Starbucks lovers and farting carrots - the UK's 40 most misheard song lyrics

Millions of Brits are mishearing some of the world's best known song lyrics and replacing them with baffling alternatives, according to new research.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:23 pm
Photo: Shutterstock

Three quarters of those polled admitted to singing along to the wrong words of popular tunes, including Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ and Dire Strait’s ‘Money for Nothing’.

Wannabee singers often mishear the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’, believing she is singing “All the lonely Starbucks lovers” - and not “Got a long list of ex-lovers”.

Selena Gomez’s hit, ‘Good for you’ causes confusion with people singing “I’m farting carrots” instead of the correct “I’m 14 carat”.

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While Adele’s 2008 hit ‘Chasing Pavements’ is wrongly sung as “Chasing Penguins”.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by Starkey Hearing Technologies, looked at the most commonly misheard lyrics to mark the launch of its new Muse hearing aids,

A spokesman for Starkey said: “We’ve all misheard song lyrics from time to time so it’s really interesting and quite funny to see what the most common ones are.

“The results brought up some real classics but it’s great to see newer hits featuring in the top 40 too.

“People might even argue that some of the misheard lyrics in the results are actually better than the originals.”

A quarter of UK adults have argued over misheard lyrics while around two thirds have checked the internet to find out what the actual lyrics are.

Also featuring in the Top 40 is “Call me when you try to wake her” from REM’s 1993 hit ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’ is commonly mixed up with the lyric, “Calling Jamaica”.

From Johnny Nash’s ‘I can see clearly now’ is “I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone” which when sang correctly is “I can see clearly now the rain has gone”.

While “Poppadum peach” from Madonna’s ‘Papa don’t preach’ and “We’re caught in a tout” from Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ also feature.

Hot Chocolate’s ‘Sexy thing’ is commonly mistaken - with “I believe in miracles” misheard as “I remove umbilicals”.

And the chorus from Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex on fire’ has been wrongly heard as “dyslexics on fire”.

Similarly Chaka Kahn’s ‘I’m every woman’ has been misheard as “I’m Terry Wogan”.

Pop-loving Brits can’t enough of singing - with 85 per cent of UK adults regularly crooning along to their favourite songs.

Seven in 10 people surveyed sing in the car while four in 10 like to belt out a number or two while tidying the house.

A quarter of respondents like to work on their vocals in the shower or bath and 40 per cent said they enjoy a sing-along when cooking.

Other places people polled like to sing include when shopping, when exercising, when gardening - and when on the loo.

Despite this half of us find it annoying when people sing along to songs in front of them.

More than half of respondents admit they are awful singers - just four per cent described themselves as great singers.

And seven in ten of those surveyed have been caught belting out a number when they mistakenly thought no one was looking.

A spokesman for Starkey added: “Although mishearing things can be quite funny, it can also be a common sign of hearing loss.

“Those who think they might not be hearing as well as they should are encouraged to have it checked.

“Hearing well is vital to our health and wellbeing and today’s technology is so sophisticated and discreet that there’s really no need to mishear your favourite songs.”


1. “Money for nothin’ and chips for free”. Correct lyric: “Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free” from Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’.

2. “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you”. Correct lyric: “Everytime you go away take a piece of me with you” from Paul Young’s ‘Every Time You Go Away’.

3. “Sue Lawley”. Correct lyric: “So lonely” from The Police’s ‘So Lonely’.

4. “We built this city on sausage rolls”. Correct lyric: “We built this city on rock ‘n’ roll” from Starship’s ‘We Built This City’.

5. “Saving his life from this warm sausage tea”. Correct lyric: “Spare him his life from this monstrosity” from Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

6. “See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen”. Correct lyric: “See that girl, watch that scene, digging the dancing queen” from ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

7. “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”. Correct lyric: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” from Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’.

8. “Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tangerine”. Correct lyric: “Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine” from ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

9. “Sweet dreams are made of cheese”. Correct lyric: “Sweet dreams are made of these” from The Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (are made of this)’.

10. “Calling Jamaica”. Correct lyric: “Call me when you try to wake her” from R.E.M.’s ‘The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite’.

11. “Or should I just keep chasing penguins”. Correct lyric: “Or should I just keep chasing pavements” from Adele’s ‘Chasing Pavements’.

12. “All the lonely Starbucks lovers”. Correct lyric: “Got a long list of ex-lovers” from Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’.

13. “I can see clearly now, Lorraine is gone”. Correct lyric: “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone” from Johnny Nash’s ‘I can see clearly now’.

14. “Gimme Gimme Gimme a man after midnight, take me to the doctors at the break of the day”. Correct lyric: “Take me through the darkness to the break of the day” from ABBA’s ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’.

15. “Poppadom Peach”. Correct lyric: “Papa don’t preach” from Madonna’s ‘Papa don’t preach’.

16. “It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not”. Correct lyric: “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not” from Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’.

17. “I’m farting carrots”. Correct lyric: “I’m 14 carat” from Selena Gomez’s ‘Good for you’.

18. “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her” Correct lyric: “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer” from The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’.

19. “I want to hold your ham”. Correct lyric: “I want to hold your hand” from The Beatles’ ‘I want to hold your hand’.

20. “Kicking your cat all over the place”. Correct lyric: “Kicking your can all over the place” from Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’.

21. “Blue seal in the sky with diamonds”. Correct lyric: “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” from The Beatles’ ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’.

22. “Dyslexics on fire”. Correct lyric: “Your sex is on fire” from Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’.

23. “Here we are now, in containers”. Correct lyric: “Here we are now, entertain us” from Nirvana’s ‘Smells like teen spirit’.

24. “Let’s pee in the corner, let’s pee in the spotlight”. Correct lyric: “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight” from R.E.M.’s ‘Losing my religion’.

25. “Bald-headed woman... bald-headed woman to me”. Correct lyric: “More than a woman… more than a woman to me” from the Bee Gees’ ‘More than a woman’.

26. “I remove umbilicals”. Correct lyric: “I believe in miracles” from Hot Chocolate’s ‘You Sexy Thing’.

27. “We’re caught in a trout”. Correct lyric: “We’re caught in a trap” from Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’

28. “I’m Terry Wogan”. Correct lyric: “I’m every woman” from Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m every woman’.

29. “Let me just staple the vicar”. Correct lyric: “Just let me state for the record” from Sister Sledge’s ‘We Are Family’.

30. “This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus” Correct lyric: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” from Fifth Dimension’s ‘Aquarius’.

31. “You’re the wobbly one”. Correct lyric: “You’re the one that I want” from John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John’s ‘One that I want’.

32. “Don’t go Jason Waterfalls”. Correct lyric: “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” from TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’.

33. “A year has passed since I broke my nose”. Correct lyric: “A year has passed since I wrote my note” from The Police’s ‘Message In A Bottle’.

34. “Kick a chicken with it”. Correct lyric: “Gettin’ jiggy with it” from Will Smith’s ‘Gettin’ jiggy with it’.

35. “Hold me closer, Tony Danza”. Correct lyric: “Hold me closer, tiny dancer” from Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’.

36. “Take your teeth out, tell me what’s wrong”. Correct lyric: “Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong” from Abba’s ‘Chiquitita’.

37. “I like big butts in a can of limes”. Correct lyric: “I like big butts and I cannot lie” from Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’.

38. “We’re working for peanuts”. Correct lyric: “We’re heading for Venus” from Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’.

39. “I just died in your barn tonight, mustard no mayonnaise instead”. Correct lyric: “I just died in your arms tonight, It must have been something you said” from Cutting Crew’s ‘I just died in your arms tonight’.

40. “Aww freak cow! Le freak, c’est sheep”. Correct lyric: “Aww freak out! Le freak, c’est Chic” from Chic’s ‘Le Freak’.