Just the other night, I was singing my daughter to sleep with the lyrics of Scottish folk song, “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean.” But instead of Bonnie, my wife thought I was saying “body.”

You might imagine her confusion when she heard the following words:
My body lies over the ocean
My body lies over the sea
My body lies over the ocean
Oh, bring back my body to me

Oh, the implications! I can’t fault her though, I’m particularly bad at mishearing lyrics from songs. For the longest time, I believed Michael Jackson was saying “No one wants to eat a pita” in “Beat It,” when he was actually saying, “no one wants to be defeated.”
I thought Santana’s “Oye Como Va” was them pointing out poor hair style by saying “Oy, a comb-over!” And I’m still very unclear and somewhat uncomfortable with the lyrics from “Blinded by the Light.”

Let’s be honest, some artists add so much of their own style to the mix, I don’t know how any human has a clue what they are saying. Take every Pearl Jam song, for instance.

When it comes to being creative, there is always the risk of being misunderstood. It’s important to do the best you can to be understood by as many as you can, but sometimes you just can’t prevent misunderstanding, no matter how hard you try. My advice, just laugh it off and go eat a pita (sorry Michael)!


Hey Creatives, what are some song lyrics you’ve humorously misunderstood? Let us know in the comments below.

A.P. Lambert

A. P. Lambert is an author and creative professional who helps other creative entrepreneurs achieve more and find purpose in their work.