It Was The Third of September…..

papa was a rolling stoneThat day I’ll always remember. Cause that was the day that my daddy died.

And the chorus was:

Papa was a rollin’ stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was…….
A loan (wrong!).

Actual Lyrics: All he left us was alone.

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone was a #1 hit in 1972 for the Temptations and was their last #1 song. Rolling Stone Magazine ranks it as #168 of the best 500 songs of all time (Probably would have ranked it higher if the real lyrics were “Papa read his Rolling Stone”)

In any event for the last 46 years I believed the lyrics were …. All he left us was a loan. In a Facebook post on September 3 (duh), the error of my understanding of the lyrics was pointed out to me.  First of all, the lyrics are far stronger with the concept of the no-good dad leaving them in debt. Obviously, I am overthinking this, but I gave Motown lyricists, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, more credit than they deserved.

Be that as it may, these misunderstood lyrics triggered this ultra-important Struming focusing on mangled and misunderstood lyrics. Here are a few others that top the list:

1. Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze

“Excuse me while I kiss this guy”

Actual lyrics: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”

2. Bon Jovi – Living On A Prayer

“It does matter if we’re naked or not”

Actual lyrics: “It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.”

3. The Monkees – I’m A Believer

“Then I saw her face now I’m gonna now I’m gonna leave her”

Actual lyrics: “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer.”

4. Queen – We Will Rock You

“Kickin’ your cat all over the place”

Actual lyrics: “Kickin’ your can all over the place.”

5. Credence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

“There’s a bathroom on the right”

Actual lyrics: “There’s a bad moon on the rise.”

6. R.E.M. – Losing My Religion

“Let’s pee in the corner. Let’s pee in the spotlight”

Actual lyrics: “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight.”

Those are my top list of mangled lyrics. No doubt there are many more. Which ones did I miss?

More Strumings

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