Joshua Fit the Battle of Cherry Coke and 13 Other Misheard Lyrics

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  1. “Joshua Fit the Battle of Cherry Coke”
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Some child heard “Joshua fit the battle of cherry Coke” instead of “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho.” The battle at Jericho was pretty unusual, but this kind of battle sounds more like a cafeteria food fight. I don’t know where this is found in the Bible. Hhhmmm….

2. “Caribou Quick!” 

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At a party, a friend of mine shared how he always heard the lyrics, “Caribou quick” in the song “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean. That changes the meaning, just slightly. Caribou are often the subject of ’80s R&B songs, right? We could probably fill an album on contemporary songs of the caribou … or maybe Wayne Brady could. It probably helped the storytelling that my friend had to make antlers with his hands while he sang the lyrics.

3. “Ooh! Boppa Retta!”


When I was a child, I sometimes heard Sade’s “Smooth Operator” when out in public places. For years, I thought the repeated line, “Smooth Operator” was “Ooh! Boppa Retta!” I guess I thought it was like jazz scat singing or some nonsense syllables like “Rama Lama Ding Dong.” I don’t remember how I was finally enlightened.

4. “This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus!”

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These lyrics were heard in place of “Age of Aquarius” in the Fifth Dimension song by that title. That is an age that a lot of veggie-fearing children would dread.

4. “Got along with Starbucks lovers”

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This one is heard instead of “got a long list of ex-lovers” in the song “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. Who wouldn’t get along with a Starbucks lover? Maybe someone who prefers Dunkin’ Donuts coffee instead.

5. “I wanna try like a beagle.” 

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This was heard in place of “I Wanna Fly Like an Eagle” in the Steve Miller Band song by that name. Everyone knows that beagles try hard. Most of them are probably trying hard to catch squirrels, although one famous beagle, Snoopy, does dance and fly a plane and other impressive accomplishments.

6. “A pink pair of dice”

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This was heard instead of “They paved paradise” and then followed by “and put in a parking lot” in “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. Well, a pair of fuzzy dice might be seen in a parking lot, but that’s the only connection I see.

7. “I just died in your barn tonight, mustard no mayonnaise instead.”

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This was heard in place of “I just died in your arms tonight. It must have been something you said,” in the song “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight” by Cutting Crew. I’m a little confused by this one. It sounds like the ghost of some guy who died in the barn is still able to enjoy mortal pleasures and is pretty persnickety about his condiment choices.

8. “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.” 

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The actual lyrics are “Sweet dreams are made of these” in the song “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. Still, I agree with this statement. I have a lot of sweet dreams about cheese.

9. “It’s too late to order fries.”


This was heard instead of “It’s too late to apologize” in “Apologize” by OneRepublic. Isn’t it heartbreaking when you roll up to the drivethrough window only to realize the place is closed?Maybe the guy tried to order at Chik Fil A on a Sunday? (I think we could put together some sort of sandwich, side and beverage from the misheard lyrics in this list.)

10. “‘Til I hit the dumpster, hit the dumpster.”

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This was heard in Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” instead of “‘Til I hit the dance floor, hit the dance floor.” Well, she does sing about not needing a lot of cash in order to have a good time. Hitting a dumpster doesn’t cost much, but I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of thrill factor there either.

11. “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.”

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This was heard in place of “Hold me closer, tiny dancer,” in Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” Maybe this was misheard by someone with a celebrity crush?

12. “There’s a bathroom on the right.”

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This was heard in Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” instead of “There’s a bad moon on the rise.” Sometimes, it’s really handy to know there’s a bathroom nearby.

13. “And the toilet’s last cleaning.”

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This was heard in the U.S. national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” in place of “at the twilight’s last gleaming.” I sure hope the toilet is gleaming after its last cleaning.

What lyrics have you misheard?