Every year Eurovision artists from Barcelona to Baku take on the challenge of singing in English. For some, English is their second or third or fourth language. We applaud them for their efforts, but we still scratch our heads when their mis-pronunciation leaves us questioning the meaning of their song. This year, I had a group of friends over to watch the Eurovision final here in Canada. Most of them hadn’t heard the songs ahead of time, which led to more than a few misheard lyrics. Here are some of my favourites.

5. “Attention” – Lithuania

What we heard: “Attention! A little kid!”

Correct lyric: “Attention! A little care”

Skip to 0:59 to hear the verse in question. As any diehard Eurovision fan knows, this isn’t a song about babysitting. It’s about an empowered woman doin’ it for herself—a message clearly lost on my younger sister.

4. “Silent Storm” – Norway

What we heard: “Have two toes…” or maybe “Have two totes”

Correct lyric: “Head to toes”

The very first line of the song threw us for a loop when we were already having a hard time understanding the singer. To be fair, Carl Espen’s enunciation improved over the course of the song, but that doesn’t change the fact that I had to google the lyrics to find out what he actually said…

3. “3 Minutes to Earth” – Georgia

What we heard: “Sky divers, space jam”

Correct lyrics: “Sky diver, space jump”

Skip to 1:19 to hear this lyric for the first time. It’s pretty obvious that they are saying “space jump”, but it’s less so in the music video. The song is pretty bizarre in its own right, but referencing a 90’s Looney Toons movie would have brought that to a whole other level.

2. “Cheesecake” – Belarus

What we heard: “I don’t wanna be your chocolate hamster day” or “I don’t wanna be you chocolate hams today”

Correct Lyrics: “I don’t wanna be your toy perhaps today”

This line can be heard at 0:40 in the video. While the real lyrics don’t make much sense either, not wanting to be a “chocolate hamster” is even more absurd…and less delicious.

1. “Tick-Tock” – Ukraine

What we heard: “My heart is like a clock, you wind it with your knob”

Correct Lyrics: “My heart is like a clock, you wind it with you love”

This can be heard at 1:23 in the clip. I have to say, this mistake was entirely my fault. I was really shocked at how dirty the lyrics were, but didn’t think too much of it, especially since it immediately follows the line “kiss me, kiss me ’till I drop” . It was’t until I heard the song in the semi finals that I realized that the words were really “Wind it with your LOVE”. #dirtymind. Thankfully the song made me much less uncomfortable in the final.

Want to hear more phonetic blunders? Check out our Top 10 misheard lyrics post from 2013. 

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
7 years ago

What about Georgia’s entry when the drummer was singing in Gibberish. That sounded like ‘Wet Hot potato, hot potato, hot potato hot.’

Carl of Usa
Carl of Usa
7 years ago

Azerbaijan,Azerbaijan,Azerbaijan-there is nothing in news about Azerbaijan…but this rascal people ran over topic and talk about Azerbaijan.Just Jelaousy

Carl of Usa
Carl of Usa
7 years ago

Ukraine’s entry 2014-overrated

P.
P.
7 years ago

Valentina Monetta also had some funny misheard lyrics 🙂

Ali Nella Houd
Ali Nella Houd
7 years ago

To be clear, I was not criticising Dilara. Start a Fire was my second favourite entry – I thought it was a beautiful, spell-binding performance. There are plenty of native-English-speaking performers – including some very famous ones – whose pronunciation is (sometimes deliberately?) hard to understand.

Marcelo N
7 years ago

Erm… whatever we say here may infuriate someone else. However, as I believe this was meant for us to have a little fun, I gave it a try. Some of the things those people thought they heard are hilarious, though that does not mean the singing necessarily sounded that way. I am usually pulled in two directions regarding the criticism of English pronunciation at ESC: it is usually too hard on some acts (even those who apparently “deserve it”), while it simply overlooks other blunders (even native speakers’ inconsistencies). True, Hersi’s (not featured here… I wonder why?) and Cristina Scarlat’s… Read more »

Charles
Charles
7 years ago

@ Natik: If learning English is not an obligation for Azeris, I kinda wonder why do you insist In singing in English? Is it the pleasure of not being able to pronounce anything right on a live performance? Or do you honestly believe we fall for all the Swedish made songs whose lyrics you have no clue what they are about unless some translator works for you? Come on…I understand how desperate Azerbaijan is to clean their image in Eurovision by winning again … but you gotta be smarter than that. By the way: how is it like to swap… Read more »

Natik Jasminum
Natik Jasminum
7 years ago

Attention pathetic haters: Whatever you say and do against, Azeri musical culture is stronger!

I still love how Aysel, Safura, Sabina, Farid and Dilara were singing in alien English without any professional knowledge of the language.

Some should only be grateful for that in any way as English isn’t obligation for many and of course, for us:-)

Thanks!

Armond
Armond
7 years ago

Actually I will never understand what sebalter sings about but who cares look at his confidence.

Howard Wachtel
7 years ago

Remember “Hero” by Charlotte Perrelli in 2008? The chorus sounded like “Out of the lie” (I never heard the final consonant) instead of “Out of the light”.

Wergie
Wergie
7 years ago

Jemini – Cry Baby (UK 2003)
I heard:
‘Bye, bye, baby
You lied to me baby
Masturbating crazy..
Bye, bye baby’
Correct Lyrics:
‘Bye bye baby
You lied to me baby
I must have been crazy
Bye, bye baby’

😀
Two days ago heard it on ESC radio.. nice song though but they were horrible live 🙁

Ali Nella Houd
Ali Nella Houd
7 years ago

It’s not a mishearing, but for the Swiss lyrics, where the original says ‘it’s me and my imperfection’, our household now sings (because of the video) ‘watch out for the spaghetti’!!!
Pity that Dilara’s pronunciation (for Azerbaijan) was a bit hard to follow, as many of the words are actually quite beautiful: ‘Maybe nightfall darkens skies’ …

Leaf
Leaf
7 years ago

I did not understand anything in Moldova’s performance this year ….. OK, maybe 2-3 words !!!!

Mercy, destiny left me so empty …. also the weird pronunciation of patience.

Gavin
Gavin
7 years ago

I’m. Still humming krista from last year ” ill fu!k you, fu*k you! fu?k you… Marry me baby!”

Natik Jasminum
Natik Jasminum
7 years ago

Who cares?

Jericho
Jericho
7 years ago

Lol. I heard ALL OF THESE

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
7 years ago

I thought it was “Sky divers, space junk”.

Dhani
7 years ago

MONACO WILL RETURN IN 2015!!!!

http://eurovoix.com/2014/05/25/monaco-return-in-2015/
YASSSSS!!!!!

kaden
kaden
7 years ago

@ Fatima

I thought that line was “someone’s selling garden roses IS AS DUMB AS squares.” —but it makes no sense

kaden
kaden
7 years ago

“Attention! A little kid!” —this crack me up!!! – when I first heard the song I thought she was saying “Attention! A little kiss”

I thought the Ukrainian song went ““My heart is like a clock, you WANT it with you love”. But I have to admit that the line “kiss me, kiss me ’till I drop” …. still is quite suggestive….although we now all know what works if we are looking for one!

Mike
Mike
7 years ago

Haha I was in the hall and I heard Carl Espen saying: ”Heard you talk”

Fatima
Fatima
7 years ago

I though that the Azerbaijan opening was wrong. Surely nobody actually wrote the line “someone’s selling garden roses down the square.” Turns out they did.

stommie
stommie
7 years ago

No Azerbaijan phonetic blunders?

Mika
Mika
7 years ago

These are really bad, I heard none of those, and not one of them was funny.