Songs With Unintelligible Lyrics

Discussion in 'SiriusXM Music' started by scotchandcigar, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    I could swear we started a list for this, but I searched, and we didn't. So here it is. Now I know that some of the mystery and allure of popular music is in how the lyrics are sung in such a way, that it becomes part of the melody, and has a certain sound to it. That's great, but how often do you listen and think: "What the hell are they saying?".

    I'll start-off the list with two of the unequivocal kings of unintelligibility:

    1) Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
    Right off the bat, I have no idea what Eddie Vedder is saying, and it goes like that through the entire song. Here are some lyrics;
    Unsealed on a porch a letter sat.
    Then you said, "I wanna leave it again."
    Once I saw her on a beach of weathered sand.
    And on the sand I wanna leave it again. Yeah.
    On a weekend I wanna wish it all away, yeah.
    And they called and I said that "I want what I said" and then I call out again.
    And the reason oughta' leave her calm, I know.
    I said "I know what I was the boxer or the bag."

    Ah yeah, can you see them out on the porch? Yeah, but they don't wave.
    I see them round the front way. Yeah.
    And I know, and I know I don't want to stay.

    2) The Kingsmen - Louie Louie
    I understand the chorus, and then I'm lost. Here's what they're saying.
    A fine little girl, she waits for me
    Me catch a ship across the sea
    Me sail that ship all alone
    Me never think how I'll make it home

    Three nights and days I sail the sea
    I think of girl constantly
    On that ship, I dream she there
    I smell the rose in her hair

    Me see Jamaican moon above
    It won't be long me see me love
    Me take her in my arms and then
    I tell her I'll never leave again

    Then there are some songs where a particular lyrical line is baffling.

    AC/DC - Highway to Hell
    There's a line at the beginning that sounds like "sees a n*gger on a one-way ride". The actual lyrics are:
    Livin' easy
    Livin' free
    Season ticket on a one way ride

    And maybe the most famously misinterpreted lyrics;
    Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers
    He sings "games without frontiers" in french - "Jeux sans frontieres". A dimwitted girl I knew in high school thought they were singing "She's so popular".
  2. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

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  3. sbv71

    sbv71 Well-Known Member

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  4. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing This space for rent

    Love Weird Al Parody of this:

    "Smells Like Nirvana"
    What is this song all about?
    Can't figure any lyrics out
    How do the words to it go?
    I wish you'd tell me, I don't know
    Don't know, don't know, don't know, oh no
    Don't know, don't know, don't know...

    Now I'm mumblin' and I'm screamin'
    And I don't know what I'm singin'
    Crank the volume, ears are bleedin'
    I still don't know what I'm singin'
    We're so loud and incoherent
    Boy, this oughta bug your parents

    It's unintel-ligible
    I just can't get it through my skull
    It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss(?)
    With all these marbles in my mouth
    Don't know, don't know, don't know, oh no
    Don't know, don't know, don't know...

    Well, we don't sound like Madonna
    Here we are now, we're Nirvana
    Sing distinctly? We don't wanna
    Buy our album, we're Nirvana
    A garage band from Seattle
    Well, it sure beats raising cattle

    And I forgot the next verse
    Oh well, I guess it pays to rehearse
    The lyric sheet's so hard to find
    What are the words? Oh, nevermind
    Don't know, don't know, don't know, oh no
    Don't know, don't know, don't know...

    Well, I'm yellin' and we're playin'
    But I don't know what I'm sayin'
    What's the message I'm conveyin'?
    Can you tell me what I'm sayin'?
    So have you got some idea?
    Didn't think so -- Well, I'll see ya
    Sayonara, sayonara
    Ayonawa, odinawa
    Odinaya, yodinaya
    Yaddayadda, yaaahyaaah

    Source: WEIRD AL YANKOVIC LYRICS - Smells Like Nirvana
  5. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    Ha! Yeah, Weird Al is awesome, he hits the nail on the head.

    I almost forgot to mention that sometimes, a singer will intentionally garble the lyrics, so they can get away with singing about stuff that would normally be censored. Here's the best example I know. This song about gang-rape was popular on all the terrestrial radio stations. The lead singer uses a type of Creole accent.

    Alt-J - Fitzpleasure

    Here are the lyrics:
    In your snatch fits pleasure, broom-shaped pleasure,

    Deep greedy and
    Googling every corner.

    Dead in the middle of the C-O-double M-O-N,
    Little did I know then
    That the Mandela Boys soon become Mandela Men.
    Tall woman, pull the pylons down
    And wrap them around the necks
    Of all the feckless men that queue to be the next.

    Steepled fingers, ring leaders,
    Queue jumpers, rock fist paper scissors, lingered fluffers.
    In your hoof lies the heartland
    Where we tent for our treasure, pleasure, leisure, les yeux,
    It's all in your eyes.
    In your snatch fits pleasure, broom-shaped pleasure,

    Deep greedy and Googling every corner,
    Blended by the lights.
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  6. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    Yeah, that's pretty unintelligible!
  7. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    REM did the unintelligible thing too.
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  8. IdRatherBeSkiing

    IdRatherBeSkiing This space for rent

    INXS garbled Elegantly Wasted to sound like "We're Better Than Oasis" as a response to a slight by Oasis against them.

    Sent from my iPhone6S using Tapatalk
  9. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    Here's a lyric version of PJ's Yellow Ledbetter, still unintelligible
  10. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    One of my favorite groups of the 90's was Letters to Cleo. The chorus in the song Here and Now is famously unintelligible. The lyrics are:
    The comfort of a knowledge of a rise above the sky above could
    Never parallel the challenge of an acquisition in the here and now.

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  11. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    This is hilarious
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  12. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    Potato wave. Classic
  13. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    One of these days I'm gonna type up what I think the lyrics are to the classic Kenny Loggins song "I'm Alright"

    I swear he calls out Cinderella in the song

    I'm Alright Misheard Lyrics
  14. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    Can't leave Natalie Merchant off the list
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  15. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

  16. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

  17. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    Potato wave is on in the Verizon store
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  18. scotchandcigar

    scotchandcigar arrogant bastard

    What's funny is that the actual lyrics are just as bizarre as they sound.
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  19. Jon

    Jon Well-Known Member

    R.E.M. (at least EARLY R.E.M) is the worst offender. Radiohead is another one. Although as we all know the lyrics to any song is a google search away which makes it much easier.
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  20. HecticArt

    HecticArt Administrator

    I knew the song, but I finally watched this vid.
    That's AWESOME!
    The flute guys dancing?
    Forget about it!
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