Another Bathroom on the Right Moment


Last night I was singing—sort of humming with words—Shocking Blue’s Venus.

I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, your joy, desire.

A demi-smile appeared on my man’s face. He said, Babe, it’s

I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, and your desire.

Nah, I responded. An encapsulated moment of eye contact. Full grin on the man. You wanna bet? So I Binged (Bing—as a verb—doesn’t compare with Google’s oomph, does it?) it. And the definitive lyrics are:

I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, at your desire.

We were both wrong, but I’m sticking with joy.

These moments of lyric confusion and clarification are so delicious I hope they continue to the end of my days. Just last year I realized America’s song was about Ventura Highway. I thought it was a command: Venture a highway. Go forth, young man! Funny thing, I lived an hour from Ventura, CA, when I was singing it wrong.

Before that I learned there’s a bad moon on the rise.
There’s a bathroom on the right is so much more helpful.

My friend thought Tom Petty’s solid declaration: And I won’t back down was the somewhat tepid And I walked back down.

Life is laughter.

What lyrics have you misheard?


12 thoughts on “Another Bathroom on the Right Moment

  1. Oh Carol, I needed this bit of fun in my life today…haven’t we all misheard lyrics. I have also misheard names and once called a colleague of my husbands, Danny when his name is really Dan…but his last name is such that I heard Danny. He had the most puzzled look on his face at that encounter. I will say in my defense that I learned the real words to Lambs Eat Ivy years ago in the fourth grade and have enjoyed explaining it to family…not Lambsy Divey. I am revealing my age. 🙂 love and prayers, jep

    • Because I’ve gotten names wrong in the past, I tend to clarify on first meeting. I often ask the spelling, because I need to know. When I helped a neighbor move (after two years in our neighborhood) and piece of paper on her counter had her name as Liese. I’d always called her Lisa and thought of her as Lisa. It took me a month to get over it.

      You know, I’m sure we’re similar ages, but I’d never before heard Mairzy Doats before. Thanks for the introduction!

      P.S. I hope you are feeling better

  2. Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”: “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy,” instead of “‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.” So close! Yet so very far away.

    Thanks to King James English, there were several hymns I mangled as a child, but the one that I still remember is “And Can It Be.” I wondered what it meant that “Thou, my God, should sty for me” (instead of “shouldst die”). I figured that if God “should sty” for me, it meant something like slumming it on my behalf.

    And my son Paul (age 7) recently asked why, when we sing the hymn “Oh Day of Rest and Gladness,” we sing the words “Obamacare and sadness.” (It actually says, “Oh balm of care and sadness.”) Ha!

  3. A song I sang in Sunday School in England went like this:

    My heart may be like a garden fair,
    Loving words and thoughts and deeds a-blossoming there.
    Or it may be a place of poison weeds
    Growing into ugly words and thoughts and deeds.
    Lord Jesus make my heart a garden fair,
    Come thou thyself and be the Gardener there!

    All very nice, except that for years I innocently sang the third line as ” . . . a place of boys and weeds.” For some reason it made perfect sense at the time.

    And the hymn that has the line, “The stars in their courses look down from above . . .” it puzzled me greatly to try to picture heavenly stars wearing corsets.

    • Boys and weeds! Hah! (I used to think that “all the vain things that charm me most” was a direct reference to boys.)

      I love the picture of you as a child trying to tease out the meaning of stars in their corsets. I bet you never spoke to anyone about it.

      It’s great to hear from you, my friend.

  4. One of my roommates was convinced for a long time that the chorus in OneRepublic’s “Apologize” began “It’s too late to call the judge…” When we finally realized what she was singing, we pointed out to her that the word was “apologize,” not “call the judge”… yet I now find myself singing it that way.

    • I love the quirks of missed lyrics.

      One morning (ages ago) I asked Curt what he thought a “living magazine” was. He just stared. You know, I continued, “I am the living magazine of the leader of the band.” It’s supposed to be “living legacy.”

  5. I think the proper title for such fun gaffes is ‘mondegreen’. The story behind word is worth reading – just google to learn. Eons ago my young cousin sang lustily in her Sunday School choirs rendition of Silent Night, ‘holy elephants so tender & mild…’
    I’ve been following your blog for some time now, and enjoying fellow readers replies. Such a joy, thank you. Cynthia in Devonport, Tasmania

    • Cynthia! I owe you a truckload of thanks. Mondegreen! mondegreenmondegreemondegreen. That glorious word is going in my journal. I loved its history.

      It’s almost as delicious as saying Tasmania ten times.

      Thank you. Your kind words and new word and exotic (to me) location have made my day!

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