Music Mistakes and Mishaps…Some That Even Make Sense (Part 1)

Music Mistakes, Mishaps, and Malpropisms

Dear Secret Diary– January 4, 2014, I’ve made so many music mistakes.  A few years ago for a period of about six (6) months, I kept noticing myself singing “I’m a Rhinestone Cowboy” from the song, Rhinestone Cowboy.  Each time I did this it was a mistake.  Not even at the unconscious level do I consider myself or want to be a Rhinestone Cowboy.

The Big Milkshake. Note: Not a Rhinestone Cowboy


Let me tell you about a Rhinestone Cowboy.  From the song, he “rid[es] out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo…”  Not only have I never done that, I don’t even know what that is.

But Diary I do love music, music the way it is intended to be, as well as otherwise.  But I am terrible with lyrics.

In England Dan and John Ford Coley’s 1970’s hit, I’d Really Love to See You Tonight, I couldn’t figure out the line, “I’m not talking about moving in.”  For ages when I was a teenager, I thought it was, “I’m not talking about Beryllium.”  Beryllium is a chemical element which I guess I encountered taking science in school at some point after the song was released.  I had no idea why a man would say this to a woman.  Still don’t.

I do want to point out though that the guy doesn’t come totally clean at the beginning of the song.  He says to the woman, “I’m not sure why I called, I guess I really just wanted to talk with you.”  But then, with barely a pause, he continues,  “And I was thinking maybe later on, we could get together for a while.  It’s been such a long long time, and I really do miss your smile.” Diary, I am pretty sure he wants more than just to talk because, if that’s all he wanted, they could do that on the phone.

But this dude’s not the only confused soul in a song.  Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain‘s core lyric, “You probably think this so is about you, you’re so vain” also contains the seeds of its own inaccuracy.  I learned this on twitter per the below:

Diary, even after reading the tweet it took me a while to figure it out.  But the tweet’s right.  The moment the song accuses the guy of being vain for thinking the song is about him, it DOES become about him.

Then there are my music mistakes that actually make some sense!  Here are three lyrics from three songs I unintentionally butchered that I think work.

1) From Someone Like You by Adele

Actual Lyric:  (Lady singing to former boyfriend): I wish nothing but the best for you.

What I Sang: (Former Boyfriend singing to lady): Remind me once again, who are you?

Diary, I was embarrassed when these words slipped out of my mouth, although I am proud that like a Shakespeare poem each line has the same number of syllables and rhymes.

2) From If You Leave Me Now by Chicago 

Actual Lyric: If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me.

What I Sang: If I leave you now, I’ll take from you the biggest part of me.

Which Diary I think would be technically correct.

3) From People by Jule Styne and made famous by Barbara Streisand

Actual Lyric: People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.

What I Sang: People who are people, are the luckiest people in the world.

Perhaps not that insightful Diary, but again not inaccurate… I think.  In any event, with a milkshake, I drink to all these songs which I really like as well as music and all its beauty and OOPSness.

(You can check out Music Mistakes and Mishaps…Some That Even Make Sense (Part 1) here.)

(Photo © Surisuri |