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!).
20th Century Masters: The Best Of Steppenwolf (Millennium Collection) album at Amazon.com
Get your motor runnin',
hit 'em off the highway
Get your motor runnin',
head out on the highway
The Story: When I was younger, I used to watch a lot of cop/detective shows with my dad, and I used to see people get killed on these shows by having their car run off a cliff. That's what I originally thought this song was about! - Submitted by: Mark Speck
Like a Jew not chastized
We were bored, bored to be white.
Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild.
The Story: Being English, I was not really familiar with American pronunciation at the time, and also I think I may have been drunk or stoned. - Submitted by: Captain America
Like a true major's child.
Like a true nature's child.
The Story: I didn't mishear it that way; this was from a karaoke laserdisc (produced in China, I think). - Submitted by: R. Moore
Bitchin' motor runnin'
Flat out on the highway.
Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway.
The Story: The first time I first heard this song (late 60's), phrases like "bitchin'" and "flat out" were common among hot rodders and bikers. That's what I really thought Steppenwolf was singing about and, to this day, I still think MY version works better that theirs! - Submitted by: Gregg Dorfner
Fire all of your guns and watch them
Explode into space.
Fire all your guns at once and
Explode into space.
The Story: I was absolutely sure that this was the lyric for decades. It makes more literal sense, and it certainly fits in with the rest of the song. But it's wrong. - Submitted by: Jon
Get your mother runnin'. Hit her on the highway.
Get your motor running. Head out on the highway.
The Story: Thought these biker guys must be really badasses. - Submitted by: Jaylbird
I like smokin' lightin'
Heavy mental blunder
I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
The Story: My best friend at the time, also a Steppenwolf fan, agreed with the 'I like smokin' lightnin'' interpretation, but told me I was an idiot for thinking the next line was as mentioned above. He said that John Kay clearly said 'Heavy mental number.' This guy and I were best friends over 30 years ago. I just found out recently that he's been in prison for the past 5 years for selling marijuana- a lot of marijuana. Imagine! - Submitted by: Jeffrey DiFrancesco
Kitchen water running
Get your motor running.
The Story: The misheard lyric is logical, because if you run out of the house to head out on the highway, you left so fast you left the kitchen water running. - Submitted by: Rick
Yeah, gotta go make it happen.
Yeah, Darlin', go and make it happen.
The Story: I still think it sounds more like the wrong lyric than the right one. - Submitted by: Jon
born to be wise
born to be wild
The Story: My brother and I listened to this song a lot when we were younger. I loved it for the song it really was, and apparently he loved it because it was a song about being wise! The whole family was absolutely shocked when we found out, because "born to be wise" would be a pretty ridiculous chorus for a song about riding a motorcycle without a helmet and shooting guns off in the air! - Submitted by: Jon
like a tune-acious child
like a true nature's child
The Story: My wife caught me singing this, and started laughing hysterically. I thought "tune-acious" fit well into the song. - Submitted by: Joe
Why don't you fly in the sea?
Why don't you tell your dreams to me?
The Story: Being the messed up individual (and Steppenwolf fan) that my friend Paul is, he would always be singing Steppenwolf songs and it drove me nuts. One day I found him singing 'Magic Carpet Ride' with the wrong lyrics and I told him they were wrong. But Paul, being Paul, goes on and sings them anyway telling me their right. So one day, while my band and I were performing, I had Paul sing that song and after the show. 17 Steppenwolf fans came after him for singing the wrong lyrics, and then he finally has sung it correctly. It's been 27 yaers since then, and my band is broken up. But Paul still has a scar where one of them hit him with a rock. - Submitted by: Eric
There are more Steppenwolf misheard lyrics available.
New entries in this section are currently reviewed by Brian Kelly. Previous editors (if any) are listed on the editors page.