From ABBA and Adele to Nirvana and Queen: These are the top 30 misheard song lyrics
The Police’s ‘So Lonely’, Abba’s 'Dancing Queen' and Taylor Swift’s 'Blank Space' are among the songs Brits are most likely to mishear.
A study of 2,000 adults found millions are incorrectly singing along to popular lyrics, with nine in 10 admitting they have had the embarrassing misfortune of mishearing songs.
The most common mistake was found to be hearing ‘Sue Lawley’ instead of ‘So Lonely’ in Sting and co’s 1978 track while a tenth hear ‘Tangerine’ instead of ‘Tambourine’ during Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’.
‘Got a long list of ex lovers’ in Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space is often mistaken for ‘All the lonely Starbucks lovers’ while Queen’s ‘We will rock you’ sees ‘kicking your can all over the place’ replaced with 'kicking your cat all over the place'.
‘Call me when you try to wake her' in R.E.M’s ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’ is also often sung as ‘Calling Jamaica’.
The research was commissioned by Earex and found more than half of adults believe words aren’t pronounced clearly in songs, while four in 10 put their mistake down to tunes being too fast.
But an eighth admitted it’s likely to be due to their deteriorating hearing.
Clare Campbell from Earex said: “Many of these songs have been sung by people for years, but it seems we have been singing the wrong lyrics all this time.
“With lyrics no longer printed in magazines or on the back of the cassette case or CD cover, it can be easy to hear one thing and think that’s what is being said.
“But while it might be entertaining when someone gets it wrong, it’s worrying to know that this could be affected by deteriorating hearing.
“Poor hearing can result in people feeling left out of social events and an example is not being able to hear music correctly which could make some people embarrassed.
“The results show that mishearing songs affects Brits of all ages, but despite this many younger adults feel they are too young to get their hearing checked.
“People should be getting their ears checked similar to how they do their sight and their teeth, don’t wait until it’s too late.”
The research also found Adele’s ‘Chasing Pavements’ is often mistaken for ‘Chasing Penguins' while the line ‘here we are now, entertain us’ in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is sung as 'here we are now, in containers'.
And many thought the lyrics to TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ was 'Don't go Jason Waterfalls' instead of 'chasing waterfalls'.
It also emerged that it takes an average of six times to listen to the same song before Brits feel confident they know the lyrics, and 56 per cent have searched online for the correct words.
While a third have had it pointed out to them that they were singing the wrong lyrics, a sixth only found out they had been mishearing them when they saw them on a screen at karaoke.
Almost three in 10 worry about mishearing lyrics as they get older and a fifth fear the damage listening to loud music could have on their ears.
Worryingly, only a fifth get their ears checked once or twice a year, while four in 10 never do.
As a result, 47 per cent of those polled via OnePoll admitted they know they should get their hearing checked more often.
More than a quarter put this down to a lack of time and a fifth wouldn’t know where to go.
One in five even admitted that they don't think they have to worry about hearing check-ups until they are older, and a quarter have avoided it because a professional hasn’t told them to.
More than half also feel people are more likely to neglect getting their hearing tested than their sight or teeth.
Dr Roger Henderson, Family GP and spokesperson for Earex said: “Often the first signs people notice in hearing loss is mishearing what people say or having to turn music or the television up louder.
“In most cases this is a gradual thing that tends to creep up on people, however, in certain circumstances, it can come on quite suddenly.
"It isn't necessarily something to worry about as it could be an ear infection or quite simply a build-up of earwax.
“Earwax is important for ear health as it helps to protect the lining of the ears.
"However, too much wax can sometimes build up, causing mild hearing loss, known as conductive deafness, as sounds can’t pass freely through the ear canal because of a blockage.
“Regularly checking our ear health or applying drops weekly will help to keep our ears in the best condition to prevent longer term damage to our hearing.”
TOP 30 MISHEARD LYRICS:
1. The Police's 'So Lonely' - 'Sue Lawley'. Correct lyric: 'So lonely'
2. Abba's 'Dancing Queen' - 'Feel the beat of the tangerine'. Correct lyric: 'Feel the beat from the tambourine'
3. R.E.M.'s 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite' - 'Calling Jamaica'. Correct lyric: 'Call me when you try to wake her'
4. Taylor Swift's 'Blank Space' - 'All the lonely Starbucks lovers'.Correct lyric: 'Got a long list of ex-lovers
5. Queen's 'We Will Rock You' - 'Kicking your cat all over the place'. Correct lyric: 'Kicking your can all over the place'
6. John Travolta and Olivia Newton John's 'Summer Nights' - 'Tommy Moore'. Correct lyric: 'Tell me More'
7. Fat Boy Slim's 'Praise You' - 'I have to praise you like a shoe'. Correct lyric: 'I have to praise you like I should'
8. Starships' 'We Built This City' - 'We built this city on sausage rolls'. Correct lyric: 'We built this city on rock and roll'
9. Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - 'Saving his life from this warm sausage tea'. Correct lyric: 'Spare him his life from this monstrosity'
10. Tina Turner's 'Steamy Windows' - 'Stevie Winters'. Correct lyric: 'Steamy Windows'
11. TLC's 'Waterfalls' - 'Don't go Jason Waterfalls'. Correct lyric: 'Don't go chasing waterfalls'
12. Anne Marie's 'Ciao Adios' - 'Shower the horse I'm done'. Correct lyric: 'Ciao adios I'm gone'
13. Johnny Nash's 'I Can See Clearly Now' - 'I can see clearly now, Lorraine is gone'. Correct lyric: 'I can see clearly now the rain is gone'
14. Adele's 'Chasing Pavements' - 'Or should I just keep chasing penguins'. Correct lyric: 'Or should I just keep chasing pavements'
15. The Clash's 'I Fought the Law' - 'I thought the law had a long one'. Correct lyric: 'I fought the law and the law won'
16. OutKast's 'Hey Ya!' - 'Shake it like a photo of a picture'. Correct lyric: 'Shake it like a polaroid picture'
17. Craig David's 'Re Rewind' - 'When the crowd say post a letter'. Correct lyric: 'When the crowd say Bo Selecta'
18. Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - 'Here we are now, in containers'. Correct lyric: 'Here we are now, entertain us'
19. Michael Gray's 'The Weekend' - 'I can't until we can do it again'. Correct lyric: 'I can't wait for the weekend to begin'
20. Rihanna's 'Only Girl (in the world)' - 'I want you to love me like I'm a hot pie'. Correct lyric: 'I want you to love me like I'm a hot ride'
21. Elvis Presley's 'Suspicious Minds' - 'We're caught in a trout'. Correct lyric: 'We're caught in a trap'
22. Rihanna's 'We Found Love' - 'We found love in a soapless place'. Correct lyric: 'We found love in a hopeless place'
23. Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking out Loud' - 'Take me into your lemon arms'. Correct lyric: 'Take me into your loving arms'
24. Madonna's 'Papa Don't Preach' - 'Poppadom Peach'. Correct lyric: 'Papa don't preach'
25. The Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive' - 'Steak and a knife, steak and a knife'. Correct lyric: 'Stayin' alive, stayin' alive'
26. John Legend's 'All of Me' - 'I give you oil of me'. Correct lyric: 'I give you all of me'
27. Red Hot Chili Peppers' 'Zephyr Song' - 'Fly away on my sofa'. Correct lyric: 'Fly away on my Zephyr'
28. The Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' - 'I want to hold your ham'. Correct lyric: 'I want to hold your hand'
29. Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' - 'These ants are my friends, they're blowin' in the wind'. Correct lyric: 'The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind'
30. Missy Elliot's 'Get ur Freak on' - 'Get your free cone'. Correct lyric: 'Get your freak on’