Cheap Wine & A Three Day Blow.

Every Friday morning we love listening to Like A Version on Triple J during the school run. In case you are reading this from somewhere other than Straya, it’s an awesome radio segment where guest artists play an original song followed by a cover of another band’s song. I just love it when bands give a different interpretation of someone else’s work and by doing so, add to it. I kind of do the same thing, except it’s invariably by accident.

You see, I am so incredibly NON-musical that not only can’t I sing, but I can’t remember lyrics to songs I’ve loved for years, and most of the time didn’t know them to begin with because my listening comprehension is craptastic. This is a drawback not just when trying to sing along to the radio, but also when I’m trying to understand a 3 year old who’s trying out adorable new vocab on me. I never had to worry with Finn, who has always had freakishly good pronunciation, and he now interprets for Roars if I’m too slow on the uptake.

Rory: Mummy! It’s a summer see!

Me: Pardon?

Rory: See Mum it’s a messy.

Me: What?

Finn: An emergency. (*eye roll)

Anyway, this particular Like A Version featured Meg Mac who won last year’s Unearthed Falls Festival; she’s got one amazing set of pipes. First she sang her original, Every Lie.

I listened carefully, thinking to myself here you go again, duh, it’ll be something really obvious and you just can’t figure it out. I kept hearing “it’s just your bones keeping”. Loads of people were texting in saying huh, it’s just your bonski bay?? What the Hell’s a bonski bay? A new tribute band for Bronski Beat? But I am quite proud to say for once I actually got it right, it is your bones keeping, even though it didn’t make sense to me.

So I wasn’t the only one with lyric confusion today – perhaps Meg Mac was channelling James Reyne? He’s one of my all-time favourite singers but OMG he is a shocker! I remember a novelty song in the 80s which took the piss out of his unintelligible singing.

Hint for the non-Aussies: He’s the one portrayed with subtitles at 2:55.

He’s probably our most famous mumbler. Found some classics via Google:

Misheard Lyrics:

Some soup kitchens live near people

Hammer head.

Original Lyrics:

Some silken slip of evil

Hammer head.

-“Hammer Head”

In the morning, when I wet my bed

I’ll be yarning as I scratch my head.

… or…

In the morning when I wake from my bed

I’ll be yawning as I scratch my head.

– “Fall of Rome”

The Amazing Meg Mac continued to make James proud with her Like A Version;

And we’re burning all the BeeGees

Burning all the BeeGees now

And we’re burning all the BeeGees

Watching them go up in flames

Bridges, Broods

OHHHHHHH RIGHT, BRIDGES. Well that’s slightly more reassuring.

Made me think of other instances where I’ve got the words completely wrong; the name of this post is one such misheard lyric. It’s supposed to be “cheap wine and a three day growth”, from Cheap Wine by Cold Chisel. I sang that wrong lyric for years.

Other notable ear/brain fails include:

Australians all let us rejoice

For we are young and free

We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil

Our home is ‘gerp,’ I see.

– by Australia.

It’s the fourth line of our national anthem which I sang regularly for only TWELVE YEARS of school. Um… wtf is ‘gerp’? Is it like ‘derp’? I know that’s like a word.



Please note: It’s actually “our home is girt by sea”, meaning surrounded, but what the hell primary schooler or indeed high schooler or even grown woman knows what the hell girt means? Anyone? Bueller? Gert?

I have loads more. How about Escape by Enrique Iglesias?

If you feel like leaving

I’m not gonna beg you to stay

But soon you’ll be finding

You can run, you can hide

But you can’t escape my dog.

I think of it as the perfect anthem for high security prisons. As in, you might be able to escape my love, but you definitely won’t be able to escape my dog. He earns his Schmackos tracking down scumbags like you.

Or even Rude by Magic!

Misheard Lyrics:

Why you gotta be so rude?

Don’t you know you’re a tool”

 Original Lyrics:

Why you gotta be so rude?

Don’t you know I’m human too?”

1955 by the Hilltop Hoods featuring Montaigne:

We’re livin’ in the place when everybody’s sayin’ what a time to be alive

But I’m feelin’ outta place like a lemon out in space cos it seems I’m stuck in time

was actually written

I’m feelin’ outta place like *I live in outer space*

… d’oh.

And here’s one that’s been around since before I was born, that I’ve been getting wrong my whole life; Ziggy Stardust from the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars:

Making love with a seagull Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band

Okay he’s actually making love *to his ego, not a seagull, but can you blame me with the rest of those lyrics? And the other lyrics including

Now Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan, he could lick ’em by smiling
He could leave ’em to hang
‘Came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan

So where were the spiders, while the fly tried to break our balls
With just the beer light to guide us
So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands?

I got the lyrics from Google Play but I’m doubtful even they got them right.

Some random lyrics from Your Body Is A Weapon by The Wombats:

You can taste the pissants in the air

Your body is a weapon, love

And it rips me up inside

My body is a temple of poo

… Someone protect me from the one-eyed one I love

Is in fact, (and rather less interestingly)

You can taste the *pretense* in the air

Your body is a weapon, love

And it rips me up inside

My body is a temple of *doom*

… Someone protect me from the *one I,* one I love


One more. Houdini by Foster the People. I still don’t know how I keep getting this one so wrong.

Gotta focus on your ability

Focus on your ability

Again again with balls of steel

Again again with balls of steel

Is actually

Gotta focus on your ability

Focus on your ability

Then they can’t get what they want to steal

Can’t get what they want to steal

But hey, I’m sure FTP wouldn’t mind the balls of steel thing.

I’ll leave you with a freakin hilarious video care of The Internets… it had me crying with laughter this afternoon, in between thoughts of “if that’s the wrong lyric, then why does it sound so right?”

– Michelle

P.S. Just had this one fall in my lap too… enjoy.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Michelle says:

    I LOVE misheard lyrics…years ago, I worked with a girl who swore ‘raspberry beret’ was saying ‘I’m your stereo man’.

    I still don’t get that one.


    1. Michelle says:

      It’s hardly surprising, there’s some weird arse lyrics being written out there! You’d think some musicians took drugs or something.


  2. jeffingoff says:

    HOLY SHIZZ this was Hilarious! Who doesn’t want to burn all the Bee Gees? ALL THE BEE GEES.
    And I LOVE the nickname Roars. Damn. If we weren’t done breeding, I’d have to start the campaign to name the next one Rory.


    1. Michelle says:

      Thanks heaps! I will totally take all the credit for the ineptitude of my ears and brain. As to any theoretical additions to your family, I think Dysen as a name is hot shit! (Ie really good) Especially, as you say, with the surname Terry. 😉
      Btw I totally love your posts, especially the ones about The Overlook recycled timber deck from Hell and your pre-emptive Disney princess daughter, but there are NO like buttons! How am I supposed to quickly get to those posts in an emergency? Time is of the essence you know!


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