The Lyrics We've All Been Saying Wrong in 2017

Bruno Mars © Frank Micelotta/REX/Shutterstock
Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 29 August 2017
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At some point, we’ve all sung out “‘Scuse me, while I kiss this guy,” “Hold me closer, Tony Danza,” or “Wrapped up like a douche, another rumor in the night.” Misheard lyrics, like those of Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, and Manfred Mann, are common and often comical, but can be a bit embarrassing when caught by a friend. In an effort to curb mondegreen further, we’ve looked through 2017’s most successful singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and pulled out the lyrics from several chart-topping tracks most likely to be mixed up below.

Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee – “Despacito”

Like it or not, “Despacito” has had a recordbreaking year, and is undeniably the 2017 song of the summer. For those who don’t speak Spanish, singing along might be a bit tricky, but just don’t be like Justin Bieber and replace the lyrics with “Dorito,” “burrito,” and “blah.”

Lyrics: “Despacito / Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito / Deja que te diga cosas al oído / Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo/ Despacito / Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito / Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto / Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito”

J Balvin & Willy William – “Mi Gente”

As Spanish-language songs continues their ascent into the mainstream markets, “Mi Gente” is poised to be the next big hit, so make sure to memorize the chorus before you hear it on every radio station.

Lyrics: “Toda mi gente se mueve / Mira el ritmo cómo los tiene / Hago música que entretiene / El mundo nos quiere, nos quiere / Y me quiere a mí/ Toda mi gente se mueve / Mira el ritmo cómo los tiene / Hago música que entretiene / Mi música los tiene fuerte bailando / Y se baila así”

Imagine Dragons – “Believer”

If you aren’t being violently pummeled by Dolph Lundgren, you have no excuse not knowing the words.

Lyrics: “Oh let the bullets fly, oh let them rain / My life, my love, my drive, it came from… / Pain! / You made me a, you made me a believer, believer”

Rae Sremmurd – “Black Beatles “

While the hype around “Black Beatles” has died down a good bit since the days of #MannequinChallenge, you can bet the song will still be positioned on party playlists for some time.

Lyrics: “Frat girls still tryna get even / Haters mad for whatever reason / Smoke in the air, binge drinking / They lose it when the DJ drops the needle”

Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”

We may not be a fan of Sheeran’s guest appearance on Game of Thrones, but he did let us watch him roll around on the ground in a sumo fat suit, so it’s only fair that we are able to correctly sing “Shape of You” whenever it comes on.

Lyrics: “I’m in love with the shape of you / We push and pull like a magnet do / Although my heart is falling too / I’m in love with your body / And last night you were in my room / And now my bedsheets smell like you / Every day discovering something brand new / I’m in love with your body”

Migos – “Bad and Boujee”

The chorus on Migos‘ “Versace” was far simpler to memorize than “Bad and Boujee.” Everyone knows “raindrop, drop top,” but what comes next?

Lyrics: “Raindrop, drop top / Smokin’ on cookie in the hotbox … My bitch is bad and boujee / Cookin’ up dope with a Uzi / My ni**as is savage, ruthless / We got 30’s and 100 rounds too”

The Weeknd – “Starboy” ft. Daft Punk

While The Weeknd’s collaborators might be robots of very few words, the singer’s pre-chorus on “Starboy” is significantly more dense than its following refrain.

Lyrics: “House so empty, need a centerpiece / 20 racks a table cut from ebony / Cut that ivory into skinny pieces / Then she clean it with her face man I love my baby”

Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like”

We know we’re lucky, but what is it exactly that Bruno Mars likes?

Lyrics: “Gold jewelry shining so bright / Strawberry champagne on ice … Sex by the fire at night / Silk sheets and diamonds all white”

Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Whether you think Taylor Swift is queen, a snake, always playing the victim, or whatever, you can bet you will be hearing this track nonstop through the rest of 2017.

Lyrics: “But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time / Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time / I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined / I check it once, then I check it twice (oh)”

Future – “Mask Off”

Is it “purple sticks, molly, purple sticks”? Or maybe, “purple sex, molly, purple sex”?

Lyrics: “Percocets, molly, Percocets / Rep the set, gotta rep the set / Chase a check, never chase a bitch / Mask on, fuck it, mask off”

Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

Learning the words to any Kendrick Lamar songs is a true challenge; you don’t become the greatest rapper alive with basic lyric structures. However, being able to correctly shout out the opening phrases of “HUMBLE.” is crucial, and, naturally, Lamar wrote two different intros between the album version of the track and its music video.

Album Intro Lyrics: “Nobody pray for me / It’s been that day for me / Waaaaay (yeah, yeah!)”
Video Intro Lyrics: “Wicked or weakness? / You gotta see this / Waaaaay (yeah, yeah!)”

Charlie Puth – “Attention”

At the start of the second verse, Charlie Puth isn’t explaining that he’s upset with his ex for putting a turtle on his name.

Lyrics: “You’ve been runnin’ ’round, runnin’ ’round, runnin’ ’round / Throwin’ that dirt all on my name”

Childish Gambino – “Redbone”

We all know Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, wants us all to stay woke, but discerning the rest of the “Redbone” chorus proves to be a bit of a challenge thanks to his newly discovered, but badass, falsetto.

Lyrics: “But stay woke / Ni**as creepin’ / They gon’ find you / Gon’ catch you sleepin’ (Oooh) / Now stay woke / Ni**as creepin’ / Now don’t you close your eyes”

Harry Styles – “Sign of the Times”

Few predicted that Harry Styles’ debut solo single would come in the form of the piano rock ballad “Sign of the Times.” While the track received mixed reviews from critics, it’s a real joy to belt out with the former One Direction star, but it’s just as important to nail the lighter falsetto of the song’s pre-chorus.

Lyrics: “We never learn, we been here before / Why are we always stuck and running from / The bullets? The bullets?”

Cardi B – “Bodak Yellow”

Cardi B might not be a name you’ve heard yet, but her track “Bodak Yellow,” a definite club banger, is rocketing her up the charts, and into mainstream attention.

Lyrics: “Said, ‘Lil bitch, you can’t fuck with me if you wanted to’ / These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes”

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