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Misheard Song Lyrics -> Stories -> Billy Joel

Misheard lyrics (also called mondegreens) occur when people misunderstand the lyrics in a song. These are NOT intentional rephrasing of lyrics, which is called parody. For more information about the misheard lyrics available on this site, please read our FAQ.

This page contains a list of the songs that have stories about their misheard lyrics submitted.

Song names are sorted by first letter, excluding A and The. This is sorted by song title only, not by song title and performer. So if two different performers preformed the same song, you'll see misheard lyrics for both on the same page (provided the song title was spelt the same both times, and misheard lyrics have been submitted for both!).


1973-97-Complete Hits Collection album at Amazon.com
Billy Joel's, "Allentown"
The Misheard Lyrics:
They threw a noomer rookin back in our face.
The Real Lyrics:
They threw an American flag in our face.
The Story: My wife and I always wondered what a 'noomer rookin' was. - Submitted by: Andrew Priest
Billy Joel's, "Allentown"
The Misheard Lyrics:
They threw an Alfred Newman flaag in our face
The Real Lyrics:
They threw an American flag in our face
The Story: When I told my college roommate about this misheard lyric, he laughed uncontrollably for about an hour!!! - Submitted by: Floyd G.
Billy Joel's, "Allentown"
The Misheard Lyrics:
They threw an Alfred Newman flaag in our face
The Real Lyrics:
They threw an American flag in our face
The Story: When I told my college roommate about this misheard lyric, he laughed uncontrollably for about an hour!!! - Submitted by: Floyd G.
Billy Joel's, "Allentown"
The Misheard Lyrics:
They threw it up and ripped a flag in our face.
The Real Lyrics:
They threw an American flag in our face.
The Story: The problem is that the accents in the music are opposite to the accents in the word American, so it sounds like um-air-rick-un. So my brain kept wanting to make words that had accents on those syllables. Even now that I know the correct words, whenever I hear that song it's just plain annoying to have the word 'American' mispronounced like that. - Submitted by: Orson Scott Card
Billy Joel's, "Allentown"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Well we're waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania pinnocle crowd.
The Real Lyrics:
Well we're waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found.
The Story: My husband sang this one day and I almost fell out of the car! He argued with me that he was right. Too funny! - Submitted by: Jeanne Miller
Billy Joel's, "Allentown"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Well, we're waiting here in out of town
The Real Lyrics:
Well, we're waiting here in Allentown.
The Story: When I was growing up the local radio station had a contest where if you listened to the station for an hour and wrote down all the songs they played that hour and called in and were lucky enough to be the lucky caller you could win a free album. I dutifully listened to the station and rushed the phone to call in my answers. One of the songs on the list was the just released "Allentown", which I had never heard before. I didn't know the title, just had listened to the lyrics and the song and could have sworn that the song was titled "Out of Town". I called and happened to be the lucky caller only to lose when I got to that song on the list, live on the air. Total fail. - Submitted by: Mark
Billy Joel's, "Being a Man Is More Than Just Being Macho"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Being a man is more than just eating nachos
The Real Lyrics:
Being a man is more than just being macho
The Story: We my kids were little we would all sing along with the radio in the car. When my son was around 7 these were the lyrics he sang. - Submitted by: Ann Dozier
Billy Joel's, "Big Shot"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And the people that you knew out of Lace
The Real Lyrics:
And the people that you knew at Elaine's
The Story: Lace was a 1980s TV series, but this was a late '70s song. D'oh! - Submitted by: Davo
Billy Joel's, "Big Shot"
The Misheard Lyrics:
You had the Dom Perignon in your hand
To squirt up your nose.
The Real Lyrics:
You had the Dom Perignon in your hand
And the spoon up your nose.
The Story: The misheard version I've quoted was not only my first impression of these lines; it was the only guess I could come up with until I checked a lyrics site. On finding the right lyrics, I got something of a laugh out of the whole thing. I was thinking -- however unappealing it might be to squirt Dom Perignon up one's nose, it might be safer and less of an addiction risk than what the addressee was presumed to be doing with that spoon! - Submitted by: Karen Smith
Billy Joel's, "Big Shot"
The Misheard Lyrics:
You had to be a big shot digit
The Real Lyrics:
You had to be a big shot, didn't cha?
The Story: I've been listening to this song almost all my life and I just -- at 28 years of age -- figured out the correct lyrics. My brother was the one who clued me in. He now refers to his index finger as his big shot digit. - Submitted by: Kate Harold
Billy Joel's, "Captain Jack"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Dr. Jock will get you high tonight
The Real Lyrics:
Captain Jack will get you high tonight
The Story: I first heard this song my freshman year in college. Back in Sept or October of '85 I was invited by a friend to his hometown (Central Valley, NY) to a battle of the bands and one band covered this song. I had never heard it before. The singer sounded like he was singing Dr. Jock will get you high tonight. My friend laughed out loud when I asked him if that's what he was saying. He then corrected me and said it was a Billy Joel song... - Submitted by: Ian Snydet
Billy Joel's, "Close To The Borderline"
The Misheard Lyrics:
A buck three eighty Won't buy you much lady on the street these days
The Real Lyrics:
A buck three eighty Won't buy you much lately on the street these days
The Story: I figured even the cheapest hookers were out of his price range. - Submitted by: Ras
Billy Joel's, "I Go To Extremes"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And if I stand on all fours,
its all or nothing at all
The Real Lyrics:
And if I stand or I fall,
its all or nothing at all
The Story: When I would sing to the song, it didnt even occur to me that someone would be singing about standing on all fours. Finally, I realized how stupid that sounds and was able to figure out what he was really singing about! Boy did I feel stupid for that one!! - Submitted by: Katie Shaughnessy
Billy Joel's, "Innocent Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I am the Edison Man.
The Real Lyrics:
I am an innocent man.
The Story: The power company in our city is Detroit Edison, and when I was little I though this song was about the Edison Man. - Submitted by: Bridget
Billy Joel's, "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me"
The Misheard Lyrics:
How about a pair of pink sand-wiches
And a bight orange pair of Kants?
The Real Lyrics:
How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
The Story: I eventually figured out the correct lyrics from context...I was wondering, in a song about Rock n' Roll, why Billy Joel was talking about Immanuel Kant and sandwiches, especially with such (respectively) inappropriate colours as pink and bright orange. - Submitted by: Kelpylion
Billy Joel's, "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Wear a Cuban hat out lately honey?
The Real Lyrics:
Where have you been hiding out lately honey?
The Story: It was actually my brother who heard it this way. We were talking about the song, and he mentioned these lyrics. He was shocked when I told him what the real lyrics are. - Submitted by: Daniel
Billy Joel's, "Just The Way You Are"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I can't love you, Eddie Vedder.
The Real Lyrics:
I can't love you any better.
The Story: My girlfriend is convinced that this is what Billy Joel was singing. I asked her if Eddie Vedder was even born when this song came out. Ohoho, the times we share. - Submitted by: Olvan The Terrible
Billy Joel's, "Just the Way You Are"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I said I loved you, sasspawilma
The Real Lyrics:
I said I loved you, that's forever
The Story: My college roommate asked me what 'saspawilma' was, and I said What? And he said, you know, in that Billy Joel song he says 'I said I loved you, sasspawilma!' - Submitted by: Robert
Billy Joel's, "Just the Way You Are"
The Misheard Lyrics:
You're two for million
The Real Lyrics:
You're too familiar
The Story: I said the above misheard lyrics and my daddy (who committed suicide) scolded me, although I know not why. - Submitted by: Isac
Billy Joel's, "Keeping The Faith"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Bought a fresh pack of Luckys and a mint Carl Simpson.
The Real Lyrics:
Bought a fresh pack of Luckys and a mint called Sen-Sen.
The Story: I just assumed a Carl Simpson was a brand of flavored cigar. - Submitted by: John
Billy Joel's, "Keeping The Faith"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Kick in the face
The Real Lyrics:
Keeping the faith
The Story: My sister was singing this song. When I finally heard what she was saying was 'kick in the face', we rolled on the floor and laughed hysterically. We were so young then, she didn't know. Still gives me a chuckle when I think about it! - Submitted by: Leslie
Billy Joel's, "Miami 2017-I've Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Seen the rats lie down on Broadway
The Real Lyrics:
I've seen the lights go out on Broadway
The Story: Not on the original recordings, but was included on the live version released in 81 on "Songs In The Attic" - Submitted by: Nick H
Billy Joel's, "Modern Woman"
The Misheard Lyrics:
She's my damn woman.
The Real Lyrics:
She's a modern woman.
The Story: When this song was first released and popular, I was at a Christmas party with my co-workers. My co-worker's daughter got up to sing this song for all of us. She was about 11 at the time and knew every single word, except the main title/chorus of Modern Woman. - Submitted by: Albert marino
Billy Joel's, "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
The Misheard Lyrics:
The n***** can't drive with a broken back
At least he can polish the fender.
The Real Lyrics:
And if he can't drive with a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders.
The Story: I was sitting there listening to his song. Every time that part would come on, I tried to make out what he was saying. I even put the close caption on once. I was doing something else when that song came on. When I heard that line, my head snapped up. I kept waiting for him to repeat it. Every time it comes on I keep telling myself, 'No, that's not what he said, you're hearing things.' [Ed.'s note: I assume that Arleen is not a racist.] - Submitted by: Arleen
Billy Joel's, "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Who needs a house made out of hacky sack?
The Real Lyrics:
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
The Story: I just heard this song on 95.9 The Fox (on-line), afternoon drive DJ, Matt Zako just played it. And it came back to me, that I saw this misheard lyric printed in one of the mondegren books a few years ago, and I have to admit when this song first came out in the late 1970's, I thought Billy Joel actually sang this line (because I couldn't understand at the time, that he was singing about the city of Hackensack). -:) - Submitted by: Peter
Billy Joel's, "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
The Misheard Lyrics:
You should never argue with a crazy ma-ma-muh-BUH-DUH!!!!!!!
The Real Lyrics:
You should never argue with a crazy m-m-m-mind.
The Story: Billy Joel currently serves as a mailbox for an overpriced bungalow in Suffolk County. - Submitted by: Ralph Goldenmouth
Billy Joel's, "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)"
The Misheard Lyrics:
You should never argue with a crazy mama, mama, mama.
The Real Lyrics:
You should never argue with a crazy m-m-m-mind.
The Story: For decades, I have associated this lyric with your typical, crazy, hardheaded, Italian mother...namely mine. - Submitted by: Ed Perkins
Billy Joel's, "Movin' Out"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Sergeant O'Leary is walking the beach
The Real Lyrics:
Sergeant O'Leary is walking the beat
The Story: He over-enunciates the "t" in "beat." I tried googling "Sergeant O'Leary is walking the Beach" to find the song... I figured O'Leary must have been a retired army Sgt. who had nothing to do with his time, so he became a bartender to ignore his PTSD or something. It makes sense with the rest of the song... - Submitted by: A nanny mouse
Billy Joel's, "My Life"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Closed the shop, sold the house
Bought a ticket to Wasco
Now he gives them a stand-up routine in L.A.
The Real Lyrics:
Closed the shop, sold the house
Bought a ticket to the West Coast
Now he gives them a stand-up routine in L.A.
The Story: Wasco is a small city in Kern County, California. It is about 20 miles northwest of Bakersfield. So, anyway, when I was 8 years old, when I heard this song on the radio, I thought that Billy Joel was singing about a friend selling his house and moving to Wasco. If you drive down Interstate 5 down to Los Angeles from the Bay Area where I am from, you will see exit signs for Wasco, when the freeway goes through Kern County. I knew where Wasco was even at age 7 (I have a BA degree in Geography, no surprise). There are 25,000 people living there (4,000 of them in a state prison nearby). The funny thing is I never thought about the idea of a person living in Wasco, while giving a stand up routine in Los Angeles (L.A.). The distance between Wasco and Los Angeles is about 135 miles, which would be a very long commute!! Then on the other hand, there are lots of people who commute between Lancaster / Palmdale in the Antelope Valley to Los Angeles, and that's about 70 or 80 miles, so I guess anything could be possible. Just a little story. I didn't realize the lyrics were wrong till I was in my teens or even later. - Codi Preston D. - Submitted by: Codi Preston D.
Billy Joel's, "New York State Of Mind"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Don't care in vagina town or on Riverside.
The Real Lyrics:
Don't care if it's Chinatown or on Riverside.
The Story: I heard this song playing and distinctly thought I heard "vagina town", but quickly realized it must be a reference to Chinatown. Still I couldn't understand the entire line. So I checked a lyrics site and found the correct lyrics. - Submitted by: Chelsea Turtle
Billy Joel's, "Only The Good Die Young"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Only the good tie 'um.
The Real Lyrics:
Only the good die young.
The Story: When I found out Billy Joel is Jewish, I realized why my Catholic friends found the song offensive. See, I thought Joel was Italian, which would make him a Catholic; and thus, I assumed he was criticizing his own religion. - Submitted by: John
Billy Joel's, "Only The Good Die Young"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Only the good times
The Real Lyrics:
Only the good die young
The Story: I sang this lyric one time in a Bill Cosby-like voice. I got made fun of by my friends...a lot. - Submitted by: Devon
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And the piano sounds like a camera
And the night owl sounds like a beer.
The Real Lyrics:
And the piano sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer.
The Story: Although fairly familiar with this song, I'd never listened closely to all the words. While sitting in a Subway sandwich place eating with friends, I heard this playing on the radio in the background. All the words I noticed up until the last verse were pretty much what I would have thought they were. But in the last verse, I noticed the words seemed less familiar, and the above mishearing is the best I could make of them, playing as they were in the background, competing to be heard with the conversation of my friends. - Submitted by: Regina Olsen
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And the piano, it sounds like a comic book.
The Real Lyrics:
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival.
The Story: When I was a little kid, this song used to confuse the h*** out of me. I wondered how a piano could sound like a comic book if they didn't make any noises except for when you turned the pages. - Submitted by: Michelle Chevallier
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And you've got a spinnet, all right.
The Real Lyrics:
And you've got us feelin' all right.
The Story: For so long, I thought this was the correct line, since a spinnet is, after all, a type of piano. - Submitted by: R.j.s.
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore ye underpants clothes
The Real Lyrics:
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes
The Story: I've always found some Billy Joel lyrics here and there that sound differently than what they actually are. I bet it has to do with his New York accent. - Submitted by: Patrick Anthony
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his erotic Aunt Jen.
The Real Lyrics:
It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin.
The Story: My 12 year old daughter had listened to my Billy Joel C.D. Later that day, while we were driving in the car, she asked me why the old man in the bar was 'making love to his erotic Aunt Jen'. I nearly wrecked the car laughing so hard. - Submitted by: Kalyn Johnston
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Making love to Tom at the gym
The Real Lyrics:
Makin' love to his tonic and gin.
The Story: My very sweet Autistic son Bobby came up with lyric (along with others) while singing along to it about 10 years ago. - Submitted by: LAURA GOODWIN
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Making love to his chiny-chin-chin
The Real Lyrics:
Making love to his tonic and gin
The Story: My friends and I were on our way to school one morning when 'Piano Man' came on and i quietly sang along. one of my friends was humming with it too, but stopped when she got the the 'tonic and gin' line to ask me if it said 'making love to your chiny-chin-chin.' She looked confused and appalled at the thought. I corrected her, but not before nearly swerving into the other lane because I was laughing so hard. - Submitted by: Renee
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
The piano sounds like a cannon ball.
The Real Lyrics:
The piano sounds like a carnival.
The Story: My brother in law, who is a professional jazz pianist corrected me on this when I used this song to help describe some of his gigs to my wife. I assume he was right and have yet to do any research to verify. - Submitted by: Fang
Billy Joel's, "Piano Man"
The Misheard Lyrics:
There's an old man sitting next to me
Making love to Tony and Jim
The Real Lyrics:
There's an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin
The Story: I used to sing it this way alll the time when I was a little kid. Once it came on in the car and I just belted out my own lyrics confidently and my Mom started laughing hysterically. It's still a family joke; if the song comes on when my family's around, I sing it my own 'special' way. - Submitted by: Sarah Rehim
Billy Joel's, "Pressure"
The Misheard Lyrics:
But here you are the night
To make out with three men, oh!
The Real Lyrics:
But here you are in the ninth
Two men out and three men on
The Story: - Submitted by: Chris
Billy Joel's, "Say Goodbye to Hollywood"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Bobby's driving through the city tonight
Through the lights by a Honsu reservoir
OR
in a Honda rent-a-car
The Real Lyrics:
Bobby's driving through the city tonight
Through the lights
In a hot new rent-a-car
The Story: It's only when I came to this site that I saw it was a hot new rent-a-car and not a Honda... oops! - Submitted by: Philsister
Billy Joel's, "Say Goodbye to Hollywood"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Joe DiLevy's in his heavy machine,
it's a scene down on Sunset Boulevard.
The Real Lyrics:
He joins the lover in his heavy machine,
it's a scene down on Sunset Boulevard.
The Story: I honestly did mishear this... then one day recently I wondered why a guy would have a name that was part Italian (Di___) and part Jewish (Levy). Didn't make sense so I looked up the lyrics, boy was I embarrased for all the times I've sung this loudly with the windows open! With Billy Joel's Long Island accent and the faster singing, it really got me confused. - Submitted by: Jess
Billy Joel's, "She's Always A Woman To Me"
The Misheard Lyrics:
But she's a weasel woman to me.
The Real Lyrics:
But she's always a woman to me.
The Story: When my daughter was little, we were riding in the car, and this song came on. After a while, my daughter asked, 'Daddy, what's a weasel woman?' - Submitted by: Tom
Billy Joel's, "She's Always A Woman"
The Misheard Lyrics:
She's a weasel woman to me
The Real Lyrics:
She's always a woman to me
The Story: Maybe it's stretching it a bit to count this, because it happened when I already well knew the correct words to the line. But one day, listening to the car radio and hearing this song the 'misheard' lyrics just 'clicked' in my mind, like that wery well could have been what I was hearing, if I didn't know better. It was a sudden flash of thought (simultaneous with the real lyrics) that made me suddenly break into laughter and startle everybody else in the car until I explained what had happened. - Submitted by: Lauren Overstreet
Billy Joel's, "She's Always a Woman to Me"
The Misheard Lyrics:
She can't keep on livin',
She's earned her degree
The Real Lyrics:
She can't be convicted,
She's earned her degree
The Story: A friend I told about this misheard lyric laughed and said, "You die after you earn your degree..." - Submitted by: Kathy Evans
Billy Joel's, "Sometimes A Fantasy (Live)"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Ah, sure it would be better
If I had a hit of bromine, be bop a lula.
The Real Lyrics:
Ah, sure it would be better
If I had you here to hold me, be bop a lula.
The Story: I realized 'a hit of bromine' made no sense, but since this was before I had the studio version of the song and before the days of lyrics sites on the web, I really didn't know what he was saying. - Submitted by: Errol M. O'Neill
Billy Joel's, "Still Rock And Roll To Me"
The Misheard Lyrics:
You could really be a full brahma, baby.
The Real Lyrics:
You could really be a Beau Brummell, baby.
The Story: I just assumed 'full brahma' was a hipster's term for someone well-dressed. I finally learned about Beau Brummell (1700s fashion icon and arbiter of style) this year (2006), after having done an article on him. It all makes sense now. - Submitted by: Robert
Billy Joel's, "Tell Her About It"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Listen, boy, dropped it off at Meineke;
They're such a guarantee!
The Real Lyrics:
Listen boy, it's not automatically
A certain guarantee.
The Story: I had always imagined those old Meineke auto service center commercials starring George Foreman, whenever I heard this line. - Submitted by: Al
Billy Joel's, "The Downeaster 'Alexa'"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I have journeyed across to the Binyah
The Real Lyrics:
I have journeyed across to The Vineyard
The Story: "Binyah" refers to Binyah Binyah Polliwog, the main protagonist of the Nick Jr. TV show "Gullah Gullah Island". "The Vineyard" refers to Martha's Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts. - Submitted by: Cody Finke
Billy Joel's, "The Entertainer"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I am the end potato.
The Real Lyrics:
I am the entertainer.
The Story: I shared a room with my brother. He sets his stereo alarm to wake up playing a CD. One week he had a Billy Joel album in the alarm, and it would play 'The Entertainer' every morning. I thought the lyrics were 'I am the end potato' Of course, I thought that was a dumb song. Towards the end of the week, I was grumpy and yelled, 'I'm sick of listening to that stupid end potato song!' He was confused and asked me what I was talking about. I sand in a mocking voice, 'I am the end potato, I am the end potato - it's such a dumb song!' He laughed for weeks. - Submitted by: Kevin
Billy Joel's, "The Longest Time"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I don't care what concert winds it brings.
The Real Lyrics:
I don't care what consequence it brings.
The Story: I can't sing, but I was singing along pretty loudly to the radio when my (former) husband upon hearing my mis-singing said, 'Deb, what did you just say?' So, like a little kid, I looked down and very quietly said, 'I don't care what concert winds it brings'. He said, 'No, it's 'Consequence'. Then we got a divorce. Just kidding. - Submitted by: Debra Jane Zeller
Billy Joel's, "The Longest Time"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I so expired by you.
The Real Lyrics:
I'm so inspired by you.
The Story: This was my daughter's favorite song as a toddler, no doubt because of how much it tickled her daddy and me to hear her screaching, 'What else can I DOOOO? I so EXPIRED by youuuu!' Until I die, I'll never use the phrase, 'You kill me!' It's 'I so expired by you.' - Submitted by: Christina Dunigan
Billy Joel's, "The Longest Time"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Whoa-o-o-oh, come along this time!
The Real Lyrics:
Whoa-o-o-oh, for the longest time!
The Story: When I was younger, I heard the song a few times, but...I thought it was about calling to his girlfriend to come with him or something. - Submitted by: Ra'akone
Billy Joel's, "The Night Is Still Young"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I can see the town coming
When I'm gonna throw my suitcase out.
The Real Lyrics:
I can see the time coming
When I'm gonna throw my suitcase out.
The Story: When I first listened to this, I thought, 'Man, the town must really have a shortage of suitcases or something!' - Submitted by: Larcen Tyler
Billy Joel's, "Uptown Girl"
The Misheard Lyrics:
She'll say I'm not so drunk
Just because I'm in love
With an uptown girl.
The Real Lyrics:
She'll say I'm not so tough
Just because I'm in love
With an uptown girl.
The Story: I heard this being played by the DJ at dancing club. I'd never really listened to all the lyrics of this before. When it came to these lines, I clearly thought it said "She'll say I'm not so drunk". I thought something sounded not quite right about that, even though it sounded that way and I couldn't think of any alternate interpretation at the time. So when I got home, I checked a lyrics site, finding that, indeed, there was reason to think it didn't sound right, as the real lyrics say "tough" instead of "drunk". But don't think I'd ever have guessed "tough" as the correct word there without checking the lyrics on line. - Submitted by: Karen Smith
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Breathing sparkle fire
The Real Lyrics:
We didn't start the fire.
The Story: Actually, it was my sister who misheard the lyric. It was hilarious. She sung it so earnestly, and, to this day, I can't figure out what she thought it meant. Her way, it sounds like a companion piece to 'Puff The Magic Dragon.' - Submitted by: Jen
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Children of the little Mai
The Real Lyrics:
Children of Thalidomide
The Story: A local production company had purchased mechanical rights for this and a number of other songs to put together a stage musical production and the producer printed these as the lyrics without ever reading the lyrics sheet in the cd jacket. Not only did I have to explain to him what the actual lyric was, but what Thalidomide was as well! - Submitted by: J. R. Simons
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Edsel and Sunoco
The Real Lyrics:
Edsel is a no go.
The Story: This is actually off of a karoke disc a friend of mine has. That is what really pops up on the screen "Edsel and Sunoco". - Submitted by: Mike Juran
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
England's gonna fight 'em.
The Real Lyrics:
We didn't start the fire.
The Story: When I was 13 years old, I heard this song premiere on the radio. I didn't know it was by Billy Joel. I assumed it was a British band saying that England was better than every other country. - Submitted by: MrBlondNYC
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Hemingway, Aikman, Stranger in a Strange Land
The Real Lyrics:
Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land
The Story: I thought Billy Joel was a Cowboys fan since they drafted Troy Aikman in 1989, when the song was released. I figured maybe he was born around the timeframe of the other events (1961). Turns out he was born in 1966. - Submitted by: Miguel
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start The Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Stop with the homicide
Children of Thalidomyde.
The Real Lyrics:
Starkweather, homicide
Children of Thalidomide.
The Story: This was not something I misheard, but saw on a karaoke DVD. Don't these people hire quality controllers? I have yet to hear of one Thalidomyde child being convicted of murder. - Submitted by: neptunevsmars
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start the Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Baker, Reagan
The Real Lyrics:
Begin, Reagan
The Story: Ronald Reagan had as a prominent member of his cabinet, James Baker, and I wondered at first why he was mentioned in the song. - Submitted by: Michael
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start the Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
California Facebook
The Real Lyrics:
California baseball
The Story: This song predates Facebook by 15 years (1989-2004), the lyric also predates it by 46 years (1958-2004), and "California baseball" refers to the Dodgers' move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958; the reference to the Dodgers are also mentioned earlier in the song, in the year 1955 ("Brooklyn's got a winning team"). - Submitted by: Cody Finke
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start the Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Eisenhower vaccine
The Real Lyrics:
Einstein, James Dean
The Story: The misheard version is what I "heard" first on listening to this song. I guess since other U.S. presidents are mentioned in this song, the idea of Eisenhower popped into my mind accordingly. Once perceiving that, I thought I clearly heard "vaccine" afterwards. Was Eisenhower one that someone thought we needed a vaccine against? I wouldn't know, being too young to have experienced the Eisenhower era. I guess every president always had his detractors! Anyhow on later hearings of the song I did catch it mentioning Einstein but never suspected that was what I misheard as Eisenhower until I learned the correct lyrics from a lyrics site. Nor was it at any previous time that I realized that James Dean was mentioned in the song. - Submitted by: Karen Smith
Billy Joel's, "We Didn't Start the Fire"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Rambo, The King and I, and the cashier on the right
The Real Lyrics:
Brando, The King and I, and The Catcher in the Rye
The Story: Would have thought to have heard that! I've heard of the "bathroom on the right" a lot from "Bad Moon Rising", so how is a "cashier on the right" like from "We Didn't Start the Fire"? - Submitted by: Cody Finke
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