Misheard Country Music Lyrics
A lot of my childhood included listening to country music because that was the choice of my parents, and a lot of my friends. However, I wasn't a very good listener because my version of many of the song lyrics varied wildly compared to the actual ones. I happily sang misheard lyrics for nearly two decades! Listed below are a few of the worst misheard lyrics from my childhood.
- "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille. Four hundred children, and a crop in the field." Poor Kenny Rogers. He had no idea how baffled his music left me. If the guy had four hundred children, why couldn't he just make -them- work the fields? Duh. (Of course, "four hungry children" is the actual phrase there.) Sadly, I sang the misheard lyrics to this wrong well into adult years, until my roommates picked up on what I was saying and (after a few hearty laughs) corrected my error.
- "Younger than the mountains, growin' lima beans...take me home, country roads...." Embarrassingly, I grew up in West Virginia and despite singing these misheard lyrics well into my high school years, I never saw the first crop of lima beans. You'd think that would've been a clue; but no, I remained blissfully ignorant for years that the true lyrics were "blowing like a breeze". I often wondered, "Why doesn't my family grow lima beans? We have a garden. We have a HUGE garden. We have green beans, peas, corn...but no lima beans. No fair!" Adding insult to injury was the fact that as a child I was an extremely picky eater, and didn't even like them.
- "Hive of industry. That is where we are. No-one in between...." Little did I know that Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers were singing about "Islands in the Streams" and not two blue-collar workers who managed to fall in love while working at a honey production plant. Which means Dollywood probably doesn't have a honey-themed series of rides and shops, either. Darn those misheard lyrics!
- "Warm smell of fajitas, rising up through the air...." Okay, okay, the Eagles aren't exactly in danger of falling into the country genre of music. But our town had JUST got its very first ever Taco Bell, and I'd sure as heck never heard of colitas. That the context of the song translates the Hispanic term to "little tails" is probably why my parents never bothered to correct the misheard lyrics, either.
- "I think about chew, all day long. It feels so good, it can't be wrong." In my naivety, the misheard lyrics had me picturing a major league baseball player heading to bed, every night, with the love of his life -- and a big, jawbreaker-sized wad of chewing tobacco stuffed in his cheek. I'm not even sure what kind of woman would want to go to bed with a man in that condition. Fortunately, George Strait was really singing that he would "think about you, all day long" which really changes the context of the whole song!
Misheard lyrics aren't uncommon, and there's no need to be embarrassed if you get called out on your folly. Know that you aren't alone in singing the wrong words, as every genre has its own series of misheard lyrics!