]

"He asks a girl if they can boast it in a chair"

Sketchy Galore[edit]

"Elizabeth sketchy"

instead of

"Get lifted with Sketchy"

Skullivan[edit]

"I'll make you a part of G,
because everybody likes the T,
I'll make you a part of T,
because everybody takes their T,
Tell the Skullivan what you've won,
Tell the Skullivan once she's taken your seat"

Sleep[edit]

"Going around, drinking all my drinks
Pissing my wife"

w-w-w-w-what?

"Each (ahh) time (ahh) I (ahh) sleep (ahh) I'm (ahh) dad (ahh)"

Sleeping In The Flowers[edit]

"I proclaim that I want to/two"

Also thought this other line sounded like

"You proclaim a shirt and island"
"I gotta crunch"
"Coffee shop clerk"

Snail Shell[edit]

"Sir hand
Opposite man"
"Sir hand
Arms and man"
"Or was it something where you acted when you sodomy"
"Or was it something where you acted while you sat on me?"
"Or was it something where you acted undecidedly?"


Instead of

"Sir hand"

I distinctly heard

"Sirhan"

so I thought the song was going to be (at least in part) about the guy who assassinated Robert Kennedy.

"Or was it something where you acted when you sighted me?"

Snowball In Hell[edit]

"Side effect or drug trip
Don't tease me with all of your mind
Side effect or drug trip
My penicillin's in a Xerox shot"
"Don't tease me with all of your lies"
"Like panaceas in a Zealot stride"
"Buddy's all broke"

Somebody's Body[edit]

"Wide awake in lust"

I think this lyric is more fitting.

Someone Keeps Moving My Chair[edit]

"Mr. Horrible, Mr. Horrible.
Tell a phone call for Mr. Horrible."
"You have to try on these pants so the Ugliness Man
Can decide if they're his as a matter of saying,
We think we have to be sure about this"
"Mrs. Horrible, Mrs. Horrible
It's the Ugliness Man, Mr. Horrible."
"Where your visited friend, next to dead, he was killed"
"...so the Ugliness Men
Can decide if you're just as embarrassing as the thing."

I still think "the thing" sounds funnier.


"You have to try on this bag so the Ugliness Men can decide if it's just as embarrassing as we think."
"Someone keeps moving my hijack"

The very first time I heard the song (when I was like three or something), I though Mr. Horrible was named "Mr. Carnival." Even after I was proven wrong, I still misheard a lot of the lyrics"

"Mr. Horrible, Mrs. Horrible.
It's the ugliest man, Mr. Horrible!
We're being ugly with you if we wrote a reminder of things that we'll get to do today."
"Some one keeps moving my armchair"
"Of things we'll forget to do today; otherwise,
Using a green Magic Marker,
let us all write on the back of your head?"

I have always heard it correctly, but one day i thought, "well, it could be this..."

It fits alright on the back of your head

South Carolina[edit]

"Crashed my bicycle, crashed my bicycle... I crashed my bicycle"

I could have sworn the chorus was in past tense, but it isn't!

"Gift/lift that 4"
"Crush my bicycle, crush my bicycle"

Spiraling Shape[edit]

"And now that you tried it your back to the part"
"Don't spend the rest to hear that funny thing"
"But everyone wants to see that grove within"
"Don't spin in the vestibule of wondering"

Spy[edit]

"I wish I could break the spyware-set it free.."

Stand On Your Own Head[edit]

"You made my day, now you have to streak an egg"

Stomp Box[edit]

"Little Stomp Box, terraform my heart..."
"Little Stomp Box, tell it from my heart"

Stone Cold Coup D'Etat[edit]

"Autumn leaves will burn, as the seasons turn, nature's relatives can applaud"
"Autumn leaves will blurt"

Subliminal[edit]

"As went through the windshield, I know this sounds lame"
"My name is Otto, I'm in the subliminal hearing aids"

That's what the backwards part at the end sounded like. -The thing See, to me, it sounded more like "a stingrays"

"And pardon (pardon), and hard to see"
"Subliminal, and an unnoticeable thang, and Charles Darwin and hard to say"

Take Out The Trash[edit]

"Go when I take out the trash
I come and go when I take out the trash"
"I'm not saying all the boys are insane, but some boys are insane and they still take it out"

Taste The Fame[edit]

"While it may be reenacting…"

Tesla[edit]

I obviously know what the lyrics are supposed to be, but every time I listen to it I can't help but hear:

"Here is a mind that can see a crawl space"

The Bells Are Ringing[edit]

"The bells are bragging: The people ran!"

"A gorilla gotten in her ears”

The Bright Side[edit]

"Those days felt like house of reps"
"Backwards random sentences until your demise
Next let fear and silence in,
We'll just all-wheel van"
"Back then, roses felt like cartographs."
"Sunshine, sitting on a papercraft"
"Backwards random sentences until your demise"
"Sunshine, futile where our deep end sits, back your brand new sentences, until real demise"
"Back then, those states felt like house arrest, half away the supper test, we thought we'd prevail"
"Among the rain, a bite sized song, a figure by Van Gogh, on a wrecked fire truck, that's what I was shown"

The Communists Have The Music[edit]

"And the fascists have the athletes"
"I got handed an iron sandwich"
"I hear her melody"

The Darlings Of Lumberland[edit]

"Pulled you off of Bandcamp by popular demand"
"Hold my colded hand for a bit"
"Their voices are the echoes mausoleums circumsand" 

Another case of me hearing a word that doesn't exist.

The Day[edit]

"The day, the modern day that Phil Ochs got married"
"And my planes hummed with fluffy pillows"

When I first listened to this song, I had no earthly idea who Marvin Gaye or Phil Ochs were. So I heard:

"The day Marvin Gay and Phillips got married"
"The day Marvin Gay and Phil got married"

The End Of The Tour[edit]

"I was bent metal, you were a flaming red"

I like the real lyrics a LOT better...in fact, "I was bent metal, you were a flaming wreck when we kissed at the overpass" is my favorite TMBG quote!

"I was bad, no, you were a flaming wreck"
"Then came a knock on the door, which was audible"
"You opened the door and killed all the people"
"I was bent, though you were a flaming wreck"

The Famous Polka[edit]

"Her hair is blonde and mine is brown, they both start with a b,
But with the phone inside her it can't drink, it stops for me."
"Her hair is blonde and mine is brown, they both start with a V"
"But with the birdhouse in her ribcage rings, it's not for me."
"But when the phone inside her ribcage rings inside for me"
"Her hair is blond, and mine as well"

The Fellowship Of Hell[edit]

"All your friends are cut to maniacs"

The Mesopotamians[edit]

"So we'll scratch it all down into the pave"
"So we'll scratch it all down into the hay"

I can't resist singing either of these two lyrics for some reason. I usually have to smack myself and say, "It's CLAY not HAY, you idiot!"


"So we'll scratch it all down into the play"

The Mexican Drill[edit]

"Projected by my sight, we are all alive!"
"Don't try to find us with a mexican drill"
"I'm against the wall, said Peter Fonda"

The Second Longest Night[edit]

The entire song I heard the name Paula as the name Wallace

The Shadow Government[edit]

TMBG references bits of history, so I figured mentioning the Civil War Submarine made perfect sense.

"up the library steps (here comes)
up the library steps (the Hunley)
up the library steps (the Hunley)"


The Spine Surfs Alone[edit]

"Ah, look out now, just between the showdown"

The Statue Got Me High[edit]

"The monument of granite sent a beacon to my eye."
"A rock that spoke a word  (and animates it there, a road that can be heard)"
"They failed before the monolith that towers over me"

Makes so much more sense than "pale" ~AgentChronon


“The monument of granite sent some bacon to that guy”
"An animal, a mineral, it can be heard"
"They hailed before the monolith that towers over me"
"The evidence had vanished from my chart and smoking chair"
"The monument of granite sent a bean into my eye"
"The statue got knee-highs"
"I can't contain a furnace where there used to be a guy"

The World Before Later On[edit]

"Where's our Towel Day?"

Don't panic.

The World's Address[edit]

"A sad pun that reflects a sadderness"
"A sackpot that reflects a settlement"
"The World's Address. A place that's warm"
"A sad poem that reflects a sadder mess"
"A sad pawn (or poem) that reflects and a sadder man"
"Call the men of science.
Listen to this song.
Tell them have a nice night
And the evidence was wrong"
"A place that's warm, a side column that reflects a settlement”


Thermostat[edit]

"I was a love explosion"

They'll Need A Crane[edit]

"Let's get this obvious: gal's glad this hangs upon the love of life..."
"...but then Scout says to Lad:
Aren't men as bad, they cause a little pain
They cause some pain..."
"...Gal thinks Jim Beam is handsomer than Lad
He is, in fact
Call off the wedding then
Nobody wants to hear that one again
That one again"
"Gal thinks Jim Bean is handsomer than Lamb, he isn't bad"

When I first heard this song, with the exception of "They'll need a crane," I couldn't understand a word of it, only picking out "Scout," which was actually "Gal," and once hearing "Jem." This made me think that the song was somehow about To Kill a Mockingbird.


"to make it rain, it's gonna take..."
"To render art, to help him start..."

and I thought Lad was Vlad for the longest time.

"Gal thinks Jim Fame is handsomer than Lad"
"Where the other night mare people like to go, I mean nice people to pave the way. I didn't mean to say it like that"
"They need Ukraine, they need Ukraine"
"Lost seas, lost happiness, but happiness can't see the love is sour, the love is sour
Sadness is hanging there, to show them somewhere something needs a change, they need a change,
They need a crane, they need a crane
To tear the house he made for her apart 
To make it break, it's gonna take, a metal bar hung from a chain
They need a crane, they'll need a crane
To pick the broken ruins up again
To mend her heart, to help him start
To see a world apart from they
Last gal is all he has, Hal's gladness hangs upon the love of lad, the love of lad
Some things gal says to lad, aren't meant as bad but 'cause a little vain, it causes pain
They'll need a crane, they'll need a crane
To tear the house he made for her apart 
To make it break, it's gonna take, a metal bar hung from a chain
They need a crane, they'll need a crane
To pick the broken ruins up again
To mend her heart, to help him start
To see a world apart from they
Don't call me at work again, ah, no, the boss still hates me, I'm just tired and I don't love you anymore 
And there's a rest stop we should check out where the other nice male people like to go
I mean nice people, baby wait, I didn't mean to say nightmare
Lad looks at other gals
Y'all thinks Jim Bean is handsomer than lad, who isn't bad
Call off the wedding dance, nobody wants to hear that one again, that one again
They need a crane, they need a crane
To tear the house he made for her apart 
To make it break, it's gonna take, a metal bar hung from a chain
They need a crane, they'll need a crane
To pick the broken ruins up again
To mend her heart, to help him start
To see a world apart from they
They'll need a crane, they'll need a crane, they'll need a crane, they'll need a crane
They'll need a crane, they'll need a crane, they'll need a crane, they'll need a crane
They'll need a crane- A beautiful interpretation brought to you by myself

They Might Be Giants[edit]

"They might be rain, they might be ink"
"They might be Paul, they might be snow, they might something else in it, though"

Thinking Machine[edit]

"Will crab tonsils speak and act?"
"Self-paint leather itching dust"
"Will crat tonsil speep in at?"
"Green grape gravy grateful grout"

"I'm putting in my thinking machine"

This Is Only Going To Go One Way[edit]

"An old magician said, while swallowing Strip 9"
"While swallowing straight knives"

This Microphone[edit]

"Selfishly hiding emotions inside, chilling them dry"
"Caring discarding bad ideas to the dump"

Three Might Be Duende[edit]

"But though he was worthy at sea"
"Fausty impact"
"The shaper of dreams, re-drenched in the seams"
"The trio is finally complete, the trio has just won their seat"

Through Being Cool[edit]

"Put the tape on a race, rearrange your place, we always liked big cocks, so anyway"

Till My Head Falls Off[edit]

"There were eighty-seven apples in the bottle now there's thirty left"
"Hitting every pocket on my shirt that's an overcoat"
"Pushing every button on my shirt, dancing, overcoat."
"Clearing my throat and gripping the weapon."
"There were eighty-seven handling the bottle"
"Hitting every pocket on my shirt, dancing overcoat."

"As I tip the bottle out and I count it all up again"
"Hitting every parking on my shirt's dancing overcoat"
"I'm hitting him again" 
"Clearing my throat, and gripping and letting a smile to face my audience"

Tiny Doctors[edit]

"I've never sat since the day..."

Tippecanoe And Tyler Too[edit]

"And with him we'll beat little men"

My mom heard this when first listening to the song. And look, it makes sense!


"Fantasy used a pen"

Or, occasionally:

"Fantasy, used-up hen"
"And with them, a beat little van, van. A van is a used-up van."

Toddler Hiway[edit]

"Take your clothes and play"

Town To Town[edit]

"Finally moving from town to town
Towns are moving from town to town"
"Monday morning from town to town"
"Your house is so ugly"

Too Tall Girl[edit]

"With a magazine, dressed in auburn jeans"
"Too tall girl can see past across town hall and country sprawl"
"There's no kind of cardbook or catalogue"
"Nose more etiquette than Connecticut"

Tractor[edit]

"The flowers wilting his way"
"Nourished with milk improper"
"And brought her home from the fair"
"Volleying use of the jet"

Triops Has Three Eyes[edit]

"And vermin have two legs"...

Truth In Your Words[edit]

"I came to get my baby bike returned"

Turn Around[edit]

"When I felt something happy and p'inted
Strike me in the back of my neck"
"There's a thing there that can't be found"  I always thought it was that... It makes the song more mysterious.

Twisting[edit]

"She said your boat was free"
"She said you're goldfish-free
And now she's sighing"
"So turn off your smoke machine
and marital status
"She doesn't have to have her devious record back now"
"So turn off your smoke machine and martial stats"
"Blue eyed girl pilot light"

Unpronounceable[edit]

"Zoom it, enhance, if that were even a rim stink, which it isn't"

Unsupervised, I Hit My Head[edit]

"I could just cut myself
Write out my will"

This gives the song a much darker tone; the speaker would be mentioning self-harm and then writing out his will, implying future suicide. Because this is so subtle, I imagine it could possibly be intentional ambiguity.

Vancouver[edit]

"red shirts on red shirts"

Wait Actually Yeah No[edit]

"Utterless guitar chord"
"What about Akala"

Wearing A Raincoat[edit]

I heard the "comes at a price" part as

"Comes out of rice"
Haha! Rice! :D

We Just Go Nuts At Christmastime[edit]

"Ol' Judie's hair looks like a mop"

I got a lot wrong here, and in context and with correct lyrics this line is so depressing --jimmyZenShinsThreeHundred11 (talk)

We Live In A Dump[edit]

"We live in a dump
And it is a dump"
"We live in a dump
I bet it's a dump"
"We live in a dump
I meant its a dump"
"I hear they lay eggs
And when they attach"
"You gotta believe then there's related madness with the lead that's in the ceiling cracks"
"You gotta believe then there's related madness with the lead that's in the ceiling whacks"

The puppet was whacking the ceiling in the music video, so this is what I thought it was.

Welcome To The Jungle[edit]

"Welcome to the jungle gym"
"Welcome to the jungle and welcome to the jungle Dan"
"Lift up the rocket"

Weep Day[edit]

"Honorable mention the tropical island, though everybody said they saw it there"
"And the part is never called the hopeling"
"Who is now a bonist in arcade"
"Who was mentioned at the Open River"

We're The Replacements[edit]

Instead of "I don't wanna", I heard JL yell:

"AAAH!! IGUANA!!!!"

We Want A Rock[edit]

"If I were a carpenter I'd hammer on my piglet eye"
"If I were a carpenter I'd Hamlet on my Piglet Iron"

(i don't know either...)

"Throw the creep door wide"
“Someone killed this clown”...”they wanna stop the ones who want a rock to finding on the ground”

For a long time I couldn't tell if it was

"Through the crib door, wide"

When It Rains It Snows[edit]

"There's a knock with a shot goes bang bang bang"

When The Lights Come On[edit]

"We'll be laughing and shitting"
"Desiccated in mold"
"I taught myself to draw in the dusk"

When Will You Die[edit]

"And the only way to knit a gate would be to know the date"
"And there's Marty on the drums just to lead the band"
"And the crimes that you have never committed? I doubt it."
"I can picture every part of your comemerance, 'cept for the one remaining piece of the puzzle, which is when you'll die"
"But you're running on the clock"
"Your scheduled due date's 8"

Where Do They Make Balloons?[edit]

"Eggs come from a chicken and lakavins come from logs"

I thought 'lakavins' was just a fancy way of saying sticks, because TMBG is like that.

Where Your Eyes Don't Go[edit]

"Where your eyes don't go, filthy scarecrow moves his broomstick arms and does a parody for each obnoxious thing you do"
"When you turn your head to look, it's gone behind you"


"But there's a pair of lights in back of your head"
"But there's a pair of lice in back of your head"
"But there's a paralyzin' back of your head"

I thought it had to be one of these three... --ColorOfInfinity (talk) 00:11, 27 January 2022 (EST)

Which Describes How You're Feeling[edit]

"There's this guy and this guy"

I thought this was a self-referential lyric.

Whistling In The Dark[edit]

"And hit my head on the wall of the jail where the Tuvas live today."
"A worm came up to me and said 'I'd like to bosom your mind'"
"A wolf came up to me and said..."
"She looked at me, I looked at something they'd written across her scalp"

Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order?[edit]

"Barking makes you tight!
Barking makes you easy peasy
So many took the tripe
So many took the Jason fighting!"

Why Did You Grow A Beard?[edit]

"Why did you go all weird?"

I kid you not. Listened to a friend's CD in the car, thought that was what he was saying the entire time, until I saw the title of the track.

"Why did you grow up here?"

My brother not knowing the name of song assumed John did not want anyone else growing up near him.

Why Does The Sun Really Shine?[edit]

"Plasma (electrons of freeze)"

Why Does The Sun Shine?[edit]

My 5-year-old son was singing:

"The sun is a mass, it easily detaches..."

Not really a misheard lyric, but why does he sing this instead of aluminum:

"ALOMINOM"

Why Must I Be Sad?[edit]

"Ask me now I understand the words that I must say"
"I spit at the sun"

-I'm fond of this mishearing because I imagine someone spitting at the sun only to have that spit fall back onto their own face, which seems to me like a TMBGish thing to happen (a la 'Can't Keep Johnny Down', shaking one's tiny fist, etc)--Philologia (talk) 02:10, 2 December 2016 (EST)

"Ask me now I understand the words that owl said"

Window[edit]

"It was a catalog
Of men and women in the window"
Truckers I encountered, when I thought eh twas eh twas a window

With The Dark[edit]

"Smashing, smashing, smashing pieces..."
"Smashes, smashes, smashes she said..."
"Ashes, crashes, smashes, beaches...."
"Of the phone.."
"Like a ghost rider's ending..."

I'm too young to have ears this faulty!

As am I. I heard the following a lot, uhh, naughtier than the actual lyrics were. Because of mishearing a couple of lines, I heard the next couple ones correctly, but completely misinterpreted them. You'll see what I mean.

"I'm getting tired of all my naughty, cool dreams
I'm getting tired of all my naughty, cool things
Bustin' my pirate hump (!)
Rockin' my pirate stump (!)"

And some that are just weird.

"Mama naturally turns to taxidermy
To taxidermy, yeah"

And more naughty.

"Bash his, crash his, smash his pieces
Bash his, crash his, smash his pieces
Bash his, crash his, smash his pieces"

Women And Men[edit]

Wiggy wig the messages of love and everywhere they go, blood will flow

Not really true about the blood part, but it's almost halloween

Withered Hope[edit]

"...glued it to his arm..."

XTC Vs. Adam Ant[edit]

"Even the centerfold-- bow wow wow--
can't make up her mind"
"Beatle-based pop vs. Neuromantic"
"Needle-based pop"

Yeah, The Deranged Millionaire[edit]

"He lost a lot of money betting on Neutrino™ for bats"

I assumed they were talking about some obscure brand.


"With echolocation, you've always gotta go in the back"
"With echolocation, you've always gotta go to the bath"

Yeh Yeh[edit]

"We'll play a melody and turn the lights down low
So that none can see
We got a tuba"
"We'll play a melody and turn the lights down low
So that no one can see
We gotta duwop! We gotta duwop!"
“We'll play a melody and turn the lights down low
So that you can see!”

Never made any sense to me...XD

"I mention notice, she doesn't seem to dig that"
"I bet she'll notice, she doesn't seem to dig that"

You Don't Like Me[edit]

"There's so much pleasure to be had from Mr. Ian's secret plans"

If you look up the lyrics, Lyric Find will tell you that this is what it says.

You Probably Get That A Lot[edit]

"Or melting down some army guys to make cream teas"

I am English so this made more sense to me.

"Or melting down some army guys who make cream cheese"
"The bodiless baboons are cradled in his arms"


“Melting down and army guys to make men titillated”
"The bodiless baboon's been cradled in his arms"

You're On Fire[edit]

"I'm a shoot, you're a web you got one of those red combustible heads. I've read enough to go on about them."

"You bumped-a your head"
“Oh denim, you must’ve got one of them”
“I read enough to go on about them.”

Your Racist Friend[edit]

"I've no politics for you"
"Listening to some bully head"

Youth Culture Killed My Dog[edit]

"Orange Sandwich jizzed on my dog"
"An old sandwich killed my dog"
"I don't understand why she took my dog"
"Back in the day bed, used to write his famous songs"
"Back and I hear it, used to write his favorite songs / No one, no one, nobody wear it! Unintentional fall"
"Back in the day man, I used to write his favorite songs"
"Because the nightlights and my dog's life aren't exactly one and the same"

(With hints of Birdhouse?)


"And his suicide can be justified by the jazz maker's salad cry"
"And his suicide can be justified by the dance makers how they cried and cried and so"
"Park it like you're crazy!
I used to rock her favorite, son!
No, no, nothing's worth it!
Heehee, run and fetter ball!
"And the judgement made in the city of Hades..."
"Never, never, never worry (hee hee) Run and fetch the ball"

External links[edit]