Dave McElhinny: I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone
As I rode in the car with my wife, we both began singing the lyrics to a popular song. Suddenly, she frowned at me and started to laugh. After an explanation from her, I learned that I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics to this popular Queen song for decades.
You see, “Kicking your cat all over the place,” is not the correct line. If you’re like me, you’ll want to make a note that the proper word is “can,” not “cat.” I always wondered why animal activists weren’t freaking out about that song.
Have you ever listened to somebody passionately belt out a tune and then stifle a laugh when they butcher the lyrics? For me, it’s more often than I like to admit. In fact, over the years, my wife has cleared up numerous song lyrics for her musically challenged husband.
So I’ve decided to offer a quick workshop for those out there like me who sometimes get lost in the music and sing what they hear instead of what the actual lyrics are.
Just to be clear, Elton John is not singing a love ballad to the star of the popular 1980s sitcom “Who’s the Boss?” As it turns out, “Hold me closer Tony Danza” is actually “Hold me closer tiny dancer.” But I defy anybody to listen to that song and not hear it my way.
Bon Jovi has a lot of lyrics that can be confusing, but none are mis-sung more often than “It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not.” While the actual lyrics are “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not,” I’ll wager that the public is still not ready for the bare truth about that one.
Bob Dylan was long known to be an activist and environmentalist, so nobody was terribly surprised when he broke out with “The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind.” It actually sounds like some pretty poetic stuff and the kind of righteous words that a nation can get behind. Too bad the actual words are “The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind.”
The Monkees seemed pretty insensitive when they sang “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.” As it turned out, the lyric was actually, “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer.” But I’m sure more than one listener was certain that Mickey Dolenz sounded like a shallow, male chauvinist.
And for future reference, Jimi Hendrix did not sing ”’Scuse me while I kiss this guy.” It’s “kiss the sky.”
Isaac Hayes sung that Shaft was a “complicated man,” not a “carpet-cleaning man.”
And Johnny Nash was not confused by a woman, as the lyrics are not “I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone.” The proper lyric is “the rain.”
So, I hope this clears things up a bit. If you’re like me, you will surely shout out the wrong lyrics to a song before the day is over. But at least we can get these few classics right.