Monday, January 5, 2009

Can You Run Fast Enough, Jesus?

Let me start by saying I generally do not mishear lyrics.

I know a lot of people do. Enough that there are books listing all the various ways people have misheard song lyrics. I did, for a long time, think that Kiss was saying they wanted to rock and roll all night and part of every day, but that used to be the worst of my misheard sins. My husband is notorious for this; just last week, after we listened to the Dixie Chicks' "Sin Wagon" in order to improve our Rock Band score on that song, he broke out in song:

"Raise the roof
And pass the ammunition..."

He even did the raising the roof motion. Until I told him that it was actually:

"Praise the Lord
And pass the ammunition..."

Though you certainly could raise the roof with that barn burner of a country anthem.

Then days later I had a shocking realization.

You know that Depeche Mode song, "Personal Jesus"? It's a good song. Over the break I heard the Johnny Cash cover of that song. It was amazing; I could actually hear every word when the man in black was singing. But when he sang,

"Your own...personal...Jesus..."

my jaw dropped. Because what I had heard for years, what I would have bet money on being the lyrics to that song, were:

"Can you enough...Jesus?"

Yeah, I know.

And the part that really goes, "Reach out and touch faith"? I thought that was "Reach out and touch me."

How did I get that so wrong?

I mean, I knew the title of the song was "Personal Jesus." But I thought it was one of those songs where the title is the meaning of the song, not so much a part of the chorus. I thought the song was saying that everyone wants to twist Jesus's message to justify their often close-minded world views. And that, if Jesus were here on earth observing this gross misuse and misinterpreting of his teachings, he would run. Hopefully, fast enough.

And now I just don't know what the song is really about.

Am I the only idiot who hears that song this way? And have you ever listened to a cover of a song and gone, "Really? Really? THAT'S how that song goes?"

Please tell me I am not alone.


Karen said...

I can't help you with Personal Jesus, but on other songs, I've thought the lyrics were some crazy things. Though my funniest examples belong to my sister, who thought that 80's song was called "Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you". And in one Crowded House song, she thought they were saying "breadcrumbs" rather than "they come". Guess food was on her mind a lot back then. ;)

Robert K. said...

When Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker" comes on the radio, I always sing the line "the invincible winner" as "the invisible weiner."

Not because I actually think those are the lyrics, but just to crack up my wife. :)

Karen said...

That doesn't count, Rob. ;-P