We've all had that moment where we belt out a lyric to song, only to have everyone stare at us and tell us ". . . Those are definitely not the words." But sometimes wrong lyrics make just another love song into a sci-fi epic worthy of the big screen. This is a tribute to those.
Just so you all know, this list tried to avoid songs that already had sci-fi notions or songs that can be found on sci-fi concept albums. So no Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars here. This is about songs with no such connections that can be misheard into science fiction epics.
Top image from the music video for "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness. Because it features a space monster rocked to death.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana
The real lyric: Here we are now, entertain us
The misheard lyric: Here we are now, in containers
What the song now means: Suddenly, this song's all about a dysopian future where we're all kept in containers, Matrix-style. Alternatively, this is now a song told from the point of view of Soylent Green.
"I Am a Rock," Simon & Garfunkel
The real lyric: I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
The misheard lyric: I won't disturb the slumber of aliens that have died
What the song now means: The solid advice given to a bunch of scientists, right before they cut into an alien corpse, releasing a disease that'll wipe humanity off the map.
"My Heart Will Go On," Celine Dion
The real lyric: The spaces between us
The misheard lyric: All the spaceships between us
What the song now means: I'm envisioning either a Romeo-and-Juliet-in-space story or one of revenge. A quest to kill an enemy in space, made difficult by "all the spaceships between us." Honestly, the whole song is much more fun as an ode to revenge, rather than a romantic ballad. "Near, far, wherever you are . . ."
"Alone," Bee Gees
The real lyric: I was a midnight rider on a cloud of smoke
The misheard lyric: I wanted to be Knight Rider, oh, but I was broke
What the song now means: Five bucks says this is the actual plot of the new Knight Rider movie.
"Sex on Fire," Kings of Leon
The real lyric: Oh, your sex is on fire
The misheard lyric: Dyslexics on fire
What the song now means: The song for a eugenics-inspired dystopia that kills everyone with a disability.
The real lyric: There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.
The misheard lyric: There's nothing that a hundred men from Mars could ever do.
What the song now means: Yeah, that's right, men from Mars! There's nothing you can do. Useless is what you are, that's why you won't win this war.
"Another One Bites the Dust," Queen
The real lyric: Steve walks wearily down the street
The misheard lyric: Ewoks rolling down the street
What the song now means: A) This is a fabulous image. B) Let's just assume that in Star Wars, this is a novelty song for children.
"Addicted to Love," Robert Palmer
The real lyric: Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
The misheard lyric: Might as well face it, you'r a digital love
What the song now means: The song that scores a robot's realization of what they are and that their emotions are programmed.
"Music of My Heart," 'N Sync
The real lyric: What you've taught me, only your love could ever teach me
The misheard lyric: What you've taught me, only Yoda could ever teach me
What the song now means: Many a pissed-off padawan has thought this of an inadequate master. Hard to deal with a second-rate teacher, when Yoda's around?
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered," Peter Frampton
The real lyric: "Signed, sealed, delivered . . . I'm yours!"
The misheard lyric: "Science healed the liver, I'm yours!"
What the song now means: "You saved my life with science, and now I owe you a life debt."
"This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race," Fall Out Boy
The real lyric: I'm the leading man, and the lies I weave are oh so intricate, oh so intricate
The misheard lyric: I'm a little man, and I'm also evil, also into cats, also into cats.
What the song now means: I don't care what this song was originally about – seriously, don't bother trying to tell me – now, it's the theme song for a Bond-style villain.
"All Over the World," Pet Shop Boys
The real lyric: This is a song about boys and girls
The misheard lyric: This is a song about poisoned girls
What the song now means: Sings the creepy comic-book villain to his mausoleum.
"All You Need Is Love," The Beatles
The real lyric: Love is all you need
The misheard lyric: You're dissolving me
What the song now means: The song sung by the victims of the serial killer singing from "Boys and Girls."
"Unchained," Van Halen
The real lyric: Blue-eyed murder in a size five dress
The misheard lyric: Blue-eyed, murmuring a sci-fi address
What the song now means: Think a piercing-eyed Big Brother-style speech.
"I Want It That Way," Backstreet Boys
The real lyric: I want it that way
The misheard lyric: I want a tidal wave
What the song now means: This is the song a mad scientist sings to his beloved weather machine.
"Heal the World," Michael Jackson
The real lyric: For you and for me and the entire human race
The misheard lyric: For you and for me and the exiles up in space
What the song now means: Saving the universe, not just for the Earth, but for the defenseless exiles living in space.
"America," Simon and Garfunkel
The real lyric: Counting cars on the New Jersey turnpike
The misheard lyric: Captain Picard's on the New Jersey turnpike
What the song now means: Who doesn't want to see The Next Generation crew's wacky adventures in New Jersey?
"Livin' Lovin' Maid," Led Zeppelin
The real lyric: When the conscience hits, you knock it back with pills
The misheard lyric: And when the science fits, you now get back with Phil
What the song now means: Phil was that scientist with the crazy "dinosaurs were aliens"-style theory that no one believed. It got him laughed out of academia. Now that the science backs him up, the government's got to get him back.
The real lyric: When you've got to feel it in your bones
The misheard lyric: Sometimes I feel like alien bones/There's got to be some alien bones
What the song now means: Either the song for secret alien or the mantra of Phil-the-unbelieved-scientist from "Livin' Lovin' Maid."
"Eyes Without a Face," Billy Idol
The real lyric: Eyes without a face, such a human waste
The misheard lyric: (Her) eyes are out of space. Join the human race.
What the song now means: The entreaty of a man trying to get a woman to stop devoting all her energy to the study of the skies and aliens and live the life of a human.
"Put Your Records On," Corinne Bailey Rae
The real lyric: Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
The misheard lyric: Sci-fi, Invader Zim, I hope you get your dreams
What the song now means: I mean, there were certainly those among us who hope Zim does get his dreams.
"Good Vibrations," The Beach Boys
The real lyric: She's giving me excitations
The misheard lyric: She's giving me her citations
What the song now means: For some academics, getting citations means more than any other kind of romantic overture.
"Mysterious Ways," U2
The real lyric: She moves in mysterious ways
The misheard lyric: Shamu, the mysterious whale
What the song now means: No clue, other than that it makes me laugh. Whales, as The Voyage Home and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy proved, are excellent fodder for science fiction comedy.
This list was assembled by spending entirely too much time on Kiss This Guy.com. But there are so many misheard lyrics out there, we've definitely missed some. Which ones have you heard that made a song a tale of science fiction?