Later On We’ll Perspire, As We Sit By The Fire…No That’s Not Right

There is a Taco Bell commercial on TV that causes me to chuckle every time it plays. The commercial is pretty lame as it advertises a new rolled chicken taco. Lame aside, as many times as it has run, I laugh, because I hear them say, “Road chicken taco.” And thanks to Taco Bell, we all have found out what happened to the chicken who tried to cross the road, and get to the other side.

Of course, this immediately causes me to remember so many of the songs we used to sing along with way back when we only had AM radios in our cars, and in our bedrooms. As loudly as we could, we joined in and sang like the rock stars we knew we were, the undiscovered troubadours of our generation.

Only we sang what we heard. And we did not always hear the lyrics correctly. I have some favorites, and I am going to share what I sang at the top of my voice, with the windows of my car rolled down, crossing the Altamont from my little valley home to where I worked and played in the San Francisco Bay Area. Just drive up beside me, and if you remember the songs, feel free to join in.

We have the Monkees belting out, “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer“, as I was singing, “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.”

And Smokey Robinson was singing, “I second that emotion“, while I used my most sultry voice to announce, “I suck at that emotion.”

Tom Jones wiggled and warbled, “She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner.” I, on the other hand, never wondered at her attributes being associated with pork; “She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a wiener.”

And the Fifth Dimension ushered us into “The dawning of the Age of Aquarius“, while I was joyfully singing about my favorite vegetable, “This is the dawning of the age of asparagus, the age of asparagus.”

I loved my duets with Crystal Gayle, because her name was the same as mine (not the Crystal part, the Gail part), and we sounded a lot alike. Except I could not understand why, or how, but sang nonetheless, “Doughnuts make my brown eyes blue.” 

And finally, CCR. Oh, I loved that group! Creedence Clearwater Revival singing Bad Moon Rising; their lyrics, “There’s a bad moon on the rise”, while I never questioned, “There’s a bathroom on the right.”

These are just the ones that come to mind tonight. If I were to listen to an oldies but goodies station that played classic rock from our American Graffiti days, I know in a matter of moments I would recognize more tunes that I had misheard, but enjoyed just the same. We sang the songs, played them on our guitars, and lived a time that was filled with an excitement over the adventure that was to come. I look back, and so much of it still makes me laugh and even cry; but I have to say at this stage of my life, I am grateful there is that bathroom on the right.







24 thoughts on “Later On We’ll Perspire, As We Sit By The Fire…No That’s Not Right

  1. There is a website you might enjoy: It has hundreds of songs with misheard lyrics, including the song by Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze for which the website got it’s name. The actual lyrics to the song are “Excuse me while I kiss the sky,” but it’s often heard “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”


  2. Hahahaha. Oh yes, can really relate to this right now because my Aspie son continually sings a song from the Transformers. The only problem is that not even one of the words he sings are English, nor Portuguese, nor any language known on Earth. Hahahahaha. He’s funny.


  3. The song that I did that with when I was 11 escapes me right now. What was it?! However, the one my son did is unforgettable. My children are adopted from Korea, and my son used to think “Secret Agent Man” was “Secret Asian Man.” We even have him on tape singing the song that way ;).


  4. This was so funny. You’re a singer after my own heart. It was only about two years ago that my husband corrected my version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Tent avenue freeze aisle.’
    I once chastised my friends as they sang along to a new song on the radio. “How can you sing this song? It’s so mean!’ I said. Turns out the lyrics were ‘Hey, Bungalow Bill’ not ‘Hey, Mongoloid Bill.’


  5. And all for the love of my lady Mondegreen (! Never a dull moment, and even, sometimes, a great improvement if the original lyric or story of the song wasn’t quite so interesting. My husband’s variant of this gift is his inability to remember any large portions of a song’s lyric but—musician that he is—his ability to find great musical connections between separate pieces, so he pastes together the most amazing hybrid songs, all the while plugging in further flourishes of his own. I get serenaded with the most whimsical and quirky songs, as a result, and think myself mighty privileged for it. 😀


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