The Danger Zone

“The interesting thing about mondegreens is that the mishearings are generally less plausible than the intended lyrics.” – Stephen Pinker

After watching the latest episode of Family Guy, a friend and I, desperate to discover the references of Peter smashing the vase against the wall*, watched about 18 Duran Duran videos, thinking that the scene had come from one of them. We were wrong, but this led to a discussion of misheard lyrics, known as mondegreens, and the discovery of Kiss This Guy, a site which catalogs commonly misheard lyrics. The name refers to the Jimi Hendrix song “Kiss The Sky” which is apparently often mistook for “kiss this guy.” While that lyrics might sorta make a little sense, most of the mondegreens are completely absurd.

I mean, how do people think that this is an actual song lyric in an actual song?

He doesn’t look a thing like Cheese Nips…

The correct lyrics are:

He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus…

From The Killers “When You Were Young.”

Clearly, a lot of people hear totally absurd thing in lyrics. There was even a popular T-Mobile commercial a few years ago, making fun of a guy who thought Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was “Pour some shook up Ramen.”

And yet, I couldn’t think of a single song where I’d ever misheard the lyrics. I went through the Kiss This Guy site and couldn’t find even one that I’d also misheard. Until I watched the latest episode of Mythbusters.

In the episode, the Mythbusters are testing the idea that you can bounce a bullet into a moving car (from a scene in Burn Notice) and Adam describes the test as a “highway to the danger zone.”

I had always heard that lyrics as “I went to the danger zone” but Adam was correct. And finally I had my very own mondegreen and invented, on the spot, the “I have my own mondegreen” dance.

What lyrics have you misheard?

*Do you know what it’s referring to? I’m desperate here. And none of that “generic ‘80s reference” crap.

One Comment

  1. dmf

    I’ve left the rains down in Africa. I don’t know if you know this, but that’s nothin’ that a hundred man on Mars could ever do.

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