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Misheard Song Lyrics -> Stories -> Joni Mitchell

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!).

Blue album at
Joni Mitchell's, "Big Yellow Taxi"
The Misheard Lyrics:
May paradise, and put up a f***ing line.
The Real Lyrics:
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.
The Story: I just thought he was talking about a nice spring day that everyone wants to enjoy. But he's telling them to wait in line, because so does everyone else. - Submitted by: Sarah
Joni Mitchell's, "Big Yellow Taxi"
The Misheard Lyrics:
They paved paradise and put a f**king lot
The Real Lyrics:
Paved paradise, and put up a parking lot
The Story: I heard it from Stevie T and I just can’t unhear it now and it’s just parking lot makes no sense. - Submitted by: Jassy
Joni Mitchell's, "Big Yellow Taxi"
The Misheard Lyrics:
They say paradise took out a pocket knife.
The Real Lyrics:
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
The Story: I just thought she was singing about a murderous taxi driver! :-/ - Submitted by: Laa
Joni Mitchell's, "Raised On Robbery"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Gravestone robbery
The Real Lyrics:
Raised on robbery
The Story: Actually, this misheard lyric didn't come from Joni singing it- it came from what I thought the dj said was the song title. - Submitted by: Dean Nye
Joni Mitchell's, "River"
The Misheard Lyrics:
It's a Commodore Christmas
They're cutting the cheese.
The Real Lyrics:
It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees.
The Story: The morning DJ's on my favorite radio station were playing a recording of Robert Downey, Jr.'s rendition of Joni Mitchell's 'River' from Downey's new cd, and the DJ's kept misinterpreting the lyrics. Man, they had me laughing so hard while I was driving, I had to really watch where I was going, as I laughed so hard, my eyes teared up! It took a Joni Mitchell fan who was familiar with the original version to call the station and set the DJ's straight regarding the lyrics to the song. - Submitted by: Sharon 'Parodiva' Krebs
Joni Mitchell's, "Roses Blue"
The Misheard Lyrics:
She's gotten into terracotta potions
The Real Lyrics:
She's gotten into tarot cards and potions
The Story: It's only taken me 50 years to get it right, when I happened to look at the lyrics in 2020. I thought the potions were being mixed up in terracotta containers! I expect they were anyway. - Submitted by: Charles Thomson
Joni Mitchell's, "Shades Of Scarlet Conquering"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Like Norris Hopewell and Robert Hale
The Real Lyrics:
Magnolias hopeful in her auburn hair
The Story: I sang this wrong lyric for years. I thought Norris Hope and Robert Hale were little know B-list actors that I had never heard of. Because the line is: "Through stand - in boys and extra players, magnolias hopeful in her auburn hair." - Submitted by: joyce
Joni Mitchell's, "Shades of Scarlet Conquereing"
The Misheard Lyrics:
Though stand in boys and extra players,
The Real Lyrics:
Through stand in boys and extra players
The Story: This song is beautiful, and no matter how awful you may sound, one cannot help but sing it aloud sometimes, and I did, but with Norris and Robert in the lyric. I assumed they were lesser known character actors from the '40s. - Submitted by: Kit Kat
Joni Mitchell's, "Woodstock"
The Misheard Lyrics:
We are stardust
We are going
And we're 'bout to s*** ourselves
After the fartin'.
The Real Lyrics:
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.
The Story: I heard this on the radio, and then my uncle heard me singing the misheard version above. He told me about how, growing up in the 'hippie' era, he first heard this song and associated it with that era. He said that, where he grew up, the hippie era was perceived in such bizarre terms that scarcely anyone would have been surprised if a song of that time had such far out lyrics. He wasn't sure of the real lyrics himself, so he ended up checking out a Joni Mitchell disk from the library, and that's how we learned the actual lyrics. - Submitted by: Heidi Jones
Indexes: [#] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [Y] [Z]

New entries in this section are currently reviewed by Brian Kelly. Previous editors (if any) are listed on the editors page.


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Disclaimer: makes no claims to the accuracy of the correct lyrics. All correct lyrics are copyrighted, does not claim ownership of the original lyrics.