The really embarrassing thing is that I’m sure I’ve sung this out loud with friends before and no one ever told me I was wrong, so maybe I’m right all along. Update: I was not right all along.

Victor and I in the car singing along to Talking Heads Wild Wild Life:

me: ♪ I’m wearing…her vagina… ♪

Victor: Wait stop. No.

me: Those are the lyrics.

Victor: Nope.

me: Yeah. “I’m wearing her vagina. I’m riding a hot potato.”

Victor: What.

me: It’s about sex right? He’s wearing her vagina. Because if you’re wearing someone’s vagina you’re having sex with them.

Victor: Ew.

Me: Don’t “ew” me. I’m not the one who said it.


me: I’m pretty sure it’s all sexual innuendo. Like, what else is Cat Fancy supposed to be? That’s obviously vagina.



So I looked up the lyrics and apparently this one of many songs I’ve been singing this song loudly and wrongly because for the last 30 years I thought this was about a Dutch woman named Eliza who has a lot of pubic hair and is having an orgy with the Talking Heads guy until her husband walks in and then the Talking Heads guy convinces his to join them and then they all have cake.

PS. Here is the actual song and below are the lyrics as I hear them:

I’m wearing her vagina

I ride a hot potato

I take a little Cat Fancy.

Speak up, I can’t hear you.

Here on this mountain top, oh, oh, I got some wild, wild life

I got some news to tell you, oh, oh, about some wild, wild life.

Here come the dutch woman in charge oh, oh, oh, she got some wild, wild life.

Ain’t that the way you like it, oh oh, women and wild, wild life?

I wrestle with a llama (I know it says conscience but it always feels like he’s going to say llama and I don’t know why)

You wrestle with your barber.

Satan on your windowsill but the tense says it’s time for ardor slower

Check out pepto bismuth man, oh, oh, he bought some wild wild life

On the way he got stuck in a stage oh, oh, he got some wild wild life

Break it up when he opens the door, uh oh! We’re doing wild, wild life.

I know that’s the way, Eliza, oh oh, baby, wild wild.

He’s a man. With a piece of cake.

Thought control. You get them both then! Time of your life.

Back to sitting on pins and needles. Break them apart. It’s scientific. (I don’t know what this means but I assumed it was something kinky)

Sleeping on the edge of the stage oh oh getting wild life

Breaking in her chicken ah, oh oh oh, I got a wild wild life

Spraying it all over my money in time. Oh, oh. Too much wild wild life

We wanna go but we don’t wanna go, oh oh I gotta wild wild life

High and knowing it. That’s how it starts, oh oh, got some wild wild life

Paint a picture, it ain’t a tale, oh oh, they got some wild wild life

You’re one to talk, You go so fast, oh oh, wild wild life.

And I know that’s the way you like it, oh, oh

It’s just a wild, wild, wild, wild, love.

145 thoughts on “The really embarrassing thing is that I’m sure I’ve sung this out loud with friends before and no one ever told me I was wrong, so maybe I’m right all along. Update: I was not right all along.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Ok I’m dead now 😂😂
    But you make me feel better cuz I thought, for years, that the Stevie Ray Vaughan song, Cold Shot, was singing Plexico Salad. Listen to it my way once. 😂😂😂

  2. You owe me a new computer monitor.

    And perhaps a new reputation as my work colleagues are wondering what the hell I am laughing at.

  3. To be fair, those are some odd actual lyrics. After reading your “I’m wearing her vagina…” I have a hard time hearing anything else now, LOL! Thanks for the laugh 😀

  4. I have so many of these – Funk So Rubber (Funk Soul Brother) and thinking there was a rap/country song about having sex with a horse – but those are the actual lyrics: Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse
    To the old town road
    I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more

  5. The cat Fancy comment made me spit out my coffee, and now I have little coffee spots all over my shirt. Thanks Jenny!1🤣

  6. I just listened to most of it and I need to talk to Victor about gaslighting you cause that’s not nice. Those are totally the lyrics to the song and you’re not wrong. I will fight by your side on this one

  7. YOU. NEED. TO. WRITE. SONGS!!! Music section in the bookstore — no, live performance!! Won’t effect anxiety at all!

  8. I used to think in the GREASE Summer Nights they sang, “Summer heat…boiling the meat…” which to me meant they had sex.
    Years later I found out it was Boy and Girl Meet. Whatever.
    This is called a MONDEGREEN – look it up – named by an author who misheard a line in a famous poem:

    American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in 1954, writing that as a girl, when her mother read to her from Percy’s Reliques, she had misheard the lyric “killed him…and layd him on the green” in the fourth line of the Scottish ballad “The Bonny Earl of Murray” as “…and Lady Mondegreen”.
    She thought Lady Mondegreen got killed also…Poor Lady Mondegreen – why did SHE have to die too?

  9. I thought Squeezebox by The Who was about a woman who could not stop playing the accordion, lol.

  10. If it makes you feel better…

    Back in the day I was with my folks in the car listening to the radio when I commented that the radio station was playing the meanest song (of which I’d listened to dozens of times) I knew and sung them Hang On Stupid / Stupid Hang On.

    In reality the song is Hang on Sloopy by The McCoys and my folks had a laugh.

    I was twenty-seven.

  11. We’ve got ‘two chickens to paralyze’! (Eddie Money) but my all-time favorite is the Beatles’ ‘the girl with colitis goes by’!

  12. Yasssss…
    Also, The Black Crowes have been trying to get some lemonade for 20+ years now. I wonder why they didn’t just go to 7-11… (listen to “Remedy” and tell me I’m wrong…)

  13. Also…the Eagles keep telling me I can’t hide my lion eyes. I didn’t even know I had those.

  14. If it’s any consolation at all: Kenny Rogers had 400 children and a croc in the field and Katy Perry sings about Catholic boys and girls are undeniable.

  15. I was in my 40s before I realized Elton John was NOT singing “I Like Girls” just to throw people off from days when people were less enlightened. Husband still won’t let that one go.

  16. Oh! And because of my son we still all sing: “ I’m Dean Kline! Oh oh oh! To believe they never could… be like me…” At Sox games

  17. I’m not sure whether I think you are my spirit animal or whether I am yours instead. At any rate, I plan to sing along with you whenever I hear the song going forward….

  18. Pat Travers-Boom, Boom, Out go the Lights is actually Boom, Boom, Eat Apple Pie according to a friend.

  19. Oh, man, Jenny, this is priceless and the comments, *chef’s kiss*. Back when the Intertubes were invented, someone really smart created a Web site called Kissthisguy dot com, a site dedicated to misheard lyrics based on the song Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix and the line “‘scuse me while I kiss the sky”, which was always misheard as “kiss this guy”. It’s been my go-to for lyrics ever since. The whole site has morphed and it’s hilarious.

  20. I think this is right up there with the Jimi Hendrix lyric “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy!” (I know everyone wants you to believe he says “kiss the sky” but I’m not buying it.)

    for a long time, a friend of mine thought the lyric from the Smashmouth song “walking on the sun” was “you need to be there when your baby’s old enough to get laid” I explained to her that she probably needed therapy because he says “You need to be there when your baby’s old enough to RELATE”

  21. I still like ELO’s big tune “Heed the Woman.” what? Then who are we heeding? What?

  22. In Def Leppard’s Photograph, Joe Elliot sings “I need rubber, in my hair”, or at least my 14 YO self thought so. Turns out “I’d be your lover, if you dare” is technically more accurate.

  23. Classic Mis-Interpretations We Have Produced:
    1. “Do the Lucky Lady” is Aerosmith’s alternate (and quite possibly, better) title for their 80s hit.
    2. And while somebody once told me, the world is gonna roll me – I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed – she was lookin kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an ELK on her forehead…”
    You’re welcome.

  24. Oh my god! I almost just burned our deck down because I was laughing too hard to go out and take the veggies off the grill! This is one of those guffaw moments where the kids ask ‘What’s so funny?’ but you have to answer ‘Nothing’ and lower the volume a tad.

  25. Ok, 1. No one can ever be blamed for misunderstanding Talking Heads lyrics. 2. He IS riding a hot potato! Isn’t he? and 3. I feel better about the time I WROTE DOWN my misheard lyrics to American Pie and GAVE THEM TO A FRIEND in 7th grade which is obviously why I can never run for political office. (“Can music save your mortal soul? If the barber tells you so”)

  26. When I was really young I thought “beach baby” was “bitch baby” and couldn’t understand why my mom kept telling me to not say that word haha. Changing lyrics to songs is quite fun and entertaining!

  27. Spent a good 6 weeks last year singing Hot Obama anthem………yeah…its Hot Girl Summer Anthem. 🤦

  28. I will NEVER hear that song the same way again. Damn you, Jenny! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  29. OMG! You totally need to record a video of you singing that with “Weird Al” Yankovic!
    You made my day, I can just see the animated video now.

  30. This is just too good! I don’t know if I wanna enjoy as is, or look up the more boring lyrics to compare. I love the way you made up your own story and how it could be short feature. Nothing like creatively altered lyrics!

  31. I do this a lot. My current favourite is insisting that Prodigy is screaming BAKE SALE! BAKE SALE! BAKE SAAALE! instead of “Exhale”. I stand by it.

  32. Okay why are you hazing Eliza about her publicity c hair? I see no evidence of said pubic hair.

  33. My then-preteen child thought George Michael was singing “I’ve got to have a bath, a bath, a bath.”

  34. I love being able to look up everything on the internet but man my imagination has suffered. Your lyrics are so much better

  35. I now can’t I hear your lyrics and my husband is wondering why I’m laughing so hard.

  36. I had a friend who thought Rusted Roots’s Send Me on My Way was actually Simeon the Whale. I can now never NOT hear the whale version. Simeon all the way baby.

  37. Many of those lyrics are EXACTLY what I sing, it it more fun that way, is how I have always done it.

  38. Hee Hee! I saw the Talking Heads at UCSB a long time ago. If you volunteered to do “security” you got free admission. And got to be right next to the stage! Wheeee! Tina Weymouth’s hair looked like a palm tree! I miss those days…Now I listen to them at home. Not quite the same. Shit. I think I may be old.

  39. This is how my teenage daughter’s arguments went in the 80’s….. “You’re dumb, you thought it was Down in the Boombox”(Boondocks)..”.you’re dumber, you think it’s Owner of the Coconuts” (Lonley Hearts)…..”at least I didn’t think Prince sang Self of Steam”(Self Esteem)

  40. I one hundred percent thought, and was perplexed by, the lyric, “wellllll, I’m gonna take my horse to the hotel room, I’m gonna, riiiiide til I can’t no more” until someone heard me talking about it, died, came back to life, and explained that he was saying “Old Town Road.”
    So. Don’t feel bad.

  41. Loved it. Your lyrics are unmistakable. How could dear Victor have missed it. Love you ❤️❤️❤️

  42. I like your version so much better! And he is virtually unintelligible. I am right there with you on never being able to “properly” hear the lyrics. For a really long time, I was confident the lyrics to “Shut Up and Dance With Me” were:

    That woman is my destiny
    She said Ooh oh ooh
    chocolate destiny

    Along with so many other songs I have butchered the lyrics to.

  43. I was reading your lyrics to the song and giggling, but then I scrolled down to see how long to go right before they sang Thought Control — I heard it as ‘F*d her cold’ so I just have to say I cannot blame you with that song.

  44. My son aged about 7 at the time singing the Police song – “Message in the bathroom” s/be Message in a bottle. But I don’t know, he could be right.

  45. Okay, well I always thought it was, “I’m very fur vaginas” but at least yours makes more sense, I suppose.

  46. Last month I realized that a song I’ve always liked by Van Halen is not in fact “Let it Rock.” It’s “Panama.” And they sing the word Panama a lot. They do not sing “let it rock, let it ro oh oh oh oll.” I’ve been singing it incorrectly for over 30 years and it is rough to face the truth.

    PS. Your lyrics are pretty awesome.

  47. This made me laugh so hard…I love mondegreens! And once you hear them, you can’t hear the song any other way.

    I always thought Manfred Mann was singing “Wrapped up like a douche, another boner in the night” in Blinded By the Light.

    Beck sang about putting soy on the door (I’m a Loser).

    And Eddie Money had two ticks and a pair of dice. (Two Tickets to Paradise)

    Elton John was a big one: “She’s got electric boobs, her mom has two.” (Bennie & the Jets) Or “Bitch I’ll shoot down your plane” and “Back to the hollowed out log in the woods” in Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (maybe he was a Keebler elf with violent tendencies?) Or “Had an old gold Chevy and my friends were my own” from Crocodile Rock. Or “Rocket man, burning up the trees out on the lawn.”

    Michael Jackson’s pretty sure the chair is not his son in Billie Jean.

    The Beatles liked that the Sunday monkey played piano song, played piano song for Michelle.

    And tonight on the radio they played Toto’s Africa in which they guess it rains down in Africa. And there’s nothing that a hundred men on Mars could ever do. And Kilimanjaro rises like a leopress above the seventy seas.

    Yeah, I think I need my hearing tested.

  48. I used to always request the radio station and my roller rink to play Dirty Deeds and the Thunder Chief (they always knew it was me, I was like 9 on up). Also, I used to think Private Eyes was Fire & Ice are watching you, they say you’re El Premoo (I thought it was some fancy way of calling someone premium/special). LOL! Misheard lyrics are my favorite.. one of my favorites is The sheep don’t like it, stop the cat box, stop the cat box!

  49. For a long time I thought Smoky Robinson and the Miracles were singing about going to a Boat Show. But if you go listen to Go-Go now you will hear it.

  50. Thank you Jenny! Its my birthday and my husband is sleeping in his chair. No wild life here, so very glad this popped into my email! Laughed so hard and don’t care if I woke him! Damn! Its my birthday and Ill laughter til I cry if I want to!

  51. Embarrassed? Don’t you dare be embarrassed. You should continue to sing it loud and proud because yours are the best ever. Your lyrics are so much better than the originals (sorry to those who think otherwise – there’s always room for varying opinions).

  52. I have no idea what he’s really saying, so these lyrics are as good as any. 🙂 It’s so hard to make out rock lyrics–Many times I’ll find out the true lyrics are not what I thought they were for many years. But I still hear them the old way because it’s hard to shake an old habit. Sometimes my version is better, anyway.

  53. I think your old man and my old man should get together and go bowling.

    The Halloween music channel on Music Choice has been on in my house since last week, and one of the songs has the line “they’ll fricassee your soul”. My Vulcan has pretty much tuned it all out, so he wasn’t paying attention when I walked into the kitchen and said “So, let’s review– not only is your soul solid enough to be stolen, it can be browned in butter and made into a tasty stew for monsters?” Utterly confused, he frowned walked away.

    Later, I’m listening to Bauhaus and the song “Dark Entries” comes on, so as I do, I started singing “Dog entrails! Dog entrails! Dog entrails!” in my best Peter Murphy voice, and he asked if I had taken my meds.

    I also constantly sing to and about my Pug, CheeChee LaRoo, about how she is the cutest, the sweetest, the funniest, the kookiest girl IN THE WHOLE WORLD YES SHE IS LA LA LAAAAAAAAA!

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

  54. Sister you can sing it any way you like just as long as it’s making you happy! You’re a hoot!

  55. Kings of Leon has a song, “your sex is on fire “. But in my mind it will always be “conscripted from zion”.

  56. This is hilarious because my whole world is like this. I have a hearing disability, and even with very good hearing aids, I hear way different things than what people say because my auditory nerve doesn’t function right and mistranslates a lot of stuff to my brain. Cheers to those of us with creative brain translators!

  57. There is a word for that! Mondegreen is a mishearing or misunderstanding of a phrase that gives it new meaning. I am madly in love with this word. Of course, I do feel bad for Vistor who is missing out on a lot of sexy talk.

  58. I really love how everything you say is so relatable! It reminds me that we are all human and, in our humanity, the most incredulous things are done. I love it!

  59. To be fair, I heard ‘riding a hot potato’ too.

    I am with the ‘electric boobs’ from Benny and the Jets. I also will never stop hearing ‘gotta love the Starbucks lovers’ in Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. I will forever swear they say ‘shut up, yes please’ in Maroon 5’s song Sugar

  60. I think you are correct in both your lyrics and interpretation of it’s meaning. If I could make one correction, I think it’s – Sleeping on the edge of the INTERSTATE oh oh getting wild life. I’m disturbed by what might be happening with the chicken.

  61. Your life and conversations with Victor further solidify my belief in intended SOUL MATES. You and Victor were intended to live this life together. I was lucky that way also :)! Not everyone is, but you and Victor! The Universe and you and Victor are all one!!

  62. OMG! I needs this post this morning. My daughter’s long term boyfriend just lost his dad to covid complications this morning and I was consoling myself with McDonald’s breakfast and was reading my email in the car line and saw this. I laughed hysterically and for sure think the employees of our local McDonald’s thinks I am nuts.

  63. So funny! I laughed so hard. I hear things wrong all the time. Not just in songs, but on the tv and when people are talking to me. It’s usually absurd things but sometimes it’s dirty stuff.

  64. My personal favorite is Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. When it switches to the digitized voice, I hear “We rub a Mexican monkey”. I’m a bit vanilla in my sexual tastes, but if that floats your boat, more power to yah!

  65. I am sitting in the Las Vegas airport and people are giving me weird looks. I needed this 😂😂😂

  66. I made a Midwestern multicultural tale out of the first verse of the Bee Gees’ Night Fever. Somehow.

    On the wings of the earth
    There is dancing in the dearth
    You can’t steal it
    Sioux City Woman, she moves in the night
    Keeping my mind on my soul
    Ja, comida
    And the feeling is right

  67. Sorry, I had to come back in…I shared this post with a friend and she wanted me to share her mondegreens from Blondie’s Heart of Glass: Don’tcha mistrust butts from behind? for “mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind.” (we agree that we both mistrust butts from behind) And “You teasing me like a dead bird” for “teasing me like you do”.

    This was such a great post, it made our days. I think your version of Wild Wild Life is SO MUCH BETTER than the original. I will never hear the lyrics the same way.

  68. Once you’ve head the BeeGees sing “Balded Headed Woman” you’ll never hear the song the right way again.

  69. Omg, I love you so much! I’m glad it’s not just me. After 30 years, my husband finally convinced me it’s actually “revved up like deuce” and not “wrapped up like a douche” in the song Blinded By the Light.

  70. Some of our favorite misheard lyrics by our kids: “knock, knock, knockin’ on Kevin’s door,” “whoa, whoa, whoa Chinese crying” (Jamie’s crying), and “ooh, ah kissin in a milkshake” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

  71. That made me smile. For years I thought the song, Selling the Drama, by Live was about weather. I heard the lyrics as, There won’t be rain, yeah yeah, there won’t be stars like that”. It’s definitely not about weather. 🤷‍♀️

  72. Hahahaa! Weird inception-like story. I used to sing the Oasis song Champagne Supernova a lot. Then one day a friend of mine, as a joke, sang “Where were you while we were eating pie”. Ever since then, that’s what comes out when I sing it like I have no control over it.

  73. The inverse of this: one of my favorite songs is “No Games” by Breaking Benjamin, which includes the lyric, “And I’ve fellated myself” – some years ago, one of my kids (about 9 years old at the time) heard me listening to the song and said, “Oh no, why does he have low self-esteem? He just said ‘And I’ve just hated myself'”…yeah, we didn’t correct that misunderstanding for a few years.

  74. My husband is notorious for this and it cracks me up each time! The first time it happened he was belting out ABBA’s mama mia. Here I go again . . . My, my, how can I assist you? The second time was Christina Aguilera. He thought it was “I’m a genie in a bottle, you gotta love me for my brains.” But it’s usually just the one lyric being off . . . Yours are so fabulously comprehensive!

  75. Sooooo… did anybody else notice that the dude in the orange suit is John Goodman. A very young John Goodman, but John Goodman.

  76. I have auditory processing issues, so have too many misheard songs to remember. However, a few weeks ago on the home and garden channel, someone was saying something about an ‘artisan’ piece. I wasn’t fully paying attention, and thought they said ‘arson’. Yeah. NOT the same. I thought it was a pretty funny mishearing though!

  77. The best one I ever heard was Smoke on the Water as Slow Cousin Walter! I can’t hear it any other way now!

  78. I laughed, and laughed with Jenny about her lyrics, but couldn’t stop all the way through the comments. Thanks y’all😜

  79. I’ve always gotten lyrics wrong! No one ever corrected me, except for that Jimi Hendrix song, Fisting the Sky

  80. Not mine, but one I read when I was about 11 or 12 in a teen magazine, and it stuck with me: ” Take your teeth out and tell me what’s wrooooong…”, by Abba.

  81. After watching a Christian children’s program, my daughter walked up to me and sang: “Stop…and let me tell you what Dolores has done for me…”

    There are several (small) books of mis-heard lyrics…the one I remember is titled “He’s Got the Whole World in His Pants”

  82. Hope you don’t mind, but I sent this to David Byrne. I’m sure he needs a good laugh, too.

  83. The reason I can’t do math is because of all the 80s song lyrics taking up the memory space in my head. However, one of my good friends who happens to be male, and is also a fan of going commando most days, ruined the Tom Petty song “Free Fallin” for me forever by singing loudly, “Yeah I’m freeeeeee… freeeeee ballin’…” I can’t hear it any other way now. >.<

  84. Teri (23) – I, too, thought Kenny Rogers had 400 children! And I remember thinking “why doesn’t he just have the 400 children pick the crop in the field? They’ll be done in no time!” Pretty sure that thought was influenced by a few too many Little House on the Prairie episodes.

  85. More recently, but a few years ago, listening to the Andy Grammer song in the car—you know the problematic one where he spends the whole night checking out some woman’s ass and legs and then says oh I can’t go home with you I got a woman waiting for me at home like he’s so virtuous, DUDE! But I digress. The lyrics. It hits me that he’s singing “I gotta bid you adieu” NOT “I got a piggy-wig-‘do” but I keep singing “piggy-wig-‘do” because it’s fun to say. Try it! Piggywigdo! Also, because it annoyed my then-teenage daughters.

  86. My husband thought The Proclaimers were singing about a woman named Miranda in “500 Miles”. He didn’t realize it was just a little vocal riffing. Da da LA da, DA da la da…. he totally heard them yelling “MIRANDA!”

  87. DS thought “I fought the law and the law won” was “I fought the narwhal .. narwhal.” DH thought “crash into me” by Dave Matthews Band was “cry summer wind”, which doesn’t make a bit of sense. As a child, I thought “round yon virgin” in Silent Night was “round young virgin” because she was pregnant (round), young (yon), and a person who had never had sex (virgin).

  88. I was today years old when I realized that this song is not about wild, wild rice! 😂

  89. I always thought Bryan Adams was a bit oversharing when he sang: I got my first real sex dream, played it ‘till my fingers bled.

  90. I am crying I’m laughing so hard. Thank you for the laugh I so desperately needed today!

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