Playlist of the Month: Singer Says What Now?!

A bit of a contrahversay went down recently when a Buzzfeed article pointed out that “everyone’s been mishearing one lyric on the iconic Jennifer Lopez/Ja Rule hit I’m Real song wrong for years. YEARS. Apparently a handful of folks thought JLo was saying, “Are you Ellie?” in the beginning, when in reality, she was saying, “R.U.L.E.”, because, you know, Ja Rule. I personally was offended by this post because duh, logically it makes no sense she would be asking Ja if he’s some rando named ‘Ellie’. And if she’s not asking Ja, who is she asking? Spelling out names in songs is cool and hip, which is why THOSE ARE THE REAL LYRICS.

But I get it. we all make mistakes. We all mishear lyrics from time to time, even if you realize just how dumb you sounded when you were singing the wrong ones. Here are a few we’ve mistakenly been “Ellie-ing” for years.

Listen to the entire playlist on Spotify!

Molly’s Picks

Roll To Me by Del Amitri

Let’s forget that the song is titled Roll To Me. I thought the lyrics were “the right time and the wrong me” from third grade through, oh, age 27 or so, when I tried to look up the song for a little nostalgia boost and couldn’t find it with the words I was using. But think about it: the video is the heads of the band members on babies. It’s the right time but the WRONG ME because he is still a BABY. Plus “right time, wrong me” makes sense whereas “roll to me” isn’t an expression … is what I thought for about 20 years.

Trap Queen by Fetty Wap

For over a year, I was completely positive that Fetty Wap was in the kitchen cooking prawns with his baby. Part of it is how he says “pies,” part of it is that everyone knows that you don’t cook a pie, you bake it. By the way, I learned this one via the change.org petition to have Fetty Wap perform this at Nancy Reagan’s funeral.

I Melt With You by Modern English

I learned I had the words wrong in the most embarrassing and most common way you can learn you have the words wrong: singing along with the song at one of my trashy house parties in college. One of my friends stopped, looked and me, and said “that’s cute, you’re changing the lyrics to be about me and you.” Nope. Just an idiot who thought that Modern English was saying “I’ll stop the world and marry you.” Evidently diction isn’t part of the Modern English curriculum.

Here Comes The Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze

You’re going to need to understand that leprechauns were having a moment in the early to mid 90s. The movie Leprechaun really elevated the tiny Irish guys to a menacing figure worthy of horror films and rap lyrics. That’s why I thought Ini Kamoze was professing to be the “leprechaun gangster” for over a decade. “We don’t die, yes we multiply” even sounded like the concept of a leprechaun-based B-movie.

The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett

It’s not just that, throughout my childhood, I thought she was saying “if you want to know if he loves you so, it’s in his kids.” It’s also that I created an elaborate scenario where it was a song about a woman falling for a single dad. I watched a lot of Full House, yes.

Traci’s Picks

Paper Planes by M.I.A.

The chorus is lit’rally half sound effects, yet somehow I always thought the lyrics were: “All I wanna do is *Bang Bang Bang Bang*/And *Click* *Ka-Ching*/’Mathangi’ on my neck”. You know, Mathangi as in M.I.A.’s real name. Duh. Apparently I was over thinking it because the real words are: “All I wanna do is *Bang Bang Bang Bang*/ And *Click* *Ka-Ching*/And take your money”. Ok fine, that makes more sense.

Billie Jean by Michael Jackson

Anyone else think the words were, “But the jet is not my son”? I mean, obviously it doesn’t even make any sense, but I guess I didn’t matter to me because the song was so rad? But when I found out the real lyrics were actually “But the kid is not my son”, it totally changed the entire song meaning for me.

Lean On by Major Lazer Featuring DJ Snake & MØ

So I guess my main takeaway from this post is that I’m not reall good with lyrics involving guns? Because I thought the chorus went:  “Focus, fire a gun/We need someone to lean on”, when in reality it’s, “Blow a kiss, fire a gun/We need someone to lean on”. Whatever, she’s Danish.

You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

In my defense, I’d bet there are a lot of people who also have no idea what Alanis is singing on this album. Right?

I want you to know, That I’ve had beef with you/I wish nothing but the best for you both

I know the virgin in me/Is she perverted like me?

Would she go down on you in a theater?

Does she speak Eloguquani (some type of Native American language?)/And would she have your baby?

I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother

… So, um… let’s take a look at the real lyrics:

I want you to know, that I am happy for you/I wish nothing but the best for you both

An older version of me/Is she perverted like me?

Would she go down on you in a theater?

Does she speak eloquently/And would she have your baby?

I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother

At least I think my version is a better look on Dave Coulier?

Work by Rihanna

Just, like, all the chorus. I’m not the only one in the dark here, right? I looked it up on Genius and apparently the reason why we think it’s garbled speak is because she’s singing in Jamaican patois. “Haffi” = have to, “ah guh” = is going to, and “Meh nuh cyar” = I don’t care. The music video makes much more sense now. Here are the real lyrics:

Work, work, work, work, work, work/He said me haffi
Work, work, work, work, work, work!/He see me do mi
Dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt!/So me put in
Work, work, work, work, work, work/When you ah guh
Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn/Meh nuh cyar if him
Hurt, hurt, hurt, hurt, hurting

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3 thoughts on “Playlist of the Month: Singer Says What Now?!

  1. I spent 30 years thinking the repeated lines at the end of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” were “We know, whoa-oo-oh.”

    It makes sense. Do they know it’s Christmas? *We* know it’s Christmas! So be generous.

    Turns out they’re singing “Feed the World.” My lyrics are better.

    Like

    • OK but it DOES make sense when you put it that way! Until we were teenagers, my brother thought that part was “Jeee-sus, Woah-oh-oh.” His rationale: “I mean, it’s a Christmas song. Christmas? Jesus? I’m not crazy.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Obscure Yet Sad Celebrity Deaths | Cookies + Sangria

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