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Misheard Song Lyrics -> Stories -> David Bowie

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!).


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David Bowie's, "1984"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Beware the balla bore, of nineteen eighty-four
The Real Lyrics:
Beware the savage jaw, of nineteen eighty-four
The Story: A friend and myself were like lyric police at school, and were relentless to people who came out with absurdities such as this : ) - Submitted by: simon
David Bowie's, "1984"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Beware the sound in store
The Real Lyrics:
Beware the savage jaw, of nineteen eighty-four
The Story: Surprised the bleep out of me, savage jaw??? What does that even mean? I sang along using sound in store; it sounded right as I often listened to Tower Philly album, as in beware the future (of 1984) - Submitted by: Jim Belesky
David Bowie's, "Absolute Beginners"
The Misheard Lyrics:
If our long johns could fly over mountains
The Real Lyrics:
If our love song could fly over mountains
The Story: spat out me cornflakes again - Submitted by: Mutley
David Bowie's, "All The Young Dudes"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Hey mister, you guessed - I'm a doo dad!
The Real Lyrics:
Hey mister, you guessed - I'm a dude, dad!
The Story: Bowie delivers this line with so much emotion that it reduces me to tears if I imagine that he's passionately proclaiming to a stranger that he's a 'Doo dad!' - the lightly toasted, extra crunchy snack from General Mills. It's equally amusing if you consider the other meaning of 'doo dad' - a worthless trinket that's not really worth getting all that excited about. And you certainly wouldn't want to think of yourself as a doo dad. To me, that would exhibit a remarkably low level of self-esteem. Something you wouldn't quickly associate with David Bowie, an entertainer so established that his 'brand' is actively traded on the New York Stock Exchange. - Submitted by: honchie chuck
David Bowie's, "As the World Falls Down"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I think your morals are gone
The Real Lyrics:
I'll bring you mornings of gold
The Story: Well unfortunately no story but when I saw the lyrics I realized just how much of this song I misheard. - Submitted by: Emi
David Bowie's, "Blue Jean"
The Misheard Lyrics:
She's got a bowler's back.
The Real Lyrics:
She's got a police bike.
The Story: It sorta makes sense. I'd think a bowler would have a nice back, since they sort of use back muscles along with their arms to bowl. - Submitted by: Meggy
David Bowie's, "Changes"
The Misheard Lyrics:
While others receive bacon, I'm much too tired to take that trip.
The Real Lyrics:
Of how the others see the faker, I'm much too fast to take that test.
The Story: I've really tried to figure out what he saying there and I have no idea. - Submitted by: Toine
David Bowie's, "China Girl"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And when I get excited
My little China girl says, 'Oh baby, just you shut your mouse!'
The Real Lyrics:
And when I get excited
My little China girl says, 'Oh baby, just you shut your mouth!'
The Story: This has been a topic of controversy for years. My boyfriend still insists the lyrics say 'mouse' instead of 'mouth' even though he has seen the written lyrics repeatedly. What does it take for a man to admit he's wrong? - Submitted by: Kurt Wedgley
David Bowie's, "China Girl"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Gets in the way of my rice
The Real Lyrics:
It's in the whites of my eyes.
The Story: Remember the Video? While he is singing these specific lyrics, he is throwing a bowl of rice into the air...LOL. Our friend, Dave, being cocky...TOLD us this was the correct lyric. When we finishing laughing - we informed him of the actual lyrics....but, to this day - we all sing it wrong...because it makes us laugh : ). - Submitted by: Suzy
David Bowie's, "China Girl"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I'll give you a man from Mars to rule the world.
The Real Lyrics:
I'll give you a man who wants to rule the world.
The Story: Life on Mars, Ziggy Stardust's band - from Mars, and the fact that Bowie put on his outer space alien persona. So what the hey, this misinterpretation would be only natural, right? - Submitted by: Andromeda Junkie
David Bowie's, "China Girl"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I'll give you a man from Mars to rule the world.
The Real Lyrics:
I'll give you a man who wants to rule the world.
The Story: The original cassette liner didn't have lyrics and besides, didn't Bowie release Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars over 10 years before? Also he did a song called "Life On Mars" so there you have it. - Submitted by: Man From Mars
David Bowie's, "Dead Man Walking"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And I'm gone through the c**p in my pants
Like a dead man w***ing.
The Real Lyrics:
And I'm gone through a crack in the past
Like a dead man walking.
The Story: Bowie was going through a bizarre, experimental phase with the 'Earthling' album. So naturally, I thought this experimentation would stretch as far as the lyrical field. I have a few queries, though. Do w***ing dead men travel through dirty pants on a regular basis? And why are their pants so dirty to begin with? - Submitted by: Monokini
David Bowie's, "Diamond Dogs"
The Misheard Lyrics:
As they pulled you out of a Yorkshire gent-town
You asked for the latest party
With your silicone hump and your tending stump
Dressed like a free ski hose
Top grind in squeaky walls
The Real Lyrics:
When they pulled you out of the oxygen tent
You asked for the latest party
With your silicone hump and your ten inch stump
Dressed like a priest you was,
Tod Browning's freak you was.
The Story: heard the song first when I was about 14 years old and my English wasn't that good... since that time, I hear these lyrics. I´m 38 now. :) - Submitted by: falo
David Bowie's, "Diamond Dogs"
The Misheard Lyrics:
As they pulled you out of the oxygen, Dave
You asked for a lady's body
With your silicone hung and your tennis stung
Dressed like a preisty wall
Talk down and speaky wall
Crawling down the alley on your hands and knee
I'm sure you're not a tech ted boy, plain to see
The diamond dogs are vultures and they hide behind trees
Hung and to the ground
They were mad again with killer peal
I'll keep a frenzerene
Oh baby, come unto me
Well she's comfy and God.
Come out of the dark end baby
You'll catch your death in the fog
That Halloween jag is a real cool cat
And he lives on top of Manhattan Chase
The elevator's broke, so he slides down a rope
Onto the street below, go Tarzan, go man go
Needs his little horsey with his ghost town approach
Her face is science fiction but she wears a dying brooch
Strictly reminiscing something mother used to make
Racked up in paradise, Diamond Dogs are civilized
In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch
Sashay on the motor pole, say sorry to the ditch
Just another future's all, lovely little kids
The Real Lyrics:
As they pulled you out of the oxygen tent
You asked for the latest party
With your silicone hump and your ten-inch stump
Dressed like a priest you was
Tod Browning's freak you was
Crawling down the alley on your hands and knee
I'm sure you're not protected, for it's plain to see
The diamond dogs are poachers and they hide behind trees
Hunt you to the ground they will
Mannequins with kill appeal
I'll keep a friend serene
Oh baby, come unto me
Well, she's come, been and gone.
Come out of the garden, baby
You'll catch your death in the fog
The Halloween Jack is a real cool cat
And he lives on top of Manhattan Chase
The elevator's broke, so he slides down a rope
Onto the street below, oh Tarzie, go man go
Meets his little hussy with his ghost town approach
Her face is sans feature, but she wears a Dali brooch
Sweetly reminiscent, something mother used to bake
Wrecked up and paralyzed, Diamond Dogs are sableized
In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch
Sashay on the boardwalk, scurry to the ditch
Just another future song, lonely little kitsch
The Story: Wow I really had this one wrong. - Submitted by: jenna
David Bowie's, "Diamond Dogs"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Need his little horsey, well his girls now approach
The face is such a feature and she wears a diet brooch
Sweeping round the missy, something mother yesterday
Wrecked up in paradise, diamond dogs are stablised
The Real Lyrics:
Meet his little hussy with his ghost town approach
Her face is sans feature, but she wears a Dali brooch
Sweetly reminiscent, something mother used to bake
Wrecked up and paralysed, diamond dogs are sableised
The Story: After watching an episode of MLP: FiM I thought it was too wild a coincidence that there was a line in this song that mention horses after finding a fictional race named after this song. - Submitted by: Colin Slater
David Bowie's, "Fame"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Babe!
The Real Lyrics:
Fame!
The Story: The dog next door was named Babe. I would sing the song to her until I found out the title of the song was actually "Fame" and not "Babe." - Submitted by: Jackie
David Bowie's, "Five Years"
The Misheard Lyrics:
We've got five kids, that's all we got
The Real Lyrics:
We've got five years, that's all we got
The Story: Heard it like this since I was 4. Guess I really am deaf. - Submitted by: barcode
David Bowie's, "Golden Years"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Come peel the potatoes.
The Real Lyrics:
Come get up, my baby.
The Story: I still hear, "come peel the potatoes", and still argue with my friends that Bowie is actually singing about potatoes. :-) - Submitted by: Trish
David Bowie's, "Golden Years"
The Misheard Lyrics:
cold in here
The Real Lyrics:
golden years
The Story: no - Submitted by: little Jen
David Bowie's, "Heroes"
The Misheard Lyrics:
People need heroes
Just for one day.
The Real Lyrics:
We could be heroes
Just for one day.
The Story: Going to a Bowie gig in Munich at seventeen, I thought this was the point, to the amusement of my buddies. The view that 'people need heroes' - film stars, generals etc to look up to - is the opposite of what this fine song is about. - Submitted by: Sarah
David Bowie's, "Jean Genie"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Eugene Genie loves Genie snacks.
The Real Lyrics:
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks.
The Story: I thought they were like Scooby Snacks - a special treat just for him. - Submitted by: Brandon
David Bowie's, "Law"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I don't want knowledge
I want sausages.
The Real Lyrics:
I don't want knowledge
I want certainty.
The Story: I was listening to this song in the van when my daughter joined in with me...singing the misheard lyric! I started laughing so hard! She said that she made the mistake because she was so hungry. - Submitted by: jennmc
David Bowie's, "Let's Dance"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Let's sway
Under the moonlight, mysterious moonlight
The Real Lyrics:
Let's sway
Under the moonlight, this serious moonlight
The Story: I misheard this lyric from when the song came out in 1983 until just today (07-23-14) {or, "2014 23 July" if you prefer}. - Submitted by: Craig Johnson
David Bowie's, "Life On Mars"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Long man beating up the wrong guy
The Real Lyrics:
Law man beating on the wrong guy
The Story: I was sitting there listening to the song. When I heard those lyrics and in my head, I had a picture of some really tall man punching some midget dude who was cowering in the corner. - Submitted by: Bob Surkeskiahhhhhij Trendaldoodle
David Bowie's, "Life On Mars"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Now the workers have struck a vein
There's lemons on sale again
The Real Lyrics:
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again
The Story: Ever since I first heard this song, I thought he was just talking about things happening in life, like workers striking a vein and a grocery store having a sale on lemons. - Submitted by: The Road Virus
David Bowie's, "Life On Mars"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Oh man, look at those gay men go!
The Real Lyrics:
Oh man, look at those cavemen go!
The Story: I actually have the lyrics memorized, I just happened to be singing along with the song while doing something else, and then I realized what I had really sung. It never even occurred to me that the lyrics DO sound somewhat like this. - Submitted by: JJ
David Bowie's, "Life on Mars"
The Misheard Lyrics:
But her money is gelding gold
And her daddy has told her to go
~
But the film is a satin ball
'Cause she's looked it ten times or more
She could spreaden the eyes a foot
As they ask her go for some
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakier show
Take a look at the old man
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the rest of the show
~
It's all America's told, you're brown
Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers are strung for pain
Lemons on sale again
See them mising their mill and halls
From I be there to the north of Paul
We'll pretend you're as out of bounds
Tell my mother my darkened clown
But the film is all satin ball
'Cause I wrote it ten times or more
It's about to be red again
As I ask you to go for some sailors
The Real Lyrics:
Her mummy is yelling "No"
And her daddy has told her to go
~
But the film is a saddening bore
For she's lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man! Look at those cavemen go
It's the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man! Wonder if he'll ever know
He's in the best selling show
~
It's on America's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
Now the workers have struck for fame
'Cause Lenin's on sale again
See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Rule Britannia is out of bounds to
My mother, my dog, and clowns
But the film is a saddening bore
'Cause I wrote it ten times or more
It's about to be writ again
As I ask you to focus on sailors
The Story: Just had Bowie wrong I guess; but then again, these were unusual lyrics for the early '70s. - Submitted by: jenna
David Bowie's, "Man Who Sold The World"
The Misheard Lyrics:
We passed upon the stair
We spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there
He called me a bison.
The Real Lyrics:
We passed upon the stair
We spoke of was and when
Although I was not there
He said I was his friend.
The Story: I actually got to meet David Bowie face-to-face one time and talked to him about the song. I told him what I thought the lyrics were, and he laughed and told me the correct ones. God, I was so embarrassed. - Submitted by: Delaney Lindley
David Bowie's, "Modern Love"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Church on time - terrifies me
Church on time - makes me vomit.
The Real Lyrics:
Church on time - terrifies me
Church on time - makes me party.
The Story: It just seemed to make sense, that when one is terrified, sometimes one vomits --and I couldn't decipher anything else until I looked it up today. I'm still not sure the 'corrected version' is right. - Submitted by: Coke Brown Jr.
David Bowie's, "Modern Love"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I don't want to go out
I want to stay home.
The Real Lyrics:
I know when to go out
I know when to stay in
Get things done.
The Story: I didn't even hear the third line, even after repeat listenings. - Submitted by: Brit Boxx
David Bowie's, "Quicksand"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I'm living in a silent hill
Portraying Killer's sacred realm
The Real Lyrics:
I'm living in a silent film
Portraying Himmler's sacred realm
The Story: I'm a Silent Hill addict. So when I heard this song for the first time I thought the lyrics were like that. Thus, I check the lyrics online...and guess what? I'm wrong. - Submitted by: rayxtreme
David Bowie's, "Rebel Rebel"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Blamo Blamo, you've torn your dress.
Blamo Blamo, your face is a mess.
The Real Lyrics:
Rebel Rebel, you've torn your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess.
The Story: Bowie is strange enough that I really thought it was "blamo blamo". - Submitted by: Joe Souza
David Bowie's, "Rebel Rebel"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Hot shrimp! I love you so
The Real Lyrics:
Hot tramp! I love you so
The Story: So it came on the radio and I thought David was stating his love for hot shrimp. My sister also hears it like this. - Submitted by: Alyssa
David Bowie's, "Space Oddity"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Ground control to Major Tom,
your son is dead.
There's something wrong
The Real Lyrics:
Ground control to Major Tom,
your circuit's dead.
There's something wrong
The Story: I always thought the song was about an astronaut who's son got killed in Vietnam, and his father grieves for him in the line 'Planet earth is blue and there's nothing I can'. The line is actually the astronaut losing contact with mission control and being lost in space. Songs from that era have very deep meanings to them and this was more of a misheard 'message' brought on by a misheard lyric. - Submitted by: JasonL
David Bowie's, "Space Oddity"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Ground control to Major tounge
The Real Lyrics:
Ground control to Major Tom
The Story: Major Tongue? xD - Submitted by: Alyssa
David Bowie's, "Space Oddity"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I'm controlled to make you talk
The Real Lyrics:
Ground control to Major Tom
The Story: Dedicated to Patricia who sang this to me some time around 1996. Haven't forgotten it ever since. - Submitted by: Pedro
David Bowie's, "Space Oddity"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Lemon Turf is blue and there's nothing I can do
The Real Lyrics:
Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do
The Story: I just thought it was that for a long time because it sounded like it - Submitted by: Ethan
David Bowie's, "Station To Station"
The Misheard Lyrics:
It's not the side-effects of her cooking
The Real Lyrics:
It's not the side-effects of the cocaine
The Story: Just the standard buffoonery of singing aloud with a group of friends: everyone became totally silent as I belted out this silly line during a song from one of the most obvious cocaine albums ever released. - Submitted by: Dick Mac
David Bowie's, "Suffragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Esophagus City
The Real Lyrics:
In Suffragette City
The Story: When I was young I had never heard of a Suffragette. So it sure sounded like Esophagus to me. - Submitted by: Joe Souza
David Bowie's, "Suffragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
My school day's insane
And what's down the drain?
The Real Lyrics:
My school day's insane
My work's down the drain.
The Story: I was listening to Bowie on the radio with my mom. I said, "I never understood that--'My school day's insane and whats down the drain?'" Mom looks at me weird and says, "What are you talking about? It's 'My work's down the drain.'" Now whenever that song comes on, she always reminds me of my mistake. - Submitted by: Alison McKenzie
David Bowie's, "Suffragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
The smell of black chicks puts a smile on my face
The Real Lyrics:
A mellow thighed chick just put my spine out of place.
The Story: Just thought it was racy enough for the song, but it's vulgar. - Submitted by: Scott
David Bowie's, "Sufragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
I'll suck on your t***y.
The Real Lyrics:
In Suffragette City
The Story: At the end of the song, David Bowie kind of yells, 'Suffragette!' Well, I always thought he was yelling, 'Suck a T**!'!!! - Submitted by: Kirk Norby
David Bowie's, "Sufragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Sausage & Chili
The Real Lyrics:
A Suffragette City
The Story: From an old buddy's point of view - Submitted by: Mark Person
David Bowie's, "Sufragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Some are conceited
The Real Lyrics:
Sufragette City
The Story: A friend of mine told me he once thought these were the words. Since then, every time I hear this song that's what I hear. It comes through clearer than the actual lyrics. - Submitted by: jim
David Bowie's, "Sufragette City"
The Misheard Lyrics:
What's up in Tipp City?
The Real Lyrics:
I'm back on Suffragette City.
The Story: I was living in southwest Ohio at the time, and there is a town in the area called Tipp City. - Submitted by: Jerry Windrel
David Bowie's, "Teenage Wildlife"
The Misheard Lyrics:
And there'll be others on my line filing past,
Who'll whisper low, "We miss you Milly Africa
Each to his own-he was
Just another piece of teenage wildlife."
The Real Lyrics:
There'll be others on the line filing past,
Who'll whisper low
I miss you he really had to go
Well each to his own, he was
Another piece of teenage wildlife, oh-oh-oh-ohh
The Story: Think Marianne Garvey being underage, Iman and myself, Fiona Crossland in his life. - Submitted by: Fiona Crossland
David Bowie's, "The Jean Genie"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Jean cheated, love chicken stack.
The Real Lyrics:
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks.
The Story: I thought I'd never find the song with only "Jean/Gene cheated". (I thought "love chicken stack" probably wasn't right) to go by, but last night I tried for a long time. After wanting this song for a year or more it was quite a coincidence (last night was the first time I searched for it) that today it came on my iPod (I have almost twelve thousand songs). - Submitted by: Peter Andrew Stanton
David Bowie's, "The Jean Genie"
The Misheard Lyrics:
The Jean Genie loves Jimmy snacks.
The Real Lyrics:
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks.
The Story: Jimmy is slang for penis. I thought Bowie was saying the Genie was a "puff". - Submitted by: Lloyd
David Bowie's, "Young Americans"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Ain't there a woman like a sock on the jaw?
The Real Lyrics:
Ain't there a woman I can sock in the jaw?
The Story: "Aint there a woman like a sock on the jaw?" I think there's a good chance I'm right because this is exactly the kind of peotic tough-guy phrase Philip Marlowe would use in the Raymond Chandler stories. Parts of the song represent the search for lost illusions of young Americans. My phrase is along the lines of the song lyric "You knock me out, right offa my feet" (which of course is not by Bowie). - Submitted by: Grant
David Bowie's, "Young Americans"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Scanning life through the picture windows
She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang, but
Heaven forbid, she'll take anything
But the freak, and his type, all for nothing
He misses a step and cuts his hand, but
Showing nothing, he swoops like a song
She cries "Where have all Papa's heroes gone?"
The Real Lyrics:
Scanning life through the picture windows
She finds him slinking back again
He coughs as he passes her form, understand, but
Heaven forbid, she could take anything
The Story: My sister had the album and I was just a kid when this was around. This was one of both our favourites, but neither of us could make out most of the lyrics. It's quite a tour de force live! - Submitted by: Big Al
David Bowie's, "Ziggy Stardust"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Making love with gazebos
The Real Lyrics:
Making love with his ego
The Story: Actually, my friend, Sarah, heard this lyric wrong. I just think it's funny and everytime we're listening to Bowie together, we scream out 'making love with gazebos'. It's probably quite obnoxious, actually. - Submitted by: Jessica
David Bowie's, "Ziggy Stardust"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Making love with his zego
The Real Lyrics:
Making love with his ego
The Story: I was listening to Ziggy Stardust and all the sudden my brother said, "Did he say 'zego'!?" I replied, "Why would he say 'zego'? That's not even a word!" My brother asked, "What did he actually say?" "'Making love with his ego.'", I answered. "Oh...", my brother pauses. "I thought 'zego' was an odd thing for him to say." - Submitted by: Alison McKenzie
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