Informal Reader Poll: Whose Lyrics Did You Do Better?
For the longest time, I thought the last line of Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” was, “And in my last hour, I’m a slave to the power of none.” It was such a cool statement, that in death you are ruled by no man or god; it tied back perfectly to the line, “For he is a man and a god, and he will die too!”
But then I read the lyrics, and found out that Bruce was actually singing, “And in my last hour, I’m a slave to the power of death.” Which, I think, isn’t as good. It doesn’t rhyme with “I’m a god, why can’t I live on?”, certainly not as well as “none” does. More so, it changed the message of the song, to being about life as a slave no matter what rather than a life ending in total freedom. I think mine’s better, so I’m sticking with it.
Misheard lyrics are a huge phenomenon, so much so that they have their own website. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as having your friends inform you that no, this song does not reference tigers or Finnegan’s Wake or diarrhea, and that you’re a weirdo for hearing that. But let’s face it, professional musicians are not always consummate lyricists. Plenty of them are just looking for a decent word to rhyme with the word they wrote down before it so they won’t have to scribble anything out (God, if I hear one more person rhyme self with shelf…).
So, you tell us: which lyrics have you done better? What song do you think was only improved by your mishearing of the words in it? Did your interpretation just change a specific line, or did it alter the entire meaning and message of the song as whole? Let us know in the comments. Links are encouraged, so we can hear just deeply you misunderstood the lyrics.