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.
- 1 2082
- 2 Aaa
- 3 Ampersand
- 4 Anaheim
- 5 Applause Applause Applause
- 6 A Self Called Nowhere
- 7 A Ton Of Stuff
- 8 Absolutely Bill's Mood
- 9 All The Lazy Boyfriends
- 10 All Time What
- 11 Am I Awake?
- 12 Ana Ng
- 13 Announcement Q
- 14 Another First Kiss
- 15 Answer
- 16 Au Contraire
- 17 Authenticity Trip
- 18 Bangs
- 19 Bastard Wants To Hit Me
- 20 Bee Of The Bird Of The Moth
- 21 Become A Robot
- 22 The Bells Are Ringing
- 23 Birdhouse In Your Soul
- 24 Black Ops
- 25 Boat Of Car
- 26 Blind
- 27 Bread Hair
- 28 By The Time You Get This
- 29 C Is For Conifers
- 30 Cage & Aquarium
- 31 Canajoharie
- 32 Can't Keep Johnny Down
- 33 Cells
- 34 Circular Karate Chop
- 35 Cloisonné
- 36 The Communists Have The Music
- 37 Contrecoup
- 38 Counterfeit Faker
- 39 Courage The Cowardly Dog
- 40 Cyclops Rock
- 41 Damn Good Times
- 42 Dark And Metric
- 43 The Darlings Of Lumberland
- 44 Dead
- 45 Destination Moon
- 46 Didn't Kill Me
- 47 Dinner Bell
- 48 D Is For Drums
- 49 Doctor Worm
- 50 Don't Let's Start
- 51 E Eats Everything
- 52 Everything Is Catching On Fire
- 53 Everything Right Is Wrong Again
- 54 Experimental Film
- 55 Fake Out In Buenos Aires
- 56 The Famous Polka
- 57 Feign Amnesia
- 58 First Kiss
- 59 Fun Assassin
- 60 Great
- 61 Hearing Aid
- 62 Hell Hotel
- 63 Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal
- 64 Hide Away Folk Family
- 65 Here In Higglytown
- 66 High Five!
- 67 Hot Cha
- 68 Houston
- 69 How Can I Sing Like A Girl?
- 70 How Much Cake Can You Eat?
- 71 I Can Hear You
- 72 I Got My T-Shirt Back
- 73 I Haven't Been Right Yet
- 74 I Left My Body
- 75 I Love You For Psychological Reasons
- 76 I Should Be Allowed To Think
- 77 I'll Be Haunting You
- 78 I'm Def
- 79 I've Been Seeing Things
- 80 I've Got A Match
- 81 If I Wasn't Shy
- 82 Iowa
- 83 I Palindrome I
- 84 Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- 85 It's Fun To Steal
- 86 It's Kickin' In
- 87 It's Not My Birthday
- 88 Jackie The Clipper
- 89 James K. Polk
- 90 John Lee Supertaster
- 91 Judy Is Your Viet Nam
- 92 Kings Of The Cave
- 93 Last Wave
- 94 Leeds
- 95 Let Me Tell You About My Operation
- 96 Letterbox
- 97 London
- 98 Love Is Eternity
- 99 Lucky Ball & Chain
- 100 Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel
- 101 Maine
- 102 Make It The Same
- 103 Memo To Human Resources
- 104 Marty Beller Mask
- 105 Meet James Ensor
- 106 Meet The Elements
- 107 Metal Detector
- 108 Michigan
- 109 Microphone
- 110 Mink Car
- 111 Moles, Hounds, Bears, Bees And Hares
- 112 My Evil Twin
- 113 My Brother The Ape
- 114 Nanobots
- 115 Narrow Your Eyes
- 116 New York City
- 117 Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon
- 118 No!
- 119 No One Knows My Plan
- 120 Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes
- 121 Now Is Strange
- 122 On Earth My Nina
- 123 On The Drag
- 124 One Dozen Monkeys
- 125 Ondine
- 126 Oranges
- 127 Out of Jail
- 128 Pictures Of Pandas Painting (Elegant Too Remix)
- 129 Pittsburgh
- 130 Pretty Fly
- 131 Prevenge
- 132 Purple Toupee
- 133 Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head
- 134 Q U
- 135 Re-PETE Offender
- 136 Rhythm Section Want Ad
- 137 Road Movie To Berlin
- 138 Rocket Ship
- 139 Robert Lowell
- 140 Robot Parade
- 141 Santa Claus
- 142 Santa's Beard
- 143 Santa Cruz
- 144 Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love
- 145 See The Constellation
- 146 Sensurround
- 147 S-E-X-X-Y
- 148 The Shadow Government
- 149 Shape Shifter
- 150 She Was A Hotel Detective
- 151 (She Was A) Hotel Detective
- 152 She's Actual Size
- 153 She's An Angel
- 154 Sketchy Galore
- 155 Sleep
- 156 Sleeping In The Flowers
- 157 Snail Shell
- 158 Snowball In Hell
- 159 Somebody's Body
- 160 Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
- 161 South Carolina
- 162 Spiraling Shape
- 163 Spy
- 164 Stomp Box
- 165 Stone Cold Coup D'Etat
- 166 Subliminal
- 167 Take Out The Trash
- 168 Taste The Fame
- 169 Tesla
- 170 The Day
- 171 The Bright Side
- 172 The Mesopotamians
- 173 The End Of The Tour
- 174 The Statue Got Me High
- 175 Thermostat
- 176 They'll Need A Crane
- 177 Thinking Machine
- 178 Till My Head Falls Off
- 179 Tiny Doctors
- 180 Tippecanoe And Tyler Too
- 181 Toddler Hiway
- 182 Town To Town
- 183 Tractor
- 184 Triops Has Three Eyes
- 185 Turn Around
- 186 Twisting
- 187 Unsupervised, I Hit My Head
- 188 Wearing A Raincoat
- 189 We Live In A Dump
- 190 We Want A Rock
- 191 When The Lights Come On
- 192 When Will You Die
- 193 Whistling In The Dark
- 194 Who Put The Alphabet In Alphabetical Order?
- 195 Why Did You Grow A Beard?
- 196 Why Does The Sun Shine?
- 197 Why Must I Be Sad?
- 198 Window
- 199 With The Dark
- 200 Withered Hope
- 201 The World Before Later On
- 202 The World's Address
- 203 XTC Vs. Adam Ant
- 204 Yeah, The Deranged Millionaire
- 205 Yeh Yeh
- 206 You Probably Get That A Lot
- 207 You're On Fire
- 208 Your Racist Friend
- 209 Youth Culture Killed My Dog
- 210 External links
"Action figures unmistakably your own"
"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?"
"you, ampersand me, comma"
it fit in with the theme of punctuation and whatnot
"All asleep with pizza crumbs on my clothes"
"Your kisses are your drugs"
"...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"
"Planting a broom!"
"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"
"Got a brand-new dick planner still snug in the wrapper"
"Die you say I lied? That you think you've lost your head?"
"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"
"And something else besides my head is growing from my head"
"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."
"To the horn in a hole at a busty 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 pavillion with a picture of the Pied Piper or something.
"Who was at the DuPont pavilion? Why was the vegetable one who had been there?"
"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"
"There is a cock radio"
"Another furred kiss"
"It may take an ocean of whiskey and time / To wash all of the lint down out of your mind"
"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!'"
"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"
"Below my mind, your royal flyness"
"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"
"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"
"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"
"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)
"The bells are bragging: The people ran!" "A gorrila gotten in her ears"
"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"
My sister was singing:
"Bluebird of feminists"
"Torment the landing pad"
"Tom at the landing pad"
"You'll be standing when the music stops"
"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
"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!
"If you're like me, then weed is the holy crop"
"No more will the shattering glasses make a noise"
"But surely in the future there'll be no more kingdoms"
"Large junipers and fir"
[This error went unnoticed on the wiki for sixteen months.]
"Somebody's reading your mind, pretend if you know who it is"
"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"
"Odds are a million to one"
"Outnumber the millions who walk"
"Ahh! All of the millions who walk"
"Fast food in his pants"
"Bug or a sunflower, like David Eisenhower."
As if Eisenhower was a sunflower. But TMBG have done some strange things.
"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"
I kept on hearing
"My craft is exploding"
"Minecraft is exploding"
I think we all did, buddy. (Me too, a message from You&Me!!)
"And the fascists have the athletes"
"I got handed an iron sandwich"
"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"
"Aw, hell, [unintelligible]"
"...Wants to destroy our humble nowhere chat"
"Creepy cereal, someone better get the door"
"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.
"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"
"No magazine bag"
"Pulled you off of Bandcamp by popular demand"
"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"
"Soon the man who sweeps the room Brings the secret telegram: 'Emancipation interplanetary exploration'"
"By golfing at the airport'"
"She shut down the sweets shop"
"Experimental clause" "And then I swallow food"
(instead of the broken-up "And walk away")
"D is for drugs! Yes, D is for drugs!"
"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?
I always thought that it was
"Who believed for all the world..."
"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"
"The world destruction Over and overature 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!"
126.96.36.199 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?"
"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"
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"
--19:23, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
"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.
"It's for this experimental film, which nobody knows about but Mitch"
"Bacon tubing!" [instead of "Fake it to me!"]
"Facatoobe!" for me
"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."
"With that crazy god damn thing behind us." "With that crazy god dancing behind us."
"The black man, she's waiting"
"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"
"If you have a hundred Dollars, I can take you to Hundred-Doll Land"
"Frosty the super-highway lives by himself"
"Frosty the silver lining"
"... for mean lazy folks like myself"
"Salutations paying customer"
"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"
"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"
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"
I always thought it was:
...which would have been a lot more funny!
"Never came back to tell his wife."
"Bond two books for everybody."
"And all that ear of corn taught me"
"We can't trust you; we don't know you"
"The car is protected by vipers"
"I can supervise that"
"You will hear a buzz"
"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'm going to shut their mouse for them"
"I've got my reasons powed down bestore"
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!"
"flammable lung diagrammable sentiments"
"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'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 gotta listen to ya"
Not so much misheard, but misinterpreted. Completely changes the meaning of the song.
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"
"Later I'm watching a news reporter galavant across a crime scene"
"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.
"I'd burn all the unicorns"
I am glad to see I was not the only one who thought this!
"She likes the comical hat"
I didn't even know 'conical' was a word before reading the lyrics.
"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"
"Beloved acid washed mascara though, said she, able am I son."
I could have sworn:
"Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age!"
"You gotta be stoned to be nuts about this."
"You've got to be stupid not to believe."
“Beloved afro wash my car and though medley a bleu half-assin’”
"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, it's fun to break apart"
"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.
"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.
"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"
"the disinfected waitress"
"The dissing spitting waitress"
You get the idea.
"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."
"I am not the only dust mite mother raised."
"It's not my birthday, so why do you laugh, shout at me?"
"Honing her art while she was holed up in that goddamned apartment"
"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"
"Cover your beer, 'cause he's a Supertaster!"
"Back to Fortress Poorly-Drawn"
"Nothing left to say, situation's gray"
I think 'situation's grey' is an interesting way to say 'I'm not sure'.
"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".
"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.
"I would have a lot of eyes on the other side, wouldn't I?"
"At the store I ate"
"And Lisa, when you're surrounded by Dan Trapped on a cellphone"
"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"
"I am a maid of honor"
The above one was heard by my dad
"That belt can't be on wrong"
"Madam, you mistake me for a pumpkin"
"Maine is the whirliwind sound"
Still like this better than "world that went south", still sing it this way.
"It was the way you watched my weight!"
"Making mental notes of just exactly where I lost the blood"
"Marty gets the mention"
"Belgium's famous waiter"
"He lived with his mother and he hated himself"
"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.
"Did you know that elephants are made of elephants?"
"Don't need no volleyball Don't need no squacking 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"
"Now, robot Michigan"
"Now, throw back Michigan..."
"That it's old and it doesn't know it's old and it doesn't know"
"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.
"Rabbits work only out on this island right hare"
"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 egg!"
...or something like that. It was a live performance.
"Sleeper cells awake"
"Sleep yourselves awake"
"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"
"It's snowing. It's snowing. Gotta hate this weather"
"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"
"All no's need to no no no"
"I think I no one understands"
"In the allegory of the people in the cave by the creek"
"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..."
"I liked your hair, why did you change?"
"Have you seen that naughty whore?"
"That's the wine of wine... ...that always keeps me earning"
"National hell a monument"
"Maybe I'll buy the world and..."
"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.
Thought the monkey's name was Berry.
"Which I named Berry"
"What's left of that sinner"
"The chopping box spends their days growing oranges"
"We work the graveyard shit!"
"Two kittens out of jail"
"Didn't want to be a sleigh"
To be fair, I was listening to the demo version.
"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.
"Mr. Small's Theatre Park me up with half a freight"
"She had to relieve children"
"When free men take the stand"
"Morimoto On the headfo"
As in the chef.
"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 bellbottoms"
"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"
""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.]
"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"
"Had to write someone a good-bye note"
"Make cool sounds together"
"Check out the frogs in this place"
"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"
"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"
"Got this glass suburban" "Stake out this last suburban"
"Road moving to Berlin"
"...I injured my hair when I fell from the thing..."
"Two-tone American flags, John is yellow, it's really tan"
"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...
"...a twenty guitar.."
I assumed he was talking about a 20-string guitar. I'm not even sure if those exist.
"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"
"If you close your eyes Darth Vader is Naked"
"Close you eyes!! Ralph Nader is Naked!!!"
Totally thought it was:
"Close you eyes, John Boehner's been taken!"
"Sapphire bullets Bullets up your a..."
[This implied all kinds of interpretations...]
"John, often back"
"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 dachsund 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"
"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.."
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.)
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)"
"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"
"She was a hotel detective, but now she's Vatican NECTed"
Northeast China Transect?
"When the bellhop is funky, put the weight in some monkey"
"Well the bellhop is fucky, and the waiters are mucky"
"She's actual size, nationwide belief"
I honestly thought this made more sense than the actual lyric. Maybe I'm crazy?
"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?"
"Get lifted with Sketchy"
"Going around, drinking all my drinks Pissing my wife"
"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"
"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?"
I distinctly heard
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?"
"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"
"Wide awake in lust"
I think this lyric is more fitting.
"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 embarassing 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 embarassing 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 missheard 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?"
"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"
"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"
"I wish I could break the spyware-set it free.."
"Little Stomp Box, terraform my heart..."
"Little Stomp Box, tell it from my heart"
"Autumn leaves will burn, as the seasons turn, nature's relatives can applaud"
"Autumn leaves will blurt"
"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"
"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"
"While it may be reenacting…"
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 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"
"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"
"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"
"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"
"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 was a love explosion"
"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"
"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"
"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."
"I've never sat since the day..."
"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"
"Fantasy, used-up hen"
"And with them, a beat little van, van. A van is a used-up van."
"Take your clothes and play"
"Finally moving from town to town Towns are moving from town to town"
"Monday morning from town to town"
"Your house is so ugly"
"Nourished with milk improper"
"And vermin have two legs"...
"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.
"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"
"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.
I heard the "comes at a price" part as
"Comes out of rice"
- Haha! Rice! :D
"We live in a dump And it is 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"
"If I were a carpenter I'd hammer on my piglet eye"
"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"
"We'll be laughing and shitting"
"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 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..."
"Barking makes you tight! Barking makes you easy peasy So many took the tripe So many took the Jason fighting!"
"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.
My 5-year-old son was singing:
"The sun is a mass, it easily detaches..."
"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)
"It was a catalog Of men and women in the window"
"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"
"...glued it to his arm..."
"Where's our Towel Day?"
"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"
"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"
"Even the centerfold-- bow wow wow-- can't make up her mind"
"Beatle-based pop vs. Neuromantic"
"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"
"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
"Or melting down some army guys to make cream teas"
I am English so this made more sense to me.
“Melting down and army guys to make men titillated”
"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.”
"I've no politics for you"
"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"
"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"
- http://amiright.com/ - the premiere misheard lyrics page for all bands
- http://www.amiright.com/artists/theymightbegiants.shtml - Their specific page on TMBG