Killing Me Softly With This Song

I always thought it was “Make the world go away, and get it off of my shoulders.”  Oh wait, it is that.

I have a feeling this is going to be a blog in which the comments it gets on Facebook will be better than the original blog post. (Now that I’ve made you really want to read this little masterpiece, let’s get started.)

A couple days ago I wrote about advertising, which led to a discussion about old TV commercials from the ‘70s, which led to someone talking about the Lawson’s commercial with The Big O, a truck that took freshly squeezed orange juice from Florida to Ohio, which prompted my friend Ken to admit that as a young boy, instead of transporting “cold, cold juice” he and his brother thought they were saying, “cocoa juice.”

I haven’t stopped laughing since then. I keep picturing Ken and his little brother, their hair all slicked back, wearing plaid jackets and bow ties, sitting in front of a TV set as big as a commercial freezer, watching The Big O commercial. “And the cocoa juice in the tank truck caboose stays as fresh as the Floor-i-duh sun!”

But I’m laughing with him, not at him.

Because I myself have misinterpreted some mighty fine song lyrics over the years. And according to everything everywhere, so has everyone else.

As far back as Art Linkletter, kids were singing the darndest things. In one of his books, Art told us about the little kid who had a favorite gospel song because he loved singing about “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.”

When my son Mike was little and we sang Christmas carols together in the car, he would belt out, “ . . . With a jelly toast proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

According to Internet message boards, I’m not alone in thinking Bruce wrote these song lyrics: “Blinded by the light; Wrapped up like a douche, another roller in the night.”  And Jimi Hendrix sang, “Pardon me, while I kiss this guy.”

There are a couple of good forums online, where people sheepishly admit to misinterpreting song lyrics. Like these:

Elvis: "Oh let me be...your Teddy Bear.."
Backing Singers: "Hot Banana, Hot Banana..."

Jose Marti's "Guantanamera" was thought to be “(He ate) one ton of metal.”

And there’s a uTube video of some pretty good song references, including:

“I had some dreams, they were clowns in my coffee, clowns in my coffee . . .”

“Got a lot of lovely wieners, hang on, hang on, hang on, to what we’ve got.”

“Your eyes, I say, your eyes may look like ears.”

The best one, though, comes from my college roommate Doria. Because we were at Kent State, the Crosby Stills Nash and Young song about the May 4 shootings held a place of honor in all college dorm room stereos. We were sitting around one night talking about May 4 when Doria said, “Well, it’s like that really sad song, ‘Poor Daddy in Ohio.’”

“'Poor Daddy in Ohio?' What song is that?”

“You know,” Doria said.  “The song about the poor parents of the kids who were shot. ‘Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we’re finally on our own. This summer I hear the drummin’. Poor Daddy in Ohio.’”

I’m beginning to understand why the always cynical, grumpy Van Morrison just gave up and wrote these lyrics:

“Blah blah blah.”

Somewhere, somebody was singing, “Blood, blood, blood.”

You know you want to comment on this. What songs did you misinterpret? Comment here or write me at

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