This Metallica classic tops the list of misheard song lyrics

Metallica’s James Hetfield doesn’t sing about his late-night diet in “Enter Sandman.” Photo: dpa/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

It seems people have finally figured out that Jimi Hendrix didn’t sing “excuse me while I kiss this guy” on “Purple Haze” (the correct lyrics, in case you’re late to the party, are “excuse me while I kiss the sky”). Metallica’s classic “Enter Sandman” has grabbed the mantle of the song with the most commonly misheard lyrics, according to a new survey from Word search.

Of the 1,016 music fans who gave feedback, around 70% of those polled were convinced that James Hetfield had growled “Eggs and light end all nights” in the chorus of the 1991 single, not the actual line” Exit light, enter night”.

To think that the Metallica frontman was singing about his late-night eating habits is nothing new. Americans have misheard song lyrics for decades, according to the report. The phenomenon even has a name, called “worldgreenwhich writer Sylvia Wright coined in 1954 to describe “a word or phrase that results from poor listening, especially something recited or sung”.

Drake’s “The Motto” and Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” are also among the most misheard songs on the list, joining Beatles classics ( “I want to hold your hand”)Queen ( “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Madonna (“La Isla Bonita”).

Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” tops the list of most misunderstood lyrics by Americans. Photo: WordFinder/YourDictionary

It also turns out that Rihanna’s “We Found Love” doesn’t include the line, “We found love and I bought this place,” but rather correctly, “We found love in a place with no hope”. Respondents also thought the chorus of Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” was self-evident: “His exes are fired.” And more than half of listeners think that on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Kurt Cobain sang “With the lights out, it’s Las Vegas / Everybody listen to me now, artists,” instead of “With the lights off, it’s less dangerous / We’re there now, have fun.

Metallica may have topped the list after their song “Master of Puppets” was used in the season four finale of Netflix show “Stranger Things,” bringing the band’s classic tunes to the attention of fans. Millennials and Gen Z’ers.

But the majority of respondents said they weren’t too eager to post liner notes for their favorite albums, indicating that they preferred their versions of the songs.

“As individuals, we all relate to art in unique ways, which the creator may or may not have intended,” WordFinder said. “Perhaps that’s why even after finding the correct lyrics to a song, 69% of fans preferred their misheard lyrics over the original lyrics.”

Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” tops the list of most misunderstood lyrics by Americans. Photo: WordFinder/YourDictionary


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