13 Songs You've Been Singing Wrong Forever

So we’re all failures. A full 15 years after its release, we only learned this week that we’d been getting the lyrics to “I’m Real” terribly wrong.

Are you ashamed? Because I am. (Although nothing we feel can compare to the disappointment likely radiating from J.Lo and Ja Rule, wherever they may be.)

So why not continue our slide down this never-ending shame spiral? Why not (with “R-U-L-E” on our minds and J.Lo’s velour in our hearts) admit that this is far from the first time we’ve missed the mark and betrayed ourselves as bad listeners? Because we know “I’m Real” is no anomaly. Through history, we’ve misheard and mis-sung the greatest songs of all time, embarrassing ourselves and those within earshot in the process.

Now, it’s time to acknowledge those moments. In the immortal words of Elton John, hold me closer, Tony Danza. (Just kidding. I barely know him.)
1 of 13
“Sweet Escape,” Gwen Stefani
Wrong Lyric:
Literally no idea
Real Lyric:
“‘Cause I’ve been acting like sour milk all on the floor / It’s your fault you didn’t shut the refrigerator / Maybe that’s the reason I’ve been acting so cold”

Thank you, James Corden. Had he not forced Gwen Stefani to slow down and sound it out during last week’s Carpool Karaoke, we would’ve continued doing what we do best: mumbling confidently, hoping the people we’re with aren’t going to ask what we’re saying and why.
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2 of 13
“Pillowtalk,” Zayn Malik
Wrong Lyrics:

1. “So if we stop the neighbors”
2. “In the better days, better days, better days”

Real Lyrics:
1. “So we’ll piss off the neighbors”
2. “In the bed all day, bed all day, bed all day”


Well, this song is about sex, so we should immediately know that “stopping” the neighbors makes no sense whatsoever, unless it’s in response to them filing noise complaints. As for “bed all day”? Of course they are. (Go outside, you guys.)
3 of 13
“Seasons,” Future Islands
Wrong Lyric:
TBH, I usually stop singing during the chorus and pretend I’m very into the music.
Real Lyric:
“As it breaks, the summer will wake / But the winter will wash what’s left of the taste”

Seasons. I get it. Do you get it? The chorus is about summer and winter. The title of the song makes sense now. You know that feeling you’ve got right now? It’s realization, and it’s represented by
this GIF.
4 of 13
“Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
Wrong Lyric:
“Got a list of Starbucks lovers / They’ll tell you I’m insane”
Real Lyric:
“Got a long list of ex-lovers / They’ll tell you I’m insane”

Honestly,
considering Taylor Swift’s own mother thought it was “Starbucks lovers,” I’m going to vote that Taylor’s the one in the wrong here, and the lot of us are actually better at writing songs than she is.
5 of 13
“Bang Bang,” Jessie J., Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
Wrong Lyric:
“Bang bang into the womb”
Real Lyric:
“Bang bang into the room”

While the fertility movement rightfully deserves an anthem, it sadly wasn’t delivered by three of pop’s biggest names engaging in various stages of choreography and high notes.
6 of 13
“Fancy,” Iggy Azalea
Wrong Lyric:
“I’m so fancy, can’t you taste this goat?”
Real Lyric: “I’m so so fancy, can’t you taste this gold?”

Admittedly, goats and gold are just the tip of the “What is Iggy Azalea saying?” iceberg, a question exacerbated by her appropriation of a particular style of hip-hop. (Which
we’ve talked about before.) So for now, we’ll leave it at this: In this particular song, she does not say “goat.” And she also spells out her name a bunch, too.
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7 of 13
“Work It,” Missy Elliot
Wrong Lyric:
“I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it / If you’re firm and then it’s wet yet”
Real Lyric: “I put my thing down, flip it, and reverse it / Ti esrever dna ti nwod gniht ym tup i”

SHE JUST SAYS “I PUT MY THING DOWN, FLIP IT, AND REVERSE IT” BACKWARD. So okay, hi: full disclosure to everybody reading this. It is now 2016 — nearly two decades after this song came into our lives. And this is the first time I learned Missy Elliot was not merely saying “firm” and/or “wet” in a super-fast and unclear way.
8 of 13
“Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix
Wrong Lyric:
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy”
Real Lyric: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky”

But honestly, who are we to assume that while under the influence of whatever drug he’s referring to, Jimi Hendrix doesn’t want to kiss said guy. Live your best lives, everyone!
9 of 13
“My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion
Wrong Lyric:
“I believe that the hot dogs go on”
Real Lyric:
“I believe that the heart does go on”

In all fairness, anyone falling in love with Leonardo DiCaprio circa 1997 knew full well that no hot dogs were used in the making of Titanic. But it was still really, really fun to annoy our teachers and parents by scream-singing incorrect Celine prose. God this song is so good, though. I legitimately tried to date a guy in my seventh grade class — who burned down a house — just because he had Jack Dawson’s haircut.
10 of 13
“Getting Jiggy With It,” Will Smith
Wrong Lyric:
“Gotta lotta bad little [???]”
Real Lyric: “You got a Prada bag with a lotta stuff in it”

Circa 1998, most of us only knew Prada was a brand we could never afford with our $5 weekly allowances, so why would we bother trying to sound it out?
11 of 13
“Black Widow,” Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora
Wrong Lyric:
“I’m gonna love ya like a bad widdle baby”
Real Lyric:
“I’m gonna love ya like a black widow, baby”

Allusions to murder aside, I’ll be honest and tell you I think the real lyrics are a lot less upsetting than the idea of two grown-ass women pretending they can’t pronounce “little.”
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12 of 13
“Worth It,” Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink
Wrong Lyric:
“When you see me in the spot like, ‘Ooh, leviosa’”
Real Lyric: “You see me in the spot like, ‘Ooh, I love your style’”

First of all, it’s levi-oh-sa, not levio-sa. And while I can get behind Fifth Harmony’s sentiments and obvious sense of fashion, I still think this lyric would be made better by the addition of a Harry Potter reference and the subtraction of a callout to the group's aesthetic.
13 of 13
“Focus,” Ariana Grande
Wrong Lyric:
(Guys, what do you think?)
Real Lyric: “Focus”

I mean, obviously she is saying “focus.” Ariana Grande is not about to starting swinging the f-bomb around as a means of growing up, post-Nickelodeon. Girlfriend is adhering to that PG-13 life. Therefore, she is saying “focus.” She has always been saying “focus.” One day she may not say “focus,” but that day, dear friends, has not come.

Now focus.
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